07 February 2018

Olive trees. Mechanical harvesting method

A few weeks ago, we spoke about our poor olive harvesting of last year. Also, we showed you a video where you can see our tool to harvest olives and we commented about our new olives tree fields where we are going to use a full mechanical harvesting method. Therefore, we are taking the advantage of some pictures that sent our friends Miguel Ángel (from Chinchon village) and Alberto (from Yebra village) to publish more information about this type of tool and mechanical harvesting method.

As you can see in these pictures, they are working with a front harvesting equipment (maybe, rear harvesting equipment are more uncomfortable for a long working day). As Miguel Ángel told us, he can work about 150 olive trees (old olive trees with few stems) during a working day of 8 hours (he charges 60€/h). Also, as you can see in our video, vibrations have to do on all stem of the olive tree. The configuration of these vibrations is of 10-15 seconds in twice or three times. Sometimes, he has problems to work from the tractor's seat so he has a remote control to work on ground. They are old olive trees that generate about 12kg/tree of olive with a fatty performance about 25%. The most common variety are Cornicabra and Picual (their harvesting tasks are usually easier than other varieties). For example, the Arbequina variety is much harder and needs more vibrations to fall.

The harvesting tool has a diameter of 7 meter so he can use rods to fall some olives at the same time. Harvesting tool of 8 meters of diameter are not so practical for this task.

This tool is made of aluminium (it is another important feature) so it is lighter. The front axle of tractor has to hold a big weight (weight of tool and about 400kg of olives). Aluminium is very resistant, although it is more complicated to repair if it has a hits (iron is easier to be repaired).

Finally, the plier is really configurable and it allows them to work with stems of 40cm or 50cm diameter (normally 40cm diameter). The tightening pressure is also configurable because when you work with young trees, the tightening pressure muss be soft to protect the stems. In addition, the pillows used by the plier are also adapted to the type of tree which he is going to work with.

As you know, it is an ideal tool for olive harvesting tasks in different conditions of fields or trees.

Versión en español.

24 January 2018

In Spain: New farming machinery sales in 2017

Every year, we publish information about new farming machinery sales in Spain since 2012 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016). The Ministry of Agriculture published this information a few days ago (you have all information from here)... our intention is to speak about the most interesting data.

Firstly, the total number of new tractors sold continues rising. Since 2012 the amount has not stopped growing, the last year reached 12,476 new tractors. In some cases, the amount of new tractors is due to the change of legislation since this year, 2018, that will make it impossible to sell some models of tractors, so they had to be registered in 2017.

Sales by brands are still led by John Deere (2,749 tractors in 2017, 2,688 tractors in 2016, 2,661 in 2015 and 2,590 in 2014) and New Holland (2,160 tractors in 2017, 2,067 tractors in 2016, 1,933 in 2015 and 1,935 in 2014). Regarding sales by Groups, CNH is the winner (3.002 tractors in 2017, 2,882 tractors in 2016, 2,719 in 2015 and 2,699 in 2014). Also, another interesting fact is to know what is the best-selling brand by average power: Fendt is the winner again ((165.1HP/tractor)) after Claas in last year. However, Fendt was the number one in 2015 (170.2 HP/tractor) and 2014 (184 HP/tractor). You have more information bellow:

The best-selling tractor was theJohn Deere 6115MC, so it removed the first position at New Holland T4.95 (it was the winner in last years). In this way, the ranking of best-selling tractor models would be below:
  • 1st position: John Deere 6115 MC (297 units),
  • 2nd position: John Deere 6130 M (237 units).
  • 3rd position: N?ew Holland T4.95 (231 units).
  • ?4th position: John Deere 6155 M (222 units).
  • 5th position: New Holland T4.105 (201 units).?

Regarding new farming machinery sales in 2017, we would like to show a chart where you can see monthly sales. You have data about tractors, trailers, tillage machinery, seed drills, mowers or harvesting machinery, etc…. We would like to mention that a total amount of 37,667 new machines were sold in 2017 (compared to 33,950 in 2016). More data to highlight about new farming machinery sales are the following ones:
  • New trailers sales: 4,790 units in 2017, 5,061 units in 2016, 5,147 units in 2015, 5,251 units in 2014 and 5,570 units in 2013.
  • Regarding trailed or mounted machinery:
    • Soil tillage machinery: 2,677 units in 2017, 2,151 units in 2016, 2,673 units in 2015 and 2,378 in 2014.
    • Seed drills machinery: 823 units in 2017, 622 units in 2016, 783 units in 2015 and 692 in 2014.
    • Crop protection machinery: 9,073 units in 2017, 8,094 units in 2016, 5,752 units in 2015 and 4,754 units in 2014.
    • Spreaders and felitizing machinery: 2,238 units in 2017, 2,001 units in 2016, 2.115 units in 2015 and 2,189 units in 2014.
    • Harvesters’ machinery: 1,968 units in 2017, 1,750 units in 2016, 1,989 units in 2015 and 1,939 units in 2014.

