California Avocado Commission predicts smaller yields in 2017

Despite some consumer media stories stating that California had a short avocado crop in 2016 , the California Avocado Commission (CAC) reported that last year’s harvest was above average in volume, at 401.4 million pounds. It also delivered the third highest California avocado crop value on record. However, for 2017 a smaller volume forecast will mean a tighter window of supply and marketing efforts focused to match distribution.



“The California avocado harvest for 2017 is projected to be around 225 million pounds, and sizing of the fruit on the trees is looking very good now,” said Rick Shade, California Avocado Commission chairman.“ CAC representatives and I have been out in groves in the various California avocado growing regions, and early sampling of the crop confirms the quality should be excellent this year.”

Shade served as CAC chairman of from late 2007 to late 2009, and was elected chairman again in November 2016. He explained that California avocados are an alternate bearing crop. Often, but not always, a larger crop one year is followed by a smaller crop the next season, which seems to be the case for 2017. Other factors contributing to a smaller 2017 California avocado crop estimate are weather-related events from 2016, and vary by region.



“The recent rains in California are good for this year’s crop as well as for next year’s,” said Shade. “We’re evaluating what the rain will mean in terms of harvest timing. While some California avocados are already in distribution in a few local chains, in general it looks like a ramp up of harvesting in mid to late spring.”

The Commission’s Made of California marketing campaign will continue this spring and summer, according to Commission Vice President Marketing Jan DeLyser.

“CAC is working with handlers to target distribution of the crop where and when the fruit will be most valued,” said DeLyser. “Our advertising campaign is structured to be targeted and very flexible to support participating retailers and foodservice operators, and to let consumers know where to find the California avocados they love.”

Marji Morrow
California Avocado Commission
Tel: 323 456 6751
MMorrow@avocado.org

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