With harvest time here, the Almond Board of California (ABC) is reminding growers about the multiple benefits associated with keeping orchard floors clean. The fundamental advantage is helping to reduce harvest-related dust and working towards achieving the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals. However, a clean orchard floor can also provide the added benefits of saving time and money. A video from ABC provides some tips for reaping the benefits of keeping orchard floors clean.
In the video, Field Representative for Hughson Nut, Donny Hicks said that planning ahead and removing unwanted vegetation is a valuable practice for his operation. “The cleaner you send to the huller, turns into the clearer that goes to the processer, and a better return on your investment there,” Hicks explained.
Scouting the orchard and removing rocks, sticks, and other debris prior to harvest is another recommendation. The practice also helps to ensure that a cleaner product gets to the huller and can improve overall harvest efficiency.
A well-managed orchard floor can help growers get the most out of their time and effort. Filling in ruts and holes in orchards can prevent nuts from getting stuck and preventing them from being swept up. Maximizing the number of almonds that are swept up during initial passes can help to eliminate the need for additional passes through the orchard. Managing Partner for Atlas Almonds, and Operations Manager at Kahal Farms, Mallvinder Kahal said that proper cultural practices can be exceptionally valuable.
“When you have a clean orchard floor you’re working less in harvest. And when you’re working less in harvest, it turns out you’re saving money and really, you’re reducing dust,” said Kahal. “And every good farmer knows, you’ve got to be a good neighbor.”
More information about managing dust during harvest is available at Almonds.com/harvestdust.
Watch the video below.