California table olive harvest forecasted to be down 45 percent

A number of weather factors played into this year's poor yield forecast for California table olives.

Table olive forecast down 45%: weather, water to blame

California is the sole producer of olives in the United States    

The 2014 California table olive forecast is 50,000 tons, down 45 percent from last year’s crop of 91,000 tons, according to a survey conducted by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The largest crop in the last decade was the 2010 crop, when 170,000 tons of olives were harvested.

Bearing acreage is estimated at 23,000 for a yield of 2.17 tons per acre.

The Manzanillo production forecast is 41,000 tons and the Sevillano production forecast is 7,500 tons. Other varieties are expected to total 1,500 tons.

The California table olive crop is down due to a variety of setbacks after last year’s harvest, including a hard freeze in December, another freeze and wind during bloom, and the lack of water to allow the crop to fully produce.

Some growers were not even sure they would harvest what they had due to lack of sufficient production or the lack of labor. The southern growing areas in particular have been impacted by the drought.

There were 306 growers sampled for the survey. Reports from 172 were used to establish this forecast.

The sample is designed to provide a state estimate of all varieties; estimates by variety are less precise.

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