In Croatia there is approximately 2,7 mil ha of agricultural land altogether. Approximately 1,2 mil ha is state property. Of this state-owned land only approximately 400.000 ha can actually be cultivated. Mid Dalmatia (from Zadar to Sibenik) offers about 80.000 ha, that may also be cultivated with large olive groves. Site selection, though, is crucial, if olive growing shall be successful.
Our experts ascertain in several calculations and cost-effectiveness analysis, that individual areas in sum should at least be as large as 83 ha. Individual parcels, however, should not be less than 15 ha and at least within the distance of half a mile (in the perimeter of about 176 ha). Each location, that is seriously considered, has to be analysed on a micro-level. This includes climate, soil condition, chemical analyses of the soil as well as water resources for watering.
Perfect: mild and rainy in winter, hot and dry in summer. The winter takes two months, with an average temperature of 1,5° C to 10° C during the development of the flower buds. Insolation: 2.400 up to 2.700 hours per year. Annual precipitation: 15,7 up to 27,6 inches. Relative humidity: 45 % up to 65 %. Ideal temperature for photosynthesis (15° to 30° C), germination of the buds (14 to 16° C), blossom and pollination (18° to 19° C) and time of fruiting (21° to 22° C). Several days with night frost around -7° C can seriously harm the plant, therefore areas with temperatures below -4° or -5° should be avoided. In the north of Croatia elevation above sea level shouldn´t exceed 1.600 feet, whereas in the south there are cultivation areas at up to 2.625 feet. Avoid the bottom of a valley because of the danger of night frost, as well as an expanse with the possibility of cold air streams or strong winds (more than 33 yards per seconds) during flowering period.
Fertile, deep (up to 5 feet), with good drainage and aeration. Clayey, silty and sandy textures, 70 % rocks max. Soil compaction: 1,1 to 1,4 Mg/ m³. Moderate topography: 1 to 10 %, perfect ph level: 5,0 to 7,5. Capacity for water retention: about 0,06 inch of available water per foot of soil. Ground water level: below 16 feet. Critical point of salinity (ECe): below 4,5 dS/m (above the yield would decrease). To be avoided: waterlogged soil, alkaline and salty soil. The high calcium carbonate (lime) content of the Terra-Rossa soil is perfect. Ideally humus content starts with 25 %. Few or no shrubs would be perfect.