How We Grow

2019 Nov/Dec How We Grow

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 23

A L M O N D O R C H A R D 2 0 2 5 G O A L S HARVEST DUST 2 A L M O N D O R C H A R D 2 0 2 5 G O A L S HARVEST DUST Continue on page 3 — and your responsible practices won't be shared. I recently joined the CASP 9 Module Club and completed all nine modules, and I and can tell you firsthand that it was well worth my time. Each module, on average, takes about an hour to complete. In each module you'll learn what you're excelling in along with how you can improve, and there are tools in CASP that help you make positive changes, from a Nitrogen Calculator to information on irrigation budgeting and scheduling. This knowledge enables you to create efficiencies you may never have considered — efficiencies that often drive straight to your bottom line. Furthermore, your handler can use data from a subset of its growers to answer questions being asked by buyers — and ultimately consumers — about how almonds are grown. Again, sharing this information can benefit your bottom line. At the end of the day, our industry's principles are to provide the highest quality food, act as stewards of the land and practice values of family and community. By sticking to our principles, which appeal to our consumers, and continuing to evaluate and improve our practices, which we are doing through CASP, we can pave the way for meaningful success for California almonds and the broader ag industry. And by the time our great grandchildren celebrate 60 years of participation in CASP, the industry will be even stronger — as strong as diamonds. Quantifying Visible Dust to Help Industry 'Harvest Nuts, Not Dust' Dust during harvest is more than just a nuisance; it's an air quality issue, especially in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most highly regulated air basins in the United States. Over the last 20 years, the California almond industry has significantly reduced dust levels. Still, the Almond Board of California (ABC) and the almond industry recognize more can and should be done, an attitude that drove the industry to create an Almond Orchard 2025 Goal that aims to reduce dust during harvest by 50%. "We want to harvest nuts, not dust," said Jesse Roseman, ABC's senior specialist in Environmental and Regulatory Affairs. For more than a decade, ABC has funded research in the areas of dust reduction and air quality, seeking to better understand everything from how dust is generated to how dust levels can be measured to how to reduce dust during harvest. Some of the most recent research proposes that the California almond industry will need to increase adoption of new harvesting technologies to move toward its goal of cutting dust during harvest in half. This research, conducted in 2018 by Dr. Sergio Capareda of Texas A&M University, builds upon his previous research from 2017 that shows low-dust machinery can reduce dust by 50% or more compared with conventional harvesting equipment. In his most recent report, Capareda also emphasizes his recommendation that strengthened economic incentives are necessary to drive grower adoption of new machinery as part of their broader efforts to reduce dust and particulate matter (PM) during harvest. "Newer harvest machines have the potential to significantly reduce the PM emissions without negatively affecting product quality," Capareda said. The EPA eyeball test and more Capareda's research conducted in 2018 also explored how to provide growers and allied industry members with a low-cost means to monitor dust levels and adjust operations, as necessary, to reduce dust in and around the orchard. Dan Visser (left) hosted the research trial conducted by Capareda (right) and his research team in Dinuba.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of How We Grow - 2019 Nov/Dec How We Grow