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Olive forecast 202 percent higher

The 2010 California olive crop forecast is 140,000 tons, up 202 percent from last year’s crop of 46,300 tons.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office, the bearing acreage is estimated at 33,000 for a yield of 4.24 tons per acre.

An estimated 100,000 tons will be utilized for canning. The remaining 40,000 tons will be used for oil or specialty products.

The California olive crop outlook was looking positive. Growers were anticipating a good crop, especially welcome after the last two poor years.

Cool weather experienced during the growing season set the bloom and crop development one to two weeks behind normal. Conditions during the critical blooming period were generally good.

In the northern Sacramento Valley, freeze damage from the winter became more evident as the year progressed. The outlook for olives in southern growing areas was reported slightly better than for olives in the north.

The Manzanillo and Sevillano olive varieties are expected to produce 65 percent and 16 percent of the total olive crop, respectively. The remaining 19 percent is expected to come from all other varieties.

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