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Pollen index and temperature are the main factors influencing olive production

A study from the University of Cordoba and the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) determines that the annual pollen index (PI) and the maximum temperature in March are variables influencing most the annual olive crop in Castilla-La Mancha.

The olive fruit production of olives shows considerable annual fluctuations; therefore, it is of great interest to know the most influencing parameters on the final harvest and to have an approximate estimation.

Knowledge of the main biological and climate factors influencing final harvest is becoming increasingly necessary in order to obtain reliable crop estimates and, thus, ensure optimised, effective private crop management. Effective olive crop forecasting is essential in optimising human and economic resources for olive-fruit harvesting, marketing strategies and global commercial distribution.

A study carried out by scientists from the University of Cordoba and the University of Castilla-La Mancha has identified the main factors influencing olive fruit production in this region. In the research, thay analized data from ten years, including atmospheric pollen as an index of flowering intensity, and meteorological data over the flowering and fruiting seasons. Castilla-La Mancha (Central Spain) is the second largest olive-oilproducing region in Spain, the highest olive-oilproducing country in the world.

They reported that the pollen emitted during the whole pollen season (pollen index) was the variable influencing most the final olive crop. The main meteorological variable in the region during the development of flowers was the maximum temperature of March. Also, it has been revealed that the rainfall registered during the final phases of fruit growing (October) also has a positive influence on the harvest.

This paper has been published in 2008 in the Aerobiología magazine; and has been written by Herminia García-Mozo and Rosa Perez-Badía (University of Cordoba) and Carmen Galán (University of Castilla-La Mancha).

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
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