See how the Pistachio Fund is hard at work! Scroll down to learn about Hort Innovation’s current investment of industry contributions in the R&D snapshot.

All projects are funded by Hort Innovation using the pistachio industry’s voluntary R&D levy (through the pistachio collective industry fund, now known as the Pistachio Fund) and contributions from the Australian Government.


Don’t forget to check out the Pistachio Fund Annual Report

Released at the start of November, Hort Innovation’s Pistachio Fund Annual Report sums up information on the Fund from 2016/17 – and includes a quick overview on how the Fund and investment within it works. You can download a copy here, or head to Hort Innovation’s Annual Report Portal to place an order for a free hard copy of the report.

What research do you want to see?

As always, Hort Innovation encourages all growers and industry participants to share their thoughts and ideas for the research they want to see – whether that’s within the industry-specific Pistachio Fund (where research is funded by grower levies and Australian Government contributions), or within Hort Innovation’s strategic partnership initiative, Hort Frontiers (where research is funded through partnerships with co-investors).

Watch this video to see how ideas are collected and grown into projects, then submit your suggestions for new projects here.

Get closer to your investments with free membership

Hort Innovation membership brings you closer to the investment activities and results in your levy fund, and to the organisation as a whole. As well as providing the opportunity for voting rights at the company’s Annual General Meeting, membership helps you connect with your industry’s Relationship Manager, sends Hortlink straight to your inbox for first-look access, provides exclusive Grower Intel alerts with industry-specific news and opportunities, and more.

Paying a levy doesn’t automatically make you a member, so read more here and sign up now!

Find resources on the Hort Innovation Pistachio Fund page…

Along with Hortlink, Hort Innovation’s webpage for pistachio levy payers is a handy source of info. On it you’ll find:

  • The latest meeting notes from the pistachio Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which most recently met in early 2017 to work on the industry’s Strategic Investment Plan and provide immediate investment priorities for the Pistachio Fund. The SIAP  will next convene during August 2018.
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy as they become available, including operating statements and expenditure summaries for R&D projects.
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the industry.
  • Updates on the Pistachio Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) as they become available. Prior to the establishment of the Pistachio Fund, the industry produced a SIP that, at the time of writing, Hort Innovation was seeking additional consultation and validation with industry on, prior to its finalisation. The completed SIP will outline priorities for strategic investment in the pistachio industry, and will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the SIAP when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
Any questions?

Corrine Jasper is the pistachio industry’s Relationship Manager at Hort Innovation and is always happy to chat with growers and other industry stakeholders. She can be reached on 0439 433 885 or at corrine.jasper@horticulture.com.au.


The first two projects for the Pistachio Fund are now getting underway. While these inaugural projects were contracted in the current 2017/18 period, industry consultation around them – via the pistachio Strategic Investment Advisory Panel – took place during the 2016/17 financial year, and hence the industry’s financial reporting for 2016/17 (including in Hort Innovation’s corporate annual report) reflects related expenditure.

Understanding and managing insects on pistachio orchards (PS16000)

Status: New project

Key research provider: Ag Dynamics

What’s it all about? Contracted in September 2017, this two-year project will be responsible for increasing knowledge about pest and beneficial species of insects and mites in Australian pistachio orchards. In its course, it will help the industry better understand the pests that currently pose a risk to pistachio production, or that have the potential to move into orchards. It is expected this work will help the industry prioritise future research in pest management.

What’s the latest update? The project will involve monitoring of pistachio orchards over the 2017/18 season, including one orchard in the Riverina area of New South Wales and two in South Australia. The researchers will also be assessing field monitoring data from earlier orchard surveys conducted in 2015/16 and 2016/17, plus there’ll be desktop research into existing information on pests and beneficials, and reporting back to growers.

The researchers note that the project’s new monitoring is set to cast a wide net to help understand the range of insects and mites likely to impact on Australian pistachio orchards – as opposed to taking a scouting-program approach, where the focus is on mostly known pests.

With the project only just beginning, look for updates in future editions of Hortlink.

Pathogens and other factors contributing to dark staining on pistachio shells (PS16002)

Status: New project

Key research provider: Ag Etc

What’s it all about? Established in September 2017, this project will delve into dark staining of pistachio shells and nuts – an issue that leaves produce unmarketable and that has been tentatively linked to fungal pathogens Fusarium and Alternaria in preliminary studies.

What’s the latest update? Conducted over two years, the research will involve field and laboratory studies to evaluate the occurrence of dark staining, and to provide information on causal agents associated with the problem. It will also look at factors that could influence fungal infection, such as insect damage or environmental conditions.

The project will ultimately develop a monitoring tool for growers, to use in evaluating the risk of fungal disease, and assist in the future development of management strategies.

As with project PS16000, as this investment is only just beginning, look for updates in future editions of Hortlink.

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