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Stunning efficiency

Just watch this: Harvesting prunes in Sacramento Valley

The Sacramento Valley is one of the world leaders in prune production. At the moment, prune orchards are being harvest in the Sacramento Valley. It is a job that takes about 30 days, but that wasn’t always the case.

The harvesting of prune plums has changed. Growers used to soften the soil beneath the trees and let the prune plums drop. Then, pickers would gather the plums to take to the dehydrator. Today, harvesting is more efficient and is largely done by machines. A shaker machine grabs a tree trunk and, in just seconds, shakes the fruit onto a fabric mechanically spread underneath. Next, the fruit is quickly put on a conveyor for a fast ride from bins to the dehydrator.

A video taken by Sacramento Valley Water group shows the modern, efficient way the fruit is harvested.

Growers of plums for prunes in California expect an 80,000-ton crop this year, down 24 percent from the 105,000 tons harvested in 2017, according National Agricultural Statistics Service predictions. reports how, despite the season’s variable rain and temperatures, orchard conditions improved during the season and some producers reported a good fruit set.

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