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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Foreword
 Avocado production
 Economics of avocado productio...
 Some avocado recipes
 Reference
 Back Cover






Group Title: Extension bulletin
Title: Avocado production & marketing
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 Material Information
Title: Avocado production & marketing
Series Title: Extension bulletin - United States Virgin Islands ; 4
Alternate Title: Avocado production and marketing
Physical Description: 18 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ramcharan, Chris
George, Clinton
Morris, George
Donor: unknown ( endowment ) ( endowment )
Publisher: Cooperative Extension Service, College of the Virgin Islands
Place of Publication: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Publication Date: 1983
Copyright Date: 1983
 Subjects
Subject: Avocado   ( lcsh )
Cookery (Avocado)   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 18).
General Note: "May 1983."
Statement of Responsibility: by Chris Ramcharan, Clinton George, George Morris.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00096196
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 44743440

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Foreword
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Avocado production
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Economics of avocado production
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Some avocado recipes
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Reference
        Page 18
    Back Cover
        Page 19
Full Text
Extension Bulletin No. 4
May 1983


AVOCADO
PRODUCTION
&MARKETING


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE/COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS



















AVOCADO

PRODUCTION

& MARKETING
by
Chris Ramcharan Research Horticulturist
Clinton George Extension Horticulturist
George Morris Extension Economist



EXTENSION BULLETIN NO. 4
May 1983




Copies of this bulletin available from:
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
P.O. Box L, Kingshill, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00850
Telephone: (809) 778-0246













CONTENTS
FO REW O RD.................................. Page 1
AVOCADO PRODUCTION ....................... 3
Introduction................................. 3
Origin ...................................... 3
Description ................................. 3
Cultivars ................................... 3
Soils and Climate............................. 4
Propagation ................................. 4
Planting .................................... 6
Weed Control and Cultivation................... 6
Irrigation ................................... 8
Pruning and Training ......................... 8
Fertilizers .................................. 9
Pollination .................................. 9
Diseases .................................... 10
Insects and M ites ............................ 11
Harvesting .................................. 11
Yield ........................................ 11
ECONOMICS OF AVOCADO PRODUCTION ....12
Cash Returns from Production .................. 12
Fixed Cost .................................. 12
Returns from Increased Acreage Density ......... 12
Marketing Possibilities ........................ 15
Marketing Arrangements ...................... 15
SOME AVOCADO RECIPES*.....................16
TABLES
I. Characteristics of Some Recommended Avocado
Cultivars for the Virgin Islands .............. 5
II. Classes of Irrigation Water and Permissible
Limits of Constituents ..................... 8
III. Estimated Establishment Cost Per Acre for
Avocado Production Using 48 Trees .......... 13
IV. Estimated Cost and Return Per Acre for
Avocado Using 48 Trees ................... 13
V. Estimated Establishment Cost Per Acre for
Avocado Production Using 70 Trees .......... 14
VI. Estimated Cost and Return Per Acre for
Avocado (5-6 Years Old Grafted Trees) ....... 14
VII. Payback Period from Investment ................ 15
FIGURES
1 Avocado Trees Showing Different Conformations ... 2
2 Pyriform (Pear) and Oval (Round) Shape
Avocado Fruits........................... 2
3 Wedge Grafting Avocado ...................... 7
4 Schematic Longitudinal Section of Avocado Flower 10
*Recipes tested by C.V.I. Home Economics Program and are taken from their
publication Native Recipes. Extension Bulletin No. 1.











FOREWORD


With the phasing out of the sugar cane in-
dustry as the island's major cash crop, the past
two decades have seen much effort made to di-
versify the agricultural sector of the economy
to include food crop and livestock production,
However, various internal and external factors
have hiedered this transition. Since the 1960's
when the last of the sugar cane crop was har-
vested, the people of the Virgin Islands have
attempted to develop an appropriate substitute
to replace this sugar industry or at least to in-
crease self-sufficiency in food production. The
people's faith in the basic role which agricul-
ture can play in the overall development of our
community has been the main contributing fac-
tor in rekindling the effort to increase local
food production.
Water continues to be the major constraint of
agricultural production. The other is unavail-
ability of land at affordable prices. However, re-
cent action by the government to make land and
other incentives available to the prospective
farmers has helped renew hope for expanding
the agriculture industry of the islands.
For agriculture to be acceptable, it must be
both productive and a preserver of our natural
resources. The Cooperative Extension Service
with its research capability can help our


farmers achieve both of these objectives. To
meet the various needs of our part-time and
commercial farmers, the Extension Service has
published many fact sheets and farmers
bulletins. This publication. Avocado Production
and Marketing falls in the latter category.
This bulletin covers the entire spectrum of
production and marketing of avocados. It is
written by a team of specialists who possess an
excellent background in their areas of exper-
tise. I am very pleased that these three capable
scientists have joined together to compile this
package of information which is so vital to our
farming community.
Avocado is a popular tropical fruit with
great potential for expansion in the Virgin
Islands. The climate of the three islands can
profitably support avocado orchards. I urge all
the Virgin Islands farmers and gardeners to
use the information provided in this bulletin.
We welcome any comment you feel might assist
us in increasing local food production.




S. Pdda, Director
Land Grant Programs














FIGURE 1.










Avocado trees showing
different conformations
(a) Low, symmetrical:
(b) Low, spreading;
(c) Large, spreading;
(d) Tall. upright.


a d


b c


FIGURE 2.

Representative of
pyriform shaped
fruit is "Lula" on
the left; "Booth
7" on the right
has a rounded
shape.











AVOCADO PRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION


Half an avocado and two slices of bread is to
many people in the Caribbean a square meal.
Although many North Americans consider the
avocado an exotic fruit, here in the Virgin
Islanm it is a popular fresh fruit. It is used to
add color, flavor and nutritional appeal to the
salads, sandwiches, and many home recipes.
The avocado is rich in fruit oil which is
relatively unsaturated so that partial substitu-
tion of avocado for saturated fat may have a
favorable effect in reducing cholesterol level of
the blood. The pulp of the avocado contains one
to two percent protein, 10 to 17 percent fat. 1.7
percent total sugar and up to 80 percent water.
It also contains moderate levels of iron and
vitamins A, B. C. D. E. and K. The meals men-


tioned above, therefore, are more nutritious
than they first appear.
There are many soil-related and climatic fac-
tors in the Virgin Islands which make growing
avocados a somewhat risky business. The year-
ly occurrence of strong winds, unevenly
distributed rainfall, rocky shallow calcareous
soils, and scarcity of good quality irrigation
water are some of these factors. However,
avocados are always in demand in the Virgin
Islands and command a ready sale. Local pro-
duction comprises a small fraction of the total
supply, most of which is imported from
neighboring islands, and from as far away as
Florida.


