Rain complicates walnut harvest
STOCKTON October 17, 2007 4:24am
• Some nuts in the mud
• Can hinder mechanical harvesters Muddy orchards are complicating the end of harvest for a number of Central Valley walnut growers.
They had walnuts laid in rows on the ground when heavy rain fell on their orchards. Now, the farmers are scrambling to get the nuts picked up and dried before more rain falls.
Some farmers have almost completed harvest work, but others have much yet to do.
Walnuts grow throughout the Central Valley, but San Joaquin County has the most acreage and has had periodic rain.
Walnuts are harvested September through November. The nuts are removed from trees by machines that shake the nuts to the ground. They are then swept from the orchard floor by mechanical harvesters and taken to processing plants where they are dried and cleaned before being packed.
Virtually all – some 99 percent -- of U.S. walnuts are produced in California.
The California walnut industry is made up of over 5,300 walnut growers and about 55 walnut processors
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