As Tim said in his blog, the 2010 Pistachio crop at San Luis Obispo Farm is looking good.
The trees are just loaded with nuts and as healthy as can be. Judging from the amount of nuts on our trees this year, I think we could be in for a record-breaking yield in September. One thing contributing to this is the peculiar manner in which Pistachio trees bear fruit. Essentially, the trees will have alternating “on” and “off” years, yielding as much as 40% more in the “on” years. In other words, if you had a million pound crop in 2009 in an “off” year, you might expect as much as 1.4 million pounds in 2010.
No one knows exactly why this is, but every Pistachio tree does this. It doesn’t even depend on when the tree was planted. We have some trees in our orchard that are in an “off” year this year, though most of them are on the “larger yield” part of the cycle. As far as the whole state goes, California Pistachio production will be a little less this year compared to 2009 as most of the trees statewide are in an “off” year. This is significant because you can expect to see higher prices in the fall due to less product availability. But right now growing conditions are excellent and, with a little luck, the Pistachio nuts that are harvested in September will be large, plump and tasty, and we will have plenty of them!