One of the main crops in Spain is the olive tree and it is more frequent every day find intensive and super-intensive olive plantations.
Plantae sensors are especially suitable for these plantations and in this article we are going to detail the special characteristics they have and the care they need, mainly in irrigation.
Traditional olive tree
It is the olive tree in its wild state, depending on its adaptation to the climate, the terrain and the care provided by pruning, irrigation, etc.
Production is sometimes limited and profits do not match the work. Collection is usually manual. The machines do not move easily through the olive grove. The technological use depends on the slopes of the olive groves and the distribution.
This type of cultivation is common in Spain, Italy and Portugal. At present there is a trend towards change, especially in the management of new farms.
Intensive olive tree
The concern for quality, profitability and the decrease in labor have led farmers to consider other types of olive groves different from the traditional one.
When planting a new farm with an intensive olive tree, we make a study of the land, we plan it with distances of 6 × 6 meters apart or 6 × 3. The fairways must be 6 meters to facilitate the passage of the machines. Also to isolate the olive trees and improve the passage of air between them
This allows us to implement systems of drip irrigation > at the foot of the tree and that it can be regulated and thus increase and improve the quality of the olive. In addition to being able to add fertilizers and products that prevent diseases in the olive tree in the irrigation.
Also the advantage of harvesting the olives with vibrating machines.
Super intensive olive tree
The difference with the intensive olive tree is that the tree is now in the form of a hedge and with streets of no more than 4 meters. Up to 2000 olive trees per hectare are achieved, while the intensive does not exceed 600 per hectare.
The life expectancy of these olive trees is approximately 13 or 20 years while in the intensive ones they can reach 40. (In both cases there may be variations depending on the climate and the terrain).
This makes it necessary to repopulate very often. Watering is essential, usually by drip and a control of that irrigation.
The choice of the type of plantation depends on the terrain, the irrigation possibilities and the climate.
Advantages and disadvantages of the intensive and superintensive olive tree
The Autonomous Communities that have a suitable climate for olive trees are conducting studies on both types.
The advantages are:
- High production especially in the early years.
- The possibility of using mechanical means for its collection. This greatly reduces labor. The olives arrive at the mills very fast and all mechanized.
- The varieties that are doing better are the "arbequina" and "arbosana" types.
The disadvantages, especially in the superintensive are:
- Planting costs are high in intensive olive trees and much higher in superintensive ones.
- The short duration of the crops, due to the problem of controlling the vigor of the trees, especially in the superintensive.
- They have ventilation and lighting problems. This causes diseases to increase.
- They also have a great need for controlled irrigation .
- They need tutors to guide the olive trees and special pruning.
- You need grafts every few years. Replanting can be done in a staggered manner, to always maintain a minimum production.
Irrigation in intensive and super-intensive olive plantations
The online distribution of the olive trees makes it possible to install drip irrigation very easily.
The pipes can have a flow meter applied for total control of the irrigation water.
The sensors are distributed near the olive tree and at different depths to fully control the wet bulb.
The sensors give us information on:
- The humidity of the subsoil.
- The temperature of the subsoil.
- Conductivity and therefore control of the accumulation of salts.
- Room temperature.
- Relative Humidity.