The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD) strictly monitors agricultural activities in its continuing efforts to keep our air breathable and healthy. To meet regulatory requirements, Walnut farmers have had to modify their practices or face penalties and fines. Hesters Orchards has developed effective orchard floor management practices that meet these regulations and reduce seasonal operating costs. We can now put these practices to work for you with our new Orchard Floor Management service.
We realized that to meet the San Joaquin Valley APCD regulations we had to develop non-cultivation practices, along with chipping, not burning, of the pruning and limb debris. This reduces dust pollutants and maintains soil fertility. However, after years of harvesting and chipping the orchard floor becomes problematic at harvest time. It becomes uneven. To make matters worse, grooves can form for nuts to fall into, putting them out of reach of harvesters that are designed to run on a flat surface. Our orchard floor management practices solve this problem, and includes a unique tiller designed to incorporate and level the orchard floor in a single pass. It will incorporate soil and pruning debris, leaving a clean orchard floor. This clean tilled soil is then used to float and fill holes as it firms the orchard floor with a powered roller.
After three years of refining our orchard floor management practices along with the use of this tiller, we are proud to offer Orchard Floor Management as a service to you starting in 2013.