Many people ask how to bioestimulate olive groves. Spain accounts for 35% of olive oil production worldwide and 44% at European level. Our country has approximately 2,733,600 hectares of olive groves (for oil mills and table olives), 70% of which are unirrigated. A large part of the irrigated olive grove is under deficit or maintenance irrigation, reflecting the exposure of this crop to climatic inclemencies, mainly to the most frequent droughts and high temperatures.
There is an unquestionable need for a working strategy to help the crop overcome water and heat stress. To this end, the use of biostimulants in olive groves plays a fundamental role in many aspects: alleviating their effects on plantations, optimising development in each of the phenological stages of the crop, maintaining stable production over time and avoiding the crop’s alternate growth or reducing sawtooths, which are becoming increasingly marked, mainly due to the water and heat stress to which the crop is subjected.
Similarly, agricultural production in Europe is currently undergoing a phase of constant change in which many active substances for plant protection use are being phased out. These were intended to combat numerous pests and diseases, whereas the focus is now on much more sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly cultivation, but also on workers and end consumers. To face this paradigm successfully, the appropriate use of biostimulants is key, as they will help us to obtain the maximum yield from our crop by activating the following pathways:
At the cellular level:
Activation of different key metabolic pathways at critical moments of the crop cycle for the management of biotic and abiotic stress is key when you ask how to bioestimulate olivar groves, also optimising vegetative development and improving quality parameters, by hardening the cell wall, improving its lignification and thickening.
At the nutritional level:
Completing phases of high nutritional demand, correcting deficiencies and deficiencies, and optimising the nutritional balance of crops to achieve high yields are also answers to how to bioestimulate olive groves. Root and rhizosphere protection by regenerating the soil microbiota, optimising water resources and bio-fertilisation (nitrogen fixation and phosphorous and potassium solubilisation). In this way, the plants will be healthier and stronger to face any external problem that may affect their proper development.
At the level of the defence system:
Tackling pests and diseases with sustainable alternatives, either systemic or contact, and optimising foliar and root treatments by training and alerting the plants’ internal defence system. As a result, these systems will be better able to respond to any external interference, allowing the plant to defend itself by its own means.
For all the above reasons, the use of biostimulants will bring numerous benefits, particularly in olive cultivation, helping to achieve a more sustainable, efficient, environmentally friendly and, of course, profitable crop for the farmer. The right biostimulants, used at the right time, help to alleviate the negative effects caused by various types of stress and, in the same way, to obtain higher production yields by making sustainable and efficient techniques compatible, even in extreme conditions for a crop that has been suffering severely from the weather lately.