ORIGIN


The avocado originated in Guatemala and
Mexico, but it is now grown throughout the sub-
tropical and tropical world, including the
Virgin Islands. The word avocado comes from
the Aztec word "Ahuacatl." The Spanish
"abogado." and the French "avocat," and


English avocado are all apparently attempts to
phonetically reproduce the Aztec name. The
"Alligator Pear" name originated because the
skin texture of some varieties was equated
with that of the alligator.


DESCRIPTION


The Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) belongs
to the family Lauraceae of which other well
known members include cinnamon, camphor,
and the bay tree. Seedling avocados grow to a
height of 50-60 feet, although budded trees are
considerably shorter. Mature tree canopy
ranges from small and symmetrical to tall,


upright and asymmetrical (Figure 1). Leaves
are simple, elliptical to oblong shaped, and
flowers are small greenish-yellow produced
abundantly in loose axillary racemes. The fruit
is a berry, pyriform to round or oval in shape,
and has a single seed with thick fleshy pulp
(Figure 2).


CULTIVARS


The avocado has been divided into three hor-
ticultural groups or 'races': The West Indian,
Guatemalan, and Mexican. These (races) in-
clude hundreds of avocado cultivars and classi-
fication is based on several factors including
fruit size, shape and quality, season of maturity.
and altitude at which plants grow best.
The West Indian race is best adapted to low-
land tropical conditions-from sea level to 2.500
feet. It is more tolerant of high temperature
and humidity, soil salinity, high soil pH, and
diseases such as anthracnose. cercospora leaf


spot, and scab, than the other two races.
Tree and fruit characteristics of the West In-
dian race are similar to those of the Guate-
malan, but the fruit is generally lower in oil and
ripens 5 to 8 months after blossoming. The
foliage is slightly lighter in color than the
Guatemalan, and is not anise-scented. Fruits are
variable in form and size, the skin is thin-
rarely thicker than 1/16"-and soft and pliable.
The Mexican race originated in highland
areas, and is well adapted to cool conditions in
the tropics and to subtropical areas with a














Mediterranean type climate. It is the most cold-
hardy of the races of avocado, but is poorly
adapted to conditions of high humidity and
temperature, and to fungal diseases which ac-
company such a climate. It is intolerant of
calcareous soils and high soil salinity. The
leaves are anise-scented and fruits are smaller
than the other two races. The fruits are smooth
and thin-skinned and ripen 6 to 8 months after
blossoming. The flavor of its fruits may be good.
but their small size and large seed make them
undesirable for market.
The Guatemalan race of avocado is inter-
mediate between the West Indian and the Mex-
ican races in adaptation to soil and climate
conditions. The foliage is darker green in color
than the West Indian race, and when crushed
is not anise-scented as in the Mexican. The
fruit skin is woody and thick (1/16" to 1/8"). In
some cultivated cultivars the skin is scarcely
thicker than the West Indian race, but is rarely
soft and pliable. The seed is comparatively
smooth and the seed coat is thin and adheres
closely to the seed. The seed is rarely loose in
its cavity within the fruit. The fruit ripens 9 to
12 months after blossoming.
The races of avocado hybridize freely, and


many of the leading commercial cultivars are
hybrids between members of these races. In
general, the West Indian and Guatemalan
races and crosses between them are more
adapted to lowland and middle elevation
tropical conditions. Pollock. for example, a
large early fruiting cultivar, belongs to the
West Indian race and is a popular cultivar in
the Caribbean.
Introduction and selection of avocado
cultivars were done by the USDA in St. Croix
during the 1950's. Their objectives were tp
select better quality cultivars. extend the
harvest season, and to encourage more com-
mercial plantings. Similar studies on the sur-
viving cultivars of the original orchard are now
being carried out by the College of the Virgin
Islands Agricultural Experiment Station.
Table 1 lists characteristics of some of the
recommended cultivars for the Virgin Islands.
In the Virgin Islands, as in all other Caribbean
islands, there are also many avocados grown
from seedling trees with excellent fruit charac-
teristics. Therefore, there is a continuing need
to select and propagate some of these superior
local types.


SOILS AND CLIMATE


Although the avocado grows on a wide range
of soils, it does best on deep, well drained fer-
tile soils of medium texture, with a pH range of
5.5 to 6.5. It prefers a relatively dry climate
with an annual rainfall of 50 inches. However,
it will thrive under wide rainfall conditions,
provided that the distribution is even and the
soil is well drained. The plant does not tolerate
severe dry seasons, therefore irrigation is
necessary under such conditions. It will not
thrive on soils with poor drainage or heavy
clays, and is short-lived where the water table
is less than 3 feet. Rock layers within 3 feet of


the soil surface also impede the growth of the
avocado tree and limestone deposits reduce
growth and induce leaf chlorosis. Since many
of the soils in St. Croix are shallow with an
underlying layer of limestone, special care
should be taken in choosing a planting site for
avocado. Also with the high pH of some local
soils, most trees should be treated with
chelated minor elements for best growth and
performance (see Fertilizers). In St. Croix new
plantings should preferably be located on light
soils or rocky slopes where drainage is likely to
be adequate.


PROPAGATION


Avocado varieties do not come true from seed
and must be propagated vegetatively. Budding,
wedge, and side-veneer grafting are methods
used to propagate selected avocado cultivars
(see Gardeners Factsheets 14, 15). However.


propagating one's own avocado tree does re-
quire some skill and experience.
In budding, a small amount of scion material
is used, the chances of the scion drying out are
less, and the operation is relatively simple. The













TABLE I.
Characteristics of Some Recommended Avocado Cultivars for the Virgin Islands


SEASON OF FLOWER FRUIT PRODUC- RECOMMENDED
CULTIVAR RACE' MATURITY TYPE SIZE (oN) TIONI USE'


TREE
HABIT


FRUIT CHARACTERISTICS


WI July-Sept.


B 18-40


Small Oblong-pyriform shape, thin
Spreading smooth medium green skin.
thick dark yellow flesh of good
quality. Large loose seed.


Simmonds WI July-Sept. A 16-34


C,H Medium to
large.
spreading


Pyriform shape, slightly flat-
tened on one side. very thin
skin, medium green, thick
medium yellow flesh of good
quality, medium-sized seed
tight in cavity.


Melendez-2 GxWI Nov.-Jan.

Semi] 43 GxWI Nov.-Jan.

Semil 34 GxW1 Nov.-Feb.



Choquette GxWI Nov.-Feb.


B 16-24

B 20-30

A 20-35



A 24-40


H,C Large Oblong shape with a neck;
spreading seed large.
H.C Large Elliptic (Egg shape); medium
spreading sized seed.
H,C Large Pyriform shape; relatively
spreading thick pale-yellow flesh with
excellent quality. Small seed.
tight in the seed cavity.

