Agriculture Created Buffer During Thomas Fire

Southern California Thomas Fire Hurt Agriculture

By Brianne Boyett, Associate Editor

The Thomas Fire that burned through Ventura County last December led to some major agricultural losses. California Ag Today spoke with Henry Gonzales, the Agricultural Commissioner of Ventura County, about the situation.

“There were 6,603 acres of avocados and then another 1,800 acres of lemons, about another 540 acres of oranges, and another dozen crops were affected,” Gonzales said.

“One of the things that we’ve seen is that these orchards actually provided a buffer between the fire and urban areas. They really saved us quite a bit. Some of the avocado orchards experienced significant losses; the very efficient irrigation systems that we have are sadly made out of plastic, and so they melted and we’re actually looking at two different disasters,” Gonzales explained.

“We’re still suffering from the impacts and effects of the drought … so everything was very dry, and then we had the Santa Ana winds, and it really created the perfect firestorm,” Gonzales said.

The rain this last year did help, but then it created more problems.

“It did help. No doubt. We didn’t get as much rain as many other areas. In Southern California, we were very happy to get the amount of rain that we did get,” Gonzales said. “But then it created mudslides that we’re now dealing with.”

Growers Face Fire Damage on Avocado Trees

Avocado Growers Should Not Cut Down Trees With Only Fire-Damaged Canopies

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

Avocado growers should not make quick decisions on what to do with fire damage on avocado trees. There are right decisions and wrong decisions.

Wildfires in Ventura County have burned over two hundred and thirty thousand acres, and avocado growers are among those affected by the fires;  many orchards have been burned. We spoke with Ben Faber, a UC cooperative extension farm advisor in Ventura County. He told us about this devastation, and how it’s affected avocado orchards.

“I’ve been out looking at burned orchards, and it’s really too early to look. It looks worse than you see, so you see the burn canopies and it looks devastating, but they’ll come back,” Faber said. “It’s when you look at the orchard and see the green canopy and and you say, Oh gosh, I’m saved. But if you get down on your knees and you see these pustule, or boils round the base of the tree, that means the tree is gone.”

“This is tree sap underneath that’s boiled out,” Faber explained. “The cambium is damaged, and you may think, ‘Oh, everything is looking fine,’ and then you get a nice dry wind and the tree collapses all of a sudden because the can’t carry enough water to meet transpirational demand. Oftentimes, that means it was a crown fire and burned around the base of the trunk.”

“Some of the trees that looked the most damaged actually might be much better off than those showing little signs of damage. That’s why it’s important for growers to wait to assess the damage in their orchards,” he said.

In trees showing canopy burn, you’ll have to prune the tree. It’ll come back fine, according to Faber.

“What we are afraid of is that growers will respond in the wrong way. They’ll probably start cutting down trees that have lost their canopies and leave the ones that have a green canopy, and it might be the other way around,” he said. “We’re telling people, don’t do anything. Water if they need to and let nature take its course.”

Editor’s note: Photos by Ben Faber

 

HOLY GUACAMOLE! AMERICANS TO CONSUME A RECORD 240 MILLION AVOCADOS DURING BIG GAME WEEK

Source: http://www.avocadocentral.com

Over 111 million sports fans watched the Big Game last year, and nearly 64,000 sports fans will gather at the University of Phoenix Stadium on game day this year. The numbers are nothing compared to the amount of avocados – a food quickly becoming synonymous with the Big Game – Americans will consume this year. It’s estimated Americans will eat nearly 120 million pounds or 240 million fresh avocados during the week leading up to the Big Game on Feb. 1. That’s a whopping 3,785 avocados per seat in the University of Phoenix Stadium and it’s 21 percent more avocados than in 2014 – higher rates than ever before. The total amount of avocados consumed during the Big Game would be enough to fill an entire football field from end zone to end zone over 46 feet high.

