Robert Wilmott manages the Fresno State farm and says it’s important to keep several things in mind when it’s time to harvest. “So we run a water trailer around the main roads to keep the dust down as much as possible,” Willmott says. “Inside the orchard we go as slow as possible and we adjust the sweeper head height to the optimum height so we aren’t picking up excess dirt. We blow into the orchard any chance we get. We do not blow on to freeways, roadways or other people’s homes. We remove all of the trash and material on the ground, burn down the weeds and fill in squirrel holes or low places to try and maintain the ground to be as even as possible.”
Willmott says they also are careful with what time of day they’re in the field. “We try and be in the field as early as possible however we need to consider our neighbors. People arent getting up until about 6:00 a.m.,” Willmott says. “We try to be in the field around that time so that we can get our operation going. We work until about two o’clock in the afternoon. When it gets pretty hot and schools are getting out we’ll stop and begin the next day.”
The Almond Board has resources on dust control available on its website. Visit almonds.com for more.