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Report Predicts Mediocre Harvest in Andalusia

The report cites unseasonably hot temperatures along with a lack of rain as the main reasons for the dip, which could see production drops of up to 50 percent in certain areas

Photo courtesy of COAG Jaen
Jun. 10, 2019
By Daniel Dawson
Photo courtesy of COAG Jaen

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A new report released by Andalusia’s Coor­di­na­tor of Agri­cul­ture and Live­stock Orga­ni­za­tions (COAG) has said that Andalu­sia should expect a medium-low” har­vest in the 2019/20 cam­paign.

Many pro­duc­ers in Spain were set to enter an off-year this cam­paign, but still expected an aver­age har­vest.

Mak­ing a fore­cast for the year 2020 is dif­fi­cult given that a lot of time is left before the har­vest sea­son.- Rafael Pico Lapuente, exec­u­tive direct of Aso­liva

The provinces of Sevilla and Jaén are expected to be the hard­est hit and may see pro­duc­tion fig­ures reduced by as much as 50 per­cent. Malaga and Cádiz are also expected to see decreases by as much as 30 per­cent.

In Cór­doba, there are dif­fer­ent yield esti­mates depend­ing on the region, rang­ing from unaf­fected groves in Sub­bet­ica to ones that are expected to yield no olives in Los Pedroches.

See more: Olive Oil Pro­duc­tion

Over­all, Andalu­sia pro­duces about 80 per­cent of Spain’s annual olive oil yield.

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COAG Andalu­sia has attrib­uted the drop in pro­duc­tion to high tem­per­a­tures and a lack of rain­fall, which caused sig­nif­i­cant fruit losses and left other grow­ers with olives that will not be worth har­vest­ing for oil pro­duc­tion.

Andalu­sia and the rest of Spain have expe­ri­enced an unsea­son­ably hot end to the spring, but tem­per­a­tures are expected to cool over the next few weeks.

This reprieve may not last long though as the entire Iber­ian Penin­sula is pre­dicted to expe­ri­ence long-dura­tion heat waves” through­out the sum­mer with tem­per­a­tures in excess of 100 degrees Fahren­heit, accord­ing to a report from Accuweather.

Whether or not pro­duc­ers’ olive groves are irri­gated has gen­er­ally dic­tated what kind of pro­duc­tion they should expect to see.

The dry ones [with­out irri­ga­tion] show any­thing from no har­vest to half of an aver­age har­vest,” the report said. The irri­gated areas are doing slightly bet­ter, although after a good set, some have also aborted fruits. Depend­ing on the amount of water avail­able and when irri­ga­tion started, the yield may vary, but the fore­cast should be between 50 per­cent and nor­mal.”

How­ever, some in the sec­tor believe that the COAG Andalu­sia report is a bit pre­ma­ture and oil pro­duc­ers should not worry yet.

Mak­ing a fore­cast for the year 2020 is dif­fi­cult given that a lot of time is left before the har­vest sea­son,” Rafael Pico Lapuente, the direc­tor of the Span­ish Asso­ci­a­tion of Olive Oil Export­ing, Indus­try and Com­merce (Aso­liva), told Olive Oil Times. How­ever, [many] olive trees are in a per­fect state at present, so we should not rule out a large pro­duc­tion for next year.”

In the 2018/19 cam­paign, Spain pro­duced a record 1.77 mil­lion tons of olive oil, accord­ing to the country’s Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Fish­ing and Food. The Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil esti­mated Spain’s pro­duc­tion to be a bit lower – 1.60 mil­lion ton – but has yet to revise these fig­ures.

Pico Lapuente’s opin­ion was echoed by sev­eral farm­ers and other fig­ures in the sec­tor, many of whom expect this off-sea­son to pro­duce an aver­age yield, though all said it was too early to pre­dict and that farm­ers would need to wait until the end of the sum­mer to see what hap­pens.

Olive trees thrive under stress,” Cal­lum Hen­der­son, an olive farmer and oil pro­ducer in the province of Granada, told Olive Oil Times. It’s still early. My guess is the yield will be down, but the qual­ity will be good.”





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