Western Farm Press.  11 April 2012. Leaders of the American Pistachio Growers (APG) say that the U.S. commercial pistachio industry can sell crops expected to dramatically increase over the next few years as about 100,000 acres of planted trees shift from non-bearing to bearing. The shift will create record-smashing pistachio production which must be sold in a timely manner in domestic and global markets. Jim Zion and Richard Matoian believe the industry is ready for the challenge. “The American pistachio industry must increase shipments by 15 percent to 20 percent per year to keep ahead of the expected supply,” said Zion, APC board chair.

Zion addressed pistachio supply and demand during the 2012 APG Conference in San Diego. APG, based in Fresno, Calif., is an agricultural trade organization whose members last year grew, processed, and sold about 45 percent of the U.S. pistachio crop. California farmers produce about 99 percent of the nation’s commercial pistachio crop with the balance grown in Arizona and New Mexico.

“We could see 1 billion pounds of American-grown pistachios produced as early as 2017,” Zion said. In comparison, the California almond industry is poised to produce a 2-billion pound crop this year, weather permitting. “We could see a total world pistachio supply of 2 billion pounds before the decade is over.” Several years ago, the U.S. took the reins away from Iran as the world’s largest pistachio grower.

“Some may consider higher pistachio production as an insurmountable problem. I view it as a great opportunity,” Zion told the 650-plus crowd of producers, processors, marketers, and industry members.  read more