A new study by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Cooperative Extension in Southern California and UC Agricultural Issues Center investigated the costs and returns of establishing and producing avocados (high-density planting) in California, San Diego County. Avocado has been one of the prominent crops produced in southern California since the early 1950s. California avocado production reached peak in 1987/88 with about 76,307 acres. San Diego had been the leading producer accounting for about 60% of the acreage. However, there has been a continuous decline of acreage and production of the crop in this county, beginning in the early 1980s. This is because of the expansion of urban development that has increased the cost of producing the crop and especially the cost of water that reached $2,000 per acre-foot in 2020 challenged the sustainability of the industry in the County. High density planting increases profitability of avocado production given there is suitable land for high-density orchard development.
The cost analysis describes production operations for avocados planted at 430 trees per acre, with an expected life span of 40 years. The study includes a detailed summary of costs and returns and a profitability analysis of gross margin, economic profit and a break-even ranging analysis table, which shows profits over a range of prices and yields.
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