The Olive Research & Evaluation (ORE) project is a partnership between Oregon State University Extension’s Mid-Willamette Valley Small Farm’s Program and the Oregon Olive Growers association (OGO).
OGO was established in 2016 to “bring growers together, to share ideas about growing olives, to decideon priorities for trials andresearch, to conduct outreach to raise awareness about the existence of ourpioneering group and to help growers/producers develop contacts with buyers”.
We are currently conducting research and evaluation of the best production practices for table olives (Olea europaea) in western Oregon, including cultivar selection, propagation, and potting methods, in collaboration with industry professionals. While existing cultivars are not hardy to USDA growing zone 8b, global climate change and subsequent warmer temperatures are predicted to increase Oregon’s suitability for olive production. Olives are an upcoming and innovative crop in the state of Oregon as growers look to diversify and to anticipate future climate possibilities for a non-traditional specialty crop.
The primary objectives of the ORE include:
- Determining most effective olive propagation techniques
- Establishing the cold hardiness of existing olive cultivars
- Evaluating transplanting and up-potting strategies for rapid orchard establishment
- Disseminate information to to industry stakeholders, growers, and the general public