Almond Growers Focus On Energy Use, Air Quality

The California Almond Sustainability Program will now include two new self-assessment modules focused on energy management and air quality. Almond growers, handlers and processors are invited to participate in workshops throughout California this year to learn more about the program and the new modules.

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For growers, areas of focus in the new modules include tracking fossil fuel and electricity consumption, PM-10 generation from dust at harvest, VOCs from pesticide use, and pump efficiency tests to minimize wasted energy. Relevant practices for huller/shellers and handlers have been added as well. “Many of the sustainable practices that we discuss to address air quality factors are solutions that have resulted from research funded by the Almond Board,” says Dan Sonke of SureHarvest. “In most cases, growers already are integrating some of these practices into their operations.”

Sonke says there is overlap in many of the sustainable practices that are integrated into the air quality and energy management modules since fuel use affects air quality. One grower who participated in a recent review of the module identified energy-saving practices he could use in his operation.

The next sustainability workshop will be held on Feb. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Ludy’s Main Street BBQ, 667 Main Street, Woodland. To R.S.V.P., call (209) 343-3230. For additional information on workshop times and locations, go to AlmondBoard.com or call (209) 549-8262.