The Hornachos Cooperative Society has reported that, although the different storms have discharged much-needed water in the town, the air and the storm have also been felt with “excessive virulence”, since some 1,500 olive trees have been uprooted and hundreds more have been uprooted. have suffered damage, according to the first estimates made.
Félix Acedo, the president of this society, of which more than 800 members are part, has assured that the wind alone would have knocked down more than 200, of the picual or marteña variety. Likewise, David Elías, technician of the cooperative, has stated that, after speaking with the members, the number of olive trees uprooted “would be around 1,500 olive trees, although there would be a few dozen more with damage to said olive groves.”
Elías has also confirmed himself in the picual variety as “the most affected” because it is the one that is most cultivated currently “since it develops very quickly and goes into production immediately.” It is a variety that is characterized by having “a lot of aerial development and little root to tie the tree to the ground, which could be the cause of the large number of affected trees.”
The picual olive variety is undoubtedly the most valued in Spain by farmers, with sufficient rusticity for its high productive capacity. The excessive single variety in its growing area (more than 90% of the olive groves in producing provinces) should be reconsidered due to the numerous inconveniences that this entails, according to experts. Firstly, fruit set limitations in flowering; concentration of collection tasks; little diversified supply of oils; risk of pests or diseases of higher incidence, such as verticillosis, and, finally, genetic erosion and poor environmental diversity.
Picual is not only the most planted variety of olive tree in Spain, but, by extension, it is also the variety of a woody crop most present in the world.
The technician has also pointed out that some of these olive trees are already straightening. The olive growers are doing it with tractors and other types of machinery, “although it is a Chinese job, but some can be saved.”
Rain delays campaign
The rains that are lavished this autumn in Extremadura are being very beneficial for the olive grove and the olives are going to gain weight and size. Those that had wrinkled will be smooth again and the olive tree that had accumulated many days of water stress will be very grateful.
«These rains are going to somewhat resolve the campaign that in the municipality of Los Santos is going to be good. Not so much for the members of the Bienvenida, Usagre and Fuente de Cantos cooperatives, who are united with us, where hail in some cases and frost in others will reduce the campaign by up to 30 percent,” said Santi Muñoz, president of the Virgen de la Estrella de Los Santos de Maimona Cooperative, to this newspaper last week due to the rains that fell in Extremadura.