2016 was expected to be a bounce-back crop year for pistachio growers with an on-year for the alternate bearing trees. Reports through winter showed that the weather cooperated by providing adequate chilling hours for trees in most areas.
American Pistachio Growers Executive Director Richard Matoian spoke at the South Valley Nut Conference in Tulare. He said the industry knew a big crop was a possibility. “We knew that if all the conditions were right, that we were going to have an on-year or a high crop this year,” Matoian said. “People were predicting anywhere from 650 million pounds all the way up to 800 million pounds. Even in September when the first crop report came out, we thought we would have somewhere between 800 million to 830 million pounds.”
Matoian said nuts continued to be delivered, and totals flew by those record projections. “As of the middle of October, we had a little over 901 million pounds that had been delivered, and at that point, we had about a week left of deliveries,” Matoian said. “We believe crop size is going to be somewhere between 905 million pounds and 915 million pounds.”
Production totals in 2016 will shatter the current record of 551 million pounds set in 2012.