The cloudy and wet winter so far is good news for pistachio chilling hours. Three things much of valleys have seen so far during the winter months is precipitation, fog and cloudy weather. California Pistachio Research Board Manager Bob Klein said California hadn’t seen that for several years and it should be beneficial for pistachio trees. “It is a far cooler winter, at least so far than last year,” Klein said. “It’s been cool, cloudy and wet. That’s what it wasn’t last year.”
2019 is technically an ‘off’ year for alternate-bearing pistachio trees but growers are hoping to keep the momentum rolling after a near perfect 2018 crop. Klein said the quality was evident with zero exports to the European Union (EU) being turned away for aflatoxins at the end of the year. “The decrease we saw in rejections to the EU is because of the phenomenal crop quality in 2018,” Klein said. “We had as close to zero insect damage as we could imagine.”
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