Almond growers are continuing to make strides in their efforts to reduce dust during harvest. The work is being undertaken as part of the Almond Orchard 2025 goals, which include reducing dust at harvest by 50 percent. In a video from the Almond Board of California (ABC), almond grower with Sperry Farms, and Chair of the Almond Board Harvest Workgroup, Brian Wahlbrink noted the successes he’s seen with off-ground harvest and dust reduction.
“Some of the benefits of off-ground harvest beyond reducing dust is keeping dust and mites out of your tree. I think ultimately, it’s a cost-saver. You’re spending less controlling the mites and some of the things up into the canopy of the tree and it’s also less wear-and-tear on the equipment,” said Wahlbrink. “I think from the economic standpoint it really drives down to the heart of not only great for the environment but great for the pocketbook.”
ABC has a long history of conducting important research to help keep the industry moving forward. The research and development of new tools and practices for growers has also included a significant amount of collaboration. Equipment manufacturers have also been an important partner in the effort to reduce dust at harvest, working with the industry and responding to its needs.
“The Harvest Workgroup has the main manufacturers around harvest equipment in California; conventional and off-ground harvest equipment. They’re all there and they’re all able to put aside their personal interest and goals for the betterment of our growers. I just love that,” said Sebastian Saa, ABC Associate Director of Agricultural Research. “The momentum that is there, the opinions that they bring to the table, and how they all help us together with our growers to move our industry forward is just fantastic.”
More information on how to reduce dust during harvest is available online from ABC.
Watch the video below.