Is It Safe to Eat the Avocado Seed?
We have received a lot of questions from consumers and dietitians lately asking us what we think about consuming the avocado seed/pit. So is it safe to eat the avocado seed? We don't recommend it.
While this is presently a very popular topic and there is a body of evidence looking at extracts of the avocado seed, the fact is there is not enough research to support consuming an avocado seed. The purported health benefits and risks of avocado seed intake are poorly characterized.
As stated in a 2013 research study by Pennsylvania State University, “although the currently available data is promising, for most indications, it remains very preliminary and further studies are needed” and “In addition, the safety of the various extracts of the avocado seeds must be assessed in order to more fully estimate the usefulness of this resource."
While it is not recommended that you eat the seed of the avocado, the fruit/pulp of the California Avocados is ripe with nutrition. One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz.) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a tasty choice for a nutritious and healthy diet. California Avocados are naturally sodium and cholesterol-free; a naturally nutritious superfood.
And some research papers to chew on:
Avocado (Persea americana) seed as a source of bioactive phytochemicals
Nutritional efficacy of avocado seeds
Optimization of the antioxidant and antimicrobial response of the combined effect of nisin and avocado byproducts
So, this weekend we had some hot weather and the damage from that heat is apparent in all kinds of plants. Sycamores, cottonwoods and willow in the Santa Clara River bottom look torched. Redwoods in the landscape look like a new disease has hit them.
Even old coast live oak in Ojai have been toasted. Orchards have been hit also with been hit without exception. This has been a widespread weather phenomenon like a major freeze. And the trees should be treated as if they have been freeze damaged.
So, what to do with the avocados and citrus that have been hit? Well, if it's just a slight toasting, nothing. They will grow out of it. It's a setback. The growing points, the terminal buds, have been damaged and in the case of avocados those may not flower next spring. If the damage is not extensive, the whole canopy has not been damaged, then flowering should be sufficient for a good crop next year. If the whole canopy has been hit, it's likely that flowering will be minimal next year.
If the trees have lost significant portions of the canopy, though, the heat damage is not the problem, it's the sunburn damage that is going to happen that is the problem. It's the loss of the leaves that transpire and cool the tree that lead to this kind of damage that can kill small trees and lead to significant branch loss in older trees.
The leaves act like the radiator in a car. They move water through the tree and that water movement carries off the heat that accumulates in the branches and stems. When water flow stops, the bark heats up and tissue is damaged. The worst-case scenario occurs when a “renovated” tree that has been brought down to 6 feet in January and since then there has been new growth all over the tree. The heat fries that new growth and now the whole tree structure is exposed to sunburn damage.
The branches exposed to the sun need to be protected with whitewash. The whitewash needs to be WHITE, not grey. It needs to be able to reflect the sun and prevent the surface from heating. The tops of branches and the west and south sides need to be the most protected, so it often involved hand work. And it needs to be done soon after the canopy loss. That wood heats up fast and damage occurs soon after it heats up.
So what else needs to be done? No canopy, no water loss, so it's necessary to manage the water differently. With no leaves, there is no water moving from soil through the tree, so it just sits there, and the ground stays wet. Perfect conditions for root rot.
Growers who were watering their trees knowing that a heat spell was coming, did the right thing. It probably reduced the severity of the damage, but even growers who had water on before the heat and it was running during the heat have had damage. With canopy damage and loss, applied water needs to be restricted to just enough to get tree recovery without creating a wet, soggy condition. And with tree recovery, it's going to need a continually changing irrigation schedule as new growth occurs.
So now more than ever, water to the tree's growing needs. And the normal fertilizer program needs to be adjusted. There's probably sufficient nutrients in the soil from prior fertilization that nothing new needs to be applied.
And don't' prune the trees. Leave the hanging leaves there. They will help protect the tree from sunburn, but the extent of the damage is not clear. Let the tree push new growth and that will tell you sometime in the future 3-6 months, even a year from this event, when to do significant pruning.
Phlood, Phyre, Phrost, Fytophthora and Phahrenheit continue to plague our industry. It seems like we are always coping with some natural and some unnatural issues affecting agriculture. Oh, yeah and pH.
Photo: Heat singed new avocado growth.
NASA's Maps of Global Soil Conditions
Future of Farming
Find water anywhere.
By Mary von Aue
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now using data collected from the first NASA satellite mission dedicated to measuring the water content of soils. These maps created by the space agency will be used to monitor global croplands, make commodity forecasts, and will help the USDA forecast crops globally.
The Soil Moisture Active Passive mission, or SMAP, launched in 2015 in order to map the amount of water in soils worldwide. On Friday, NASA announced that the agency is providing the mission with new tools developed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center that will better predict where there could be too much or too little moisture in the soil to sustain farming.
