Off-Ground Harvesting Equipment
Almonds have traditionally been harvested by shaking the tree and sweeping the nuts into a windrow. Many are now looking for ways to skip this sweeper pass by harvesting the almonds off ground. One advocate of off ground harvesting is Scott Hermann of TOL, Inc in Tulare. They sell equipment to make off ground harvesting possible.
Hermann… “We've proven that we have a machine that can right now in the orchards that exist in California, shake those almonds, catch the almonds and put it right down into a windrow and therefore eliminating the need to sweep during harvest.”
Hermann says this approach not only saves growers from having to make the sweeper pass, but it also helps the industry accomplish one of their Orchard 2025 goals.
Herman… “The almond board of California has set up a goal. And that goal is to reduce the amount of dust generated during harvest by 50%. And they want to accomplish this by the year 2025. Well, we're very confident with the Twin D shakers that we can not only meet that 50% reduction goal, but we can by far surpass it. And we believe we can reduce the dust by 80 to 90%. Again, through the ability to eliminate the sweeping.”
Hermann says the orchard requirements are that they are hedged and that there is 19” of available trunk space before the first scaffold.
Hermann… “So that's another big advantage. We can fit our machines into the orchards as they are grown today. We do not require significant changes in the planting dimensions, or even the pruning style of the trees.”