Industry members are consistently working to implement methods to improve sustainability and environmental stewardship within almond production. Senior Manager of Agricultural Research for the Almond Board of California, Sebastian Saa said the practice of off-ground harvest offers growers a multitude of benefits.
“We found in off-ground harvest, an opportunity that we think can go beyond dust reduction,” Saa noted. “That will help us to mitigate many other challenges while at the same time bringing new opportunities to our industry.”
Saa detailed some of the positive attributes of off-ground harvesting during the 2020 Virtual Almond Conference. The practice can help growers reduce the amount of herbicide used in orchards, while also helping mitigate navel orangeworm damage. Additionally, Saa said the practice can also help improve soil health and reduce tree water stress. ABC identified off-ground harvesting as a research priority based on the number of benefits it can provide.
“We also predicted potential barriers of adoption and identified the need for different research areas,” Saa explained. “Together with this analysis of potential benefits we then developed our current research portfolio.”
Watch Saa’s presentation during the Journey Toward Dust Reduction and Off-Ground Harvest session at the 2020 Virtual Almond Conference.