Mangos Via Pexels

South Florida is experiencing a weak mango harvest this summer following a significant bounty in 2023. Axios reports that at the Miami-Dade County's Fruit & Spice Park, only about 25% of the over 180 mango cultivars have produced fruit this year, a stark contrast with last year, when nearly all cultivars yielded fruit.

In fact, tropical fruit expert Dr. Richard Campbell recently predicted the third worst season for mango production in South Florida since 1977.

Jonathan Crane, a University of Florida tropical fruit crop specialist, told the outlet that among potential reasons for the "much reduced" mango harvest, the winter chill stands out, as it may have damaged or killed mangoes during the flowering and fruit-setting period.

Other reasons cited by Crane included high winds which could have knocked down flowers and newly set fruit, and the fact that it is common to have a lower harvest following a particularly large one.

In a piece by Local 10 News, fruit stand owner Brandon Moehling said many South Florida farmers are "genuinely hurting" right now because of low crop yields. "It is brutal, it truly is, it seems county-wide."

Nevertheless, despite the subpar harvest, the annual Mango Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden will proceed as planned from July 13-14. Garden director Carl Lewis assured visitors in a statement that they could still expect the same delicious mango experiences as always, including a brunch, smoothies, tastings, and trees for sale.

The good news is that University of Florida's Jonathan Crane is predicting a much better harvest next year: "I do expect a rebound next year if we have good weather conditions. It is any wonder we get fruit at all with all these variables that go wrong. Most years they go right, we are fortunate in that."

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