Orange County, Calif. deals with $10 million olive farm disaster
Orange County has been hit hard by the collapse of the olive industry in recent years, with growers and processors reporting an increase in the number of crops being damaged and the need for specialized equipment to deal with the situation.
In a letter addressed to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the California Olive Growers Association said it has hired two experts to assist with crop damage and plant destruction efforts in Orange County.
The Orange County Agriculture Department says its experienced farmers have done a great job in the recovery efforts, with losses from olive trees ranging from $5 million to $10.5 million, and the industry has recovered to its pre-epidemic level.
“The industry has been very supportive of the agriculture department, and we are hopeful that this agreement will help mitigate the impacts on our farmers and their crops,” Orange County Ag Administrator Bill Guglielmi said in a statement.
The deal is expected to cost $10,000 to $15,000 per crop.
It’s also possible that the contract could end up paying out to the county after the first year.
Orange County was hit hard in the early stages of the harvest in 2013 and has seen an increase since then.
The county is also still recovering from the collapse in the industry in 2016, with some growers reporting that production was down to 70% of normal.
The agreement could also have a positive impact on the Orange Coast.
The Orange County Wine and Spirits Board is expected in March to approve a $15 million olive production agreement, which would give growers the option to grow a certain number of grapes per acre for the first time in more than three decades.
The deal could give some growers access to more wine and spirits, and could also allow some wineries to reopen, according to Wine and Spirit Board spokeswoman Kelly McCarroll.