Header image
New Zealand  
line decor
line decor

Welcome to the grower website


We have been looking for a 100 or so new seedlings for a while now and have been told it may be a 2 year wait. Imagine our surprise when we stopped in for a coffee at a local Cafe and spotted a row of 50 avo seedlings !


22nd of March.


Above is a picture of some of our fruit groupings, We are thinking about having them thinned although at $1 or $2 a fruit next season it will be difficult. The photo below shows how big some of the fruit is getting so maybe we will be picking in July, not long to wait.

More photos. Click to view.


Try this method for those early dry matter tests, I recommend starting in early June and do weekly. Keep a graph of the results and weather conditions. It can be interesting. For step 1 I suggest you pick an avocado that you think the pickers would take. You will need to remove the skin, de-seed and slice as thinly as possible, you can grate. See "http://www.avocadosource.com/CAS_Yearbooks/CAS_64_1980/CAS_1980_PG_67-70.pdf" for more information. You will also see they were aiming for a 21% minimum result.

Use of a Microwave Oven to Measure Dry Matter of Wet Feeds

Dr. Karen L. Jacobsen, www.FARMLLC.org, USA cell: 706-340-0999


  1. Collect a representative sample of the feed by taking several handfuls at random sites, mixing them, and removing a sample.
  2. Place this sample on a paper plate and spread in a thin layer.
  3. Use a small scale that has a maximum capacity of 200-400 g (ideally accurate to +/- 0.1g).
  4. Either tare the scale back to zero or record the weight of the paper plate.
  5. Accurately weigh 100 grams of the feed. This is the wet weight.
  6. Place a glass of water in the back corner of the microwave (3/4 full).
  7. Repeatedly microwave the feed on the paper plate on high for 2-3 minutes each time, stirring the sample in between heatings. A paper towel under the plate can be used to absorb moisture. Discard the paper towel as the feed becomes almost dry. Decrease time to 1 minute, then 30 seconds as feed becomes almost completely dry.
  8. When the feed feels completely dry, weigh and record weight.
  9. Then heat again for 30 seconds each time until the drying does not reduce the weight. If any charring occurs, use the previous weight for calculations. This is the dry weight.
  10. To calculate the percent dry matter, divide by the dry weight by the wet weight and multiply by 100.


wet weight = 100 grams

dry weight = 35 grams

35/100 = .35 x 100 = 35%


Blimey our fruit has started to size up early, I think it may be time for our first dry matter test !

The recent brazen attempt to raise the dry matter requirement for local market avocados which has coincidentally (oh really ?) coincided with the proposed changes to the fruitfly legislation means the NZ market will be wide open to avocado imports, initially from Australia. This is something growers need to have a good think about as it will almost certainly have an impact on their returns. Who can growers rely on to look after grower interests, there isn't anyone is there, we're effectively on our own. Surely we don't have to start another Avo Action group ?


Above is a picture of some of our fruitdrop, I started to gather all of the dropped fruitlets but ran out of energy and only picked up 25%, 406. This means we have dropped approximately 1624 fruitlets and as we still have approx 1000 fruit left on the tree we have so far dropped 62%. A much greater percentage than I would have guessed.

More photos. Click to view.

Please be sure to contact the AIC about the proposed changes to the local dry matter requirement, although I emailed Glenys on the 9th of December and haven't had a reply as yet so you'll need to be patient. Hopefully this change won't be pushed through with only post harvest operators voting(were there any growers present ?), at some stage surely they must involve growers after all, we are the major and some may say only investors in this industry.

Have a look at this article from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Plant Protection and Inspection Services (PPIS), STATE OF ISRAEL, looks to me their dry matter pass for Hass is 21%.


How difficult are avos to transplant ? The pictures above and below are of 2 30+ year old avos that we moved when preparing our house sight. One was winched out, one dug and pulled out with a digger. Neither had any roots once out and they were both left lying around for a couple of weeks waiting for me to saw up for firewood. One day I noticed one of them was putting out shoots so I dug a couple of holes, rolled them down the bank into their respective holes. It's now 2 years later and one of them has fruitlets ! Love this game.


Our 2017 fruitset. Click to view.


Some of our trees have 1000's of what appear to be cukes.

The price of a 48-count case of avocados surged from around $45 to $100 in the United States, leading retailers to increase prices by more than 100%.

According to Newsweek, a small plot of avocado trees can generate up to US$500,000 a year.


Check out this article, you must be a member of LinkedIn to view.

Proposed changes to maturity requirements for 2017-18 season - It's a joke right ?

In March 2015 the AIC received a Quality Standards submission asking what the industry was doing about quality of fruit in the local market. It would be nice to know what exactly prompted this.

The following is my understanding, please let me know if I am wrong. I will be writing to Jen asking that she clarify the situation.

I would suggest that normal business practice would have been to ask the Local Market group that meet at the AIC offices to investigate and report back, but no, control was passed to the group that deals with exporting issues. The Local Market group was not informed until about a month ago - how weird is that ?

I think this whole situation is an attempt to stop exporting growers from wanting to join the early local market.

Shouldn't our industry be led by people with the growers best interests at heart, ie growers ? Can we have our AGA back, please. An avocado industry run by exporters will never be profitable for growers(in the long term), it just won't work.

Xmas Starter

Proposed changes to maturity requirements for 2017-18 season - who benefits ?

  • Packhouses - my understanding is that packhouses do not want to be packing avocados in July and August, in fact some don't/won't. Is it true that at the beginning of last season one packer had purposely picked 100 bins of early season fruit and dumped on the lucrative early season market. I guess this would drop the price and stop their growers from whinging about not being in/taking advantage of the early season prices.
  • Importers/Exporters - I hear that at least one was looking into importing avos early season. This would be very bad news for NZ growers.
  • Growers - Just kidding.

