29 August 2019

Super-intensive almond crops. Harvesting days

We are immersed in the middle of the almond harvest season and our friends from CBH have provided us with some photos and information that we show you... it has been very interesting for us and we share it with you. CBH is a very specialized company in super-intensive almond, olive and pistachio crops, so their comments are really worthwhile.

Almonds have become fashionable in Spain only some years ago because the demand has increased and they have a very attractive price which makes it a very profitable crop. This fact led to 660,000 hectares of land being reached in Spain… but this has not stopped as it continues to grow year after year. In 2017, a Spanish production of around 65,000 tonnes was obtained and there is a forecast to double this production in the coming years. Spain ranks third in the world in terms of production with 4%, after the USA (80%) and Australia (7%). All this is thanks to the super-intensive almond crops which stand out for their high profitability, early entry into production, reduced costs, total mechanization, high production and rapid recovery of investment.

On this occasion we show you a few pictures of two farms “La Encomienda” and “Atalaya Baja” where you can see the harvesting tasks that were carried out this August with the New Holland machines (Braud 9090X Olive) that the company CBH uses. The plantation of La Encomienda is from October 2016 so this year is the first harvesting, with a yield of almond about 1,900 kg/ha, whose variety is “Guara”. Altalaya Baja farm was planted in July 2016 and this year is the second time it has been harvested, with a yield of almond about 1,200 kg/ha, whose variety is “Lauranne Rootpac 20”. The harvesting speed of the New Holland machine is approximately 1.5 he/h, so the harvesting work is going very well.

Some of the keys to the success of these super-intensive crops are planting frames together with yearly irrigations. In terms of planting frames, La Encomienda farm has opted for 3 x 1.35m (approximately 2,400 almond trees per hectare) and in the Atalaya Baja farm the planting frame used has been 4 x 1.35m (approximately 1,800 almond trees per hectare). The height of the trees is around 2.5 m, so it is necessary to do a little mechanize pruning every year... but we will talk about this pruning in future articles. As for irrigation, the system used is drip irrigation with an amount of about 200 L/m2 per year that added to the annual rains are the key to having a profitable production.

In Spain, the most common almond varieties are Marcona, Comuna and Largueta. Of which, Marcona is the best paid and it can reach 1€/kg higher than the other varieties. The price in recent years has been one of the most attractive features of almonds, since with an average price of about 5€/kg has made the super intensive almond trees a really profitable crop.

Versión en español.

No comments:

Post a Comment