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Extreme Weather Near Madrid Decimates Olive Harvest

Sep. 4, 2019
By Daniel Dawson

Recent News

Heavy rains and hail have severely dam­aged nearly 1,000 acres of olive trees in Arganda del Rey, a small munic­i­pal­ity out­side of Madrid. Nearly all of the dam­aged trees belong to small-scale family pro­duc­ers.

The Association of Young Farmers and Ranchers (Asaja) said that olive oil pro­duc­tion is esti­mated to be 90 per­cent lower this year as a result.

A com­bi­na­tion of strong winds, heavy rains and large pieces of hail hit the small town, leav­ing 998 acres of trees with­out fruit.

“When we went out we had more than half a meter of hail. Hail moved like ice­berg blocks on roads and paths,” Cipriano Guillén, a local olive farmer and del­e­gate of Asaja Madrid, told Agropopular in a radio inter­view. “We saw that there were some areas, which were totally razed. And all this 48 hours before plan­ning the olive cam­paign.”

Arganda del Rey is not a large pro­ducer of olive oil, so over­all pro­duc­tion fig­ures for Spain are largely unaf­fected.

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The munic­i­pal­ity was already expect­ing a sig­nif­i­cantly lower yield, com­pared with last year, due to many farm­ers enter­ing an off-year and a lack of rain in the spring­time.

“Now there will be absolutely almost noth­ing,” Guillén said.

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