There was a 23 % drop in Florida avocado shipments during the 2021 season, according the the USDA.
The Sunshine state totaled 1.11 million 25-pound cartons in 20. There was a 39% plunge to 1.83 million cartons in 2019. The decline in volume has corresponded with a dip in Florida avocado bearing acreage.
Florida avocado bearing acreage in 2021 was 4,400 acres, down 4% from 4,600 acres in 2020, off 27% from 6,000 acres in 2019 and 24% off from 5,800 acres from 2018.
Florida avocados are available year-round, but the heaviest volume from the state in 2021 ran from June through December.
The top shipment month for Florida avocados in 2021 was August, when shippers moved 225,200 cartons, or about 20% of the state’s total annual fresh shipments.
In 2021, August was followed in importance by July, which featured 201,600 cartons, or about 18% of annual volume. September shipments were 196,800 cartons, or about 18% of annual volume.
A crop estimate for 2022 has yet to be issued.
Brooks Tropicals LLC of Homestead, FL will see an increase in Florida avocado production because of new grafts bearing fruit.
The company has invested in recent years over $1 million in transitioning some varieties into others based on various production, harvest, and fruit characteristics. Overall, Florida avocado industry acreage has shrunk though, due to economic forces (land value) and devastation brought on by the Laurel Wilt virus.
Brooks is the second-largest importer of tropical avocados and representing about 35% of the Florida industry – combining to make Brooks Tropicals the single largest distributor of tropical avocados in North America.