Drought and excessive spring heat decimates Portugal's olive harvest

Drought and excessive spring heat decimates Portugal’s olive harvest

Farmers point to 40% fall in production

The Association of Producers in Integrated Protection in Trás-os-Montes and the Alto Douro is forecasting a 40% fall in olive production this year, due to the ongoing drought and excessive temperatures, felt particularly early in the spring.

“We expected some fall in production”, said the association’s Francisco Pavão. “But nothing like this. At the point where the olives should have been flowering in the spring, we had temperatures of 40ºC. The flowers never made it…”

The majority of olive trees grow in what is called ‘dry orchard’ landscapes, which in turn have been seriously affected by the chronic lack of rainfall last winter.

Bizarrely, however, this ‘crisis’ comes after a bumper harvest in 2021 – also ‘lamented’ within the sector as producers couldn’t sell all their stock…