“There's a lot of need for understanding, monitoring and forecasting crops globally,” said John Bolten, a research scientist at Goddard. “SMAP is NASA's first satellite mission devoted to soil moisture, and this is a very straightforward approach to applying that data.” NASA presents the satellite data in maps that are rendered to resemble watercolor paintings. Soils that are wetter than normal are seen in shades of greens, while those that are drier than normal are seen in shades of browns.
Before this collaboration, the USDA had used computer models that would incorporate precipitation and temperature observations to indirectly calculate soil moisture. However, this approach was prone to error in areas that lacked high-quality, ground-based instrumentation to collect the data. Now, NASA is incorporating direct SMAP data on soil moisture into Crop Explorer, the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service website that reports on regional droughts, floods, and crop forecasts.
The SMAP viewer is still in beta but is expected to provide updated global coverage every three days once it launches. The maps will be managed for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and will provide Crop Explorer with timely updates that are essential for monitoring conditions and forecasting productivity.
This cross-agency collaboration will do more than help the USDA identify farming trends. By monitoring moisture in the soil globally, scientists can more accurately forecast conditions that could have tremendous economic and social impact.
Map created with NASA's SMAP data from May 16-18, 2018/h2>/h1>/h1>/h1>
California Avocado Society, Inc., California Avocado Commission, and University of California Cooperative Extension
California Avocado Growers Seminars Series 2018
Scheduled Dates and Topics
August Seminar Topic
South Coast Ag Fair
Join the California Avocado Society and our sponsors at this special opportunity to visit the South Coast Research and Extension Center (South Coast REC).
Come and listen to some of our avocado researches -
- Dr. Lovatt will talk on Gibberellic acid future within the avocado tree.
- Dr. Bender will discuss High-Density planning.
- Learn the UCR Research Poster Sessions arranged by Dr. Mauk and Etaferahu Takele.
- Tour rootstock/scion blocks with Dr. Mary Lu Arpaia
- View herbicide damage on avocado with Sonia Rios
Engage with vendors of various equipment and technologies for:IrrigationNutrient managementPlus, machines appropriate to avocado production.
Don't miss it! Mark the date. Lunch will be available for purchase at the site.
To help with our lunch count please sign up through this link.
Dates/Times/Locations: One site only - South Coast Research & Extension Center Conference Room, 7601 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA 92818
Wednesday, August 1, 2018, 10:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Here are some of our Vendors and Sponsors for the Ag Fair
UC to conduct ACP scouting workshops
Registration is now open for Asian citrus psyllid scouting workshops to be conducted in Fillmore and Moorpark on July 13. Intended for grove owners, managers or farm employees, the sessions will provide instruction in ACP population monitoring as a way of improving the area-wide management (AWM) strategy in Ventura County.
At each workshop, University of California research entomologist Beth Grafton-Cardwell will provide an overview of proper scouting techniques, which participants will have the opportunity to practice in blocks of trees known to host ACP. Participants are asked to bring a hand lens (a loaner hand lens will be provided if you do not have one).
The workshops are free, but participation in each is limited to 25 people and advance online registration is required.
10 a.m. to noon in Fillmore. Register at https://acp-fillmore.eventbrite.com.
1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Moorpark. Register at https://acp-moorpark.eventbrite.com.
Registered participants will receive details about the physical location of each workshop by email 48 hours before the event.
Science For Citrus Health
Interested in the research addressing Huanglongbing (HLB) disease? Check out the University of California website with the latest information. The site also has fact sheets, Powerpoint slides, and pictures that can be used for general outreach and presentation.
2018-2019 Area-wide treatments start soon for Ventura County
The next round of coordinated AWM treatments begin in mid-July, and reminders for the first ACP treatment window have been sent. If you did not receive a reminder, do not receive ACP email blasts, or need pest control/tree removal referrals, please contact your grower liaisons Sandra Zwaal and Cressida Silvers. Please remember to file Pesticide Use Reports (PURs) electronically and on a timely basis. Manually filed PURs can take months for recognition as an ACP treatment. For a no-cost CalAgPermits account to file electronically and for training, contact the Agricultural Commissioner's Office.
As of June 29, the total number of trees confirmed as infected by HLB had risen to 676. None were found in commercial groves. The HLB quarantine boundaries and the latest tally of HLB confirmations, updated weekly, is available online at https://citrusinsider.org/maps/. As confirmations increase and spread closer to commercial citrus, it is a good time to consider removing citrus trees not worth the resources required to protect them from ACP and HLB.
Meetings and resources
The Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee will meet July 11 in Visalia. Attendance is free. Here is a link to the CDFA site with agenda, venue, and webinar information: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/citruscommittee/
Feel free to contact your grower liaisons if you have questions.