IRVINE, Calif. – Mother Nature continues to test the resilience of California avocado growers this year, the latest test being heavy rainfall and winds from Tropical Storm Hilary and a moderate earthquake in the Ojai area on the same day. Fortuitously for many California avocado farmers, these events will not impact this year’s harvest because most of the fruit was picked before the storm.
“This year’s crop of premium California avocados is about 90% harvested,” said California Avocado Commission President Jeff Oberman. “Fortunately there have been no reports of damage due to the Ojai earthquake, however certain growing regions received as much as 6-inches of rain in one day. Farmers will need time for the groves to dry out to fully assess the impact of this rare tropical storm.”
Oberman, who joined the California Avocado Commission in October 2022, said that this season has had its challenges and rewards. Growers welcomed more rain than expected, which is beneficial to the health of the trees. However, they had to brave tough market conditions and below normal temperature during the early and peak season. As expected, peak availability during the 2023 season occurred from April through July, but some groves and sections of groves have fruit still to be picked. Late- season market conditions have improved, but the storm that raged through California had the potential to pack another wallop.
“California avocado growers’ resilience is inspiring,” said Oberman. “They are committed to building and maintaining a sustainable California avocado industry by using environmentally friendly farming practices, ensuring worker well-being, contributing to healthy communities and maintaining economic viability. We expect the remaining crop to be available for retailers and foodservice operators who have chosen to feature it for the Labor Day holiday.”
The California avocado crop for next season has already experienced it’s bloom and set stages. As growers conclude one harvest they are evaluating if this recent storm will have any impact on next year’s harvest and carefully nurturing the next year’s Golden State avocados.
About the California Avocado Commission
Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to enhance the premium positioning of California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities. California avocados are cultivated with uncompromising dedication to quality and freshness, by about 3,000 growers in the Golden State. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. Visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.