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 2016–17, pistachio production was valued at $19 million (LVP), with exports valued at $1.8 million. In 2018, there was 1,300 hectares under cultivation with a record 3,200 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 SA. Further plantings are in central west Victoria and Pinnaroo, SA, with small plantings in WA. It is estimated that 200 hectares were planted in 2018 with 150 hectares per annum to be planted in the next three years (2019 to 2021). 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 2021.

In 2018, Pistachio Growers’ Association participated in Emergency Plant Pest activities, including as an affected party in the eradication response for Khapra beetle. 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 Australian Pistachio Industry Five Year Strategic Plan – 2015 to 2020, and in two Hort Innovation research projects (PS16000 and PS16002). The industry is represented at PHA meetings and government Biosecurity Roundtables.

The pistachio industry is covered by version 3.0 of the nut industry biosecurity plan.

Annual value of pistachio production, 2008–17

Distribution of pistachio production by state and territory, 2016–17 (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 [email protected].

Nuts PostcardPostcard

Promotional item to support the exotic plant pest hotline 1800 084 881

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 [email protected] 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
Khapra beetle Trogoderma granarium 2 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 Phymatotrichum omnivorum 2 FS FS