New combines harvesters sold last year have a special mention since in 2017 and 2016 only 304 units were sold (while the previous years the data were: 310 units in 2015 and 360 unit in 2014), the winner is still Claas (107 units). We would like to highlight Massey Ferguson began to sell combines harvesters in Spain during last year (8 units).

Now, we are going to speak about automotive grape harvesters. 80 units were sold in 2017 (while 96 units were sold in 2016, 67 units in 2015 and 94 units in 2014). The leader is New Holland again with 56.25% of market rate.

In our opinion: the sales of new tractors continues to rise despite the great drought of 2017, CNH consolidates as a leading group, John Deere remains the leader for brands although it loses market penetration. An important increase of ARGO Group is thanks to its Landini main brand. Fendt regains the number one in the ranking of power, Arbos begins to sell its Goldoni Series tractors. Lastly, we can observe the spectacular drop of Kubota in all respects, mainly in average power sold.

You have more details on www.masquemaquina.com blog.

15 January 2018

Poor olive harvesting performance

The tasks of harvesting olive trees is now being finished in Spain. In our area, production has been significantly reduced regarding the previous years. Mainly, due to the great drought that has occurred in 2017. As you can see in our video, normally, we harvest about 3,000kg in one hectare and on this occasion our production has fallen and it was only of 670kg. On the other hand, we have to say the fatty performance is really good so the olive oil will be prime. In our field, where the average fatty performance is about 22%, this year was of 23.3% as you can see in our first picture.

Our friend Rafa Villanueva sent us a few pictures about his olive trees. It was planted in 1996 and there are about 1,056 olive trees (in 8.6he) using a plantation frame of 9x9. It is a large plantation frame, but after 20 year Rafa has told us that this plantation frame is the best option when field has poor soil and it is dry field. Rafa has Cornicabra variety (50%) and Picual variety (50%). The Picual variety has better production but Cornicabra variety gets better fatty performance and olive trees are more vigorous.

We like olive trees crop so much and we are planting more olive trees in our farm. We planted 600 olive trees last year and this year we will plant about 1,000... all of them are of Picual variety. Annual tasks of this crop are explained in the following paragraphs:
  • 3 harrowing works: in order to kill weeds and keep soil moisture.
  • 2 phytosanitary treatments: in spring and another in autumn to control olive fly.
  • Fertilizer: it is foliar fertilizer with phytosanitary treatments. Every 3 or 4 years 400-500kg/he of fertilizer (inorganic fertilizer or organic fertilizer when farm is in ecological agriculture).
  • Pruning. We prune olive trees every 2 year or every year half of farm.
  • We have to remove new brands (bottom part of the trunk) in August or September.
  • Harvesting tasks in December: If these task are mechanized using collector (olive trees only have one trunk) they are really quickly and they are more economic than when you have to harvest olives in traditional olive trees.
We will speak about mechanized harvesting in next posts. On this occasion, we show you some pictures of our friend Espejo and Curita, who are working with their front and rear collector.

Versión en español.

27 December 2017

Rainfall in 2017

The 2017 year has been one of the driest year in Spain from the last decade, so it has been the worst harvest since 2005. Also, our damming are under historic low levels as you can see here. Of course, even the 2005 was worse in our area (central area in Spain) because it rained about 114mm when the historic mimimun was at 184 mm in 1945. We looked for information on www.aemet.es website and using information offered by our weather station, we will show some data below.

The reference period in Spain is of 650 mm from 1971 to 2000. Even, as you can see in our first graph, the historic average rain of Iberian Peninsula is about 700mm, taking into account for this study information from the beginning of the 20th century. In the next table, you can see average rain of last ten years in Spain (you have more information from here). 

These general data of Spain are very different with respect to our area (La Mancha). In our area, the average rain between 2000 and 2010 is of 520 mm (you have more information of all weather stations from here) and even we see more recently year, the average rain goes down about 450 mm.

In our Village, the year 2016 was rainy with a precipitation of 512mm. Therefore, the harvest was really good. But the year 2017 has been the opposite because it has only rained 292mm. Besides, that data is not really valid because at 7th of July it rained 48mm in two hours so threes couldn't absorb all water and cereals or pules vegetables were harvested. Also, we have to speak of hot because it is an important data since year after year, it is increasing so water stress is more evident. Below, you can see some graphs that we have obtained from the data of our weather station.

Versión en español.