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Aerobiological and meteorological factors' influence on olive (Olea europaea L.) crop yield in Castilla-La Mancha (Central Spain)

García-Mozo, Herminia, Perez-Badía, Rosa, Galán, Carmen
Aerobiologia 2008 v.24 no.1 pp. 13-18
Olea europaea, climatic factors, crop management, crop yield, flowering, fruit growing, fruiting, meteorological data, models, olives, planning, pollen, rain, statistical analysis, subsidies, temperature, Spain
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. This knowledge is also of great value to public agricultural institutions for the planning of government subsidies. Castilla-La Mancha (Central Spain) is the second largest olive-oil-producing region in Spain, the highest olive-oil-producing country in the world. This study sought to identify the main factors influencing olive fruit production in this region, including atmospheric pollen as an index of flowering intensity, and meteorological data over the flowering and fruiting seasons in two main olive-producing provinces of the region: Ciudad Real and Toledo. Statistical analysis indicated that the annual pollen index (PI) was the variable influencing most the final olive crop in both provinces. The maximum temperature in March was the meteorological variable affecting most the annual olive crop. Also, the rainfall registered in October influences the final fruit production. The integration of aerobiological and meteorological data represents an important step forward in the development of future crop forecasting models in the region of Castilla-La Mancha.