The olive tree in Spain is one of the oldest and most appreciated trees throughout the Mediterranean basin, where 80% of world production is concentrated. But we can find olive groves in all communities, except Asturias, Santander and the Canary Islands.
The olive tree has been known in Spain since the Romans brought it and its production continues to grow, especially in the central and southern areas. 25% of oil production is of Spanish origin, Andalusia standing out. In this Community, cooperatives and appellations of origin abound. It is currently the country with the largest olive grove area in the world.
Plantae sensors and probes in olive plantations in Spain
Plantae is dedicated to the design, development and marketing of wireless sensor technology for saving water and improving crop production. Plantae technology is very important in olive trees. That is why we are going to compile information on the Olive Tree in Spain, its varieties and its need for irrigation control.
To control the irrigation of an olive grove, both traditional and intensive, the company carries out a detailed study of the plantation, the climate, the terrain, the size of the farm, the type of irrigation and resorts to satellite images if it sees fit.
According to the region, we study all the phenology of the crop to detail the number of sensors, we assess the depth of the root system and proceed to the installation after testing the farmer.
The olive grower can also have an advisor and maintenance from our technicians.
The farmer can have real-time information on the humidity and conductivity of the cultivated area.
Nutrients that the olive grove needs
One of the best ways to fertilize the olive tree is to leave the stubble and shredded pruning remains as a cover. While providing nutrients, they serve to store moisture.
You also need minerals like:
- Nitrogen: provides development to the tree. Its deficiency produces small trees and deformed leaves.
- Phosphorus: to promote flowering and fruit setting.
- Potassium: which influences the transport of sugars. Benefits the formation of the fruit.
- Calcium: promotes root development and improves nutrient absorption.
Irrigation of the olive tree in Spain
A good part is rainfed and another is irrigated. The areas with the highest production and best quality are those with the highest rainfall and the number of hours of sunshine per year. There are more and more rainfed areas, for this reason it is common to resort to irrigation and even better if it is controlled with soil moisture and temperature sensors.
Irrigation can be localized or drip. It is necessary to avoid puddles and in general the excess of humidity that can favor the appearance of diseases with fungi that affect the olive tree and the fruit.
Currently, many areas of intensive and super-intensive olive tree. In this case, controlled irrigation is especially important and Plantae plays a decisive factor with the installation of sensors that can even be buried to greater comfort of farming implements.
The keys to maintaining an olive grove are:
- That the trees are separated so that the air can circulate and the sun reaches them well.
- That they are correctly pruned.
- Have avegetable cover on the ground with weeds and the rest of the pruning, better crushed, which serves as vegetable compost and at the same time preserves soil moisture.
- That it has controlled irrigation so that it does not suffer water stress.
- Fungus control. The best way to avoid them is to control soil moisture. If necessary, apply fungicides.
- Avoid accumulation of salts that we can measure with the conductivity sensor. These accumulated salts mean that the root system does not absorb minerals properly.
- Control the phenological phases of the crop with the meteorological station that indicates climatic changes.
Olive growing areas in Spain
In Spain ten production areas are fundamentally divided:
- Picual: Jaén, north of the province of Granada and east of Córdoba. Also some olive groves in Galicia.
- From hojiblanco- (hojiblanca): Carrasqueña de Córdoba or Picudo, Chirrío and others.
- Western Andalusia: Huelva, Cádiz and Seville.
- Eastern Andalusia: Almería, part of Granada and Malaga. Vélez-Málaga, Aloreña, etc.
- West: Extremadura, Ávila, Salamanca and Zamora.
- Center- (Cornicabra): Castilla - La Mancha and Madrid.
- Raise: Valencia, Alicante and Murcia.
- Ebro Valley: Aragón, La Rioja, Navarra and Álava.
- Tortosa: Castellón, Bajo Ebro, Montsiá de Tarragona and Castellón.
- Arbequina: Catalonia, except for Bajo Ebro, the Balearic Islands, Galicia and Álava.
Varieties más destacadas del olivo en España:
- Picual , stands out for its great stability and high content of oleic acid and polyphenols. Abundant in the Picual area and western Andalusia.
- Hojiblanca in the area of Hojiblanco and Eastern Andalusia.
- Lechin from Seville in Western Andalusia.
- Verdial de Huevar.
- Manzanilla Serrana in Western Andalusia.
- Gordal Sevillana.
- Lechin from Granada.
- Verdial of Vélez-Málaga.
- Manzanilla Cacereña.
- Manzanilla or Corresgueña de Badajoz.
- Moorish in the Badajoz area.
- Verdial of Badajoz.
- Redondilla in Toledo
- Cornicabra in Extremadura, Toledo and Ciudad Real.
- Castellana in the downtown area.
- Alfafara in the downtown area.
- Gordal of Hellín.
