`Chalkidiki Table Olives Hit by Hail Ahead of Harvest - Olive Oil Times

Chalkidiki Table Olives Hit by Hail Ahead of Harvest

By Costas Vasilopoulos
Sep. 6, 2022 20:55 UTC

Hailstorms in north­ern Greece have caused exten­sive dam­age in olive-pro­duc­ing areas of the Chalkidiki penin­sula, where the region’s char­ac­ter­is­tic green oval-shaped table olives are grown.

The hail­stones knocked olives to the ground and dented the remain­ing fruits on the tree branches. The areas of Polygyros and Ormylia, among the most pro­duc­tive of the region, were most impacted.

We try hard and spare no expense all year round for a good yield, and now this,” farm­ers affected by the hail told local media. Let’s hope that ELGA [the Greek orga­ni­za­tion of agri­cul­tural insur­ances] will rise to the occa­sion to pro­vide proper com­pen­sa­tion and not just with­hold money from our sub­si­dies.”

ERT, the national broad­cast­ing chan­nel of Greece, reported that a 15-minute-long hail­storm in Ormylia almost com­pletely destroyed the Chalkidiki table olives of the area ahead of har­vest.

See Also:2022 Harvest Updates

The cost of the dam­age to olive groves caused by the adverse weather is expected to rise in Ormylia, accord­ing to some ini­tial esti­mates.

Out of 35,000 tons [of table olives] the area pro­duces, 6,000 to 7,000 tons have been com­pletely destroyed,” said Christos Tsipelis, head of the local Ormylia agri­cul­tural asso­ci­a­tion. Around 60,000 [olive] trees were hit [by the hail], and if we con­sider that the cost of cul­ti­vat­ing a sin­gle tree is €30, the total finan­cial loss inflicted amounts to €1.8 mil­lion.”

Harvest esti­mates for the Chalkidiki region pre­dicted the table olive pro­duc­tion to exceed 100,000 tons in the 2022/23 crop year, pro­vided the weather con­di­tions remained advan­ta­geous.

There are 15 to 20 days left until har­vest, and, fin­gers crossed, we hope no more erratic weather is com­ing our way,” said Vagelis Misailides, a farmer from the Simantra vil­lage.

We can cope with the water short­age and the lack of work­ers in one way or another, but if extreme weather phe­nom­ena occur, then I am afraid that many fel­low grow­ers will shut down their busi­nesses with dire con­se­quences for the whole region.”

Last year, the olive trees of the Chalkidiki vari­ety on the penin­sula suf­fered from reduced fruition, result­ing in an 80-per­cent lower yield than expected.

If the weather is against us again this year, then the future of this Protected Designation of Origin prod­uct looks omi­nous,” said Misailides. However, in recent years, the income we receive is sat­is­fy­ing pro­vided the yield is robust and not lost due to inclement weather.”


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