25 May

Frost damage evident in NorCal olives

By Bill Krueger,

There appears to be a geographical gradient from north to south with the problem being more severe in the north and getting somewhat less toward the south.

Generally speaking, olive yields in the Sacramento Valley were lighter last year than the year before. This is in contrast to the San Joaquin Valley, which heralded a large crop last year.

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25 May

Big Hunter olive crop predicted

It has been a bumper year for Hunter’s olive industry, which is expected to produce a record crop.

The Upper and Lower Hunter now has more than 200,000 olive trees producing table fruit and oil.

This year’s harvest will finish next week and vice-president of the Hunter Olive Association, Mike Wilson, says yields are likely to be double or possibly triple last year’s result.

He says that is due to more fruit bearing trees maturing and good drought management practices.

“Most of the groves are irrigated and there are a lot of new groves that are coming on line and having their first crops,” he said.

“So their first good crops. We’re still trying to get figures together, but I would estimate there’s about 200 tonnes of olives being picked this year and if it comes in at 300 I wouldn’t be at all surprised.”

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24 May

State’s Olive Oil Tasters Flunk Test of Distinction

Stripped of authority to certify grades such as extra virgin,
an industry panel weighs its future.

By Jerry Hirsch,

California’s olive oil police have been pulled over.

An industry panel that for five years has certified the quality of California’s olive oil — discerning virgin from extra virgin oil — has flunked an international taste test.

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24 May

Olives add new dimension to economy

By Sarah Lee

OLIVES are being picked across the Broke and Hambledon Hill areas in abundance confirming this year as the biggest and best harvest yet.

Hunter Olive Association vice president Mike Wilson is very pleased with the outcome of harvest that began in February.

While it was an early start to picking this year, olives have shown a quality that will uphold the grade of the region’s table and oil olives.

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24 May

Scientists pit themselves against…

…the feral olive, a ‘horticultural time bomb’

By Graeme O’Neill

THEY’RE tough, prolific breeders and not keen on making friends with the natives.

Now two leading environmental scientists have called for stricter controls on olive orchards, describing them as a horticultural time bomb. They say orchards need to be netted to prevent birds spreading olive seeds into native woodlands.

Large areas of eucalypt woodland could be invaded by tough, long-lived wild olive trees that would be enormously expensive to eradicate without stricter controls.

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