After weeks of reviewing the impact of wind and fire to California avocado groves, the California Avocado Commission announced a 2018 crop forecast: 374.6 million pounds of avocados. The total, despite the ravages of Mother Nature in California’s avocado growing regions, is nearly double the yield of last year’s crop and considerably better than some had feared.
“The CAC 2018 pre-season crop estimate of 374.6 million pounds of California avocados means there will be solid volume for retailers and foodservice operators to work with,” said Tom Bellamore, California Avocado Commission president. “Despite some harsh blows from Mother Nature, California avocado growers are resilient, and the industry is expecting a good year.”
The crop forecast comes after a series of weather events, including the Lilac fire in Riverside county and the Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The Thomas fire, which began Dec. 4 and burned more than 280,000 acres over than a month, was the largest wildfire in recorded California history. Wind and mudslides also have taken a serious toll on the region. However, the impact on California avocados was relatively limited.
“Many California avocado growers experienced loss, both personal and professional, and our hearts go out to them. Across the industry, though, only about 5 percent of the crop was damaged,” said Bellamore.
To support the 2018 crop, the California Avocado Commission will continue its Made of California marketing campaign with new creative executions. Customized marketing plans for targeted customers will be a focus, and CAC has a full slate of innovative programs in development.