Avocado Crop Estimating Process
The Avocado Crop Estimating Process (ACE) relies on five main sources of information for projecting avocado crop volume:
- Aerial acreage survey
- Grower crop estimate survey
- "Ground-truthing" field survey
- Variety distribution adjustments
- AMRIC statistics
Surveys using aerial photography to determine the amount of avocado acreage in each zip code are periodically conducted to keep abreast of changes in the industry. The aerial survey results are used as a baseline for estimating total production by zip code.
Estimate survey forms are mailed to every California avocado grower annually in September for CAC’s pre-season estimate. Historically, about 50% of all the avocado acreage is represented by responding growers. Crop estimate update forms are again mailed in January and April to allow growers to adjust their original estimate based on their current grove condition.
In addition, one of CAC's field experts "walks the groves" to verify estimates received from growers and fill in any missing estimate information required to better project the industry's crop production.
Periodically, CAC reviews the distribution of the various avocado varieties by county to ensure the accuracy of this information and its effect on compiled estimates.
Historical AMRIC statistics are used to project crop movement throughout the season.
Information generated by avocado crop estimating process
Aerial survey information provides the most accurate inventory of commercial avocado acreage by zip code. Photo interpretation and analysis identifies the following information for each zip code:
- newly planted acres
- top-worked acres
- abandoned acres
- bearing acres
- non-bearing acres
The compiled information is grouped by zip code, growing area, county and variety. Using the aerial survey acreage and the grower's estimates, the estimated crop volume by growing area is calculated through a sophisticated computer forecasting system. Market factors, weather, and grove conditions are assessed before the estimated crop volume is translated into a final crop/shipment projection.
Information received from individual growers is for CAC's use only and is kept completely confidential.