High winds along the hills and coasts of Southern California have caused damage to avocado and citrus orchard. Growers in the region are eyeing the weather reports as they fear more of the same.
Ken Melban, vice president of industry affairs at the California Avocado Commission: “We definitely know some of our growers got hit pretty good by last week’s winds. We’re still trying to ground-truth things and get a real feel for what the overall impact is.”
According to John Krist, chief executive of the Farm Bureau of Ventura County, avocado growers in his region had reported fruit-drop rates of 25-50%, depending on location. “I can report that the winds knocked an awful lot of fruit off the trees. This was among the worst wind events I can remember ever occurring at this time of year: gusts of 40 mph-plus across most of the county. I can’t quantify it yet, but I’m sure the damage and the losses were extensive.”
In San Diego County, avocado and citrus growers reported losses from dropped fruit and damaged trees, and some nurseries reported damage to greenhouses and plants, according to the San Diego County Office of Agriculture, Weights and Measures.
According to agalert.com, more severe weather was predicted for this week. Significant rain is in the forecast for Ventura County, which could further affect the upcoming avocado season.
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