`Olive Center to Host Webinar on Modern Table Olive Production - Olive Oil Times

Olive Center to Host Webinar on Modern Table Olive Production

May. 26, 2021
Daniel Dawson

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The University of California, Davis Olive Center will host a free webi­nar on mod­ern­iz­ing table olive groves on June 23.

The webi­nar will fea­ture pre­sen­ta­tions from Dan Flynn, the Olive Center’s out­go­ing exec­u­tive direc­tor, and Dennis Burreson, the vice pres­i­dent of field oper­a­tions at Musco Family Olive Company.

Modern acreage for table olives is prob­a­bly going to be the future of this indus­try for it to con­tinue and to thrive in California.- Dan Flynn, exec­u­tive direc­tor, UC Davis Olive Center

Flynn told Olive Oil Times that only a hand­ful of pro­duc­ers in California cul­ti­vate table olives in high-den­sity groves, which are planted with about 200 to 250 trees per acre. Traditional table olive groves tend to have fewer than 100 trees per acre.

For the exist­ing grow­ers, most of them have their trees planted at a low den­sity,” Flynn said. The trees are prob­a­bly more than 50 years old. The olives are hand­picked and the eco­nom­ics of it are not very attrac­tive to some­one who is look­ing at being a table olive grower.”

See Also: California Table Olive Harvest Exceeds Expectations Despite Pandemic, Wildfires

According to the Olive Center, mod­ern table olive groves yield up to six tons per acre, which far sur­passes the indus­try aver­age for tra­di­tional groves of about 3.2 tons per acre. Along with higher yields, mod­ern table olive acreage is also more cost-effi­cient since it allows for mech­a­nized har­vest­ing.

Modern acreage for table olives is prob­a­bly going to be the future of this indus­try for it to con­tinue and to thrive in California,” Flynn said. We’re going to be pre­sent­ing the basics on how to site, estab­lish and man­age these orchards, so peo­ple get an intro­duc­tion and a sense of what’s involved.”

Flynn added that he expects par­tic­i­pants from a diverse array of back­grounds will par­tic­i­pate in the event, from tra­di­tional table olive grow­ers to per­spec­tive farm­ers and oth­ers look­ing to diver­sify their crop port­fo­lios.

For those peo­ple who have a dif­fer­ent crop right now and maybe are run­ning up against some lim­i­ta­tions with that crop, whether it be water avail­abil­ity or reduced chill hours… table olives might be a good option for them,” he said.

The webi­nar is set to take place just as the World Trade Organization announces its deci­sion on whether or not to uphold anti-dump­ing and coun­ter­vail­ing duties imposed by the United States on Spanish black olive imports in 2017.

In lodg­ing their com­plaint with the U.S. Commerce Department, which enacted the tar­iffs, olive grow­ers, includ­ing the Musco Family Olive Company, said European Union sub­si­dies gave Spanish olive pro­duc­ers an unfair com­pet­i­tive advan­tage. Spanish pro­duc­ers denied this to be the case.

While Flynn said the tim­ing was purely coin­ci­den­tal, he acknowl­edged the impor­tance of mak­ing olive grow­ing as eco­nom­i­cal as pos­si­ble to allow California pro­duc­ers to com­pete on a global scale.

For any grower, whether they’re in Spain, California or any­where else where they grow olives, it’s always impor­tant that you try to make a profit from the land that you’re farm­ing,” Flynn said.

At UC Davis, we’re try­ing to help grow­ers think about how they can get higher pro­duc­tiv­ity,” he added. Maybe it’s with fewer inputs – less water, less fer­til­izer – but you’re get­ting higher prof­itabil­ity, larger yields and higher qual­ity. That is what we’re about and I think that’s the same with grow­ers any­where.”

The free webi­nar on mod­ern acreage for table olives will take place on June 23 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time. Those inter­ested in attend­ing may reg­is­ter here.





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