Pistachio plantation in Iran

 

Introduction

Characteristics of the pistachio

Cultivated area in Iran

The pistachio cultivars

Pollination

Pistachio Nut Propagation  in Iran                                                                    

Pruning

Pistachio Irrigation

Pistachio Nutrition

Important pistachio nut pests

Pistachio nut diseases

Pistachio nut harvesting

Aflatoxin

Nutritional values of pistacea nuts and usage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Pistachio  (Pistacia vera  L.)belongs to the nut tree group and is a very important economic aspect of arid and semi-arid agricultural production in Iran.The genus has eleven species,the species are distributed mainly around the meditranian sea,western asia ,middle east and cenyral Asia regios .Three out of the eleven species occur in Iran P.Vera , P.Mutica ,P.Khinjuk.

 

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 Characteristics of the pistachio

Distribution and climate : Iranan pistachio trees are located at latituted of 27-37 degrees at altitude of 700-3000 m. The trees cn tolerate from -20 to +45 degree C.and in summer ,considering fruit production , the humidity level is more suitable when it is lower than 35%relative humidity.

 

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Cultivated area in Iran

Kerman province ,in the south east of Iran, is the main area for pitacio production , and is also the largest in the world (more than 220000 ha.) .Rafsanjan is the main production area in this province. The first seed or seedling were brought from Khorasan in Safavie Kingdom(17th-18 Century).

Othrer regions in Iran where producing this crop are Yazd, Khorassan,Semnan, Ghazwin ,Isfahan  and Fars .

Total under cultivated area in Iran requires 250000 ha. With annual production of aproximately 260000 tons .In the world 331403ha.

 

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The Pistachio cultivars

The pistachio varieties in Iran are very numerous , which characteristics determined for more than 60  named varieties.The most important are as followed:

Ghazvin, which is suitable as rootstock. Ohadi ,this variety is the most commerciall important cultivars in Iran.Kale ghoochi, Momtaz Akbari Shasti,Damghan ,are under important varities .

 

This the wild progenitor of the cultivated pistachio abd primary wild genopool of the crop.The distribution of wild P.vera  is centered in Tadjikestan, Kirkizia,and north Afghanistan and it extends westward to the north part of Khurassan district in Iran.

This tree is one of the most widely distributed wild species. It is spread more or less continuosly over the whole area from northern and western Pakistan,to Afghanistan,south , west Iran, the southeast Cacasus, Turkey ,Syria ,Lebanon ,Jordan.

This is the Mediterranean element native to the western and central parts of the Mediterranean basin , spread from Morocco and Portugal in the west to the Aegean region in the east.

 

This wild pistachio is also an Irano-Turanian species. Its main distribution range extends from southeast Turkey,to northern syria,north Irak,the mountain of west and south Iran, and from Iran to Pakistan.

 

An eastern Medtrerranean element,closely related to P. trebithus,replacing the later in the eastern part of Med. Basin(south Turkey,Syria,Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.

 

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Pollination

Fruit priduction requires pollination followed by fertilization,and the pollinating agent is wind .In Iran there are many cultivated  varieties of pistachio which are different in initiation and end of flowering and because of this synchriny,it is necessarry to have selected pollinationcapable of flowering for long periods (15-20 days).For pollination a suitable mailcultivar is essencial.

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Pistachio Nut Propagation  in Iran                                                                    

 pistachio nut is propagated by one of following methods:

 

1-    Pistachio planting in Nurseries:

In this method, after choosing a piece of land ,the small-sized Badami or Ghazvini  pistachio seeds are treated with fungicides and soaked in water for 24 hours. In late February to mid-april,the seeds are planted on rows 40 cm. Apart at a distance of 10-15cm.

Recently ,the seeds of Sarakhs as well of persian wild pistachio tree (pistachio mutica) which show resistance to root-knot nematods are used as rootstocks.

In the spring of the second year ,more than 80-90% of the rootstocks are grafted by ring budding method.

 

2-Pistachio planting in pots

In this method ,pistachio seeds are sown in plastic pots,10-15 cm.in diameterand 25-30 cm. In hight.

 

 

3-Direct planting in orchard:

This procedure has been in practice long before the proceding methods in Rafsanjan and othere part of Kerman province. In this system ,after land preparation in this site,small ditches are made 50-100cm.wide and 50-57cm.deep.

 

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Pruning

Trainig and pruning is not practised in 90% of iranan young pistachio orchards while is performed convencionally. In this kind of pruning ,the rootstocks are trained so that there will be 2-3 limbs branching off near the ground.In the third or fourth year,these limbs are heading cuts.Onlt strong limbs will remain for grafting.

 

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Pistachio Irrigation

The water required for pistachio orchards is mostly provided by undeground resources (deep well) which are mostly saline in nature.

In keman province the min. and max. water utilzed for irrigation of pistachio (using flooding irrigation system) are 5000-12000 m/hec.

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Pistachio Nutrition

The soils of Kerman province are mostly among  the two orders:Aridisols and Entisols.Most of the area under pistachio production ,have medium to heavy texture.

The water permeability of the soil is high and the level of under-Ground water is very low.The soils are deep with flat to moderate slopes.Most of the soils suffer from salinity and alkalinity.In general the pH of Keman an dRafsanjan soils is between 7.2-8.5 with an aveage of 7.9Pistachio is tolerant to salinity,studies have shown  that it can tolerate up to EC of 8.0 ds/m without considerable decrease of the yield,but around 12.0ds/m  there is a reduction in yield , however ,the production is still economical but at an EC of 17.0 ds/m the tree can only survive without producing any yield.

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Important pistachio nut pests

There are several pests affecting the tree and yield ,the most important are :

Pistachio psylla(Agonoscena targionii licht), Pistachio leafhopper (idiocerus stali fieb), Pistachio wood boring mouth (Kermania pistaciella amsel) .

 

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Pistachio nut diseasees

Pistachio root rot (Gummosis),Die-back of young shoots of pistachio(paecilomyces variotii),Stimato Mycosis of pistachio,

Pistachio root rot Nematode.

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Pistachio nut harvesting

In general ,in Iran , pistachio is harvested from late August to to late october depending on cultivars.The optimum time is determind when 70%of fruit hull can be separated easily from the shell while in the fruit clusters.In Iran harvesting is done by labourers. The crop in 10kg. Sacks or in clean cloth.Processing consists of dehulling and seperation of blanks and unspilliting fruits.In this stage the moisture content of the nut should be reduced from40-50% to 5-7% for subsequent storage or packing.Because of the good sunshine pistachio is dried traditionally under sunshine.

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Aflatoxin

Among mycotoxins,aflatoxin is the most toxic substances for human beings.Aspergillus flavus,an dparasiticus are two distinguished funhi species which produce aflatoxin.

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Nutritional values of pistacea nuts and usage

The pistachio fruit belong to the dried nut and hazel-like in that ,its kernal contains 18-225protein,15-16%sugar and 50-60%Oil.In addition ,it also contains most of the minerals and several vitamins.

 

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