In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, as harvest season takes off many growers will be keeping dust control in mind. The almond industry as a whole has made it a priority to address dust during harvest, setting ambitious goals to make substantial reductions by 2025.
“Our whole industry has really made some big strides forward to dust reduction. We have a harvester that has up to 75 percent reduction,” said Jason Bayer, Marketing and Sales Manager for Exact Corporation. “That’s a tremendous amount of reduction that can be seen with some of the new technology that is available. So, that’s a pretty significant step in the right direction.”
The best piece of equipment for dust reduction can depend on the particular orchard it will be deployed in. Bayer noted that “there’s a lot of different options depending on what type of dust reductions growers are looking for.” Decisions on replacing equipment can also be heavily influenced by cost.
Bayer highlighted two different programs that are available to assist with the cost of replacing older equipment with more efficient machinery that produces less dust. One avenue for funding assistance is offered through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. “They offer, I believe these are older numbers, but it’s around $33 roughly an acre for a span of three years,” Bayer noted.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District also recently started a program of its own to promote the adoption and implementation of equipment that provides better dust control. “They came out with a pilot program last year that pays for 50 percent of a dust reduction harvester,” said Bayer. “So, there’s definitely some good programs out there to take advantage of and I think it’s only going to get better from the grower’s perspective, or the buyer’s perspective.”
Listen to the report below.