Almond tree’s cultivation, we are ready for new challenges
The almond tree’s cultivation in Italy and in the world is faced with new great news. Now the focus is on technology for a more profitable harvest in terms of time, cost and productivity. Moreover, new cultivation lands, that until a few years ago were considered unsuitable for this crop, are being tested.
At Alfrus, we have always considered productivity associated with food safety and sustainability a priority and now we are observing these experiments with particular interest, ready to do our part to raise the level of crops and bring an increasingly higher quality to the market.
In Italy the areas with a well-established tradition of almond cultivation are Sicily and Puglia, however, these territories are still cultivated and harvested with traditional techniques, often also by hand, because of the fragmentation of properties which makes it impossible to start a totally mechanized harvest. For this reason, experiments to search new cultivation lands are in progress. Some interesting pilot projects have been launched in Emilia Romagna, Lazio and in the aerea of Maremma Toscana where teams of experts and scientists are testing the resistance of almond trees to climates that are different from those in which almonds have been cultivated for centuries, and the productivity of these new crops.
In particular, the most performing varieties are selected, according to:
– Their resistance to thermal shock
– The late flowering and possibility of early harvesting
These characteristics would allow the almond trees to have a higher yield, preserving the fruit at the stage of ripening and therefore until the moment of harvesting.
Once the most suitable varieties have been identified, extensive plantations could be set up in these new lands, such as those in California, where the fields are as far as the eye can see, but also in Spain and Portugal. And the breadth of the crops would allow the introduction of a totally mechanized model of cultivation and harvesting.
THE ADVANTAGES OF 100% MECHANIZED ALMOND CULTIVATION
The advantages of cultivation and above all of a 100% mechanized harvest are in terms of time and quality of the product. With a harvester machine you can collect almonds of 50 hectares of almond trees in a day, while with traditional methods you can collect the fruits of few trees, in the same time.
Therefore, we are faced with epochal changes that could revolutionize almond tree’s cultivation in Italy, over the next few years, allowing the sector to make a qualitative leap.
The technological revolution taking place in the cultivation of almond tree requires our utmost attention and the determination to launch strategic actions aimed at bringing together the interests of processing industries with those of agricultural production. For this reason, we have projects that will allow us to implement the certified supply chain of the almonds we work. And, specifically, we are going to ask our almonds producers to team up, work together as part of coordinated system actions. We will ask them to move on to a supply chain project that, thanks to clear regulations based on common interests, will allow a real change of culture.
In this way we will also increase the tracking system of the product from the field to the table, bringing on the market even safer almonds because they will be traced, step by step, and coming from sustainable agriculture.
25 May 2022