Smaller Avocados and Freeze Damage in Walnuts
Water and weather continue to be the headlines in California agriculture. Here are a few stories from around the state brought to you by the California Farm Bureau Federation.
Avocados from California are smaller this year and the seasonal harvest is expected to be down by as much as 30 percent in total pounds. According to the California Avocado Commission, that’s the result of low rainfall totals over the last few years. Another factor is Santa Ana winds that struck avocado-growing regions in January. This year, growers are more likely to fill cartons with 60 smaller avocados rather than 48 larger ones.
Wild temperature swings last fall are believed to be the cause of widespread freeze damage in California’s walnut groves. In early November, temperatures dropped from 80 degrees to below freezing in several areas. Freeze damage, observed this spring, is most severe in Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties and is also reported in Lake, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Yolo and Yuba counties. Before the freeze, walnut production had been steadily increasing.
A coalition of western farmers, ranchers, water providers and farm communities is urging the U.S. Senate to pass legislation to upgrade aging water infrastructure. The California Farm Bureau joined with more than 200 organizations in seeking more than $14 billion in water storage and conveyance projects and related construction as part of President Biden’s jobs and economic recovery plan.
[Source: California Farm Bureau Federation]