CT TRIAL FINAL REPORT Did you get your copy? recover value to meet the hulling and shelling costs and add approximately $1,000/ha to the bottom line of growing almonds. HAL Project Number : AL07005 Report Date: June 2011 If you didn’t, please contact Debbie at the ABA Office Novel alternative uses Almond hull and shells could also be used as ingredients in other novel alternative uses; for example, building products (rice husks are used in the production of particle board), ingredients in human health supplements, and many more. Almond R&D This topic is a new R&D initiative and a project is being commissioned to firstly scope the feasibility of various alternatives, and secondly whether any knowledge gaps exist for new R&D specific to almond biowaste. Ultimately, the aim will be to
to establish an orchard and to maintain an open tree and allow light into the centre of the tree. This is in contrast to Australia where only a small amount of tree structuring is done in the early establishment years of an orchard and the practice of no pruning or hedging is more common. The pruning discussion in the group kept focusing on whether minimal pruning or no pruning would have a detrimental effect on the amount and location of viable fruiting wood. Orchard layout was also keenly discussed with the density of trees /Ha greater here in Australia than in Spain. Some dry grown almond regions within Spain have recently installed piped irrigation trusts and will benefit from the Australian tour; however it is unlikely our production methods will be widely adopted in their entirety, primarily due to limited availability of irrigation water. Almond Processing While the group were here too early to observe peak harvest and consequently processing, tours were still undertaken in several hulling, shelling and packing facilities. The touring group noted that while they have similar facilities in Spain, there were subtle differences in the range of technology used and equipment layout. The group found each of the tours very interesting and a number of the hosts indicated it was a pleasant experience meeting people who had a genuine interest and desire to learn and share industry experiences. The Australian Experience The group were genuinely amazed by the expanse of the countryside and the distances required when travelling
between almond regions, and even the major regional towns. They enjoyed the hospitality provided by the ABA and the industry stakeholders they visited. Some of the non almond highlights of the tour were getting close to native wildlife in Cleland Wildlife Park and the sight of kangaroos and emus in the native habitat along the roadsides, even posing for photos beside a kangaroo warning road sign! The group also experienced some traditional river experiences like taking a ‘tinnie’ trip down one of the backwaters near Renmark, enjoying a yabby or two with a cold beer and photographing the possums on the Renmark riverfront. The Australian work schedule was a contrast to the usual Spanish working day. Australians definitely start and finish the day earlier than our Spanish guests, as illustrated on their faces when I proposed a 7.30am breakfast meeting with one of the growers. There was a moment of disbelief that a coffee shop would be open that early to serve breakfast but all was quickly forgotten once the espressos were served! A lot of valuable information was gained and new contacts were made with the study trip. While the Spanish tour group had the most to learn from our industry, they also shared information about their industry that will also be useful. All members of the group expressed a strong desire to return the hospitality they received to members of the Australian almond industry, so if you find yourself with some spare time in Spain and would like a personalised tour of their industry, they will be more than happy to oblige.