When should olive harvesting begin?

Hello! Today I would like to address a rather thorny topic regarding farmers who are dedicated to the cultivation of olive groves, when should olive harvesting begin?

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According to a study that has been recently carried out in the Altiplano area of ​​Granada and in which the University of Granada, the Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training Institute (Ifapa) of Cabra and the Denomination of Origin of the Montes de Granada, the recommended dates for harvesting the olives, are at the end of November, since according to the analyzes carried out on different plots, the yield on dry matter begins to be constant on those dates due to the maturity of the olives and This parameter is one of the most important to take into account.

From my point of view, we should not stick too closely to this type of publications, although yes, we must take them into account, since the state of maturity of the olive varies a lot, depending on many factors that I am going to list below. So when should you start harvesting the olives?

Depends on the production quantity

An essential factor that influences the ripening dates of the olive is the amount of production that the olive tree has.

If you have a very large production of olives, it will take much longer to ripen than if, on the contrary, you have a low production of olives.

Depends on the terrain

The land where the olive tree is planted greatly influences the ripening dates of the olives it produces.

Even within the same geographical area there are many types of land that influence the ripening date of the olive, what’s more, even within the same plot, there are different pieces of land that force the farmer to have to segment said plot. by pieces of land, so that the olive harvest is more productive.

The terrain influences the quantity and quality of the olives that an olive tree produces.

For example, in one area it can be considered that an olive tree with 80 kilos of olives is in a state of full production, while in another area, until it reaches 120 kilos, it is not considered full production.

Depends on weather conditions

Weather conditions play a fundamental role in the ripening and harvesting dates of the olives.

The temperatures, the water fall in the field, the cold… These are factors that determine the dates that the olive harvest will begin.

This year we are suffering a great drought accompanied by significantly higher temperatures than normal and this greatly influences the dates when the olive campaign will begin.

Depends on the variety of olive

As in the vineyard, in the olive tree there are many different varieties of olives.

Each variety has different qualities that will give the oil a different flavor.

And of course, each variety of olive tree influences the ripening date of its olive.

For example, the study I refer to at the beginning was carried out on a variety called Picual, which is quite different from the one that predominates in this area of ​​Montilla and surrounding areas, which is Hojiblanca.

It depends on the care of the farmer

The health conditions in which the olive tree is found greatly influence the ripening date of its olive.

An olive tree that is well cared for, and by this I mean that the olive tree receives all the necessary phytosanitary treatments and the relevant work, will have a ripening and harvesting date for its olive, different from that of an olive tree affected by a disease.

When you have the right graduation

As with the grape, the olive is also subjected to analysis that allows you to know its ripening state.

Regardless of whether there are studies that show that a date is the most suitable for harvesting the olives, each farmer must carry out the relevant analyzes on his plot, because each plot is unique.

My personal opinion on this topic is that it is very good that these types of studies are carried out and they serve as reference points for us farmers, but we must never forget that each plot, each variety, each year and each farmer is different. . What do you think? Greetings!

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