H,C Large Oval shape: buttery yellow
spreading flesh of excellent quality.
Medium-sized seed. fairly tight
in seed cavity.


Nov.-Mar. A 16-26


H Medium-
sized
spreading


Pear to ovoid shaped, green
brittle woody skin. fairly thick
light yellow flesh of very good
quality. Medium-sized seed in
tight cavity.


GxWI Nov.-Mar.



GxWI Dec.-Mar.


B 9-28



B 10-20


GxM Dec.-Mar. A 14-24


GxW1 Dec.-Mar.


B 20-30


C.H Large. Rounded obovate. thick woody
spreading green skin, thick flesh of fair
quality, medium-sized seed in
tight cavity.

C.H Large. Rounded obovate shape, thick
spreading medium green skin, thick light
yellow flesh of fairly good
quality, medium large seed
tight in cavity.

C Tall, Pyriform. sometimes with
upright neck, smooth light green skin.


C,H Medium-
sized.
spreading


Pear shaped with distinct
neck, thin leathery green skin
peels easily, thick medium
yellow flesh of very good
quality, medium-sized seed in
tight cavity.


GxWl Jan.-Mar.


A 12-18


H Tall, Pear shaped, green brittle
upright woody skin. thin light yellow
flesh of very good quality.
large seed tight in cavity.


1. WI: West Indian. G: Guatemalan. M: Mexican
2- L: Light, M: Moderate. H: Heavy
3- H: Home, C: Commercial


Pollock


Utado


Booth 8



Booth 7




Lula

Hal


Taylor














inverted 'T' is used for budding. which should
be done as soon as the seedling stock plant is 8
to 12 inches high.
Best results have been obtained in the Virgin
Islands with the wedge graft (Figure 3) using
stock seedlings 2-4 weeks after germination.
Freshly cut scions from terminal growth con-
taining plump buds and of the same diameter
as the seedlings being grafted are preferred.
The top of the rootstock is cut off and discarded
3-5 inches above soil level, and the stock is then
split 1 /2-2 inches. The scion is trimmed into a
2-sided wedge with long tapering cuts about
equal in length to wedge in the rootstock. The
scion is then placed into the wedge in the stock
and the graft is wrapped securely, leaving the
terminal exposed. With the use of these young
succulent seedlings, better than 90 percent
success can be obtained. Side-veneer grafting
can be performed with older seedlings.
Cut surfaces of the avocado plant are very
susceptible to infection, thus budding and


grafting operations should be carried out
under very aseptic (sterile) conditions. The
scion material should be well protected to pre-
vent drying out. Since the West Indian
cultivars are more tolerant of high pH soils,
vigorous large seeded seedlings of this race are
recommended for use as stock plant for pro-
pagation in areas such as the Virgin Islands.
The seed from a fresh avocado will germinate
within a few weeks. Germination may be
enhanced by removing the seed coat or by cut-
ting off the top half inch of the pointed end of
the seed. The seed is planted pointed end up to
about half its depth.
Established avocado trees of almost any size
can be top-worked, or grafted to change
cultivars. If the tree is vigorous and healthy, it
may be cut off just above ground level, the
wound painted, and a side-veneer or wedge
graft inserted in a new sprout that will grow
out. Follow-up care is important; scions should
be shaded and tied to prevent wind damage.


PLANTING


Like any other tree crop, avocados occupy
the ground for a long time so that every effort
should be made to lay out and prepare the
fields properly before planting large areas.
The land should be ploughed and harrowed
before laying out cambered beds or tree rows.
If possible, organic matter dressings should be
turned in while the soil is being prepared. In
high rainfall areas cambered beds and drains
must be made to remove surplus water. On
sloping land. contour drains should be put in.
The recommended spacing for grafted avo-
cados is 25 to 30 feet (70 to 48 trees/acre,
respectively) apart, depending on expected
size of the mature tree. Trees planted too close
eventually crowd each other, resulting not only
in lower yields. but also in more expensive
harvesting since most fruit is produced in the
upper half of trees.


The planting hole should be as deep as the
root ball and about 6 to 8 inches wider. Well-
rotted manure or top soil should be mixed with
the soil at each planting site. The young plant is
placed in the ground so that the top of the root
ball is level with the soil surface, and the sides
backfilled with top soil and firmly tapped. A big
mound is not needed for planting, but the soil
level should be slightly raised to ensure that
water does not collect around the plant. Care
should always be taken to ensure that the
graft-union is well above the soil line. Water
immediately after planting to provide adequate
moisture to the roots and to eliminate air
pockets. During the rainy season especially, it
is very important to keep water from accumu-
lating around the young plant, since this may
induce root rot (see Diseases).


WEED CONTROL AND CULTIVATION


Avocado trees are shallow-rooted and in
areas of limited soil depth weed control is im-
portant particularly during the dry months of
the year. Cultivation by disking may be harmful
since many roots near the soil surface may be
damaged. Frequent mowing or cutlassing is


perhaps the best means of weed control. The
use of herbicides should be avoided around
trees in their first year's growth.
The most economical method for weed con-
trol in the first three to four years in an
avocado grove is by intercropping, provided












FIGURE 3.


Wedge Grafting Avocado:
(a) Grafting material
(b) Prepared scion
(c) Prepared stock
(d) Insertion of scion
into stock
(e) Wrapping graft














that the intercrops are not allowed to crowd
the young plants. In older orchards where the
trees shade the ground, weeds are reduced
considerably and very little mowing may be
necessary. Chemical weed control with contact
herbicides such as weed oil or Paraquat may


be more feasible and economical in this situa-
tion. particularly where mowing is prohibited
by steep terrain. These chemicals must be used
with extreme caution, as with all other agri-
cultural chemicals.


IRRIGATION


Avocado trees require more frequent irriga-
tion than many other fruit trees. Young trees,
particularly newly planted ones, need moist
soil for vigorous growth. However, the soil
should not be allowed to become too wet or
saturated. Maintaining adequate soil moisture
around older trees helps prevent excessive
fruit fall during hot dry periods. The salt con-


tent of the irrigation water (see Table II) is
critical for many fruit trees. Avocados are very
sensitive to high salt water and can tolerate no
more than 300 ppm of chlorides in the irriga-
tion water. Total salinity does not appear to be
as important as accumulation of individual ions
such as chloride (Cl -) and sodium (Na +).


