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Sticks, leaves and dirt...OH MY!

Almonds are harvested off a tree, where we shake them on the ground. Then they are swept into rows and picked up. Sounds like a fairly easy and simply process but there are a lot of moving parts with several steps and processes along the way.


If you start with shaking a tree, the vibrations don't just knock the almonds off the tree but of course any loose sticks or leaves will also fall too. This could cause a problem when it comes to sweeping the nuts. The sticks could get caught in the sweeper brushes and maybe even get caught up in the irrigation hoses.


Once the nuts are in the rows and the harvester is set to run through to pick up the almonds, those sticks could be troublesome again. The harvester will generally have to run at a slower speed through the field as to allow for the sticks to not get caught up in the series of belts that carry the almonds up. When the harvester empties the almonds into the shuttle cart and further on the elevator, sticks can clog up belts and c…

California drought

Well the rain Gods haven’t been listening to our rain calls and all those rain dances being done across this great state of California.  As declared by our Governor, Jerry Brown, we are officially in a drought. It’s been all over the news about how California is setting record dry days, this isn’t the kind of record we want to be setting. Every time I look into the 10 day forecast the rain isn’t there. In fact, we have 70 degree days and sunny for our forecast. Some parts of the country may be jealous of this type of the weather, I would be more than happy to take some of the snow from the Mid-West. Without the snow pack in the California mountains and without rain this winter, California is scared for the summer months to come. The below picture shows how much snow we had last year in our mountains versus what we have this year and last year was a low snowfall year.

Jerry Brown used this NASA satellite picture in his drought declaration

Farmers showcase these signs along major CA highways
California State water allocations for 2014 have been cut to a mere 5% of what we are paying for. This is huge! California’s Central Valley farmers pay for water through the state water project and irrigation districts, but to only receive 5% of the contracted water is going to hurt our crops dramatically. For some farmers who don’t have a reliable ground water supply, the irrigation district water is their only water supply. Farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley have been forced to fallow their land and let trees die because they have no water for them. 

Depicting the water cuts over the years. This year our water is cut by 95%
In the Southern San Joaquin Valley, we have a wait list for up to 18 months for farmers who need to drill a new agriculture well or to drill a deeper well on their property. Because our state water allocations have been decreasing every year, farmers are investing in drilling deeper wells in search for ground water. A new well could cost upwards of $500,000 to drill, this is a very costly unexpected expense to deal with. If all these farmers start to drill new wells and deeper wells, the aquifer will continue to decrease as well. By lowering our aquifer we are only making it harder for everyone to be able to find a safe and reliable water source to farm with. 
 
Water is an essential tool in agriculture. Without water we will not be able to grow the over 400 crops that California is known for. We are quite diversified, but we are also specialized in growing crops you can only grow in California. Without California water,  California won’t be able to farm. As I watch the water flow down the California Aqueduct on the way to Southern California, I can’t stop but ask myself if the urban communities are aware of the severe water drought issues and how much they will have to pay for food tomorrow if we don’t start conserving our water today.

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl 

Comments

  1. This is a really scary situation. Growers on the East side now need to worry that they might not get their deliveries from Friant if the exchange contractors decide to implement their priority rights. Thanks for writing this post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your concerns! It is a scary situation and we need to make the urban communities aware of the need to conserve water.

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