Olive Netting: Recommendations & Strategies

Trippling productivity overnight is the status quo for growers switching to Infaco’s electric olive harvester. A key component is having the right netting.

Olive Harvest Method

Netting Strategy

  • Workers lay down nets along each side of a row of trees, bunching up nets around the base of each tree. In this diagram, workers would lay out 4 nets (A, B, C, and D).
  • Workers with olive harvesters (red) go from tree to tree working the front and back of the tree simultaneously.
  • As workers with olive harvesters (red) get towards the middle of nets C and D, netting workers (yellow) gather up nets A and B, dump olives into bins, and move nets A and B in a leap-frog pattern to the next section of the row in advance of of the workers with olive harvesters (red).

Netting Recommendations

  • 70% knitted shade cloth: Because these nets will be dragged along the ground, the tight weave ensures that the cloth won’t catch on twigs. Selecting a knitted cloth is especially important so that the nets don’t unravel if torn or cut.
  • 20 ft x 60 ft lengths: We have some clients that use 20′ x 100′ nets but these are quite heavy so we have started recommending 60′ long lengths instead.
  • Grommets for clients with hilly terrain: For those with hills, grommets will allow you to stake down the nets or tie them to trees.
  • Taped Edges: We have some clients who select this and some who don’t. It does make for a much neater net that will probably last a bit longer as the edges won’t fray as easily when being dragged.

Call us at (925) 371-0796 x4 and we’ll be happy to provide you with quality netting supplier recommendations!

Client Example

Olive Leaf Hills Mill has over 12,000 trees to harvest each year.

  • Before: Had 3 teams each with 10 people harvesting (30 people total). Workers brought in 2 tons of olives per day.
  • After: With the netting method described above, Brooke went down to 3 teams each with 6 people plus 1 floater to help all 3 teams (19 employees total). Workers brought in 6 tons of olives per day. Each team looks like the diagram above and consists of:
    • 2 workers with olive harvesters (red)
    • 4 workers running that team’s nets (yellow)
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