Harvest is a highly anticipated event at California Olive Ranch. The 2015 fall harvest kicked off September 21 and continues for the next few weeks. We spoke with Lizandro Magaña, Manager of Field Operations – responsible for all of our ranches and our grower managed acreage – to get the latest news from the fields and orchards as of early October.
What is the progress of the 2015 harvest?
So far, we have completed 414 acres out of the 4500 acres that need to be harvested. We have picked all of the Arbequina from our Oroville ranch. We moved into our bigger ranches and some grower ranches in early October.
Have you seen anything different happening this year, in comparison to previous years?
Everything has been pretty much similar to other years with heavy crops. Maturity happens slower than light years. Fruit size tends to be smaller. The speed at which you travel with the harvesters is also slower. Which means it takes longer to get across the acreage.
How many pounds of olives have you harvested so far and from what types of trees?
We have harvested close to 1800 tons of fruit just from our Oroville ranch.
What are the biggest challenges of the harvest?
The amount of crop that is on the trees takes more time to harvest and that makes this harvest longer to get across. Other challenges involve making sure the machine is calibrated correctly to get the best fruit removal possible.
What is your favorite part about the harvest this year?
Seeing the guys I work with do their job. With all of the growth the company has gone through, a lot of people in the field department have had to step up and take on more responsibilities. To be able to help them and guide them through harvest has been a challenge all on its own, and that has been very rewarding.