Background

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Grower Resources

Cultural Value Graph

Irrigation Information

See the PDF document below for detailed information about avocado irrigation.

Heat

In the summer months, during peak harvest times here in Southern California, the temperatures begin to climb rapidly. Most quality problems occur when harvest and hauling temperatures are too high. This is because the fruit may ripen too quickly, not ripen at all, or develop “off” flavors. Avoid harvesting during hot weather (above 90 F) if you can. When the maximum temperature forecast for the day exceeds 90 °F, hang a thermometer nearby in a shaded area of the orchard and monitor temperature during picking.

Also, it is essential to maintain moderate bin temperatures during storage and during hauling to the packinghouse in order to slow down respiration and to prevent water loss, abnormal ripening, and fruit quality loss.*

*Source: Good Agricultural Program Version 1.0 from the California Avocado Commission

Freeze

During the winter months of November, December, January and February, even California's mild climate can bring weather cold enough damage avocado trees and fruit. When a freeze occurs, avocado fruit can be salvaged if the internal and external damage is not severe. Steps to follow during a freeze event are:

Contact your West Pak Avocado field manager concerning market conditions.

Working with your field manager, determine if a salvage operation for freeze-damaged fruit makes economic sense. All fruit salvaged after a freeze must be legally mature.

The Avocado Inspection Service of California’s Department of Food and Agriculture will inspect freeze-damaged fruit and requires the dumping of avocados that do not pass inspection. The following guidelines should be used during a freeze salvage operation:

Avocados with bronze-colored skin, this is an automatic failure resulting in the dumping of the lot.

Avocados will be cut 1" below the stem end and 1" above the blossom end and be disqualified if: ten or more vascular bundles are discolored, the flesh is water-soaked or discolored or if there are any internal voids in the flesh.

During harvest, avoid fruit with brown stems. Fruit with one half inch of green stem immediately above the fruit is acceptable.

Fruit with green stems may still drop seven to ten days after the freeze. This fruit has already lost much of its storage and shipping life and should not be picked up.

Freeze-damaged fruit received by West Pak Avocado will be inspected by the state. Fruit that passes inspection will be graded, packed and accounted for using our normal procedures. Fruit that does not pass inspection must be dumped under California law.

Payment for freeze-damaged fruit will be made in the same time frame as non-freeze-damaged fruit.

Main Avocado Pests

Avocado Thrips

Avocado Thrips - Scirtothrips Perseae

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r8300311.html

Persea Mite

Persea Mite

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r8400211.html

Omnivorous Looper

Omnivorous Looper

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r8300911.html

Brown Mite

Brown Mite

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r8400111.html

Wind

Unfortunately wind damage is a reality, and as hard as we work to grow our fruit, it is hard to watch in waste away on the ground. These are almost annual occurrences that happen in the autumn and early winter months. When an event occurs, the Avocado Inspection Committee (AIC) allows all fruit that meets California Maturity Standards to be salvaged and sold if it is marketable. Fruit that has splits, gouges, or other damages that compromise the flesh are unmarketable. In the past couple of years windfall has only pertained to the Hass variety, and for the purpose of this page, it will only pertain to the hass or a hass like variety.

What needs to be done in case of a windfall:

Once wind has stopped blowing and the dangers of entering the grove have subsided. Check for downed trees and branches. Take note of not only the amount of fruit on the ground, but also of size.

Contact your field representative and determine what sizes should be picked up. This is determined by the amount of fruit already in inventory both foreign and domestic. Many times during a windfall is not economically justifiable to pick up 70’s and 84’s, due to low prices and foreign competition.

If you decide to pick up fruit that is not yet released, the fruit will be subject to testing by the AIC. One piece of fruit from each size will be tested free of charge (2 sizes lower than already released size). If you would like smaller sizes tested, the cost is $10.00 per size, and written permission for the Inspector to perform the test is required. Here’s an example. If a windfall had been declared on 12/1, only size 40’s have been released. Size 48 and size 60 will be given one test by the AIC for maturity. If you wish to pick up size 70 and size 84, then written permission will have to be given to the inspector authorizing them to conduct testing on those sizes. The cost will be $20.00 ($10.00 each size) payable to the AIC. Contact your Field Representative for further explanation if needed.

The AIC will declare the windfall and issue an end date that all fruit that is to be salvaged by. If all sizes have been released, the AIC will not declare a windfall or an end date for picking up fruit. That call is to be made by you and your Field Representative from West Pak Avocado.

Avocado Maturity Release Dates

Variety  
Size 40 48 60 70 & Smaller    
Bacon Oct 21 Nov 4 Nov 25 Dec 9    
Fuerte Oct 27 Nov 10 Dec 1 Dec 15    
Hass Nov 28 Dec 12 Jan 2 Jan 16    
Zutano Nov 16 Nov 30 Dec 21 Jan 4    
Size 28 32 36 40 48 & Smaller  
Pinkerton Nov 23 Dec 7 Dec 21 Dec 28 Jan 11  
Size 32 36 40 48 60 & Smaller  
Gwen Feb 6 Feb 20 Mar 6 Mar 20 Apr 3  
Size 32 36 40 48 60 70 & Smaller
Lamb Hass May 8 May 22 Jun 5 Jun 19 Jul 3 Jul 17