Yuma Area Farmers Betting on Olives

In the constant search for new crops that fit the area and fill a niche market, a handful of growers in the desert Southwest are turning their attention to an ancient agricultural product with a promising new future.

With Americans in pursuit of healthier living, there's a growing demand for high-quality olive oil, said Glenn Wright, a University of Arizona researcher with the Yuma Agriculture Center. And it's a crop he thinks would do well here.

“I think there's a big future here, based on what I know so far.”

One grower in Yuma has about 20 acres of olive trees in south Yuma Valley that have been in the ground for more than two years and could potentially have some olives this fall for milling into oil. In addition, there's about 100 acres planted in Imperial County in the Westmorland-Calipatria area that had some olives milled last year. And there's some acreage of mature trees in northern Mexico east of Mexicali that can be seen from the All American Canal, Wright said.

Read more from the April 21 issue of the Yuma Sun at http://www.yumasun.com/articles/olive-78412-oil-quality.html#ixzz1tHjmnLuv

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Glenn Wright
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Released date: 
Apr 27 2012