While fresh avocados consumed during the Big Game are eaten in many ways, the most common is in the form of guacamole, and new research reveals that as rowdy Americans gather for the game, they try to stay well-mannered when they huddle around the bowl of dip.

To Dip, or to Spoon?

Despite the communal aspect of eating guacamole, most Americans who consume it (67 percent) use a spoon to scoop the dip from the serving bowl on to their plate before eating it, rather than dipping directly into the bowl with a piece of food. In fact, only 32 percent of consumers directly dip chips or crudités into the serving bowl. Cultural clichés may hold some truth when it comes to guacamole manners as well. Women are more likely than men to spoon onto a plate rather than directly dip (75 percent vs. 56 percent) and polite Southerners are more likely to be spoon-users than their Northern counterparts. Plus, the Northeast and the West tied (22 percent) as the regions most likely to take an “unfair share” of guacamole by scooping up as much as possible onto a food item before taking a bite.

Guacamole Etiquette

Americans aspire to a higher standard of guacamole etiquette than we actually follow. While only 67 percent of guacamole eaters use a spoon to serve themselves guacamole, 81 percent believe it’s the actually the proper way to dip.

And, yes, the dreaded double dippers are among us. Four percent admit to double-dipping the same piece of food repeatedly, and two percent believe it’s the most appropriate way to eat guacamole.

The Fight for the Last Bite

When the guacamole supply runs low, Big Game rivalry extends to the serving bowl, especially for Millennials. Sixty-three percent of guacamole eaters are comfortable being the person to take the last bite of guacamole from the serving bowl after asking if anybody else wants it. The youngest respondents, age 18-34, are most likely (24 percent) to try to be the person who gets to scrape the last bite of guacamole from the communal bowl because they want it for themselves.

No matter how you choose to dip, there’s no doubt guacamole made with Hass avocados is a staple in many Big Game celebrations. In 2014, Americans consumed 99 million pounds or approximately 198 million avocados during Big Game week. Ninety-eight percent of all avocados sold in the United States are the Hass variety – which contain naturally good fats and are cholesterol free.

Everyone can be a winner with a Nacho Guac-a-Bowl-E recipe to serve at game time.

For tips on how to select, store and ripen fresh avocados, visit http://www.avocadocentral.com/how-to/how-to-store-how-to-ripen-avocados.

34 Healthy Breakfasts for Busy Mornings

Source: Kate Morin; greatist.com 

When it comes to breakfast, the options are endless. Pancakes or waffles? Bacon and eggs? Muffin, followed by a pastry? So why limit chowing down on delicious breakfast foods to the morning hours? Here are 34 healthier snack options to keep filling those breakfast food cravings all month long.

Better Breakfast Snacks

1. Avocado Toast With Egg 

Sometimes, simple is just better. In this recipe, 2 slices of whole-grain bread, lightly toasted, topped with smashed avocado and a sprinkling of salt and pepper makes for a flavorful and rich base. Top that with two sunny-side-up eggs for a healthy dose of protein, and you’ve got a well-rounded breakfast. Stack ’em in a tupperware container for easy transport or cook the yolks a bit more and make the whole thing into a sandwich.

2. Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie 

Smoothies are a perfect on-the-go snack any time of day. Blend 1 frozen banana, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 cup almond milk, and a few ice cubes. If this is a morning snack, keep it in a tight-sealing container and throw it in a gym or work bag. For an afternoon boost, prep it the night before and freeze, remove in the morning, and it will be thawed and ready to enjoy after lunch. Tip: Add a scoop of your favorite chocolate or vanilla protein for an extra protein boost.

3. Zapped Scrambled Eggs With Veggies 

Yes, it’s possible to make really good scrambled eggs in the microwave. And it’s easy! Beat 2 eggs, throw in a microwave-safe container, add 1 handful of your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes and spinach leaves work well), and a sprinkle of cheese. Zap the mixture for 30 seconds, stir, and cook another 30 seconds, or until eggs are solid. Throw a top on the container to eat later, or store the raw mixture in a fridge until ready to heat and eat.

4. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait 

One of the easiest, healthiest, and tastiest breakfasts out there is a classic fruit and yogurt parfait. The best part? It can be made with any toppings you like. Try choosing fruits that are in season for the most flavorful options. (Try our stone fruit salad for summer, and opt for apples come fall).

5. Breakfast Burrito 

Who doesn’t love a burrito? Breakfast burritos are a great, easy snack to keep on hand. Scramble 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup black beans, 2 tablespoons salsa, and 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, and wrap in 1 small whole-wheat tortilla. Make a bunch, wrap in foil, and keep in the freezer for whenever the craving hits. Protein from the eggs and black beans keep you fuller longer, and the spicy salsa keeps things interesting.

6. Healthy Morning Glory Muffins 

An oat-based muffin packed with healthy carrots and zucchini, lightly sweetened with raisins and just a pinch of sugar makes a perfect breakfast or snack. Use a mini-muffin tin for smaller portions, and eliminate or cut back on the brown sugar or choose a healthier substitute to cut back on sugar.

7. Breakfast Quinoa Bites 

Here’s a new way to enjoy quinoa: make mini quinoa breakfast quiches! In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups cooked quinoa, 2 eggs, 1 cup your favorite veggies (spinach or zucchini work well), 1 cup shredded cheese, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Portion into a lightly-greased mini muffin tin, and bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes. These are easy to bring along and delicious to enjoy warm or cold.

8. Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie 

Here’s a simple and delicious smoothie recipe for the morning rush. Blend 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with 1 cup frozen fruit (banana and berries work very well) with 1/2 cup liquid (milk, juice, coconut water—whatever you like). Freeze overnight and thaw throughout the day to enjoy in the afternoon, or blend up in the morning.

9. Leftovers n’ Egg 

Stuck with last night’s leftovers? Place a scoop of leftover roasted veggies, potatoes, or meat in a container, top with a cracked egg, and heat in the microwave until the egg white is cooked through, 30 to 45 seconds. (Or prep in the oven.) Feeling fancy? Sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

10. Fruity Breakfast Quinoa

Cooking quinoa in milk (cow, soy, or almond) and adding some sweet spices and fruit makes for a great substitute for classic hot breakfast cereals. Plus, it’s high in protein and essential amino acids like lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Simply cook quinoa according to package instructions, but substitute milk for water, and add some cinnamon or nutmeg instead of salt and pepper. Top with fresh berries and chopped roasted nuts.

11. Zucchini Bread Oatmeal 

Take a classic baked loaf and make it into oatmeal with this recipe! Adding shredded zucchini to oatmeal is a great way to fit in an extra serving of veggies. Throw on a handful of toasted walnuts or pecans for some added crunch.

12. Quinoa Fruit Salad 

Spice up a plain old fruit cup with a scoop of quinoa. Toss the whole shebang around until the quinoa is evenly distributed through the fruit. Add a scoop of plain yogurt and a drizzle of honey for a little extra body.

13. Oatmeal Squares 

Oatmeal is a great option for a hearty snack or breakfast, but what’s the best way to make it into a more convenient and portable snack? Bake it into squares!

14. Pumpkin Oatmeal Bowl 

A heaping dollop of pumpkin puree is a great way to squeeze in an extra dose of veggies. Plus, the super-orange superfood is packed with nutrients and a healthy dose of fiber. This recipe pairs the pumpkin with quick oats, pumpkin pie spice, and almond milk for a quick and easy breakfast on-the-go.

15. Ricotta and Tomato Breakfast Sandwich 

Here’s a healthier take on the classic breakfast sandwich: Take 2 slices of a hearty whole-grain bread, spread each slice with 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Add 1-2 hearty slices of fresh beefsteak tomato (blotted with paper towel to remove excess liquid) and enjoy.

