10 Apr

Port Lincoln, South Australia: Record olive harvest expected

The region’s olive trees are bursting with fruit this year, after a low yield in 2007 due to drought.

OLIVES GALORE: Roz Green with some of the olives harvested at the Greens’ new grove. The olive industry is looking up for Eyre Peninsula, with a record amount of olives, according to olive press operator and olive grower Peter Green.

Mr Green started harvesting his olives with the mechanical harvester he part-owns last week.

“Everyone’s back on track from last year’s Australia-wide phenomenon of low fruit,” he said.

“This year we’ve got record fruit – you can see it weighing the branches down.”

Mr Green said he expected 50 or more tonnes of olives region-wide this year, in comparison to last year’s 30 tonnes.

With the region’s trees reaching maturity and recovering from the Black Tuesday bushfires, the only way is up for the local olive industry.

Last week Mr Green harvested his frantio olives, which ripen earlier than other varieties and were sped along by the heatwave.

“The heat turned some varieties very quickly,” he said.

Mr Green said his grove alone would exceed 10 tonnes of olives, 30 per cent more than expected.

He started pressing the olives earlier this week, with other varieties to be harvested this weekend for pressing next week.

“We don’t know the percentage of oil yet, but it’s beautiful oil.”

Other growers’ groves will be harvested in the last week of April as originally planned.

About seven other growers would be using the mechanical harvester this year.

The olives will create top quality extra virgin olive oil, to be marketed nationally and internationally.

[Source] Click here

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