By Vicky Boyd

Modesto, Calif.-based Exact Corp. has introduced the Eco-Clean E-4000 Harvester for tree nuts.

The unit significantly reduces the amount of dust produced during nut harvest, says Doug Flora of Exact Corp.

Last season, Exact put about 500 hours on a unit under commercial conditions.

The unit has yet to undergo the scrutiny of researchers to quantify actual dust reduction.

"At this point, it's just anecdotal, but visually there's a difference," Flora says.

During nut harvesting, shakers account for about 5 percent of dust production, harvesters about 75 percent and pick-up about 25 percent, he says.

Exact already had the Exact sweeper on the market that produced significantly less dust.

"With everything we were doing, it was only addressing 20 to 25 percent of the issue," Flora says. Now with the Eco-Clean, growers can tackle the bulk of the dust-production problem.

Exact plans to have demonstrations during nut harvest season in Kern County, and around Fresno, Modesto and Chico.