The 2019 forecast for California olives is a welcomed sight after last year’s disastrous season. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) issued the official 2019 California Table Olive Forecast that’s predicting 81,000 tons of harvested olives this year. That number is a relief to the industry after weather significantly reduced production last year that totaled just 17,400 tons.
A late winter freeze seemed to shorten the bloom period in 2018. UC Cooperative Extension Advisor Dani Lightle commented on the effects weather had on bloom at the time. “Overall we’re a little on the pessimistic side. The bloom, on the whole, has been pretty poor, many orchards actually have a very light, to next to no bloom at all,” Lightle said in 2018. “There’s an orchard here or there that looks pretty good, but on the whole, it is a little bit dismal.”
Lightle added last year that a combination of warmer weather which sped up the start of bloom, followed by those cold temperatures really impacted trees. The NASS stated growers this year reported some rain issues that affected olive set but based on the forecast, not nearly as much as last year.
The Manzanillo variety represents 75,000 of the 81,000 tons forecast for 2019.
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