University of California

Modified almond harvester reduces orchard dust


Randal J. Southard
Robert J. Lawson
Henry E. Studer
Maria Brown

Authors Affiliations

R.J. Southard is Professor, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis; R.J. Lawson is Industrial Hygienist, Agricultural Health and Safety Center, currently in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, UC Davis; H.E. Studer is Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis; M. Brown is former Staff Research Associate, Department of Occupational/Environmental Medicine and Epidemiology, UC Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 51(5):10-13. DOI:10.3733/ca.v051n05p10. September 1997.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


Growing concern over the impacts of air quality on human health and the possible links between agricultural production and air quality has sparked interest in determining which agricultural practices produce significant amounts of dust and how dust generation can be reduced. A comparison of the dust generated by a conventional almond harvester with dust generated by a harvester modified to reduce dust was made by measuring particulate matter collected on air sampling filters in an orchard in the Sacramento Valley. Results show that the modified harvester produced significantly less respirable and total dust Equipment modification holds considerable potential to reduce occupational exposure to dust and to reduce impacts of agriculture on ambient air quality.


Chow JC, Watson JG, Lowenthal DH, et al. PM10 source apportionment in California's San Joaquin Valley. Atmospheric Environment. 1992. 26A:3335-54.

Gamsky TE, McCurdy SA, Samuels JJ, Schenker MA. Reduced FVC among California grape workers. American Rev Respiratory Disease. 1992. 145:257-62.

Southard R, Lawson R, Studer H, Brown M. 1997. Modified almond harvester reduces orchard dust. Hilgardia 51(5):10-13. DOI:10.3733/ca.v051n05p10
Webmaster Email: wsuckow@ucanr.edu