Florida Olive Survey
Since 2011, the Florida Olive Council (FOC) has been gathering data on the location and health of olive trees in Florida. During the summer of 2017, researchers from FOC and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Department of Horticulture began documenting olive trees growing in Florida. The sites range from a 20+ year old producing olive grove near Marianna, FL to Sage Kamaya’s back yard grove near Bradenton.
The purpose of this year’s survey is to gather information on cultivar location, soil type, adaptability, document best cultivation practices, bloom and yield and other agronomic features of olives growing in Florida.
First stop on the survey was the University of Florida IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center near Milton, FL. Dr. Wes Wood, director of the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center, is sponsoring the project and Dr. Mack Thetford is conducting experiments and field trials. Dr. Thetford received a grant in 2017 to conduct olive-related research in north Florida.
After the 2017 Florida Olive Survey is completed researchers will begin to analyze the data. As the winter and next spring arrive, we will again visit groves to analyze growth and development and to identify any problems.