The Pistachio Growers Association represents the biosecurity interests of pistachio producers and the industry. They are members of Plant Health Australia and signatories to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed. Their responsibilities include:

  • biosecurity planning and implementation at the national and farm levels
  • liaising with federal and state governments on trade issues
  • funding and supporting biosecurity initiatives
  • participating in national committees and response efforts in an emergency.

Industry overview

In 2018–19, pistachio production was valued at $27 million (LVP), with exports valued at $16.6 million. In 2020, there were approximately 2,000 hectares (bearing and non-bearing) under cultivation with 2,900 tonnes of pistachio nuts produced from the productive orchards.

Major production areas are along the Murray River Valley between Swan Hill in Victoria and Waikerie in South Australia. Further plantings are in central-west Victoria and Pinnaroo, South Australia, with small plantings in Western Australia. 180 hectares of new orchards were planted in 2018, 200 in 2019 and 220 in 2020 representing a total of 1,165 new hectares since 2014. None of this new orchard is currently in production. There are five large pistachio orchards and another five orchards of 10 to 15 hectares, which is the acknowledged size required to make a living solely from pistachio nut production. Around 20 mixed fruit growers each produce less than five tonnes of pistachios (dry) per annum from one to five hectares.

Australian pistachio production currently meets only 50 per cent of domestic consumption, with the remainder imported from other major producers including Iran and the United States. The domestic production of pistachio is expected to increase to 4,000 tonnes (rolling average of two seasons) by 2022 and to 12,000 tonnes by 2030.

Australia is free from major pests and diseases that affect pistachios overseas. Biosecurity is a priority for the industry, with aspects of biosecurity embedded in the Pistachio Industry Australia – the Premium Healthy Nut – Strategic Blueprint 2030, and in two completed Hort Innovation research projects (PS16000 and PS16002). The industry is represented at PHA meetings and government Biosecurity Roundtables.

Annual value of pistachio production, 2008–19

Distribution of pistachio production by state and territory, 2018–19 (based on LVP)

Tree nut IBPBiosecurity Plan for the Tree Nut Industry

Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the almond industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to assess current biosecurity practices and future biosecurity needs. Planning identifies procedures that can be put in place to reduce the chance of pests reaching our borders or minimise the impact if a pest incursion occurs.

The Biosecurity Plan for the Tree Nut Industry outlines key threats to the industry, risk mitigation plans, identification and categorisation of exotic pests and contingency plans.For a copy, please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email admin@phau.com.au.

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Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of pistachios. These pests were identified during the development of the Biosecurity Plan for the Tree Nut Industry in consultation with industry, government and scientists. They have been assessed as high priority pests based on their potential to enter, establish, and spread in Australia (eg environmental factors, host range, vectors) and the cost to industry of control measures.

PHA has a range of fact sheets, contingency plans and diagnostic protocols relevant to these pests. Pest risk review documents are also available for some pests. Please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email admin@phau.com.au for more information.

Endorsed National Diagnostic Protocols are available from the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network webpage.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Green stink bug Chinavia hilaris (syn. Acrosternum hilare, Pentatoma hilaris, Chinavia hilare, Nezara hilaris) FS
Gypsy moths Lymantria dispar and Lymantria mathura FS FS FS CP DP
Khapra beetle Trogoderma granarium 2 FS FS CP
Leaf footed bug Leptoglossus clypealis FS
Navel orangeworm Amyelois transitella 3 FS
Verticillium wilt Verticillium dahliae (exotic defoliating strains) 3 FS
Western conifer seed bug Leptoglossus occidentalis FS
Western leaf footed bug Leptoglossus zonatus FS

Other pests

The following is a list of documents for other exotic and endemic pests of pistachios. Please note that this is not a complete list of pests: rather it includes pests for which documents exist in the Pest Information Document Database.

Some of the documents presented here are not  tailored to the pistachio industry and are included for information only.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Japanese beetle Popillia japonica FS
Oblique-banded leaf roller Choristoneura rosaceana FS
Pacific spider mite Tetranychus pacificus FS
Texas root rot Phymatotrichopsis omnivora (syn Phymatotrichum omnivorum) 2 FS FS