By Rick Oltman, April 5, 2019
NBC News is reporting that America could run out of Avocados within three weeks if the ports of entry from Mexico are closed! The horror!
Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world claims:
You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100 percent of the avocados in the U.S. right now. California is just starting, and they have a very small crop, but they’re not relevant right now and won’t be for another month or so.
Avocados have long been grown in California. In 1989, California supplied 90 percent of fresh avocados produced in the United States.
Avocados are mostly grown in southern California counties: Santa Barbara, Riverside and San Luis Obispo and has historically provided the bulk of avocados in the U.S. in the last 10 years producing between 75 percent to 92 percent. The other major producer is Florida, and Hawaii also has a small acreage.
Water is, of course, necessary for farmers, as I was reminded every few miles on a recent trip up and down Interstate 5, through California’s Central Valley, which used to be a breadbasket, but has recently been called a wasteland, because of the lack of water. Rainfall is one source of water, of course. This year’s rainfall was good, after several years of drought.
Another source of water is the California Delta, which swells with runoff from the snow melt from the Sierra’s and flows out San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. This year, the snowpack is 153 percent of average and is 4 times what it was last year.
All that needs to be done is to divert some of the runoff into the California Peripheral Canal and send that water south for the farmers, including the dwindling avocado farmers.
But there is a problem. Concerns over the Delta Smelt, also known as a trash fish, have led the state to reduce the water flowing to the farmers, hence the road signs along hundreds of miles of Hwy 5, calling for more water for the farmers.
Now if the government in Sacramento would release more water, California could grow more avocados and then the worry, at least where avocados are concerned, about closing the ports of entry until Mexico does its part to halt the invasion which is traveling through their country, would go away.
One certain way to convince Sacramento to release more water would be to point out that increasing avocado production would, of course, require more “migrant” workers. That will make them sit up.
That’s fine. Just make them legal migrant workers.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. [Winston Churchill.]
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