South Australian avocado growers fearful of more trade disruption due to COVID-19

Avocado farmers in South Australia are afraid they might have to delay their harvest due to coronavirus restrictions and trade disruptions. Meanwhile, interstate produce continues to fill supermarket shelves across the country.

Waikerie-based producer Justin Loffler said holding off to pick their fruit would turn into a real gamble, as growers in the Riverland already battled with significant crop losses this year.

Normally starting to harvest their Hass variety in August, Mr Loffler said marketers had advised not to hurry produce onto the market as return prices could potentially improve between September and November as other states finished their harvest.

However, this year's production forecast for the Riverland and Sunraysia is already down by 75 per cent due to severe frost events killing flower buds.

Threat of unpredictable weather
While further trade disruptions are one uncertainty, unpredictable weather conditions are another concern for farmers when committing to delay their harvest. Mr Loeffler said severe frost events and the region being prone to windstorms in September could lead to more fruit losses when leaving the crops on trees for longer.


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