16. Savory Oatmeal With an Egg 

Try taking oatmeal to a whole new level by making it savory. Prepare as usual with milk or water, but add a pinch of salt and pepper instead of any cinnamon or sugar, and top with an over-easy or poached egg. Sprinkle with a little cheese for an extra yummy kick.

17. Overnight Oats 

This is the ultimate lazy-person breakfast. The night before, combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 a banana (mashed), 1/4 cup chopped nuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon in sealed Tupperware container. By morning, you’ll have delicious overnight oats! These can be heated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if in the mood for something warm.

18. Zucchini Muffins 

Any way that fits a serving of veggies into a delicious baked good is a winner in my book. These zucchini and banana muffins with flaxseed fit three healthier options into one easy-to-tote package.

19. Peanut Butter, Banana, and Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies 

Cookies for breakfast? Yes please! While Oreos or Chips Ahoy may not make a balanced breakfast, a homemade cookie made of banana, peanut butter, protein powder, and oats is a wholesome choice. Plus, you can pick and choose what you like to mix—go for almond butter and raisins in one batch, or peanut butter chocolate chip in another.

20. Waffle PBJ-Wich

Try this sweet take on a classic breakfast sandwich the next time eating on the go. Prepare 1 whole-grain toaster waffle and slice in half. Spread with 2 tablespoons nut butter and layer 2-3 sliced strawberries on top in place of the traditional jelly (to cut down on sugar).

21. Egg and Cheese Cups 

Fried eggs are great, but what about baking a whole egg with veggies and cheese and skipping the added oil? Try making a pan of these egg and cheese cups at the beginning of the week and bringing one along each day. (Tip: If you use the individual silicone muffin molds, it makes the egg cups even more portable for on-the-go snacking.)

22. Homemade Instant Oatmeal

For anyone with a microwave or hot water at their disposal, these customized instant oatmeal packets are fantastic to have on hand. Instead of purchasing pre-made oatmeal packets, assemble your own in Ziploc baggies using whole rolled oats, cinnamon, and mix-ins like raisins and nuts.

23. Frozen Nutty Banana

Say banan-YEAH to this healthy snack. Cut 1 firm (but ripe) banana in half and un-peal, arrange on a small baking sheet or freezer-safe plate, and spread each half with 1 tablespoon almond butter evenly (on the sides not touching the plate). Here’s the fun part: Stick whatever toppings you like on top of the almond butter—our favorites are granola, chia seeds, or flax seeds and cinnamon. Insert a popsicle stick or skewer into the cut end of each half, and freeze until solid (at least 2-3 hours).

24. Chocolate-Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Here’s one healthy way to have chocolate for breakfast: a bowlful of quinoa makes for a protein-rich filling breakfast, and the banana even adds a serving of fruit.

25. Fruit Soup

There are just two ingredients in this tasty, cool snack: Cold fresh fruit, and cold milk. Chop 1 cup of fruit of your choosing (peaches, plums, berries, and mango are delicious!) and combine in a container with 1 cup milk of choice. Keep chilled until ready to enjoy.

26. Apple Surprise 

This is a perfect pick for apple season, Cut 1 apple in half and remove the core (plus a bit of the extra flesh around the core). Drop 1 tablespoon nut butter between the two holes, and sprinkle in 1 tablespoon granola. Wrap up the whole apple in plastic wrap or foil to save for later, or enjoy as is bite-by-bite.

27. Egg Sandwich 

Who doesn’t love a classic egg sandwich? Simply sautée a hefty handful of spinach and fry 2 eggs with a dash of salt and pepper. Place on top 2 whole-wheat English muffin halves (or toast) with 1 slice of cheddar cheese. Wrap in foil so the cheese melts evenly, and enjoy whenever the craving hits!

28. PBB&C 

Say what? A PBB&C is a great twist on the classic PB&J—peanut butter, banana, and chia. Try adding this superfood twist to the classic PB sandwich with 1/2 a banana (sliced) and a sprinkle of chia, which is packed with vitamins and minerals (like six times more calcium than milk!).

