Increasing pistachio acreage in Northern California is fueled partly by the trees’ ability to handle boron.
UC Cooperative Extension Orchard Advisor Katherine Jarvis-Shean said there is a large section of productive land in her area that is historically hard to manage. “There is a significant portion of the acreage in Yolo County that is otherwise good ground for agriculture but has high boron in the soil, high boron in the groundwater, and if you get surface water, there is usually high boron in that as well,” she said.
She and her colleagues are looking at how to manage those high-boron levels, and one of the easy ways would be to plant pistachios that can handle the mineral. “A lot of people in this area are looking at pistachios,” she said. “Relative to almonds and walnuts, pistachios eat boron for breakfast.”
Jarvis-Shean said pistachios are an excellent option for those soils, but there is one caveat to the area referred to in Northern California. “Some of that ground is pretty heavy ground. Pistachios don’t like wet feet, so that requires some planning ahead in terms of thinking of how you’re setting up your drainage and that sort of thing,” she noted.
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