TABLE II.
Classes of Irrigation Water and Permissible Limits of Constituents
Electrical Total Sodium
Class of Water Conductance Dissolved Percent of Boron
EC x 10- Salts Total Salts ppm
at 250 ppm
1. Excellent Less than 25 175 20 .33
2. Good 25-75 175-525 20-40 .33 .67
3. Permissible 75-200 525-1400 40-60 .67 1.00
4. Doubtful 200-300 1400-2100 6040 1.00 1.25
5. Unsuitable More than 300 2100 80 1.25
Source: lJ.V. Wilcox. 1948. The Quality of Water for lrrigatioon Use. USDA Tech. Bull. 962:p.27.


PRUNING AND TRAINING


For most avocado cultivars, very little prun-
ing is required in the first few years of the
young plant. However, for upright growing
types such as Booth 7 and Taylor, early train-
ing is required. Terminal shoots should be
pinched after each flush to promote lateral
growth. Such pinching is necessary beginning
the second growing season and continues until
the tree is properly shaped. This helps give the
tree a better, stronger spread. Tree height is
therefore restricted without loss of growth and
production, and the fruit bearing area main-
tained within reach. If upright growing
avocado trees are not trained early, they tend
to grow too high. After 6 to 8 years, most fruits
are produced in the tree's upper half, making
picking difficult and expensive. Successful top-


ping to reduce height after 6-8 years is not
possible without greatly reducing future yields
and increasing limb breakage.
In the spreading types of avocados, it is
desirable to cut back the top of the tree occa-
sionally after several years of production. This
also makes spraying and harvesting simpler
and lessens storm damage. Such pruning
should be done as soon as possible after
harvesting. For low bearing trees, it is not
necessary to prune low branches to prevent
fruits from touching the ground, although prop-
ping of heavy fruiting branches may be needed
to avoid breakage.
Avocados are particularly susceptible to in-
fection. Pruning, and all other cuts, should be
treated with a protective-type pruning paint.












FERTI
Generally the major element composition of
fertilizers used on avocado should not be high-
er than 10% (see Gardeners Factsheet #16).
This is a safeguard against 'salt burning' since
avocados, except when planted in ditched-
groves, have the great majority of their roots in
the top eight inches of soil. This is particularly
applicable in some areas of St. Croix where the
top soil is shallow with an underlying caliche
layer. Young trees are easily injured by ex-
cessive fertilizer applications and leaf burn or
defoliation and dieback may result.
Nitrogen and potassium are of major signifi-
cance in avocado nutrition, but nitrogen is
more likely to become deficient than potassium
in areas where supplemental fertilization is not
used. Phosphorus is essential for young
vigorous plants, but its relative importance
declines as the tree growth rate slows down.
Phosphorus in calcareous soils tends to ac-
cumulate, becoming available to the plant very
slowly but apparently in adequate amounts.
Therefore, the amount of phosphorus needed
for avocado trees in production is relatively
small.
A general fertilizer recommendation would
be 1/ lb of 10-10-10 applied three times per
year during the first year's growth. This should
be increased gradually to 1 lb per tree in subse-
quent years. Extreme care must be taken in
areas where shallow rooting occurs and to app-
ly fertilizer evenly to about a foot beyond the
dripline area of the tree. For bearing trees, fer-
tilizers containing reduced phosphorus such as
10-4-10 are more suitable. Maximum applica-
tion should be 4 to 5 lbs per tree per year in 2
or 3 split applications. Chloride-containing fer-
tilizers such as Potassium Chloride are con-
sidered unsuitable for avocados. Sulphate fer-
tilizers, such as Ammonium, Potassium and
Iron Sulphate should be used as they help in
reducing the pH of the soil. It is highly ad-


LIZERS
visable that soil and/or tissue analysis be taken
before exact fertilizer recommendations can
be made (see Gardeners Factsheet #25).
Among the micro-nutrients, zinc and iron are
critical since the avocado is very susceptible to
their deficiency. The ideal soil pH for avocado
trees is 5.5 to 6.5. Trees growing in soils with
pH level exceeding 7.0, as occurs in many
areas of the Virgin Islands, will become defi-
cient in minor elements such as iron, zinc and
manganese (see Factsheet #16). In such areas,
it is therefore advisable to apply the chelates of
iron (preferably Fe 138), zinc. and manganese
at the recommended rates even before defici-
ency symptoms appear. Slow-to-start plants
may also respond well to foliar sprays of these
micro-elements.
Excess of salts such as chlorides and sodium
usually occurs in dry areas where there is insuf-
ficient rainfall for leaching and where the ir-
rigation water may also contain considerable
amounts of salts. The reason that avocados can-
not tolerate more than 300 ppm of chloride and
sodium is that the plants tend to absorb and ac-
cumulate these salts. Damage symptoms are tip
and marginal burns of older leaves, ultimately
causing defoliation. (This must not be confused
with early stages of root rot which exhibit quite
similar symptoms). Sodium toxicity symptoms
are interveinal leaf burn compounded with twig
dieback in extreme situations. Extreme care
must be taken when watering avocado plants
with potable or well water in the Virgin Islands.
Recent work in other dry areas has indicated
that of the three races, the West Indian
avocados are more tolerant to the toxicity of
salts and to iron chlorosis. Consequently, stock
seedlings of West Indian cultivars should be
used in the Virgin Islands and other similar
areas where the above soil and water problems
occur.


POLLINATION


The number of fruits which set and mature is
small relative to the number of flowers pro-
duced by an avocado tree. Cultivars also differ
in productivity and in regularity of bearing,
some producing a large crop only every other
year.


The avocado flower is bisexual, having both
male and female organs. However, the flower
performs in such a way that self-pollination is
highly unlikely within a given tree or even a
given cultivar. This is because each flower
opens twice and is closed in between; the first














time it functions as a female, the second time as
a male (Figure 4).
Nearly all avocado cultivars (and seedlings)
fall clearly into 1 of 2 contrasted categories
conventional designated A and B. A-type
cultivars have their first or female opening in
the morning. The second or male opening is the
afternoon of the following day; the lapse is
about 34 hours. B-type cultivars first open in
the afternoon. The second opening is the
following morning; the lapse is about 24 hours.
Therefore, every morning A-pistils can be fer-
tilized by B-pollen, while during afternoons
B-pistils are ready to receive A-pollen. For good
production in large stands of avocados, con-