 29. Berries and Oats Microwave Muffin 
Muffins from the microwave? Yep, it’s possible! Add 1/4 cup quick oats, 1 egg, a handful of berries, and a sprinkling of brown sugar to a mug and mix until evenly combined. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove to take a look, and keep cooking for 30 seconds at a time until the muffin looks firm.

30. Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins 

By this point, I think the Greatist team believes quinoa makes anything better. So, muffins? It’s a no brainer. Try these strawberry quinoa muffins for an easily-packed snack or breakfast (or after lunch treat).

31. Pumpkin and Granola Parfait 

This one’s perfect to try out as fall sets in. In your favorite small Tupperware container (with a reliable lid!), top plain Greek yogurt with canned pumpkin puree and a handful of granola, then sprinkle with cinnamon. The best part? Pumpkin is a bonafide superfood rich in beta carotene, which is essential for eye health.

32. Whole-Wheat Banana Blueberry Flax Muffins 

At 200 calories each, these hearty, wholesome muffins make for the perfect portable breakfast. Flax lends a healthy dose of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Mashed bananas (one of our favorite healthy baking substitutions) allow for a slight reduction in the added fat and sugar in this recipe, too.

33. Egg Muffins 

Finally, a muffin without all the carbs. Plus, these guys are simple to make. Beat 10 eggs, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 3 handfuls of spinach, 1 shredded zucchini, 1/2 a bell pepper (chopped), 4 slices cooked bacon or ham, chopped, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Divide egg mixture evenly in a lightly-greased muffin tin, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 F. Zap it for a few seconds in the microwave before serving.

34. Lemon Poppy Seed Protein Squares 

Here’s a healthier take on the classic lemon-poppy seed muffin. Fiber-rich oat flour is paired with vanilla protein powder for a healthy, filling base. Yogurt lends moisture and some fat, and applesauce makes a great substitute for sugar. Vanilla extract, lemon zest, and (of course) make up the rest of the fresh flavor. The best part? One bar comes in at about 54 calories and six grams of protein—much better than any muffin we’ve seen on the shelves lately.

New Program Seeks Growers to Help Curb Declining Bee Population

The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, a Pollinator Partnership initiative, is seeking 300 farmers, ranchers and foresters in California to set aside small plots of land as bee buffer zones. The soon-to-be-established honey bee forage supports pollination-reliant crops, which represent one-third of the food we eat.

“Honey bees play an integral role in the success of American agriculture,” says Laurie Adams, executive director for the Pollinator Partnership. “By fostering the health and growth of bee colonies, farmers are helping to enrich their crops and, ultimately, improve their bottom line.”

Why Bees? Why Now?

Honey bees are valuable to the nation’s crops and economics, contributing approximately $15 billion to the U.S. economy each year. Still, U.S. bees are having trouble finding food to store for winter months; 2012-2013 winter losses totaled more than 30 percent of honey bee colonies nationwide.

Specific to California’s economy agribusiness community, the state’s high-value crops requiring extensive pollination include:

  • Almonds – annual state crop value $4,347M
  • Berries – annual state crop value $2,122M
  • Avocados – annual state crop value $386M

Bee buffer zones between areas of pesticide application and sensitive species, sensitive habitats, water, and potential nectar sources, help to offset bee loss while improving the health of crops and orchards within four miles.

“We are excited to work with California farmers to improve bee habitat across the state, says Bill Lewis, president of the California State Beekeepers Association and U.S. Bee Buffer beekeeper partner. “This initiative is vital to encouraging a healthy pollinator habitat that results in a vibrant and diverse forage base for bee pollinators throughout the state, which is critically important to sustaining healthy bee colonies.”

 

 

Land owners in California willing to dedicate and maintain .25 to 3 acres – collectively impacting 6,000 acres – for an official bee buffer zone, can apply for the U.S. Bee Buffer Project. Those selected will receive free flower seed kits to plant in their buffers.

