Horticulture

Frost hurts avocados

by
September 05, 2017

Andrew Crossman and his avocados at Torrumbarry.

A shortage of avocados has swept the globe — and a Torrumbarry grower is feeling the pinch.

Crossies ’Cados owner Andrew Crossman said talk of an avocado shortage was real.

‘‘Absolutely there’s a shortage. New Zealand had a very light crop and overestimated,’’ Mr Crossman said.

‘‘The crop was a lot lighter than they expected in WA and it’s been quite a good crop but overestimated tonnage in Queensland,’’ he said.

Despite northern Victoria not being the expected location of an avocado orchard, Mr Crossman said it was a growing area — and the result of harvest from last year to this year was a polar opposite.

‘‘It’s becoming more common. We had our first plantation in 2005 and we’ve certainly had challenges,’’ he said.

‘‘Last year, we didn’t lose anything but we’ve lost two thirds of our Reed crops because of frost.

‘‘It was -1.5°C this morning (Friday) so we might lose some more yet.

‘‘Our biggest factor will be flowering. It comes down to what buds and what fruit set we have. Factors like that (frost) can set you back two years.

‘‘Minimum temperatures during flowering have been too low. If we get 3°C too often we are in big trouble.

‘‘That’s the worst case scenario for northern Victoria.’’

With prices starting to push buyers away, Gen Y may now be able to use their spare change to buy a house (after suggestions the generation cannot afford a home due to their smashed avo and coffee consumption).

‘‘Wholesale we are selling to J.L. King in Bendigo and we also sell at farmers’ markets and restaurants and cafes,’’ Mr Crossman said.

‘‘Currently a wholesale tray, which are usually 5kg, are $50 for Hass avocados.

‘‘If it gets ridiculous we will up our price but we try not to fluctuate.’’

The Crossmans are set to plant 750 trees this year of Reed, Bacon and Hass varieties, in addition to growing mandarins and navel oranges.

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