DISEASE S
Avocado Root Rot (Phytophthora cinnamomi)
Avocado root rot is a serious fungus disease
of avocado in areas with poorly drained soils or
a high water table. Leaves become pale green,
wilted and branches may die back. A new sys-
temic fungicide still being tested experimentally
seems to control this disease by killing the
organism on the tree. This treatment is mainly
for non-fruiting trees. For bearing trees, fruits
must be discarded within 12 months after treat-
ment. The best preventive measure is to plant in
well-drained sites.
Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporoides
Penz.)
Anthracnose is commonly found on maturing
avocado fruit and is the most frequently ob-
served rot of avocados in the market. The first
sign of the disease is small light brown to black
nearly circular discolorations on the skin of the
fruit. As the fruit matures the spots enlarge and
the fungus enters the flesh of the fruit causing
decay. Anthracnose can be controlled
by sprays of benomyl or copper fungicides.
Avocado Scab (Sphaceloma perseae Jenk.)
The disease occurs on leaves as purplish to
dark brown spots visible on both sides of the
leaf. The centers of the spots may fall out, leav-
ing small irregular holes. On the fruits, spots are
raised, dark brown to purplish-brown and cor-
ky. Scab disease is confined to the outer fruit
surface and the flesh is not affected. However.
the disease reduces the marketability of fruits
and scab-infected fruits are also more suscepti-


sideration should therefore be given not only to
planting early, mid-season, and late maturing
cultivars, but also to the inclusion of cultivars
of different flower types that bloom during the
same season.
Wind alone cannot be relied upon to trans-
port pollen because avocado pollen is relatively
heavy and drops to the ground. Several con-
clusive studies have shown the need for the
presence of relatively large insects to obtain
regular fruit set. The honey bee is probably the
chief pollinator but wasps and flies may play
an important role. It is very important,
therefore, to reduce spraying when pollinators
are active.


Schematic longitudinal section of avocado flower.
(a) Female stage, with stigma receptive, but stamens
bent outward and anthers not dehisced. (b) Male
stage, with stigma no longer receptive, but stamens
upright and anthers dehisced. (Reproduced from
McGregor. S.E. 1976. Insect pollination of cultivated
crop plants. U.S.D.A. Agr. Hdbk. 496. p.95).
ble to anthracnose which can increase prehar-
vest fruit drop. Cultivars vary in susceptibility
to scab. Generally, the West Indian x Guate-
malan hybrids such as Booth 7 and 8 are moder-
ately susceptible, and the West Indian cultivars
such as Pollock and Simmonds are least suscep-
tible. Scab is controlled with monthly sprays of
finely divided copper or Benlate. A sticker solu-
tion should be added to the spray for more effec-
tive coverage.


FIGURE 4.













INSECTS AND MITES


Many insect pests attack avocados but they
do not limit fruit production significantly. In-
sect infestations are not predictable and con-
trol measures are justified only when large
populations build up. The most important pests
of avocado in the Virgin Islands are mites,
scales, stem borers, and thrips. The avocado
rust mite and scale insects can sometimes build
up to large proportions. Keeping trees in good
healthy condition can very often be sufficient
to offset these pests. For young trees sulphur or
Malathion can be used to control mites, and
Malathion or Diazinon with or without oil for
scales and thrips. Care must be taken to see
that oil sprays are not used with sulphur or ap-
plied to trees that have recently been treated
with sulphur. Termites can often attack dead-


wood in trees and may penetrate to the heart-
wood. They should be controlled at an early
stage by spray application of Diazinon into the
nest after it is chopped open. The adult weevil
of the sugar cane root stalk borer (Diaprepes
abbreviatus) is sometimes found feeding on
leaves and roots. The grub may feed on the
roots, especially in potted seedlings. Sevin can
be used to control the weevil adults, and
Diazinon the grubs, but attacks are seldom of
sufficient severity to warrant control measures
and Sevin is extremely toxic to pollinating bees.
Further information on diseases and pests and
their control measures can be obtained from
the Cooperative Extension Service Pest and
Pesticide Management Program.


HARVESTING


Avocados do not ripen on the tree and fruits
picked when immature are of inferior quality.
Some experience is required to determine when
an avocado is sufficiently mature for har-
vesting. Generally the skin color becomes more
yellowish-green and the surface shine becomes
dull in appearance. In certain areas of the
tropics, fruit maturity is determined by weight
and diameter. Recent research at the CVI
Agricultural Experiment Station involves detec-
ting the fruit maturity and subsequent harvest
dates by employing an ethylene gas detector.
This method has been fully developed for
temperate fruits such as apples and pears, and
similar technology is now being adapted for
some tropical fruits including the avocado.
Usually a quick twist will detach mature


fruits and the stem can then be clipped to give a
clean cut. Fruits should always be hand picked
and never knocked off the tree to the ground.
Picking poles with bags attached to their ends or
ladders can be used for harvesting fruits out of
arm's reach. Of all production practices,
harvesting is the single most expensive opera-
tion and requires labor of certain ability and ex-
perience.
Field containers should be of 40 lb capacity
and market containers no more than 25 lb capa-
city. They should be padded so as to reduce
squeezing and bouncing of fruits. Avocado ripen
best at about 600 F to 750 F. Cold storage delays
ripening and avocados can be cold-stored at no
lower than 450 F for a month or two.


YIELD


Avocado yields tend to be irregular from year
to year. With proper management, grafted trees
should start bearing about the third or fourth
year. reaching their maximum potential be-
tween 13-15 years, with an average production


of 5-6 bushels (250-300 Ibs) per fruit tree each
year. At this rate an average annual production
of 6.5 and 9.5 tons per acre (48 and 70 trees/
acre, respectively) could be anticipated.












ECONOMICS OF AVOCADO PRODUCTION


Like most fruit crop production, avocado car-
ries with it a heavy initial investment in both the
establishment and maintenance of the fruit or-
chard. Profitable returns from avocado produc-
tion depend to a considerable extent on its an-
nual yield per acre. However, since yields of
commercial significance would not be realized
in the first four years, intercropping is advisable
as a means of securing a cash flow.
The density of trees per acre is a significant
factor influencing high yields as well as higher
returns per acre during the early years of pro-
duction (Tables IV and VI). Table III depicts cost
set at $785.04 (48 trees/acre). This figure was
calculated on the basis of all the necessary



CASH RETURNS
Variable cost in Table IV [the cost which oc-
curs with the onset of production) tends to be
quite low ($474.63) when compared with income
generated from this expenditure. Returns above
variable cost were estimated at $3,125.37 with
the highest cost component being that of labor.


recommended inputs except water. The table
further suggests that the highest component of
the initial investment is that of the young grafted
plants and labor. The yield in Table IV shows an
average of 7,200 lbs of avocado per acre. An
average wholesale price of 50C per lb was used,
thus a gross receipt of $3,600.00 per acre was
realized.
During the maintenance of the orchard, signi-
ficant increases in cost over the five-year period
only occurred as a result of increases in fer-
tilizer usage. These increases caused main-
tenance cost to rise in the second, third and
fourth year of production.




FROM PRODUCTION
Irrigation was introduced in the year after
establishment as a repair expense. However,
water requirement was not included due to the
fact that annual quantities per tree were not
determined.