Proposed changes to maturity requirements for 2017-18 season - who doesn't benefit ?

  • Growers - the market will still be flooded by the same sub standard avos(but now for a longer period) and will also have imported avos, and maybe not only for the early season.
  • Pickers - imported avos won't need picking.
  • Small packers - see above.

Shouldn't our industry be led by people with the growers best interests at heart, ie growers ? Can we have our AGA back, please.

Proposed changes to maturity requirements for 2017-18 season

  • Why has it taken 9 months for this to be passed down to growers, this is an industry we fund. Surely growers should have been involved from day 1.
  • How much has been spent on these studies, where is the data used by Mark Loeffen.
  • We all know the problems with early season fruit, you can see it daily in the supermarkets and to make it even easier most of the fruit is labelled.
  • In supermarkets today you will see poor quality fruit, fruit quality is not just an early season problem, it is something retailers and marketers control.
  • Why are John Cotterell, Carwyn Williams, Andrew Darling, Hugh Moore, Daniel Birnie, Kate Trufitt, Mark Loeffen and Jonathan Dixon voting to change a process that works very well for growers "as is".

We have been picking at 23% for getting on for 13 years now and have never had a fruit returned.


Our 2016 flowering so far.


Retail prices in Australia click here.

April and May seem a bit bleak for avocado consumers.

How to make a living out of avocados, a rough guide(Our experience).

  • A good place to start is to stop whatever you are doing now and get reorganised.

  • Move out of the mainstream.

  • Find good long term business partners, it is important that each partner in the chain is making money, you need to be aware just how much.

  • Get all avocados returned that are not retailed, or a receipt from the oil company if sold for oil. There is no point in you being paid 10 cents a kilo for your oil grade if it is then regraded and sold in competition to your local market fruit.

  • We produce up to 500 bins of avos, having to effectively watch each avo can be time consuming but it becomes a lot easier with practice, and of course once you start making a good return it becomes easier still.

Is it time for an AGAxit ?

For years I pressed for the AIC board to be made up only of growers, no employees, directors, owners etc. of any post harvest operator. I am quite willing to now accept that it was not the correct course of action. The AIC does good work for the industry.

So yes, we do need an industry based council, made up of representatives from all parts of the NZ avocado industry, from spray contractors to exporters.

However, we also need a strong grower only council, the AGA. This should be made up of growers, and growers only.

The AIC should be funded by the 'I', that's the entire avocado industry. Not left for the growers to fund almost alone. The AGA shouldn't only be a conduit, moving grower levy's from grower to the AIC.

So, when you are about to tick the box in this years board elections ask yourself "would this person vote for a seperate AGA if the motion was put to the next agm" ? I wouldn't like to see a board dominated by post harvest operators, I thought we had moved on from those days, moved on to grower profitability.

So, you've been offered $1600 a bin for your avocados, on the trees. Very good news but there are 2 questions (or more) you may want to ask.

  1. What size are the bins ? Should be 260kgs.
  2. Will you be depositing the money into my account before you start the pick ?

Rumour has it nobody has actually received the $ offered. reasons included poor packout, etc etc.

Be on your guard, if you have pre-agreed a bin price, do not let anyone pick your fruit without the funds being in your account first. You wouldn't sell and deliver your car then wait patiently for payment, why consider it with your other assets ?


Check out this recipe.

Phytophthora ? Take a look at the Sidewinder. Click on "applications", then click on "Avocado History".

Ever wondered how many canopy hectare/acres you have ?

In the "Search For Location :" box enter your orchard street address, including New Zealand, then click your cursor on your boundaries. May take some trial and error ! Courtesy of Google. Start here.

Avocado industry profile by The New Zealand Horticutural Export Authority

Some interesting figures here, nice to see production history back to 1999, it looks like we didn't become biennial until the big crop of 2005.

I'm not sure my division is 100% correct but it looks like our FOB returns for 2010 were $23.16, 2011 $27.79 and 2012 $22.60.

Read more.

Avocado Production in China - Liu Kangde and Zhou Jiannan*

* Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Danzhou, Hainan 571737, China.

China has a great potential for avocado production development. It is estimated that China will have a population of 1.6 billion by the year 2030. It has called the attention of the Chinese government to securing food for the increasing population. Avocado fruit is very nutritious and can be eaten fresh. Avocado products will have a large market when accepted by the Chinese people.

There is a stretch of hilly land suited for avocado planting in the south of China. The tropical and subtropical land covers some 48 million ha in China, distributed in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Fujian, Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan; the land under tropical and subtropical economic crops covers only 6.385 million ha at present. There is also a vast tract of hilly land in the southwest of China, a large part of which is suited to developing tropical and subtropical economic crops such as avocado.

The avocado market has yet to be developed since very few people know the nutritional value of this fruit. In the early 1990s, avocados were shipped and marketed in big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou; however, only some large hotels with foreign cooks showed interest in this fruit. Difficult marketing has given adverse impact to the expansion of the planting area for commercial production.

Avocado has a short storage life under normal temperature. Cold storage and shipment increase cost and farmers will not take the risk of selling their avocado far away in small markets. The industrial demand is very limited and it is hard to stimulate expansion although avocado facecream and soap are produced to some extent. Avocado fruits are marketed locally at low price, discouraging farmers from planting avocado trees.

Read full story.

"A vase system that relies on light flecks will not result in optimal productivity."

Sun Access The Secret When Pruning Avocados, By Dr Mike Mickelbart - Plant Sciences Group, Lincoln University. Click for details. Published in 2004.


Fresh Plaza news.


Australian Avocado Retail Prices by City, Store and Variety. Click for details.


Hass Avocado Board, Nutritional research Program Overview. Click for details.


Click for forum