Special Issue "Science and Techniques for the Development of a Sustainable Oliveculture"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Primo Proietti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department Agri Food & Environm Sci, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia, Italy
Interests: fruit and tree physiology of olive; olive tree cultural systems; oliveculture; characterization and evaluation of olive varieties; olive by-products
Prof. Dr. Tiziano Caruso
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze Edificio 4 Ingresso H, 90128 Palermo, Italy
Interests: fruit and tree physiology of olive; olive tree cultural systems; oliveculture; characterization and evaluation of olive varieties;olive by-products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Oliveculture is gaining an increased interest worldwide due to the hedonistic and health benefits connected to olive oil consumption.

The olive growing covers approximately 10.6 Mha (FAOSTAT, 2016) in the world and olive is the most widespread cultivated tree species in the Mediterranean area. Recently, olive tree cultivation has expanded into new territories in the southern hemisphere, particularly in South Australia, South Africa and South America.

In recent times, olive groves have been facing both environmental and social challenges, which will intensify in the future, due to climate changes and reduction of natural resources, and to agriculture labor shortages.

For these reasons, it is necessary to improve scientific knowledge and technologies to obtain more efficient orchards and to reduce input and manpower needs.

This Special Issue will focus on advancements in genetic and technological innovations to obtain more productive, environmentally friendly and economically and socially sustainable olive groves and to improve the quality and safety of products.

Studies on tree canopy architecture, stress tolerance, the use of sensors and visual images for monitoring the status of tree to properly satisfy the water and nutrient requirements, and innovations in horticultural techniques are welcome in this Special Issue.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Primo Proietti
Prof. Dr. Tiziano Caruso
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Olea europaea
  • Olive oil
  • Precision agriculture
  • Sustainable oliveculture
  • Olive canopy architecture
  • Olive stress tolerance
  • Omic sciences
  • IoT technologies

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Water Footprint Assessment in a Rainfed Olive Tree Grove in the Umbria Region, Italy
Agriculture 2020, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10010008 - 28 Dec 2019
Abstract
Life Cycle Assessment (the systematic analysis of the environmental impact of products during their entire life cycle), Carbon Footprint and Water Footprint assessments play an important role in decision-making processes. These assessments can help guide land management decisions and will likely play a [...] Read more.
Life Cycle Assessment (the systematic analysis of the environmental impact of products during their entire life cycle), Carbon Footprint and Water Footprint assessments play an important role in decision-making processes. These assessments can help guide land management decisions and will likely play a larger role in the future, especially in natural areas with high biodiversity. Agriculture is a substantial consumer of fresh water, so it is important to identify causes and possible solutions to optimize agricultural water use. Water footprint assessments consider water consumption from several points of view and aid in reaching Sustainable Development Goals. Olive trees are a widespread agricultural crop growing in the Mediterranean Basin and are particularly important in the Umbria region in Italy. This paper estimates the water footprint impact related to the production of 1 kg of olives in a rainfed olive orchard managed using low environmental impact techniques. Eleven years of data collection (meteorological data, olives yield data, processes data) are analyzed for typical rural conditions. The results show that local management techniques have lower water requirements than standard international usages. These results can be used to improve and to further explore agricultural water use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Nitrogen Foliar Fertilization on the Vegetative and Productive Performance of the Olive Tree and on Oil Quality
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120252 - 29 Nov 2019
Abstract
The correct management (dose, time of distribution) of N fertilization in olive growing is still not completely clarified but is nowadays essential in order to guarantee sustainable production. In this regard, in central Italy over a 4-year-period a study was carried out to [...] Read more.
The correct management (dose, time of distribution) of N fertilization in olive growing is still not completely clarified but is nowadays essential in order to guarantee sustainable production. In this regard, in central Italy over a 4-year-period a study was carried out to investigate the effect of high nitrogen availability during oil accumulation in the fruit (second phase of fruit growth) on vegetative and productive activities of olive trees and oil quality. In May of each year, secondary branches were selected and girdled in their proximal part. Afterwards, half of the girdled branches were sprayed three times with a solution containing urea (2% w/w), whereas the other half was sprayed only with water. The nitrogen treatments did not cause any damage to the foliage and fruits nor did it cause appreciable changes in leaf photosynthesis and specific weight, fruit-drop, ripening pattern and weight, water and oil contents, pulp/pit ratio of the fruits, fatty acid composition, polyphenols content, and sensorial characteristics of the oil. The N provided via foliar fertilization during the oil accumulation phase in trees in conditions of good supply of N does not induce significant effects on the vegetative-productive activity of the tree. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A First Description of the Phenolic Profile of EVOOs from the Maltese Islands Using SPE and HPLC: Pedo-Climatic Conditions Modulate Genetic Factors
Agriculture 2019, 9(5), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9050107 - 15 May 2019
Abstract
Achieving economic sustainability in the olive oil production sector is a challenge. This is particularly so for small scale producers who are faced with pressing, production and marketing costs that relative to overall sales, minimise profits. In this study we aimed to describe [...] Read more.
Achieving economic sustainability in the olive oil production sector is a challenge. This is particularly so for small scale producers who are faced with pressing, production and marketing costs that relative to overall sales, minimise profits. In this study we aimed to describe the phenolic profile of extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) derived from the Maltese islands. The polar fractions from EVOOs from nine indigenous (six Bidni and three Malti), one historically acclimatized tree (Bajda), 12 locally-grown but foreign cultivars and 32 foreign EVOOs were extracted using SPE (solid phase extraction), separated using HPLC analysis at 280 nm and 320 nm and identified using mass spectrometry. Application of ANOVA and Tukey post hoc hypothesis testing for analysis of variance on the peak areas identified a significantly higher concentration of p-coumaric acid, tyrosol acetate, DHPEA-EDA and oleocanthal in EVOOs derived from indigenous or historically acclimatized cultivars. Imported but locally grown cultivars showed differences when compared to the same cultivar grown in other countries, confirming that pedo-climatic conditions modulate genetic factors. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Sustainable Management of Olive Orchard Nutrition: A Review
Agriculture 2020, 10(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10010011 - 03 Jan 2020
Abstract
Intensification of olive orchard management entails increased use of fertilizers, especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. In this review, plant responses to nutritional aspects, as well as environmental considerations, are discussed. Nutrient deficiency impairs production, whereas over-fertilization may reduce yields and oil quality, and [...] Read more.
Intensification of olive orchard management entails increased use of fertilizers, especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. In this review, plant responses to nutritional aspects, as well as environmental considerations, are discussed. Nutrient deficiency impairs production, whereas over-fertilization may reduce yields and oil quality, and increase environmental hazards and production costs. The effect of irrigation on nutrient availability and uptake is very significant. Application of organic matter (e.g., manure, compost) and cover crops can serve as substitutes for mineral fertilization with additional benefits to soil properties. Recycling of the pruned orchard material, olive pomace and olive mill wastewater, as well as the use of recycled wastewater for irrigation, are all potentially beneficial to olive orchard sustainability, but present the risk of environmental pollution. Some considerations regarding optimization of olive orchard nutrition are discussed. Full article
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