FIXED COST


In most production operations a fixed cost
occurs during the short run as a result of pro-
ducers' inability to expand their operation dur-
ing this period. Therefore, some costs are con-
sidered fixed irrespective of production.
With respect to fixed cost as stated in Tables
IV and VI, equipment was assumed as a basket
of items containing shovel, hoe, fork, rake and


hole digger. These items were then depreciated
in order to arrive at an annual depreciation
cost. The item stated as "other" under fixed
cost was calculated as spraying equipment. By
subtracting total cost from gross receipt in
Table IV, net returns per acre were estimated
at $2,860.54.


RETURNS


FROM INCREASED ACREAGE


DENSITY


Table V illustrates the density of avocado
plants per acre when planted with 70 trees, at
a unit cost of $10.00 per tree. The value of total
trees planted was calculated at $700.00 per
acre, compared to $480.00 in the less densely
planted acreage of 48 trees. Another high com-
ponent cost indicated in Table V was that of
labor, which was calculated at $126.48 per
acre. (This did not include pruning.)
The reduction in these components may be
possible if plants were to be grafted locally as
opposed to importing grafted plants. It may
also be possible to reduce labor if mechanical
hole diggers are available for rent. Total


establishment cost was set at $1,083.36 per
acre compared to the less densely planted
acreage of 48 trees with total establishment
cost of $785.04 as shown in Table III.
Gross receipts as illustrated in Table VI,
were calculated at $5,250.00 from an acreage
yield of 10,500 lbs of avocados per annum. Both
income above variable cost ($4,404.61) and net
return ($4,139.80) per acre appear economical-
ly attractive. However, with densely populated
plants the per acre labor cost will rise as a
result of the need for additional pruning, as
will the cost of utilizing more mulching
materials.
























Items Input Used Unit Cost/Unit(S) Value(S)
Land Clearing 1.00 Acre 20.00 45.00
Plow & Disk Harrow 1.00 Acre 40.00 30.00
Grafted 48.00 Tree 10.00 480.00
Labor 33.00 Hrs. 3.17 104.61
Manure 50.00 Hrs. -- --
Mulching 48.00 Bale 1.00 48.00
Fertilizer 100.00 Lb. 0.20 20.00
Benlate 1.00 Lb. 12.00 12.00
Malathion 1.50 Gal. 25.00 37.50
Pruning 2.50 Hrs. 3.17 7.93
Total Establishment Cost ................................................... $78.04




TABLE IV.
Estimated Cost and Return Per Acre
For Avocado Production Using 48 Trees


Items
Avocado
Gross Receipts
Variable Cost
Fertilizer
Malathion
Benlate
Spreader Sticker
Mulching
Pruning
Mowing
Irrigation Repairs
Labor
Interest on Op. Capital
Subtotal Preharvest
Harvest Cost
Picking & Storing
Marketing Cost
Subtotal
Total Variable Cost
Income Above Variable Cost
Fixed Cost
Equipment
Irrigation
Other
Total Fixed Cost
Total Cost
Net Return


Yield
7,200

Input Used
240.00
0.75
1.75
0.75
48.00
9.60
1.00
1.00
33.12
3.17


Unit Cost/Unit(S)


Lb.



Lb.
Gal.
Lb.
Pt.
Bales
Hrs.
Acre
Acre
Hrs.
Dol.


12.00
2.00


Acre
Acre
Acre
Acre
Acre


0.50



0.20
25.00
12.00
2.00
1.00
3.17
20.00
50.00
3.17
10.00



3.17
31.11


15.00
243.75
6.08


TABLE III.
Estimated Establishment Cost Per Acre
For Avocado Production Using 48 Trees


Value(S)
3,600.00
3,600.00

48.00
18.75
21.00
1.50
48.00
30.43
20.00
50.00
104.99
31.70
$ 374.37

38.04
62.22
100.26
$ 474.63
$3,125.37

15.00
243.75
6.08
264.83
739.46
S2.860.54

















TABLE V.
Estimated EstabHahiient Cost Per Acre
For Avocado Productiam Uslag 70 Trees



Items Input Used Unit ComtlUni(S) VabS)
Land Clearing 1.00 Acre 20.00 45.00
Plow & Disk Harrow 1.00 Acre 40.00 30.00
Grafted 70.00 Tree 10.00 700.00
Labor 39.90 Hrs. 3.17 126.48
Manure 105.00 Lb. --
Mulching 70.00 Bale 1.00 70.00
Fertilizer 175.00 Lb. 0.20 35.00
Benlate 1.50 Lb. 12.00 18.00
Malathion 2.00 Gal. 25.00 50.00
Pruning 2.80 Hrs. 3.17 8.88
Total Establishment Cost ................................................. 1,0803.36




TABLE VI.
Estimated Cost and Return
Per Acre For Avocado (5-6 Year Old Grafted Tree)



Items Yield Unit Cost/Unit($) Value($)
Avocado 10.500 Lb. 0.50 5.250.00
Gross Receipts 5.250.00
Variable Cost Input Used
Fertilizer 3.50 Lb. 0.20 70.00
Malathion 1.00 Gal. 25.00 25.00
Benlate 2.00 Lb. 12.00 24.00
Spreader Sticker 1.00 Pt. 2.00 2.00
Mulching 210.00 Bales 1.00 210.00
Pruning 15.00 Hrs. 3.17 47.55
Mowing 1.00 Acre 20.00 20.00
Irrigation Repairs 1.00 Dol. 50.00 50.00
Labor 40.50 Hrs. 3.17 128.39
Interest on Op. Capital 6.25 Dol. 7.00 43.75
Subtotal Preharvest $ 620.69
Harvest Cost
Picking & Storing 12.00 HIrs. 3.17 38.04
Marketing Cost 6.00 Trip 31.11 186.66
Subtotal 224.70
Total Variable Cost $ 845.39
Income Above Variable Cost $4.404.61
Fixed Cost
Equipment 1.00 Acre 15.00 15.00
Irrigation 1.00 Acre 243.75 243.75
Other 1.00 Acre 6.08 6.06
Total Fixed Cost Acre 264.83
Total Cost Acre 1.110.20
Net Return $4.13.80














TABLE VII.
Payback Period from Investment


Maintenance
Expense (7 Trees)g
Year 70 Trees)


Establishment
Cost
$1,083.36


2 $ 840.50
3 829.50
4 885.50
5 885.50 Total
$3,444.00 + $1,083.36 = $4,527.36

Payback Period = Net Cash Investment
Estimated annual cash Inflows
Payback Period = $4,527.36 1.09 years
$4.139.80


The economics of increasing the density of
plants from 48 trees using an investment of
$3,275.08 to that of 70 trees using an investment
of $4,527.36 demonstrates a marginal profitabil-
ity of 99C for every additional dollar of invest-
ment expenditure beyond $3,275.08 (Table VII).
It is important to state that in the short run
the yields from the most densely planted


Maintenance
Expense (Using
Year 48 Trees)


Establishment
Cost
$ 785.04


2 $ 610.58
3 601.06
4 639.20
5 639.20 Total
$2,490.04 + $ 785.04 = $3,275.08

Payback Period = Net Cash Investment
Estimated annual cash inflows
Payback Period = $3.275.08 1.14 years
$2,806.54


acreage (70 trees per acre) would certainly be
greater than those of the 48 trees per acre, as
will revenue from these crops. In the long run
(13-15 years) yields from the less densely
populated acreage will tend to surpass that of
70 trees per acre. This is due to the fact that the
densely planted acreage will have less space for
growth and expansion in later years.


