U.S.: California storms won't damage avocado crops but could delay harvesting

May 17 , 2019

Though large storms are approaching California, the areas that are expected to be hit the hardest are outside of the state's avocado growing regions, says California Avocado Commission's (CAC) vice president of marketing Jan DeLyser.

With these areas safe from the more severe weather conditions, she explains that growers might view rainfall as an advantage, but that it could disrupt harvesting in some areas.

"California avocado growers welcome the moisture for the trees but the rain could temporarily delay harvesting."

Already, the bulk of the state's volumes are available, with the CAC anticipating peak volume to last through the U.S.'s Fourth of July holiday.

DeLyser predicts there should be continued good volume into August and for some of the northern growing regions to supply California avocados through September.

Still, as earlier forecasts predicted, this year's total volume is predicted to be significantly smaller than 2017's crop.

"California's avocado crop is set to be about half of last year's, holding true to the forecast given at the start of the year of 175 million pounds," DeLyser explains.

This led to extreme price spikes earlier in the season, but she comments that current prices have been "steady".

As far as marketing, the CAC says its foodservice and retail merchandising teams have been working with handlers and targeted retailers in California and the West to develop support programs.

"These customers have the supply necessary to keep California avocados in stock through the summer. This season’s marketing activities are focusing on quality merchandising and consumer-facing programs," comments DeLyser.

She adds that the commission has "creative support plans" in place for upcoming U.S. summer holiday programs and California Avocado Month in June.

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