` New Olive Variety Launched by Agromillora - Olive Oil Times

New Olive Variety Launched by Agromillora

Mar. 11, 2014
Julie Butler

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After a long and labo­ri­ous birth, from September a new olive tree, Oliana, will be on sale that is said to deliver ear­lier entry into pro­duc­tion and higher yield per hectare than Arbequina and Arbosana, the vari­eties it was bred from.

Oliana olives

Designed for super-inten­sive plan­ta­tions, it is the fruit of a genetic improve­ment pro­gramme which began at Barcelona-based high-tech nurs­ery Agromillora about 15 years ago.

After cross­ing Arbequina and Arbosana, two of the most com­mon vari­eties in super-inten­sive pro­duc­tion, 290 geno­types were ini­tially obtained, of which 85 were eval­u­ated in the field over four sea­sons and 20 then selected for eval­u­a­tion in dif­fer­ent part of the world, includ­ing Italy, Tunisia. Chile and the United States (Gridley, Calif.) over six years of plan­ta­tion.

Four of the most promis­ing were then fur­ther eval­u­ated before Oliana was cho­sen based on its early entry into pro­duc­tion, high pro­duc­tiv­ity, suit­abil­ity for farm­ing mech­a­niza­tion and the organolep­tic qual­i­ties of its olive oil.

Expected to be pop­u­lar with grow­ers, con­sumers

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According to Agromillora’s Olint pub­li­ca­tion, Oliana’s olive oil is a sweet, bal­anced one that in tast­ing tests aver­aged scores of 4 in terms of fruiti­ness, 2.5 in bit­ter­ness and 3 in pun­gency — fac­tors mak­ing it well adapted to the high con­sump­tion mar­ket.”

It is a low vigor, com­pact plant, which implies lower prun­ing costs and suit­abil­ity for high den­sity plan­ta­tion — up to 3,000 trees a hectare — and has medium tol­er­ance to olive leaf spot. Its resis­tance to ver­ti­cil­lium wilt is yet to be deter­mined but Olint said that in one plan­ta­tion in an infected area the inci­dence of the dis­ease in Oliana was low.

An Agromillora spokesman told Olive Oil Times that early stocks of the plant that went on sale 18 months ago soon sold out but more will go on sale in September. Agromillora expects Oliana to be very pop­u­lar and within a few years to become the bench­mark in olive cul­ti­va­tion.”


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