August 23, 2013

California Avocados smaller this year

This is probably not good news, but avocados from Southern California seem to be getting smaller, at least this year. According to a report by NPR hundreds of thousands of trees in Southern California are producing much smaller Hass avocados than in recent years.

The reasons, they say, is a very unusual growing year that consisted of low winter rainfall in early 2012, erratic bee activity during the late spring bloom period, and lots of unseasonably cool and cloudy weather in the year since.

“I can’t ever remember a season when all the avocados were this small, and that’s over 30 years in the business,” they quoted Charley Wolk, a farmer with orchards in San Diego and Riverside counties as saying.

Consumers generally want avocados in a certain size range with about eight ounces being optimal. This year’s crop is averaging about 30 percent less than that. There is some good news here. The total crop did pretty well, and will probably weigh in more than last year – with about a half billion pounds expected by the end of October. The quality of the avecados is said to be the same with size being most a factor in consumer preference and convenience.

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