New Tech Archives - Page 2 of 8 - West Coast Nut


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California Legislative Recap for 2021

The 2021 legislative session was an interesting one, still subject to COVID-19 restrictions limiting access to the Capitol, but bolstered by a big surplus budget. All in all, things could have been far worse. The following is a brief summary on the bills we felt were most important to the tree nut industry during this year’s session. AB 73 (R. Rivas) Current law requires the State Department of Public Health and the Office of Emergency Services to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile, and requires the department to establish guidelines for the procurement, management and distribution of PPE, taking...

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Working at Heights

As one of many post-agricultural harvest operations, the nut hulling and processing industry continues to flourish in the state of California. The demand for this commodity has been a driving force in the growth of nut farming as well as processing facilities in the past few years. The increase of nut hulling and processing operations is accompanied by the safety challenges these employers face to keep employees safe and comply with Cal/OSHA regulations. Like any other agriculture-related business, nut processing operations are seasonal. This characteristic brings forth the exposure to non-routine safety risks. Non-routine tasks are work tasks that are...

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Bridging the Ag Tech Divide

Do you sometimes feel like we are living in two alternate realities when it comes to ag technology? Does it seem hard to reconcile your daily experiences with the advanced vision of farming portrayed in commercials and trade shows? On the tech-enabled farm, every employee is recording helpful observations on their smartphone for later analysis. Automated equipment is precisely applying biological pesticides, and irrigation schedules have been calculated and executed to perfectly match crop demand. Obviously, this results in ever-increasing yields and profitability. The reality you encounter each day out on the ranch, however, is much different. You step out...

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Taking Flight

Research in a Colusa County almond orchard that compared insecticide applications using an unmanned aerial vehicle to an airblast sprayer found no statistical differences in navel orangeworm (NOW) control. But Ken Giles, a UC Davis professor emeritus in biological and agricultural engineering and one of the researchers, warned against drawing conclusions or extrapolating the results to other situations. The trial involved only one orchard, one crop protection material, two almond varieties, one UAV model and one season of data. “We really want to be cautious, especially early on with these trials,” he said. “In this experiment, it worked well and...

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Artificial Intelligence Drives Defect Sorting Decisions

Admitted innovators, the family members behind Travaille and Phippen Inc. embrace technology to improve their production efficiency and bottom line and manage a dwindling labor pool. So, when Scott Phippen, one of the partners in the Manteca-based almond grower and processor, stopped by a World Ag Expo booth that featured robotic corn seed sorting several years ago, his interests were piqued. “’What do you think about robotics for sorting almonds?’” Scott Phippen said, recalling a question posed by Eric Pflueger of Bratney Cos. “I said, ‘I think that’s real interesting. Can you do it?’ They were wanting to try it,...

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