California’s 2007 olive crop forecast is 110.0 thousand tons, more than 4 times larger than last year’s crop. The bearing acres are estimated to be 31.0 thousand acres, resulting in a yield of 3.55 tons per acre. Although the 2007 California olive crop seems to be turning out lighter than originally expected, it is shaping up better than last year’s disastrous crop.
Lack of rain during the winter and spring months, coupled with erratic temperature swings from hot to cold during bloom, left many trees with a spotty set. The bloom period stretched out over four weeks, leaving many groves with multiple olive sets. The January freeze also had an effect on many of the State’s olive trees. Freeze damage became apparent when the trees began the new growth.
There were also reports of tip burn in the tops of older trees, and younger trees in many of the colder areas were showing severe leaf loss, cracked bark and little to no crop. Since there is no carryover from last year’s crop, strong prices for the 2007 crop are expected.