Viterbo-based almond grower Fabio Mariotti recently tried mechanized harvesting using an arm shaker and a brush harvester.
I completed the harvest at the start of the week with the help of one worker. Over 7 days, I collected fruit from 15 hectares of almond groves, averaging around 4.5 tons per hectare of pre-shredded and dried product, and to make things easier, I rented a shaker and sweeper from contractors. These tools provide speed and ease of use, eliminating the problem of labor shortages affecting our industry. Last year, I chose to use nets to catch the almonds that fell from the trees when shaken, but it required more workers. This year, the wind was so strong that many almonds were already on the ground. So, the best option was to use a brushing machine.
In the upper Latium, almond cultivation seems to have become a business that companies want to bet on, partly because of the long tradition and knowledge already established in the cultivation of other nuts (such as hazelnuts), which are easily adapted to the almond tree.
"My fields are new. They are cultivated with the Zaragoza method, the oldest being five years old. There are three types available: Lauranne, Makako, and Penta. Despite the excessive rain in June, which caused a significant increase in fungi and bacterial diseases, we achieved a good yield this year. Thanks to the professional guidance of our agronomist, Vito Vitelli, we were able to limit the consequences.
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