The wet weather this winter means growers need to move botryosphaeria up on their list of concerns. California Pistachio Research Board Manager Bob Klein said the fungal disease could be a big issue for pistachio growers this season. “(Botryosphaeria) particularly comes after drought years when you have lots of rain. You have a lot of dead wood out there … The fungus has survived in that dead wood, and it releases lots of spores,” he said.
Klein recalls that the industry had a very serious botryosphaeria battle in the late 90s, and many are comparing this year to then. “People are saying how this winter is like 1997–1998 … when we had a huge epidemic, and the industry was actually seriously worried about (its) survival because the disease was so bad,” Klein said.