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.

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