Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Gurbir Samran stands by the sign and logo they had created posted at their family farm on Avenue 14.
New technology, improved equipment and the hard work of the Samran brothers, owners of Billu Farming, produce almonds and grapes near the Bonita District on Avenue 14 and Road 19.
The family farms 300 acres of almonds and 30 acres of Ruby Red wine grapes.
The three brothers, Inder, 30, Gurbir, 28, and Harveer, 26, each work a specific segment of the family enterprise.
“Inder is the scientist, Harveer is the muscle and I am in the custom side of the business,” said Gurbir. “We are a bunch of young farmers.”
All three are unmarried, but Inder is getting married this year, Gurbir said.
Inder controls the use of chemicals, how much water is used and other technical aspects of Billu’s operation. Harveer directs traffic and logistics making sure the crews and equipment are where they are needed.
Gurbir’s custom work entails assisting other growers by grooming their almond orchards.
“It is like giving the trees a haircut,” he responded chuckling.
The crews go in and prune or “top,” the trees, the branches are piled on the ground between the trees that are later fed into a shredding machine that turns the debris into little tiny wood chips, Gurbir said.
The company expanded its operations to include this service as a way to diversify and prepare for the future, he said.
The topping and hedging in the orchard helps the trees grow better by pruning away excess branches so the tree nutrients are concentrated on the remaining branches.
According to the UC California Cooperative website, successful pruning requires knowledge of…
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