Expect promotable volume of Florida avocados in July

05/31/2013 11:55:00 AM
Chuck Robinson

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — This should be another typical season for Florida avocado grower-shippers.

While some growers begin early harvesting of light volumes in late May, most commercial harvesting in south Florida begins in early to mid-June. Promotable volumes ramp up by early July.

“We are expecting to have another good crop of Florida avocados this year,” said Bill Brindle, vice president of sales management for Brooks Tropicals Inc. “We have had good weather so far this spring, which usually leads to good volume and good quality.

“If we get the expected volume, we will be offering promotions July through September. Some of our retail partners will promote Florida avocados for 12 consecutive weeks during this period.”

Those strong production years usually produce a variety of all the sizes retail customers want, Brindle said in late May.

Three years of normal

Grower-shippers anticipate production of their green-skinned varieties to mirror last year’s.
Alan Flinn, administrator of the Florida Avocado Administrative Committee, said he expects grower-shippers to pack 1 million 55-pound bushels, in line with the 1 million bushel production average for 2008-12.

Last season’s output was 1.1 million bushels.

If industry predictions are accurate, this will be the third straight year growers would pack a normal crop, Brindle said.

Brooks, which plans to begin harvesting its early donnie variety in mid-June, expects to pack about half this year’s crop, Brindle said.

Growers of the smooth-skinned West Indian-type varieties are hoping this year brings better prices than last season.

Last year, an overabundance of hass avocados kept Florida avocado prices lower than usual and made it harder to move fruit, said Eddie Caram, general manager of New Limeco LLC, Princeton.

“I really think this year’s volumes will be steady, like last year,” Caram said in late May. “The deal should be pretty consistent.”

New Limeco plans to begin harvest in early June.

Manny Hevia Jr., president and chief executive officer of M&M Farm Inc., Miami, said strong volume should hit markets by mid-July.

“In mid-July, we can start doing some decent deals,” he said. “I am optimistic we’ll have a good season.
We will have good quantities for some nice promotions. Some varieties will be a little lighter but others will be heavier-yielding ... It looks to be a good year.”

J&C Tropicals in Miami looks to begin harvesting its 300 acres in early June.


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