We are happy to offer as much information and advice as we can. Details such as size, ripeness, and oil quantity are all very cultivar specific and so can’t be accurately generalized.
- large white perforated bin = 900 to 1000 lbs
- half bin = 400 to 500 lbs
- yellow hand-picking bin = 35 lbs
- Olives should be harvested no more than 24 hours before milling, preferably less.
- Harvest only clean olives – no leaves, stones, dirt, etc.
- Harvest olives directly from the tree rather than picking them off the ground. If you are using tarps, make sure they are clean and well maintained.
- Do not harvest olives that have frost damage: watch your evening and early morning temperatures.
- Any diseased, frozen, or fly-infected olives should be removed from the trees and destroyed.
- Use perforated bins if possible. Avoid harvesting into fermentation bins or plastic bags as they can cause olives to heat up and ferment.
- Healthy olives (left) compared to olives damaged by olive fly (right)
- A large amount of olive fly damage will negatively affect milling results.
- For more information on olive fly, check out our blog Olive Fly: Time to Start Spraying or the UC Davis Integrated Pest Management Advocates.
Working with your Miller
Talk to your miller ahead of time about your fruit, harvest schedule, and milling parameters. The day of your harvest is not the best day to make important decisions. We prefer to talk with our growers ahead of time and then make any adjustments on milling day. Here are some tips to working with your olive miller:
- Make reservations in advance. Get on the mill’s schedule to ensure your olives are processed the day they arrive.
- Stay in contact with your miller regarding your harvest and fruit delivery. The mill has a schedule to follow.
- Do not bring diseased or olive fly-infected olives to the mill. This spreads the fly population and can contaminate nearby groves.
- Keep to your harvest and delivery schedule. Late or missed deliveries impact the mill’s schedule and can delay the processing of your fruit.
If you have any questions or want more information, give us a call at (707) 864-1529.