Between 1999–2005 at the La Entresierra Experimental Farm in Ciudad Real dependent on the El Chaparrillo Agrarian Center, a trial of Kerman pistachio grafted in p. Terabinthus or commonly known as Cornicabra and p. Atlantica for dry land. Ideal for Castilla la Mancha.
The results of the study were very satisfactory, because as we have already highlighted in another article the area of Castilla la Mancha adapts both in climate and in the field to this crop.
The exceptions are Cuenca, where the pistachio is a bit conditioned to the weather and in Guadalajara it is not very favorable.
Ciudad Real, Toledo and Albacete stand out, as they adapt perfectly to pistachio and both in irrigated and dry land, production is very high and the number of hectares grows year after year.
Favorable factors for pistachio production
The favorable factors that stand out in the three provinces are:
- They have around 1000 hours of cold per year . The cold hours are necessary when it is at rest. The pistachio tree in winter needs the cold to winter. It is in the spring when its development begins.
When the month of April arrives, late frosts are very harmful, in these provinces they are scarce.
- An average annual temperature of 16 degrees . In the growth, flowering and production phase it needs a favorable climate.
The flowers suffer if the spring is cold and in this area it is usually temperate. Pistachios flower approximately from March 15 to April 10 and the flower lasts until the end of this month.
Pistachio needs a lot of heat in summer, for the fruit to ripen and this is characteristic of the three provinces.
- It is a dry climate that benefits the tree, especially to avoid disease. Excessive rains in spring cause the flower to be lost.
- The humid zones are scarce and this favors the little appearance of fungi.
Maps to mark the ideal areas
As we can see graphically in the maps, the three provinces of Toledo, Ciudad Real and Albacete meet all the conditions of suitability to grow pistachio, while Cuenca is conditioned by certain variable factors that can lead to late frosts and rains that increase the humidity index. Guadalajara is the one that offers the least climatic conditions for its cultivation.
In suitable areas and during the flowering and fruit growth season, irrigation is favorable, although pistachios are adapted to dry conditions.
Irrigation must be drip and controlled. Plantae did experiments on the Chaparrillo farm with humidity and temperature sensors, the quality and quantity of fruit increased considerably.
Once the pistachio has matured, which in Castilla la Mancha is usually at the beginning of September, it must be collected manually or with vibrating machines. Ripening can be seen in the color and the opening of the fruits.
Some fruits do not open and are priced worse in the market, at the level of the stained ones.
Once collected, it is transferred as soon as possible to the processing plant and goes through the steps shown in the diagram, as we already indicated in another article.
Meaning of some terms:
- Winnowing machine: machine for separating the empty pistachios by means of an air chamber.
- Spotting: slight, moderate, pronounced or maximum. It is produced by fungi if processing is delayed or by oxidation. they also stain more in the more humid areas.
- Calibrated: we separate the pistachios by sizes, small, medium, large, extra-large and super-large. This is how we classify them for the market.
In Castilla la Mancha they are betting on organic pistachio
For a product to be ecological it has to meet a series of requirements such as
- The plantation must respect the environment, with controlled irrigation that takes advantage of every drop of water. At this point, our Plantae technology is essential with the control of humidity and temperature of the plantation.
- Avoid phytosanitary products that are harmful to health.
- Quickly dry the fruit, either by hot air or in meshes that allow air to pass through and always at the right temperature. This favors the flavor and quality of the pistachio.
This Community is committed to the production of pistachio. In 2016 the Association for the Promotion of Pistachio in Castilla-La Mancha was created.
The objective they propose is to create a registered quality brand that represents the pistachio of this region. Always under certain regulations.
Advantages of pistachio
Pistachio is one of the nuts most favorable for health and that presents demand on the rise by the market.
It can be marketed as a dried fruit, as a green fruit for ice cream, as oils, as a condiment in the kitchen and a myriad of applications that increase its production in Spain in favorable areas.