Annual Cycle of Almonds
The processes that lead to nut development in almonds begin more than a year before harvest. Flower buds are initiated and differentiated in the summer. These buds gradually develop in late summer, autumn, and winter and blossom in spring.
August - September
At bloom, Century Orchards brings in 3000 bee hives each year to provide effective cross pollination, increasing the potential for a good harvest.
September - December
Following the flowering, the fruit grows by cell division. This is an important time as it determines the maximum potential size of the fruit. At this time the root system develops and the canopy starts developing. This is a period of high demand on tree reserves.
January - February
Maturity and ripening occur during this time. Dry weight of the developing kernal begins to increase in January. Due to increased bird damage, Century Orchards impliments preventative procedures such as a bird scaring plane and gas guns. Bird damage can impact considerably on the crop.
Harvest: March-April 2007
1. The shaker clamps the tree and vibrates the tree for a few seconds causing the nuts to fall on the ground. The nuts are than left to dry on the ground until they are ready to sweep into windrows.
2. The sweeper blows and sweeps the almonds from under the trees into neat windrows. Samples are taken to test the moisture content in the almonds. Once they reach a suitable level they are ready to pickup.
3. The pickup moves along the wind rows and collects the almonds into a cart. The jack runner reverses behind the pickup machine, while it continues to collect nuts and empties the cart (see below). This allows the pickup machine to continue without stopping.
4. The jackrunner then transports the almonds to bunker sites where thay are stored ready for transportation to the processing plant.
Photography is by Karen Jericho
Contact UsCentury Orchards Pty Ltd
PO Box 894, Loxton SA 5333
T: +61 8 8584 4777
ABN 69 079 603 204