2019 Mid-Season Crop Update
To help the California Avocado Commission (CAC) adjust mid-season crop estimates and predict the flow of avocados to market, CAC conducts a spring grower crop survey to gather growers’ estimated crop volume. In addition, the Commission surveys California handlers concerning total industry volume estimates and harvest timing.
Heading into the mid-season survey, all indications were that the crop volume was not significantly different than the pre-season estimate of 175 million pounds. However, when the survey responses were tallied, the grower survey indicated a crop size in excess of 218 million pounds, while the handler survey reported 170 million pounds.
Large discrepancies in crop size estimates are not uncommon. When this occurs, the Commission reviews the data in an effort to determine which estimate is the most accurate and then analyzes the second set of data to understand the reasons for the discrepancy.
Because indicators supported the 170-million-pound estimate, CAC determined the handler estimate was the most accurate figure. The Commission then analyzed the grower survey responses to identify regions reporting pounds per acre higher than the industry average and contacted growers, handler field representatives and farm managers to discuss the accuracy of the reported pounds per acre.
With new information in hand from the field discussions, the Commission reviewed previous mid-season grower crop estimates and actual year-end production records to calculate a four-year accuracy factor that could be used to revise the mid-season grower crop estimates. CAC also took a closer look at the number of acres identified as “producing” in the 2018 acreage survey in order to determine whether the impact of the July 2018 heat event — which impacted nearly all California avocado-growing regions — had been accounted for in the mid-season grower estimates. By accounting for growing regions identified as “severely heat impacted,” CAC developed a new acreage base and then used the four-year accuracy factor to recalculate the mid-season grower survey, resulting in a total crop volume of 180 million pounds – much closer to the 170 million pounds reported by the handlers.
If you would like more information about the mid-season crop estimate, please read the 2019 Mid-Season Crop Update in the Summer 2019 issue of From the Grove or contact the Commission at 949.341.1955.