Reducing Dust During Almond Harvest–A Big Goal of the Industry
Brian Wahlbrink is with Sperry Farms in Stanislaus County and Vice Chairman of the Almond Board as well as being the chair of the Almond Board’s Harvest Working Group—focused on reducing dust.
“This is the real gritty and dirty group, who gets the pleasure of focusing on the major goal of trying to reduce harvest dust by 50% by 2025. But I think we’ve already learned that progress is never a straight line,” said Wahlbrink. “You know, when it comes to these initiatives, I’ve loved being involved with this group. It’s such a diverse group. We have such an exciting future. We have growers, handlers, researchers, and there’s eight orchard equipment companies on this group. It’s remarkable,” he said.
“We had eight competing companies come into this room and talk about the betterment of the industry. It’s really amazing. And I so appreciate everybody doing that. And we have so much participation. You know, this year, the main focus was the existing equipment. We were talking about conditioners. We were talking about the Low-dust harvesters,” noted Wahlbrink.
Wahlbrink said, it’s interesting that they get the attention of the USDA, CDFA, and the Air Board incentive programs.
“And there’s actually been some very high dollar incentives for growers to participate in these programs and help with the acquisition costs of equipment,” Wahlbrink explained.