31 March 2022

Pruning olive groves with electric tools

Pruning task is essential for the development of the olive grove and therefore for a profitable production. The olive grove must be pruned once the cold weather conditions are saved, and no frost days are expected, then, this task is normally carried out in March, although this task can also vary according to the weather and therefore the area. In our case, we are finishing the task, which is undoubtedly one of the hardest we have throughout the year in our olive grove.

We are carrying out different types of pruning as the olive trees require it. The 4 years old olive trees still need to be pruned to create the definitive tree. In this case, the pruning is not very aggressive and consists of shaping the olive tree. For older olive trees, the aim of pruning is to remove wood so that the olive tree can have more air and sunlight, which in the end is something fundamental in the development of the olive tree throughout its life.

The use of tools in this pruning task is based on shears and saws, although the power system is very wide-ranging, from hand tools without any power system, petrol chainsaws (increasingly smaller and therefore more manageable), pneumatic tools and finally and most modern we take into account electric tools. Over the last few years in our pruning work we have gone all the way and worked with all types of tools, this year being the first year that we have used  electric tools... we can conclude that this is the best option in our experience because they are the most comfortable to use.

In December we used the Agritec Flora PC32 electric shears for vineyard pruning and this time we have increased the blade size using the Agritec Flora PC38. The great feature of this model is the size of the bite, which goes up to 40mm, this feature is very important for pruning olive groves because they have generally large diameter branches. In addition to the scissors, we have also worked with the Agritec Flora PCP100 electric saw, which has surprised us a lot because with the 10cm rapier it allows the user to cut really thick branches with amazing ease... you can see it at the end of our video.

What tools do you use and do you do something different?

15 March 2022

Rainfall in 2021

As usual, once a year, we show you annual rainfall data for our area. These data are very located (La Alberca de Záncara - Cuenca), but we think that the precipitation pattern could be applicable to the central area of Spain (the northern and southern zones have considerably more rainfall throughout the year).  

As a preview, the year 2021 can be considered an extraordinarily good year in terms of rainfall, as it rained a lot and very well... unfortunately, we suffered from the Filomena storm, which was lethal for the olive groves in our area. In terms of rainfall, it started raining in January and it didn't stop until the beginning of the summer and then it started raining again in September until the end of the year. With a total of 490 mm, it is above the average of the last 21 years (468 mm). October was the wettest month (74 mm) and we were able to sow in perfect weather. During the months of April and May a very good cereal harvest was generated, one of the best in living memory, with historic yields.

If we focus on rainfall by season, we see that spring is once again the rainiest time of the year and, as the saying goes, "April and May make the harvest", the harvest was really good for cereals and pulse vegetables.

The year 2022 has started rather timidly in terms of rainfall, with January and February being very dry. We have been fortunate that March has started with a lot of rain (43mm in March and 71mm in 2022) and so far the crops have remained spectacular...  it is still too early to talk because there are still many nights before the combine harvester starts working.

Versión en español.