Despite the largest wildfire in California damaging some avocado groves, the crop is forecast at 374.6 million pounds — almost double the 2017 crop.
The California Avocado Commission released the estimate after weeks of reviewing the effects of fire damage in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and the number can put growers and retailers’ minds at ease, according to the commission.
The pre-season estimate “means there will be solid volume for retailers and foodservice operators to work with,” commission president Tom Bellamore said in a news release. “Despite some harsh blows from Mother Nature, California avocado growers are resilient, and the industry is expect a good year.”
All told, only about 5% of the crop was damaged, Bellamore said. The Jan. 30 estimate release followed the Lilac fire in Riverside County and the Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in December. Throughout the month, the Thomas fire burned more than 280,000 acres. That was followed by rain, which led to mudslides in areas stripped by fire.
“Many California avocado growers experiences loss, both personal and professional, and our hearts go out to them,” Bellamore said in the release.
The California Avocado Commission will continue its “Made of California” campaign, with customized marketing plans for certain customers. The commission has other marketing programs in development, according to the release.