Avocado Producers Bracing for Light 2019

Dan Fruits & Vegetables


California Avocados are bracing for a light 2019. July’s heat wave in southern California seems to have affected many of the state’s avocado trees. The California Avocado Commission told AgAlert Newspaper that they are estimating about 167 million pounds of production for 2019. That’s about half of the 334 million they are assuming will be the final total for this season.

Vice President of Industry Affairs Ken Melban told AgAlert that areas in Ventura County, Santa Paula, Riverside, and San Diego were hit hard by the heat. Melban told AgNet West back in July that growers were trying to mitigate the damage at the time. “There is some isolated damage there, but the main thing is growers deal with environmental factors like this every year it seems, and they’re very mindful of it,” Melban said.  “They had the irrigation going early to help keep the trees hydrated and withstand some of these triple-digit temperatures.”

Those temperatures dehydrated trees and put them at risk of burning. Once that happens, it takes some time to see how the plants recover and what damage producers may see. Melban said most producers were done harvesting at the time, but the heat damage is now putting a damper on next year’s crop expectations.

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Taylor Hillman