Avocado Production in Florida Could Drop in 2023/24
The Avocado Administrative Committee of Florida estimates that final production totals for the 2023/24 season will come in at 21,235 metric tons.
The final production volume for the 2022/23 season was 22,743 metric tons, so if the new estimate is accurate, then this season’s harvest will decrease by approximately 6.6%.
This season’s harvest numbers are impacted by adverse weather conditions preventing early flowering and affecting fruit setting. It should be noted that December, January and February had night temperatures that dropped as low as -1 °C (30 °F).
Another factor is that recent weeks have seen hot and windy weather, which may have affected pollination. Some varieties, including Donnie, showed a 10-20% decrease compared to the previous year.
The avocado industry in Florida has about 300 growers, primarily located in the southern part of the state. Some have mentioned that after an abundant season, as in 22/23, the following season is usually lighter.
The citrus losing streak has benefited avocados
Florida citrus is vital to the state’s economy, creating about $7 billion in economic value, translating to over 34,000 jobs.
However, the last few years have been challenging for growers, and the current season is expected to see the lowest volume harvested in Florida since the Great Depression.
The industry suffered directly from the effects of Hurricane Ian, which made landfall on Key Coast on September 28, 2022, with losses for growers ranging from 50-90%.
But Ian was not the only factor responsible for the citrus decline. The state has suffered significant losses for years due to the yellow dragon disease (HLB).
For these reasons, several growers either removed their citrus trees (mainly orange) to plant avocados or plan to do so very soon.
Is it advisable to change crops?
Farmers considering changing their crops must consider the investment it would require to replant. That’s why they need access to the financial support provided by companies such as ProducePay, which can offer working capital and the financial backing they need to boost their production and overcome economic challenges.
ProducePay Pre-Season Financing provides quick access to funds to cover operating costs, from inputs to labor. With ProducePay, you can finance your growing and harvesting needs, obtain immediate liquidity when selling your produce, and improve your cash flow to maintain a solid financial balance.
Sources: The Packer, ABC Action News