California Heat Wave Might Cause Avocado Shortage

Looks like that guacamole is still going to cost extra for awhile.

A mid-June heat wave negatively impacted avocado farms in Southern California, leaving burnt trees and unsellable fruit. Growers reported record temperatures between 110 and 117 degrees F and 30-mile-per-hour winds, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Shriveled leaves, sunburned branches, and dropped fruit were some of the short-term consequences. For the long-term, Tom Bellamore, president of the California Avocado Commission, says, "after the heat, it takes a while for the effects to manifest themselves, so at this point, we're uncertain if there is a loss or not to next year's crop."

Despite the uncertainty, all is not lost. According to Bellamore, the California avocado industry as a whole remains strong. In the last six years three have yielded a crop value of more than $400 million, an industry high.

Jeanne Davis of Coyote Growers says, "We've been here for 25 years, and this has never happened before. There will probably be a minimal amount of avocados for next year because we think that some of the flowers didn't make it."

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