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Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC pistachio cultivars show improved nut quality and are ready for harvest earlier than ‘Kerman’

  • Author(s): Kallsen, Craig E
  • Parfitt, Dan E
  • Maranto, Joseph
  • et al.

California pistachio growers have traditionally grown only one female cultivar (‘Kerman’) and one male pollenizer (‘Peters’). Starting in 2005, the UC breeding program released several improved cultivars, which are being planted on increasing acreage — and tested now under commercial conditions at multiple sites over multiple years. We conducted six experimental trials in the San Joaquin Valley to evaluate the performance of the UC cultivars ‘Gumdrop’, ‘Golden Hills’ and ‘Lost Hills’ and their associated UC male pollenizers ‘Famoso’, ‘Randy’ and ‘Tejon’ against the performance of the traditional pair, ‘Kerman’ and ‘Peters’. The new cultivars demonstrated a range of earlier bloom and harvest dates than ‘Kerman’ and some improved nut quality characteristics, such as a higher percentage of split, in-shell nuts. Results indicate that by growing the new female cultivars and synchronous pollenizers, producers can avoid the peak harvest period for ‘Kerman’, when equipment and processing facilities are limited, and maintain or improve their yield and nut quality.

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