Desert Research and Extension Center
Desert Research and Extension Center
Desert Research and Extension Center
University of California
Desert Research and Extension Center

Olives

Olive Production Practices in the Imperial Valley

     

Khaled Bali, Irrigation/water Management Advisor, UCCE-Imperial, 760-352-9474   http://ucanr.edu/?facultyid=95

Christian Lydick, grower, ivbambu@gmail.com 760—996-0218, 760-562-6018

 

Water resources in California and Imperial Valley are extremely limited and conservation and other efficient practices to improve water use efficiency are needed to maintain sustainability of irrigated agriculture.  In addition to water conservation practices, growers in the Valley have been actively looking at alternative crops that are both economically feasible and have the potential to conserve water when water resources are limited. The demand for table and olive oil has been rapidly growing in the U. S. and overseas. The objective of this research   is to study the efficiency and the economic feasibility of various olive production practices in the Imperial Valley with emphases on water use efficiency and the possibility of the reuse of surface and subsurface drainage waters to supplement crop water needs.

 

 

Water resources in the Colorado River basin are limited and growers in the Imperial Valley are currently facing potential reduction in allocation. Colorado River water use in the Imperial Valley in 2011 and 2012 has exceeded allocations and equitable distribution measures are currently being implemented to reduce allocation by up to 15-20% of historic use. The average water use in the Imperial Valley is currently 6.1 ac-ft/ac. Alfalfa is the major water user in the Valley is currently planted on approximately 130,000 acres with average water use of approximately 6.7 ac-ft/ac. To sustain productivity in the Valley, new alternative crops with relatively small water use per acre are needed to cope with the limited supplies and to offset the water use of current profitable crops in the Imperial Valley .

 

Commercial production of olive is relatively new to the low desert and a number of growers have solicited the help of ANR to study olive production practices in the desert environment. In addition to production practices, growers are interested in cost production budgets for table and olive oil, water use efficiency, fertigation practices on olive trees, and the potential reuse of surface and subsurface drainage to supplement the irrigation requirements of olive trees.

 

 

 

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