12 Aug

California olive crop shrinks

The 2008 California olive crop forecast is 65,000 tons, down 49 percent from last year’s crop of 132,500 tons, according to a report Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Bearing acreage is estimated at 31,000 for a yield of 2.1 tons per acre, less than half of last year’s yield of 4.27 tons.

Of the total production, an estimated 53,000 tons will be used for canning and the remaining 12,000 tons are expected to be harvested for oil or specialty products.

“Lack of rains during the spring months caused some areas to be water stressed. There were also less than ideal weather conditions during the blooming period. The erratic temperature swings from hot to cold and high winds during bloom left many trees with a spotty set. The bloom period stretched out over approximately five weeks. The April freeze damaged crops, which became evident with new growth,” the report says.

Some growers are wondering whether the spotty crop will make harvest costs prohibitive, the report says.

The Manzanillo and Sevillano olive varieties are expected to produce 78.4 and 10.8 percent of the total olive crop, respectively. The remaining 10.8 percent are expected to come from all other varieties.

A total of 314 growers were sampled for the survey. Reports from 237 were used to establish the forecast. The sample is designed to provide an estimate of all varieties; estimates by variety are less precise.

[Source] Click here

Leave a Reply