'Olive groves are a key crop for the agricultural sector'

What is the role of Yara Iberian within the olive grove and olive oil sector?

The olive grove is a key crop for the agricultural sector in both Spain and Portugal, which is why at Yara, and specifically for Yara Iberian, it is valued as one of the priority crops when it comes to developing nutrition programmes adapted to its needs and its different peculiarities, as there are major differences between the different management systems: an intensive or super-intensive production system with fertigation does not have the same requirements as a traditional rainfed production farm. Therefore, Yara's know-how for each of these cultivation situations is the main added value for the production of olive groves and, therefore, of quality olive oil.

What tools does the company offer growers to achieve profitability in olive orchards?

Today, Yara has the most complete portfolio of products to support olive production. Our soil-applied fertilisers such as YaraMila OLIVO or by fertigation, with the YaraRega family, in addition to containing an optimal composition of the main nutrients for olive groves, are made from the best quality ingredients, which guarantee good availability for the crop. In addition to these essential elements in fertilisation, Yara develops specific products for foliar application and fertigation to make up for certain deficiencies, improve the performance of the crop in certain key aspects of yield (e.g. fruit set, calibre or fat yield) or to stimulate the crop in times of exceptional stress due to environmental circumstances which, unfortunately, are recurring more frequently. These products are grouped within the YaraAmplix and YaraVita families and provide additional support to obtain an additional increase in the harvest and its quality and to maximise the efficiency in the use of the nutrients applied.

What differences do you find between Spain and other countries when it comes to developing and applying innovation in the olive oil sector?

Spain, as the leading industry in olive oil production, is at the forefront in the development of solutions for the sector, in the broadest sense: from digital solutions for the development of precision olive growing, to the techniques and machinery used in the processing industry. In this sense, Spain is positioned as an export market for knowledge and techniques for the modernisation of the crop and its adaptation to the international context.

What innovative projects is Yara Iberian currently working on in the olive sector?

At Yara Iberian, as a spearhead in olive growing within Yara Europe, we are pushing the development of new digital solutions that help growers to be more efficient in the application of nutrients and, therefore, produce in a more profitable and sustainable way. Currently, we are in a pilot phase in the development of an app for the optimal estimation and application of fertigation programmes in olive groves and other woody crops, taking into account the nutrient balance that occurs in a particular plot and the state of development of the crop. In addition, and within the framework of collaboration with John Deere Ibérica at its innovation centre in Parla, we collaborate with companies in the AgTech sector to advance in the efficient application of fertilisers and foliar biostimulants, taking into account the variability that occurs within a crop plot. All these tools are intended to complement our experience in nutrition and biostimulation programmes in olive cultivation.

What does holding this congress mean for a company like Yara Iberian?

On the one hand, it means keeping close to the sector, in order to keep abreast of its demands and priority lines of development. On the other hand, and given the predominant role of this industry in our agriculture, it allows us to publicise Yara's proposals and advances for olive growing, as well as to offer our experience and vision on burning issues for the sector, especially in the efficient management of nutrients and water in the case of fertigation, to obtain optimal production and the best profitability for the producer; or our position on the care of soil health in a crop that occupies millions of hectares of useful agricultural land in the Mediterranean area and with a key role in carbon sequestration.