CultivoCultivation

Cultivation

//Cultivation
Cultivation2018-01-17T13:08:12+00:00

Sow Management

Planting is done in the months of April and May, that date is conditioned by the rotations typical Valencian garden. In preparing the ground work is done for it fluffy, very loose and well level. Planting is done mechanically on ridges at a height of about 20 centimeters and 60 centimeters apart from each other. The planting depth is 4 to 5 cm, planting density is high, requiring 10 to 12 kg of groundnut by hanegadas.

Fertilization is virtually zero because it leverages the distributed manure crop preceding groundnut in the rotation.

Yellow nutsedge has a uneven seedling emergence, competing poorly with weeds, so farmers do more weeding throughout the culture, they are done manually or mechanically, using the latter’s “entauladora,” when the goal is ridging , is used openers. It is common to use herbicides in this crop.

Harvesting usually takes place between mid-November and mid December, when the plant is completely parched and dry.After the collection of tubers proceed tothe elimination of the air through incineration plant controlled to eliminate unburned plant debris is carried a stage..

Once the harvest was done manually, heading farmland on a rotating hopper fitted with a sieve. Currently the collection is mechanized through sieve pickup, pulled by a tractor and is coupled to the PTO itself.

After the collection was the washing of groundnuts in the process lost the roots, clean your skin and remove the tubers “failed”, the washing is done currently in industrial laundries. The yield varies between 12,000 and 24,000 kilograms of tubers per hectare (heavy after washing).

The sale of groundnut can be performed immediately after washing or after the drying process, for which there is a weight loss of about 35-40%. To obtain a quality product, the drying process should be as slow as possible, usually lasting three months, this will extend the tubers in layers of 10 to 20 inches thick in the “Cambra” – purpose-built premises for this purpose -, the tubers are removed twice a day to prevent fungal diseases and get a good drying.

Sowing

Sowing

Before sowing starts, the fields are prepared so they are spongy and leveled. Therefore, the machinery used must not be heavy in order to avoid compaction. Tractors used have usually between 25 and 70 HP.

Tiger nut is sowed between April and May, being these dates conditioned by the previous harvest. The sowing is made mechanically on ridges, which are 9 inches tall and 24 inches apart from one another. Seeding depth is between 2 and 3 inches when the ground is ready.

Sowing density is an important aspect, as the output and quality of the tuber heavily depend on it. There is an optimal density, which should not be exceeded because the tuber does not develop properly and plants grow poorly, prematurely lodging. The optimal density is between 265 and 300 pounds per 2.5 acres (22 to 25 pounds per 1.6 acres).

Regarding the optimal conditions for farming, the following requirements are needed:

Climate requirements; In hot climates, as Valencian is, with high average temperatures, high environmental relative humidity and a 4-5 months frost free period, the plant can complete its vegetative cycle without any problems.

Edaphic requirements; If a quality production is to be obtained, the farming of tiger nuts can only be done on soils which have special characteristics. To optimise the quality, the yeld and the harvest of tiger nut, the appropriate soil for this tuber must be loose, since the harvest is carried out by sieving 6 to 8 inches deep, where the tuber is found. The soil where tiger nut is farmed must as well have good drainage, be levelled, clean from vegetation scrap and stones and be rich in organic materials.

Plantación de Chufa
Plantación de Chufa
Plantación de Chufa
Plantación de Chufa
Recolección

Harvest

In order to be able to carry out the harvest, the plant must be completely withered and dry. That is the reason why it takes place from November to January.

Afterwards the area of the plant is burned in a controlled manner and then the ashes and the remainders are cleaned.

During the harvest phase the equipment used is a harvester consisting on a cutter bar two or three ridges wide. It cuts the soil which is shred by a straw milling and places it in a drum screen which in turn separates the soil from the tiger nuts. These go out trough the back with the remainder of the plant and little stones. Then they are transported by a conveyor belt to a tractor hopper.

Recolección de Chufa
Recolección de Chufa
Cleaning

Cleaning

Once the harvesting process finishes, the next step is the cleaning of the harvest. Throughout this operation, the tiger nut loses its roots, its skin is cleaned and the “faulty” tubers are removed. The tiger nuts coming from the fields are placed on a threshing floor. The harvest will go through three drums where the soil and the rest of the materials are separated and the fuzz of the tiger nut is removed. A shower wets them, after that they go through a few gutters with different water outlets where gravel and tiger nuts are separated.

Recolección del tubérculo
Lavado de Chufa
Chufa lavada
Secado de Chufa

Drying

Once tiger nuts have been cleaned, they have to release moisture through a drying process. During this process humidity is reduced from 50% to 11%. This step usually lasts 3 months, it is carried out slowly and carefully, in order to let tiger nuts to acquire its own features. During this operation tubers are stirred so the drying is uniform, twice a day at the beginning and decreasing in frequency as they lose humidity.

Secado de la Chufa
Secado natural de la Chufa
Chufa secando
Limpieza y Clasificación

Cleaning and Classification

After the drying process, the cleaning and classification starts. In order to separate the tiger nut from impurities and faulty or smaller tiger nuts. Later, one last extra manual selection is carried out. At this point, the tiger nuts are put into sacks, ready to produce Horxata.

Limpieza y Clasificación
Limpieza y Clasificación
Limpieza y Clasificación
Embolsado de la chufa

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