Record breaking rain and snow after a devastating 4 year drought, in the end, may not have provided olive farmers the reprieve they had been looking for. While California’s most fruitful olive growing region is no longer in a state of severe drought, climatic conditions continue to wreak havoc. Last year, because of early heat , we saw flowering olives get affected by typical early spring frost conditions, and this year we have witnessed an intense but late flowering phase followed by unusual late spring cool weather that did not provide the ideal temperature for pollen to do its magic. The result: a disproportionate amount of shot berries to olives. Shot berries are an undeveloped immature fruit that does not develop into fully grown olives. Take a look at the picture of one of our Manzanilla trees with the shot berries, and a picture of local goats getting some relief from the intense heat shortly after the odd and late cool of spring.
Learn more about the slumping olive oil production in the Olive Oil Times article by Daniel Dawson, Giulio Zavolta elaborates in the article on some of the hardship that has been faced.