MARKETING POSSIBILITIES


The demand for fresh fruits and vegetables in
the Virgin Islands is quite stable. Present pro-
duction levels for most fruits, including avocado,
are considerably lower than demand. A recent
marketing survey sponsored by the Cooperative


Extension Services suggests that 91.8% of all
avocados consumed on the islands are imported.
These figures clearly imply a favorable local
market demand for avocados.


MARKETING ARRANGEMENTS


Marketing arrangements can be made with
several existing marketing channel outlets on all
three islands. Currently the bulk of avocado
sales are primarily concentrated in the major
supermarkets in both St. Croix and St. Thomas.
Specialty markets such as local hotels and res-
taurants are good marketing outlets for local
producers. However, special care must be taken
to determine the cultivars and seasonal quali-
ties demanded from this market.
Since the heaviest supply of avocados cur-
rently occurs between mid-August to Mid-Sep-
tember, producers should look at earlier and
later maturing varieties in order to capitalize on
higher prices when supplies are low. With the
absence of a public marketing board or govern-


ment related agency, all grading, sorting, and
packing are usually conducted by wholesalers
or retailers.
Local buyers suggest the following guidelines
for producers:
(a) Avocados should be fresh and har-
vested at a mature stage (not when they are
ripe). This is done primarily to avoid spoilage
and at the same time allow a longer shelf life
(b) Particular care must be taken to avoid
bruising while picking and storing fruit.
(c) If storage is necessary on the farm, tem-
peratures of 65-75 degrees are recommended.
On the other hand, if storage capacity and
facilities are inadequate then arrangSeent
could be made with wholesalers to transport the














fruits during the time of harvest. Most buyers
are willing to provide transportation of fruits
from the farm to the place of market should
producers have difficulties acquiring transpor-
tation. However, when transporting crops to
place of market, producers must take care to
avoid direct sunlight on the fruit. Air must be
allowed to circulate in the container while
traveling to destination point, and sprinkling of
fruits before travel may also be helpful.
Shipment between islands should be sent on
refrigerated vessels to avoid spoilage. Apart
from the above arrangement, buyers tend to
search for a constant supply of avocados in
order to satisfy consumer demand. Some
buyers further suggest a farming contract ar-


rangement as a means of securing a constant
supply. It is therefore important that quantities
be determined not only on an annual basis but
moreover in terms of quantities available on a
monthly as well as a weekly basis. This infor-
mation will provide buyers with adequate time
to contact other producers before supplies end.
Retailing of avocados may be economically
attractive to some producers, due to high retail
prices. It must be noted that the risks associ-
ated with retail selling are also pronounced.
That is to say, the costs of storage, packing,
grading, sizing and other marketing facilities
rest squarely on the shoulders of the pro-
ducers. Hence, good economic planning should
precede all investment.


SOME AVOCADO RECIPES


In selecting avocados, hold the fruit and
press gently. If the avocado "gives" a little, it is
soft enough for same-day serving. For serving
two or three days later, choose firm fruit and
keep in a relatively cool place. To ripen the
fruit quickly, place in a brown paper bag and
check for ripeness each day.
Avocados are versatile food, teaming up well
with many combinations. Salads are a favorite
way of using avocados and the rich flavor goes
well with vinegar and other seasonings.
Because of the high fat content, the avocado


combines best with acid fruits and vegetables
such as pineapple, orange, grapefruit and
tomato. Chicken and seafood are good com-
bined with avocado cubes or slices or used as
filling in half an avocado.
The avocado contains a tannin which causes
it to become very bitter when cooked; conse-
quently, no successful method of canning has
been found. While whole or sliced avocados do
not freeze well, avocados may be frozen in a
puree form to be used later in molded salads,
sandwich fillings, ices and dips.


Avocado Sandwich Fill
Mash scooped-out meat of medium-size avoca-
do. Season with salt and lime juice. Add celery,
chives, chopped green pepper, or crumbled
crisp bacon if desired. Spread on bread that
has been lightly buttered. Whole wheat or
other dark breads are very good with this fill-
ing.
Avocado Appetizer
Mash avocado, add cream-thinned Philadel-
phia cheese, minced onion or chives. Heap into
pieces of celery.
Deviled Dip
Scoop meat from vs large ripe avocado, leaving
shell intact. Mash avocado meat, blend in 1
family-size can deviled ham, 13-ounce cake


cream cheese, minced parsley and seasoning to
taste. Mix smooth and pile in reserved shell.
Serve surrounded with crisp fresh vegetable
pieces, potato chips, small crackers.
Barbecue Spread
Delicious on hamburger slices or hot meat loaf.
Stir in 1 cup sieved or mashed avocado, 3
tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons tomato
catsup, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and salt,
tabasco sauce, chopped green chili peppers
and onion to taste.
Avocado Medley Salad (serves 6)
2 medium avocados diced
2 medium tomatoes diced
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons diced celery (continued)













(continued)
/4 cup diced cucumber
1 tablespoon diced green pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise Lettuce
Peel and dice all vegetables. Dice avocado last
and toss all together lightly. Add mayonnaise
and toss to coat. Pile in lettuce cups and chill
until serving time.

Frozen Avocado Puree (serves 6)
4 ripe avocados of medium size
1/2 cup lime juice
Halve avocados, remove peel or with a spoon
scoop pulp from shell into a bowl. Sprinkle with
the lime juice. Mash or blend until smooth.
Pack into glass jars leaving 1 inch head space.
Seal airtight and freeze at 00F.
To use, remove from freezer and allow to thaw
in refrigerator in container. This will take about
24 hours. Keep tightly covered until used.

Cream of Avocado Soup (serves 6)
3 avocados (or 21/2 cups frozen puree)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream Whipped cream
Salt White pepper
Mash two avocados with silver fork and press
through a fine sieve or puree in a blender.
Place in top of a double boiler. Add chicken
broth which has been lightly seasoned. Heat.
stirring occasionally, until soup comes to a boil.
Stir in heavy cream. Cover, keep hot over boil-
ing water. When ready to serve stir in the re-
maining avocado cut in 1/-inch cubes. Season
to taste with salt and white pepper. Serve with
a tablespoon of lightly salted whipped cream
on each serving.