To learn more, reference the U.S. Bee Buffer Frequently Asked Questions. To review the eligibility requirements and complete participant application, visit http://beebuffer.com/.

The U.S. Bee Buffer Project is sponsored in part by Burt’s Bees®– through its non-profit organization The Greater Good Foundation – formed to help create 10,000 acres of healthy pollinator forage in the United States by 2020.

About the Pollinator Partnership

The Pollinator Partnership is a non-profit 501©3 organization—the largest organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. Without the actions of pollinators agricultural economies, our food supply, and surrounding landscapes would collapse.

The California Avocado Festival – A Green Event

The idea of the California Avocado Festival began in 1986 at a meeting between community leaders Rob Godfrey, Connie Korbel, Debbie Murphy, Fran Puccinelli, Bob Ealee and John Franklin. A brainstorming meeting was called to create an ongoing weekend event that would benefit the fundraising efforts of the local non-profit groups. It seemed the plan would also help promote Carpinteria as a Southern California weekend getaway destination and boost our local economy.

In 2013, the Festival reached its goal of Zero Waste with the exceptional help of E.J. Harrison. This is the 2nd year in a row that the California Avocado Festival can boast Zero Waste – a strong testament to E.J. Harrison’s commitment to their company motto, “Service is Everything.”

Here are some of the high standards that the California Avocado Festival holds to, allowing them to create a Green environment.

  • The Festival is a No Styrofoam Zone 
Biodiesel is used for Festival Generators 
Boast a 100% Overall Diversion Rate! (2012)
  • The Festival will be using LED lighting at their Commercial Venue to reduce power usage.
  • The Festival Honors the City’s Ordinance on Outdoor Smoking

We are one of the largest free music festivals in California with over 75 acts on four stages. Check out the Stages Page for line-up updates.

2014 FESTIVAL HOURS:

  • Friday, October 3 • 11am – 10pm
  • Saturday, October 4 • 10am – 10pm
  • Sunday, October 5 • 10am – 6pm

For Sponsorship Opportunities, please email info@avofest.com.

Total Produce Buys into California Avocado Deal

Source: Fresh Fruit Portal

Irish multinational Total Produce (T70.IR) has acquired a 45% interest in Californian avocado company Eco Farms, with options to buy further shares in the future to gain a majority holding.

The company took the opportunity to make the announcement in its interim results for the first half of 2014, although the acquisition took place after that period.

The move builds on the company’s North American operations where it holds a stake in Vancouver-based Oppenheimer Group, and more recently on a 50% purchase of Dutch soft fruit company All Seasons Fruit (ASF).

Chairman Carl McCann highlighted a “robust” performance for the half with adjusted EBITDA only 2.7% lower year-on-year at €38.1 million (US$50 million), which is notable given the previous period’s results included almost four months of sales before Total Produce divested its stake in the Capespan Group.

On a like-for-like basis, revenue was down 1.7% at €1.59 billion (US$2.09 billion).

The bulk of the company’s decline in profitability can be explained by a 14.4% drop in adjusted EBITA in the Eurozone, due mainly to a warmer spring which drove up domestic produce volumes and pushed down average prices.

Profit was up slightly for Total Produce’s Northern European and International (North America, India) businesses, and rose significantly at a rate of 30.6% in the U.K.

“The results were assisted by the 4.4% strengthening of Sterling in the period which lead to higher translated Euro amounts and the positive impact of acquisitions completed in December 2013,” McCann said.

“On a like-for-like basis excluding currency translation and acquisitions, revenue was back c.3% with decreases in average prices offset by some volume increases.”

The executive added the group continued to monitor developments relating to Russia’s ban on produce from the European Union, but expectations were that the sanctions would not materially impact the company.

“During August, in an unexpected development, Russia introduced sanctions banning the import of certain origins of fruits and vegetables, including the EU for a period of 12 months,” McCann said.

