Why is the avocado crop this year so darn tiny?
Have you guys noticed that the avocado options on store shelves this year are…well…kind of pathetic? There’s a reason for all of those teeny tiny avocados.
If you’re a fan of avocados, you know that Haas is the avocado variety to buy. They’ve always been a bit smaller than their Florida cousins, but their meat is richer, sweeter, and creamier. This year’s crop of Haas avocados, though, has been even smaller than usual – many as teensy as two to three ounces! What’s going on here?
The Avocado Crop’s Growing Factors
There are several things at play with this year’s avocado crops, and I’m guessing that if you’re a regular reader around here, most of them won’t be a big surprise to you. What is a little surprising is how dramatically this combination of factors has affected the avocado crop’s size this year.
According to NPR’s The Salt, here’s what’s contributing to the teeny tiny avocado problem:
- a dry winter at the end of last year – It takes over a year for avocados to grow, so last year’s rainfall affects this year’s crop.
- bee problems – Yep, avocados – along with about 2/3 of our food supply – rely on bees to pollinate. Colony collapse disorder is partly to blame for those miniscule avocados.
- strange summer weather – This summer has been cold and overcast, and avocados need warm, sunny weather to thrive.
Some farmers are saying that all of this is adding up to avocados that are as much as 30 percent smaller than in previous growing seasons. Yikes!
“But so what?” you might be asking. “I’ll just pick up some extras when I’m whipping up a batch of guacamole!” The trouble is that smaller avocados are bad news for farmers. When you see those tiny avocados on the store shelf, you’re more likely to skip them all together unless the price is pretty low. That means less money in farmers pockets, and let’s be honest: it’s not like avocado farmers were rolling in it before.
The good news is that those small avocados are just as nutritious and tasty as their larger counterparts, and farmers are expecting the avocado crop to improve next year. We’ll have to wait and see!
Image Credit: Tiny Avocado photo via Living in Monrovia