Across The Region
As of July 6, 2018 the global almond market is expected to reach 11,800 million U.S. dollars by he end of 2025 according to a press release distributed by SBWire. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), they have predicted a record crop of almonds in 2018. California almond orchards are expected to produce 2.30 billion pounds of nuts this year, up 1.3% from last year’s 2.27 billion-pound crop according to the NASS 2018 Almond Subjective Forecast.
Tips on Reducing the Dust of Almond Harvest
- Maintain a clean orchard floor before harvesting. The floor should be as smooth as possible and not have excessive ruts or weeds. Use a sweeper and set the sweeper heads to the optimum level and use wire tines on sweeper heads they can reduce dust especially on softer soils.
- Consider your soil. Different soil types will determine different strategies in reducing dust. The dryer the year, the more of an increase to dust being generated during harvest.
- Purchasing low-dust harvest equipment can help lower your overall dust output.
- During sweeping, make sure to blow dust back into the orchard when working near field edges. Almond trees act as a natural filter and can help settle dust quickly.
- Set your blower spout and fan speeds. Make sure the blower spout is set at the proper angle to blow almonds-not soil-around the orchard floor. Cutting back on fan speeds may also help reduce dust.
- If possible, avoid extra sweeper passes and consider using a berm brush.
- During pickup, reduce the group speed of the harvester. This will cut dust emissions by 50 percent compared to a speed of three mph.
- Adjust pickup head height to local orchard conditions. Make sure the pickup head is not set too low, as this may create more dust.
Growers who rely on custom harvesters to manage their harvest operations should discuss these strategies and their importance by taking the necessary steps possible to keep visible dust to a minimum during harvest, even if it means it might take more time to harvest.
*Source: Almond Board of California