Low Dust Harvesters Work for Almond Grower
With two harvests under her belt a Merced County almond grower is pleased with the decision to switch to low dust harvesters. The machines incorporate a water misting system to tamp down dust as the harvester sweeps through the windrows.
Pitts:“I think we got all the hiccups out last year. We kind of knew what to look for and what will make the equipment run better. We did incorporate two orchard conditioners to help clean up our rows. “
Justine Pitts of JP Ranches in Merced County says the air was not always great growing up. She says she believes it’s better now as people are taking proactive measures and purchasing the low dust harvesters was one way they could help.
Pitts:“Just to be good neighbors to our neighbors and kind help the air out and just do the earth a solid and be good stewards of the land and the environment and to take care of what we have.”
Pitts says they were able to purchase the low dust harvesters with the assistance of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Harvest wrapped up a few weeks ago. She says they won’t have the final number for a few more weeks but right now she says the harvest was down year over year from 10 to 30 percent.. A result of a wet spring
The USDA’s most recent forecast for California almond production is 2.2 billion pounds for 2019. That’s down 12% from the May forecast, and down 3.5% from last year’s harvest of 2.28 billion pounds.