Avocado Fruit Salad (serves 6)
1 avocado /2 cup coconut,
1/i cup halved seeded shredded and
grapes toasted
2 cups grapefruit Lettuce
section French dressing,
red or green cherries minted
Cut avocados in half but do not peel. Scoop out
halves with French ball cutter or teaspoon.
Combine with grapes and grapefruit. Marinate
in French dressing which has been seasoned
with chopped mint leaves. Pile into scooped out
shells. Arrange on lettuce. Serve individual
servings from shells, or arrange fruits on beds
of lettuce in individual servings. Sprinkle with
toasted coconut. Garnish with cherries.


Seafood Avocado Salad (serves 6)
1 cup cooked lobster meat
2 cups cooked crabmeat
2 cups cooked shrimp (or your own favor-
ite seafood combination)
3 avocados 1 tablespoon cut
/2 cup mayonnaise chives
/2 cup sour cream French dressing
Remove any bits of shell from lobster and
crabmeat. Break into bite-size pieces. Remove
a few chunks of lobster and a few whole shrimp
for garnish. Cut remaining shrimp into pieces.
Combine lobster, crabmeat and shrimp. Add
just enough French dressing to coat generous-
ly. Chill. Just before serving, cut avocados in
halves, remove pit and fill with seafood mix-
ture. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream and
chives for dressing. Top each avocado with a
generous spoonful. Garnish with whole shrimp
and lobster chunks.
Baked Stuffed Avocado (serves 6)
3 avocados Dash of pepper
/4 cup lime juice Dash of cayenne
1 cup flaked 1 teaspoon minced
crabmeat onion
1 cup cream sauce 1 cup grated cheese
Dash of salt
Cut avocados in halves lengthwise. Remove
pits. Sprinkle avocado with lime juice and salt.
Combine crabmeat and cream sauce. Season to
taste with salt. pepper, a pinch of cayenne and
onion. Fill avocados with mixture. Sprinkle
with grated cheese. Arrange avocados in bak-
ing pan with half an inch of water in the bot-
tom. Bake in a moderate (350F) oven 15
minutes or until cheese melts and avocado is
heated through.
Guacamole
Make thin paste of 1 cup mashed avocado, 1
small finely chopped onion, 1 clove finely chop-
ped garlic, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, /2
teaspoon olive oil. a dash of paprika, and a lit-
tle lime juice. salt and pepper to taste. Blend to
a smooth consistency in electric blender and
serve on crisp crackers or with potato chips. as
a dip.
Avocado Refresher
Heap balled or diced avocado in sherbet
glasses and chill. Season with salt lightly and
cover with Thousand Island dressing or with
tomato catsup seasoned with lime juice, salt
and pepper.


















REFERENCES
Aponte, E.C. 1977. Cultivo de Aguacates en Puerto Rico. Extension Bulletin, College of Agriculture, Uni-
versity of Puerto Rico.
Frederiksen, A. L. and A. KrochmaL 1963. New Avocado Varieties for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Reprint
from Caribbean Agriculture. Vol. 1. No. 4.
Fruit and Vegetable Facts and Pointers-Avocados. Report from United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Associ-
ation, 777 14th St., N.W., Washington, DC, January 1970.
Malo, S. E. 1968. Commercial Avocado Varieties and Production Practices in Florida. Proc. Caribbean
Region. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sc., Vol. 12: pp.201-208.
Malo, S. E. and C. W. Campbell. 1974. The Avocado. Fruit Crops Fact Sheet FC-74-3. IFAS. University of
Florida.
McGregor, S. E. 1976. Insect Pollination of Cultivated Crop Plants. U.S.D.A. Agriculture Handbook. 496:
p.95.
Proceedings of the First International Tropical Fruit Short Course The Avocado. 1976. Fruit Crops
Dept. IFAS University of Florida, Gainesville.
Wilcox, L. V. 1948. The Quality of Water for Irrigation Use. U.S.D.A. Tech. Bull. 962: p.27.


EXTENSION GARDENING PUBLICATIONS
Okro, A Beloved Virgin. Farmers Bulletin No. 1
Sorghum in the Virgin Islands. Farmers Bulletin No. 2
Vegetable Planting and Harvest Guide-Gardeners Factsheet No. 1
Seeding Vegetable Crops-Gardeners Factsheet No. 2
Growing Vegetable Slips-Gardeners Factsheet No. 3
Transplanting Vegetable Crops-Gardeners Factsheet No. 4
Mulch for Your Garden-Gardeners Factsheet No. 5
How to Prepare Your Own Compost-Gardeners Factsheet No. 6
Staking and Training Tomato Plants-Gardeners Factsheet No. 7
Growing Spinach in the Virgin Islands-Gardeners Factsheet No. 10
Controlling Nematodes in the Vegetable Garden-Gardeners Factsheet No. 11
Propagation of Fruit and Ornamental Plants by Layering-Gardeners Factsheet No. 12
Propagation of Fruit and Ornamental Plants by Cutting-Gardeners Factsheet No. 13
Propagation of Fruit and Ornamental Plants by Grafting-Gardeners Factsheet No. 14
Propagation of Fruit and Ornamental Plants by Budding-Gardeners Factsheet No 15
Fertilizing Your Garden for Optimum Yields-Gardeners Factsheet No. 16
How Many Teaspoons is 5 Pounds Per Acre?-(Weights and Measures)-Gardeners Factsheet No. 17
Organic Gardening Soil Fertility-Gardeners Factsheet No. 18
Organic Gardening Pest Control-Gardeners Factsheet No. 19
A Simple Home Drip Irrigation System-Gardeners Factsheet No. 20
Growing Mangoes-Gardeners Factaheet No. 21
Growing Citrus-Gardeners Factsheet No. 22
Saving Vegetable Seeds for the Home Garden-Gardeners Factaheet No. 23
Growing Mesples (Sapodillas)-Gardeners Factsheet No. 24
Testing Soilfor Better Yields (Part I)-Gardeners Factsheet No. 25
Interpreting Your Soil Testing Results (Part II)-Gardeners Factsheet No. 26

Editor
Liz Wilson

Products and suppliers mentioned by name in this publication are used as examples andin no way imply endorsement or
recommendation of these products or suppliers.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of Congress of May 6 and June 30, 1914 [as amended), in
cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. D.S. Padda. Director. College of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Ex-
tension Service. The College of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Ac-
tion organization, providing educational services in the fields of agriculture, home economics, rural development, 4-H
youth development and related subjects to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.


















VIR







1962




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