The 2017 California table olive forecast is 73,000 tons, up 9% from last year’s crop of 67,100 tons, according to a survey conducted by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Pacific Regional Office. Bearing acreage is estimated at 19,000, which equals a yield of 3.84 tons per acre.
‘Manzanillo’ continues to be the dominant variety, with production forecast at 63,500 tons. ‘Sevillano’ production forecast is 9,000 tons, and other varieties are expected to total the remaining 500 tons.
Good weather and increased precipitation provided improved conditions for California table olive growers. A cool January and February led to good floral development with a high bloom and adequate pollen.
However, hot temperatures during bloom may reduce the set, and as well as concerns of labor shortages during harvest. The California table olive crop blooms in August, and the San Joaquin Valley has weathered one of its hottest August months in history.
There were 328 growers sampled for the survey. Reports from 142 of those growers were used to establish this forecast. The sample is designed to provide a state estimate of all varieties; estimates by variety are less precise.