` September Heat Means Early Harvest, Less Olive Oil in Italy - Olive Oil Times

September Heat Means Early Harvest, Less Olive Oil in Italy

Oct. 11, 2011
Lucy Vivante

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Coldiretti, Italy’s agri­cul­tural inter­est group and lobby, rep­re­sent­ing a mil­lion and a half mem­bers, is report­ing that September’s high tem­per­a­tures have advanced the ripen­ing and har­vest date for olives in some cases by a full month. ISAC-CNR (the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the National Research Council) recorded aver­age tem­per­a­tures of 27° C (80.6 F), some 2.6° or nearly 5° F higher than the aver­age from the 1976 – 2000 time period.

Olio nov­ello, or the new oil, has already been extracted in some places. It is esti­mated that the high tem­per­a­tures, the sec­ond high­est on record since 1800, will reduce olive oil pro­duc­tion by about 10 per­cent. Some areas are see­ing as much as a 50 per­cent reduc­tion. The warmth was accom­pa­nied by a reduc­tion in rain­fall, which also impacts the quan­tity. On the upside, the qual­ity of the oil is sup­posed to be good.

In the south, where most of Italy’s olive oil is pro­duced, the inter­est group said In the zones of the Mezzogiorno (Puglia, Calabria, Sicily) the sit­u­a­tion resem­bles the spots on a leop­ard, with some areas being more exposed to the end of Summer’s high tem­per­a­tures.” The high tem­per­a­tures have had an effect on wine pro­duc­tion, as well as on many other of fruits and veg­eta­bles.

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