Our Olive Oil Farm is located at Moshav Beth-Shearim, on the western side of the valley of Jezreel. The olive plantation is about 20 dunams, the trees are 10 years old and we get good crops that are used for making quality olive oil.
The purpose of this article is to describe a unique irrigation method used in our plantation and conclusions related to its effectiveness in water savings and the yielded crops.
The Mediterranean climate enables olive trees to live without irrigation. In modern agriculture olive trees are being irrigated from spring to late fall, about once a week, to expedite the tree growth and to get better crops. On the other hand, olive trees are sensitive to excess of water, thus it is important to irrigate at the proper rate that fits the size of the tree and type of soil.
We use the “Micro-Drip” irrigation method that was developed by our late father, Peretz Rosenberg, for open field and greenhouses, and was adapted to the olive orchard. The drip emitters discharges about 0.5L/H and 3 to 4 are placed around each tree. For such a small discharge the water flow is operated continuously during all the days of the week, starting from March till October. The continuous water flow prevents formation of sediments at the drippers outlets and therefore clogging of drippers is avoided. Obviously this is a superior water saving method. Further details of our irrigation method are provided in our website, link: http://www.olive-oil-farm.co.il/moreng.html
The phenomena of Bi-Annual Alternate Bearing in Olive crops is known all over the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, during several years of operating this irrigation method, we found that our crops are at the higher level every year. We tend to relate this moderation of the Alternate Bearing in our orchard to the unique irrigation method that we apply.
The author, Avner R., is a farmer from Israel, the son of the founder of Ein-Tal company that produces modern irrigation sevices and water filters.