This year has been a difficult spring for rainfed olive groves, but despite this, the Gen4olives project continues to evolve, with great difficulties that have begun to manifest themselves during the month of April, traditionally rainy but which this year has not brought a single drop of rain to the south of the province of Seville. Moreover, it has been aggravated by the high temperatures in weeks that are decisive for flowering, which has generated an excessively high water deficit for this time of year.
In this report, we focus on data from Finca Santa Bárbara, located in Lora de Estepa, Seville. We show the soil moisture data at 2 depths from January to June, where we can appreciate the water stress in the roots of the olive grove at different levels, even reaching the critical point of permanent wilting for several days.
Focusing on April and the first fortnight of May, we will analyse the water deficit in the aerial part of the olive grove, where it can be seen that the crop has experienced very few days/hours with admissible moisture levels. Most of the time, levels have remained high and outside the admissible range, indicating real water stress in the trees, with little water per kilogram of air.
Finally, it is worth noting that our sensor measurement area continues to provide reliable data for further analysis. In addition, we have improved the image monitoring area by installing a second camera at Finca Santa Barbara. With this new addition, we are able to monitor in 360 degrees and, thanks to Agricolus, we have placed QR code plates on each tree to identify them in the images.
In the photo you can see the camera in the centre of the street, to the right are the BrioAgro weather and soil sensors, and on the olive trees are the QR codes for tracking.