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Central Coast olive farmers expecting bumper harvest this fall

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The olive industry in San Luis Obispo County is on track to have a bumper harvest this coming fall. This time around, drought is not a big factor in the equation. 

Olives are a stone fruit like peaches and cherries. These types of trees follow a cycle of one good year, followed by a down year,  back to a bumper year and so on.

Last year, strong winds and hot weather during the bloom stage in addition to record low rainfall took what was supposed to be a good year and turned it on its head.

This coming harvest will now reap the benefits of last year's downturn for most local producers. Gregg Bone is the owner of Kiler Ridge Olive Farm in Paso Robles and said this oscillating production cycle is a challenge to manage.

"The biggest task you have as a farmer is managing your trees in a way that that big crop, small crop doesn't get so big and so small that you can't economically survive the small year," said Bone.

Olive trees are drought tolerant because they originated in very dry areas of the world. Bone said the region's olive industry is starting to gain international respect and continues to grow in both size and quality.

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