Avocados – 2010/11 Season

For those of you who care, Avocado season is in full swing. For those of you who don’t care…..shame on you!!!

The 2010/11 season has been an interesting one. One that has seen heavy crops across the region due to heavy flowering and fruit set during Spring ’09. For those who don’t have much knowledge of Avocados, the trees start setting flowers during September, which then start  to open up for pollination through October and November. Weather conditions can affect fruit set, and we have seen it happen here. Cold and wet conditions can cause trees to not flower properly, with the flowers needing as much sun as possible during pollination, and in turn the colder weather can keep the bees and other insects away, which are obviously  your main sources of pollination. Avocados can also go into a bi-annual situation, which means they fruit heavier one year and light the next. That has been evident here as we have higher yields followed by lower yields the next.

This season started with a trip to the eastern states to meet merchants at the Adelaide, melbourne and Sydney markets. This was definitely a requirement as the Perth markets cannot handle the amount of fruit produced, and the east traditionally gives better returns, despite the extra freight costs.

The avocados are picked by 4 backpackers, dad and myself in the squirrel (cherry picker). This year has seen a lot of smaller fruit on the trees due to the massive fruit set, so we are currently select picking the bigger fruit, that way we can leave the smaller fruit to hopefully grow another size or two. They are then put into cool storage at the packing shed. They are generally stored at around 5 degrees. Avocados do not ripen on the tree, so it is imperative that they are stored correctly, as they need to arrive at the markets in a hard state. They ripen the fruit at the markets.

The avocados are then washed, sorted, and  graded into sizes. They are then packed into trays. The amount per tray equals 6 kilos, so the number of fruit per tray can vary from 16 to 32 pieces. The sizes mainly sought after are from 16 to 25. They are then delivered via refrigerated transport to Melbourne and Sydney. A smaller volume goes to the Canningvale Markets in Perth.

We are currently approximately 60% through our crop, and are picking about 1500 trays per week. There is no hurry at this stage as the market usually firms up through Feb and March. It is a far cry from growing vegies, when you need to be there every day of the week, irrigating, fertilising, spraying, etc. I now have time to kick back and do other important things…….like watching the cricket!!!

All in all the season has been kind, after a little nervousness with the potential of cyclone Bianca passing through last week. Next season’s fruit set is a lot lighter than this year, but could be surprising. One thing is certain, fruit size won’t be a problem next year.

Make sure you all get out there and grab an avo!!!

 

 

Mr Avocado Premium Avocados.

 

All the details you need to know!!

 

Shows fruit count per tray, the rest is self explanatory.

 


Quality fruit and presentation is the key to good sales.

 

 

 

 

They are good for you, so get eating!!!

 

 


 

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~ by Jamie Nicolaou on February 3, 2011.

5 Responses to “Avocados – 2010/11 Season”

  1. Good one Jamie, glad to hear the season is going well.

    Just about finished the mango season , my favorite fruit, but we always have a Avo or 2 on hand. I like em on toast with a bit of lemon pepper seasoning, Avo’s not mangos that is.

  2. Good to see you keeping busy Jamie. I love an avo or two as well. What’s the deal with your name though – it’s even misspelled on the address sticker, or have you been spelling it wrong on your blog all this time.

  3. nice altered avacadoscapes mate!

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