“Total Produce does not have any operations in Russia and whilst the Group’s sales to Russia are modest at less than 2% of total revenue, there may be an impact on prices due to excess supply in Europe.”

U.S.: Limoneira Raises 2014 Income Guidance

U.S. lemon and avocado business Limoneira Company (NASDAQ: LMNR) recorded a sharp year-on-year rise in lemon sales in the second quarter, and buoyant prices for the fruit have led to a substantially higher income guidance for 2014.

The company’s lemon sales increased 17% during the period to reach US $18.1 million, and costs were only slightly up by US $700,000 amid acquisitions of Associated Citrus Packers and Lemons 400.

With the much higher sales and only a marginal increase in costs, operating income surged by 35% to US $3.2 million. EBITDA was down 2.3%, but it is important to note the company gained US $3.1 million in the second quarter last year by selling stock in Calavo Growers (NASDAQ: CVGW).

“Based on lemon prices we are currently enjoying, our results for the first six months of fiscal 2014 and our positive outlook for the back half of the year, we are raising our previously issued guidance for the full year results of operations,” said chief executive officer Harold Edwards.

“Importantly, even with the well-publicized drought in California, we continue to believe that our extensive water rights, usage rights and pumping rights will provide us with adequate supplies of water as we begin our seasonally strongest quarter of the year.”

The company said that with higher lemon prices expected, it has pushed up its previous operating income guidance from US $7 million to a range of US $10.6-11.8 million.

Limoneira said this approximately represented a 100% increase over its 2013 operating income of US $5.4 million.

“The expected increase in operating income is primarily due to the additional lemon revenue generated by the acquisitions of Associated and Lemons 400 and increased lemon prices, partially offset by lower expected avocado revenue,” the company said.

“Fiscal year 2014 pre-tax earnings are anticipated to be $11.3 million to $12.4 million compared to previous guidance of approximately $8.1 million, which is similar to fiscal year 2013 pretax income.”

After hours trading was strong for the stock, with shares up 3.54% at the time of writing.

Avocado Theft Protection Critical Right Now

The Commission has received reports that avocado theft is on the rise in the southern region of California.

In one incident, nearly 5,000 pounds of avocados were stolen from Lilac Hills Ranch between February 22–24, 2014. Officials noted that it appears a fence was cut “a few days prior” to the theft and the stolen avocados were handpicked during a very short time frame.

If anyone has any information concerning the felony theft, please contact Detective Dave Brannan at 858.565.5200.

It is critical that California avocado growers take steps to prevent theft in their avocado groves. Here are a few tips:

  • Assess the security of your grove — examine fences and gates closely.
  • Post “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs to advise potential thieves you will prosecute trespassers.
  • Carefully screen job applicants and check their references.
  • Encourage farm workers to watch for unusual behavior by fellow employees and to report unescorted visitors to their employers.
  • Utilize surveillance equipment, motion detectors, audible alarms, dogs or geese to deter theft.

Post metal avocado theft signs on your property. Assessment paying California avocado growers may request these signs for their property. Simply fill out CAC’s online Avocado Theft Protection Sign Request form or download the form, and mail it to: CAC, 12 Mauchly, Suite L, Irvine, CA, 92618.

Theft-related information can be submitted to the hotline at AvoTheft@avocado.org, or by calling (949) 754-0733. It is important to provide the following information when reporting a theft:

  • your name
  • contact phone number
  • address or intersection where theft occurred
  • date of theft
  • time of theft
  • pounds of fruit stolen
  • other items taken or vandalized

The California Avocado Commission‘s Anti-Theft Reward Program provides a monetary reward, of up to $5,000, to individuals who provide information leading to the arrest/conviction of another for unlawful possession of California avocados, or for information leading to the return of stolen fruit, or for information leading to the prevention of an avocado theft in progress.

For more information regarding the Commission’s reward program, click here.