Irrigation

The advantages

The olive tree is able to grow and produce in arid or semi-arid climates. However, there are many advantages of controlled irrigation both on the quantity and quality of production.

1. Stimulates the vegetative growth of the olive tree: increases the number and length of shoots, the extension of leaves and roots.

2. It promotes the increase in the production of olives and oil, the diameter of the olives and the pulp-stone ratio.

3. Within certain limits, it has a positive effect on the quality of the oil, in particular as regards phenolic compounds and volatile compounds, which act as natural antioxidants, and on the reduction of the bitter taste of the oil.

Valle del Belice where our olive groves are located is characterized by:

  • Intense sirocco winds in spring and summer that cause high rate of water evaporation
  • Soil with poor water retention capacity
  • Low yearly average rainfall, about 550 mm

For these reasons, irrigation makes it possible to meet the water needs of the olive tree, especially in particularly critical periods, i.e. from June to September.

The number of irrigations varies from year to year depending on the rainfall. Usually 2-3 irrigation campaigns are carried out. Exceeding this limit can cause negative effects and still represents a waste of a primary resource such as water, to be protected.

Irrigation system

In the past, our grandparents rarely irrigated, usually manually by connecting mobile pipes to the water main pipe to spray the water in the soil near the olive trees, with enormous expenditure of energy.

Today, ad hoc irrigation systems are designed to make this operation automatic and be able to apply it across wide lands.

Irrigation systems follow different philosophies regarding the method of water distribution:

A) Systems with dripline suspended from soil or with drippers to be inserted on the pipe

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B) Systems in micro-sprinkling with sprayers

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C) Systems in sub-irrigation with a buried dripline 20-30 cm deep in the soil

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Our olive groves are equipped with two types of irrigation systems:

  • System with pipes suspended from the ground equipped with butterfly nebulizer
  • System with underground pipes equipped with 180° sprayers installed around the trunk
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Know more about the irrigation campaigns...