California’s avocado farmers are feeling the burn. They are also feeling the wind and drought. Record temperatures, high winds and a continuing drought have many of the Golden State’s avocado farmers worried about next year’s crop.
Avocado growers in the state are immune to the latest round of restrictions that are meant to conserve water. This is because there are already restrictions in place for agriculture. Considering that it takes 72 gallons of water to produce one pound of avocados, the combination of the restrictions and the drought have hurt the growers’ production capabilities. Some avocado farmers report the loss of almost 17% of their trees.
Farmers have said that much of the product they are sending to stores is what has fallen to the ground. Dropped fruit is ensuring the availability of avocados this year, but farmers are worried about next year’s crop. Jeanne Davis of Coyote Growers says that many of this year’s flowers have withered. Bad flowers this year means less avocados next year.
All of this comes at a bad time for the avocado. Once popular mostly among Hispanics and natives of California, avocados have enjoyed a surge in popularity across the rest of the nation. Growers were relieved when the expected decline in demand for domestic fruit due to NAFTA never materialized. But now they worry about the continuing weather woes in the Golden State.