Vicky BoydThe E-Z Prep from Exact Corp. removes sticks and debris from walnuts and almonds after shaking and sweeping.Exact Corp. of Modesto, Calif., has introduced the E-Z Prep cleaner/conditioner for almonds and walnuts.
The company had a prototype and a final model in orchards during the 2011 season to field test them, says Jason Bayer of Exact.
Since then, Exact has received orders for 15 of the machines.
Exact showed off the E-Z Prep at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.
The E-Z Prep can be run right behind the shaker and sweeper. It picks up the crop, removes the sticks and other debris, and lays the nuts in a 38-inch layer on the ground.
And because it removes the nuts from around the trees, growers can return quickly with irrigation.
"Guys can shake and sweep in the same day," Bayer says. "It cleans the sticks out, and growers can get water back on the trees."
Unlike some other conditioners that convey the debris into a bin pulled behind, the E-Z Prep is self-contained, Bayer says.
The driver simply empties the debris from the machine at the end of a row.
And because the E-Z Prep lays the nuts in a 38-inch layer, it allows for up to 50 percent faster drying and better nut crack-out, he says.
"The ultimate beneficiary is the huller-sheller operator because you're not sending the sticks to them," Bayer says.
It can be used on almonds or walnuts.