California olive oil producers say this year’s low harvest is close to catastrophic. The California Olive Oil Council says olive harvests plummeted 25 percent this year due to a heat wave in February. The unexpected warm weather triggered olive trees to begin producing fruit early.
Then, freezing temperatures in March shut that process down, leaving many growers without any fruit on trees. Despite this year’s shortage, olive oil prices are not expected to go up due to bumper crop in 2017. However, growers say another unexpected winter heat wave would likely lead to higher prices in 2019.