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  avocado orchard Mexico produces 900,000 to 1,000,000 tons of fruit per season, and in 2006, 150,000 tons of this quantity was exported to the USA.  
avocado in hand
  225,000 acres extend over 9 municipalities of Michoacan, from elevations of 1400 to 2200 meters, ensuring a year around supply of good quality fruit. The climate is ideal for growing of avocados, with 40-70 inches or rain, and mild to warm weather all year long.  
  Avocado trees bloom four times in Michoacan, the blooms are called: flora loca (crazy flower), aventejada (before time), temporada (normal bloom), and marcena (march bloom). Fruit from the flora loca bloom is harvested in August, and this bloom is difficult to predict, hence the name. Fruit is ready for harvest approximately one year after the bloom. The last fruit of the season is harvested in the June and July. Fruit in the lower elevations is harvested by the end of the year, yet there is plenty of fruit at 1800 meters and above which doesn’t need to be harvested until the late Spring to Summer. avocado flower  
  pruning avocados After 35 years avocado trees are so tall that the harvest is too expensive. After pruning, the trunk generate new limbs and there will be some harvestable fruit within 5 years.  
  Most packing houses use a combination of their own harvest crews with contracted independent crews. After the first few weeks of the season the (im)maturity of the fruit is not an issue, (23% solid matter is required for fruit to be exported to the USA), and the harvesters cut the fruit according to size. Once the fruit is brought to the packing house, it is analyzed for solid matter and oil content. picking avocados  
boxes of avocados
  Millions of pieces of fruit are cut, in strict adherence to the protocol which governs export of Mexican fruit to the USA. So far, no pest which threatens USA agriculture has ever been found in a commercial shipment. Orchards must be certified by APEAM (the association of the Mexican avocado growers) in order for this fruit to be exported to the USA. cut avocados  
  Each truck carrying 8 tons of fruit from the orchard to the packing house is completely covered by a tarp, and each truck’s fruit must be inspected by USDA inspectors at the packing plant. The cost of this program is substantial and is borne by APEAM. A Hass Avocado promotion fee 2.5 cents per lb. pays for advertising and promotion of Mexican hass avocados.  
  avocado sorting machine Packing house machinery is standard, so the quality that each one produces depends more on other factors, for example, growing practices and selection procedures. The grower, field buyer and packing house supervisor are the ones who determine the quality in the box of fruit. All of the Michoacan fruit is good, but like any natural product,  some pieces of fruit will be hurt by limb rub, thrips (an insect that doesn’t hurt the flesh of the fruit, but which leaves a ridge or brown scar on the surface), sunburn, mechanical damage, etc. The best boxes of fruit do not contain these injured fruit, instead it is classified as #2 quality.  
  We deal with the best packing houses in Michoacan who are the most selective in choosing fruit in the orchards and have the highest standards for grading in the packing house.