Producers, researchers and technical experts gathered at Gabriëlskloof Wine Estate on 21 Sept for the annual SA Olive technical field day.
The theme of the day was ‘Optimising scarce resources’ and experts from various fields addressed different aspects of the theme. Carlo Costa from the ARC discussed tree manipulation to ensure optimal use of sunlight and discussed the olive growth stages and highlighted during which of this irrigation would be critical. Nico Uys from Probio highlighted the importance of C:N ratio and what role carbon plays in the water holding capacity of the soil.
Netafim’s Abie Vorster gave irrigation guidelines for drought conditions and highlighted that something as basic as system maintenance can improve water use efficiency drastically. Caren Jarmain, the project leader for the Fruitlook programme, informed everyone of the usefulness of the data provided by the Fruitlook system and even used an olive operation to demonstrate various functions of the system. Lastly, Strauss Ferreira from Agro-Organics shared his wealth of knowledge on olive pests and diseases and the organic management thereof.
After all the exhaustion of concentrating on technical info, delegates were treated to a delightful Gabriëlskloof lunch, paired with their excellent wines and olive oil.