To the question what is a super high olive orchard, the answer could be: super high density olive farming is an innovative system, which leads to an increase in production and a drastic reduction in costs, especially those related to harvesting. This is a subject on which there is still confusion and little information, so much so that many consider SHD olive orchard as harmful to the soil and dangerous for the quality and specificity of the oil.
In this article we find out what is a super-high olive orchard and how it works, trying to understand the advantages of this technique and why it is important today to consider methods of super high density olive farming.
How the super high intensive olive orchard was born
The world consumption of olive oil has grown by about 70% in the last 20 years and continues to increase with an average of 3-4 percentage points per year, and it is estimated that, to cope with this increase in demand , it will be necessary to produce about 1400 kg of olives per hectare. Italy, which has always been one of the countries where a lot of olive oil is produced and consumed, is nowadays in a backward situation as regards the production volume: if Spain produces an average of 4000 kg of olives per hectare, our country the average is around 160 kg per hectare, so far from the threshold of 1400 needed to respond to market demands.
It is therefore evident that traditional olive cultivation is no longer enough, that the mechanical harvest is a necessity and that only an increase in production, through a super-high density olive orchard, can bring us back among the major world producers.
Features of a high density olive orchard
The super high olive planting originates in Spain and is born with the aim of increasing production in response to the growing market demand. Today there are super high density olive groves in all the historically producing regions of oil, where olive trees are part of the common landscape and where extra-virgin oils of excellence are born.
What are the features of super-high olive farming?
- Density from 600 to 1600 olive trees per hectare, depending on the variety.
- Arrangement with parallel rows, with bush olive trees supported by racks.
- Mechanized harvest and highly technological tools for maintenance.
- High yield: the production of a super-intensive olive orchard is about three times higher than traditional olive orchards.
Finally, it is important to dispel the widespread belief that olive oil produced by SHD olive orchard is of low quality: in fact, thanks to the careful selection of varieties and precision farming techniques, the oil obtained it is of the highest quality, quality confirmed by prizes and awards that have been awarded to some olive oils produced through super-high density olive orchards.
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