With leaves withering due to unseasonal frost and giving way to brutal rays of sun, avocados grown in California are facing the brunt of climate change and farmers aren’t optimistic for the future.
Avocado consumption has increased by seven times since 2000, and with restaurants like the Avocaderia cropping up, one would think business is booming. Unfortunately, climate change is making it hard to sustain crops, leaving fruit sunburnt, trees dying from drought and farmers looking for more resilient crops to cultivate. Some farmers think the buttery stone fruit may be hard to find just 25 years from now.
The Guardian reports that this past year has proven to be difficult for farmers in California. From the lengthy drought and raging wildfires to frosts and a warmer-than-usual winter, crops are “confused,” as farmer Chris Sayer says. Along with his lemon trees, avocados are being harvested ahead of schedule, which helped lower prices earlier this month.
Sayer’s farm in Ventura, 50 miles north of Los Angeles, has lost an estimated 5% of avocados this year. According to The Guardian, avocado trees start dying when climates are as cold as 28°F and as hot as 100°F. With temperatures estimated to rise four degrees by 2050, the future of this crop may be in danger.