- Blanqueta in Valencia.
- Villalonga in Alicante.
- Lechin from Granada.
- Changlot Real in the Valencian Community.
- Empeltre en Baleares.
- arga in Catalonia and the Valencian Community.
- Arbequina in the areas of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
The main productions of the olive grove are table olives and olive oil.
The technologies of the 20th century revolutionized the olive grove. The first cooperatives were born, in order to face the costs of the machines, both for harvesting and for the production of oil. The oil is extracted in oil mills.
Steps for oil production:
- The first is the olive harvest , either by hitting the olive tree with a long stick or currently with vibrators that make the olives fall on nylon meshes, preventing them from mixing with those that had already fallen before down. They are then spread out and aired.
- Grinding which consists of crushing the olives. The juice of the olives is what gives rise to the oil.
- Pressing , with several phases of centrifugation and filtering.
- Finally decanting the oil , separate all solid waste.
Types of oil
- The highest quality « extra virgin olive oil «.
- Virgin olive oil , with higher acidity than the previous one.
- Ordinary virgin olive oil.
- Finally Olive-pomace oil .
Denominations of origin of the olive tree in Spain
- Field of Calatrava. Exclusively with cornicabra and picual varieties.
- Montiel field. The oil from the province of Ciudad Real.
- Alcarria oil. Municipalities of Cuenca and Guadalajara.
- Mountains of Toledo. Regions of Toledo and Ciudad Real. Especially extra virgin oil of the cornicabra variety.
- Oil from Rioja. Olive groves alternate with large vineyard plantations.
- Denomination of origin of Navarra oil. Especially in the south of the province.
- Terra Alta oil. Regions of the Ribera del Ebro and southern Catalonia.
- Lower Aragon. Regions of Zaragoza and Teruel. varieties: basically arbequina and royal
- Sierra de Moncayo. Regions of Zaragoza and varieties: empeltre and arbequina.
- Siurana. In the province of Tarragona. It is fruity and sweet.
- L´Emporda oil. Municipalities in the north of Catalonia. Varieties: Argudell, Curivell, Llei de Cadaqués and Arbequina.
- Baix Ebre-Montsià. Regions of Tarragona, Castellón and Teruel.
- Les Garrigues. In Lleida with varieties the arbequina and verdiell varieties.
Area of Extremadura
- Monterrerubio oil. In Badajoz with varieties. picual, cornicabra, mollar, corniche, pico-limón, morel and ergot.
- Gata-Hurdes. The regions of the Sierra Alta de Cáceres.
- Lucena. Municipalities of Cordoba. Hojiblanca, Lucentina and other secondary varieties such as Arbequina, Picual, Lechín, Tempranilla, Ocal, Campanil and Chorruo.
- Antequera. In the province of Malaga with many varieties, highlighting: hojiblanca, picual, arbequina, suckling pig from Seville, picudo, gordal from Archidona, verdial from Vélez-Málaga and verdial from Huévar.
- Baena. In Córdoba with the varieties. Carrasqueño from Córdoba, lechín, jardúo, hojiblanca and picual.
- Steppe. Municipalities of Seville and Córdoba. The varieties: hojiblanca, arbequina, manzanilla, picual and suckling pig from Seville.
- Montoro-Adamuz. In Córdoba and varieties picual, suckling pig, black nevadillo, picudo and carrasqueño.
- Mountains of Granada. Regions of Jaén, Córdoba and Granada. The varieties of picual, pike, loaime, negrillo from Iznalloz, scarabajuelo, gordal from Granada and hojiblanca.
- Poniente de Granada. Con variedades: hojiblanca, picual, picudo, lloreño, nevadillo de Alhama de Granada y loaime.
- Priego de Córdoba. Picual, picudo and hojiblanca varieties.
- Sierra de Cádiz. Varieties: suckling pig from Seville, manzanilla, verdial from Huévar, verdial from Cádiz, hojiblanca, picual, lameña from Montilla and arbequina.
- Sierra de Cazorla. In Jaén to the southeast. The Province that has the most olive trees in all of Spain. Especially extra virgin picual oil.
- Sierra Magina. In the south of Jaén. We continue with the picual and manzanillo variety from Jaén.
- Sierra del Segura. Northwest of Jaén. As in the whole province, the virgin olive oil of the picual variety stands out. Also verdala, royal and manzanillo from Jaén.
- Protected Geographical Indication Jaén oil. With varieties: picual, chamomile from Jaén, royal from Cazorla, carrasqueño from Alcaudete, hojiblanca.
- Protected Geographical Indication oil d’Eivissa. Olives: mallorquina, empeltre, arbequina and picual.
- D.O. Olive from Majorca. With varieties: mallorquina, empeltre, arbequina and picual.
- Oil from the Valencian Community. Regions of Castellón and Valencia with traditional and intensive crops.