Author: Etaferahu Takele, Gary Bender and Mao Vue

There has been a growing interest of organic avocado production following consumer perceived preference for organic crops. San Diego and Riverside counties are among the top organic producing counties in California. These counties make up 62% of the organic avocado industry in California. The establishment and production costs and profitability analyses have been the fundamental tool that growers and investors use for investment analyses and decisions, conducting business transactions, and risk management strategies. In this study, we provide up to date costs of establishment and production and profitability; benchmark indicators for evaluating the viability and sustainability of organic avocado production. This study is based on assumptions of organic avocado orchard establishment and production practices that are considered typical in San Diego and Riverside counties and is based on 10 acres orchard. Data regarding production practices, inputs and prices was collected from growers, the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor, agricultural institutions, and supply and equipment dealers. While this study makes every effort to model an organic production system based on typical, real world practices, it cannot fully represent financial, agronomic, and market risks, which affect the profitability and economic viability of all organic producers.