26 April 2018

Planting pistachio trees: Step by step

The pistachio crop is fashion. We really don't know if it is a bubble... we have to wait a few year to know it. Our friends Rafa, Frand and Iñaki have decided to plant pistachio and they are proud of telling us their experiences. After looking for ideal fields, information and receiving training about this crop, they have gone on the adventure of planting about 4 hectares, which is about 750 plants of grafted pistachio.

Their fields have no irrigation system, so the planting frame has been 7x7. They used the cornicabra pistachio rootstock because it is ideal for our weather. The UCB1 pistachio rootstock is more vigorous but it needs more water and fertilizer so it was dismissed. The variety used has been Kerman with Peter male pollinator in 1/9 proportion which is, according to the books/studies, the male that most overlaps his pollination time.

When they had to buy plants, they had to make a decision that will be very important in the long term:
  1. The cheap option. To be patient to plant cornicabra  rootstock (cost from € 0.5 to € 1.5). They have to wait at least a couple of years to start grafting on them. They have to add at least another couple of years to all the plants you have grafted with an average of 3 attempts of graft/plant. You are already at almost 5 €/plant cost and the most important thing is that "it loss 4 years until you can say that your field has pistachio trees".
  2. The expensive option. That was ultimately chosen. They bought the variety of pistachio already grafted with two years on the cornicabra  rootstock (the price is 10-12 €/plant). They are sure that all tress planted grow up evenly (except from, logically, the ones lost that are, since if it is a plant of guarantees they should not be more than 2-5%)... they think that with this way they will win a couple of years with respect to the first option and they could return the initial extra cost more quickly.
Before planting tasks, it is very important to make a soil analysis to rule out the presence of whorl, lethal for this crop. At the same time, they had to pass the subsoiler several times to have a good depth. Also, Besides, they had to buy the tutors (bamboo, wood, PVC, iron, aluminium,...) and the protectors (normally made of 70cm high plastic when it is for the grafted plant and mesh when it is for  rootstock). The selection of the tutor is very important, since it will be many years doing his job. In the case of Rafa, Fran and Iñaki bought galvanized steel hollow tube recovered from a sprinkler irrigation, 225cm high and 24mm in diameter. For the pistachio, the tutor has to ensure no less than 6-8 years of good support and great height because the males have to make the high crosses, not less than 1.8m.... so they ruled out the bamboo or wood.

In order to complete the planting tasks it is necessary to water. They irrigated more than 40l/tree. It is rather than the water requirements trees, by the mechanical action of compacting and removing air from the subsoil while helping the bare root of the plant to bind as quickly and better as possible with the soil.

Regarding the sale of the product, average prices are around 5 €/kg of opened pistachio although in recent years they have even been paid at 8 €/kg. Here and now, we have to see when this installation will pay for itself, 7, 8, 10 years.... we'll see it! 

Versión en español.

No comments:

Post a Comment