Drip irrigation with sensors in olive-Cornicabra and Arbequina

Whoever says that the cornicabra-type olive trees are only dry could not predict that over the years drip irrigation with sensors would be a reality.

The Cornicabra variety is a characteristic variety of the mountains of Toledo. It receives this name because the olive is elongated like a "goat's horn."

We are going to control with the installation of humidity sensors and probes how the production and quality of the olives improves.

Esquema de riego por goteo con sensores y sondas de humedad
Drip irrigation scheme with humidity sensors and probes. 1-Rain water. 2-Root system. 3-Wet bulb. 4-Evaporation. 5-Perspiration. 6-Humidity probes. 7-Hub. 8-Soil filtration.

Control of drip irrigation in cornicabra olive trees

On these holidays in mid-August we go to Los Navalmorales (Toledo). The goal is to install our sensors on an 8 hectare farm with irrigation drip recently installed in olive trees with several decades.

Traditional olive tree installation that considers that the olive tree improves its olive quality and quantity with a drip irrigation controlled by humidity sensors.

On a clayey and stony ground, rather complicated by the large number of stones and their level of compaction on it, we managed to install several sensors in the upper and lower areas of the farm, in order to:

  • Capture moisture measurements up to 60 centimeters deep.
  • Optimize irrigation for this type of olive tree.

Now the client will be the one who, with our panel of alerts and humidity readings in real time, will be able to define the minimum irrigation to apply to these trees without exceeding the barrier of the Wilt Point.

This variety adapts very well to intensive cultivation and its production is late. This makes it necessary to control irrigation in hotter seasons so that the olive tree does not suffer water stress . Alterations in water absorption can cause stomatal closure and damage the olive.

The fact that it is a late crop affects the sweetness of the olive and that its oil is highly appreciated.

Drip irrigation with sensors in olive-Cornicabra and Arbequina
Olive trees with drip irrigation controlled by probes.

Drip irrigation with probes in Arbequina olive tree

This time we went to install sensors in Arbequina olive trees in the north of Toledo.

Specifically near Chozas de Canales, where we have made an installation for the company UTW (www.utw.es) in one of its clients with a plantation of olive trees Arbequina type.

In a super intensive plantation, the sensors are installed in two of the drip irrigation sectors of this farm to control:

  • The humidity of the subsoil and therefore the need for irrigation.
  • Thus optimize the development of the tree.
  • Avoid possible stomatal closure alterations.

Undoubtedly, these new Arbequina olive trees in intensive plantation will increase their production with drip irrigation controlled by humidity probes.

Intensive olive tree with drip irrigation controlled by sensors
Intensive olive tree with drip irrigation controlled by sensors

The Arbequina olive tree adapts very well to intensive and super intensive cultivation , because it is not a very leafy olive tree, although it has the disadvantage of needing more water than in traditional cultivation . The traditional one adapts well to dry land.

It is an olive grove of early production and high productivity. It is resistant to cold and salinity, although in intensive crops it should be controlled so that the soil does not compact and thus prevent it from absorbing water and nutrients worse.

Excess salinity affects the root system. The more we control humidity, the less evaporation occurs and the less salts accumulate. The evaporated water does not remove salts. The more evaporation, the more accumulation of salts.

The oil of the Arbequina variety is highly appreciated for its sweetness .

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