Mechanical Harvesting of California Table Olives
University of California
Mechanical Harvesting of California Table Olives


The California table olive industry...

Manzanillo olives
...relies on hand harvesting of its primary ‘Manzanillo’ cultivar.  In recent years the increasing cost and uncertainty of labor have adversely affected California’s competitiveness in the table olive market. Consequently, research attention has been devoted to the mechanical harvest of table olives, a practice common in the olive oil industry.

Mechanizing the harvest of table olives presents some unique challenges. The tree canopy and trunk must be adapted to the interface with the harvester, avoiding damage to the tree, and the fruit must be collected with minimum bruising. Our team brings dedication and diverse experience to these tasks, with the support of the growers and processors of the table olive industry.

Customizing both machine & tree for more efficient harvesting. (video: UC President's office 2013)


Innovative Progress in the Mechanical Harvest of California Table Olives

A summary of progress by Elizabeth Fichtner, UCCE Advisor, Tulare County
UC Delivers 2013

From the Galleries...

Where We Are Now

Dr. Louise Ferguson provides an assessment of the progress made at Project Year 5 (July 2011) and the challenges ahead for mechanization of table olive harvest in California:

Where We Are Now
(6-minute video)

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