The California Avocado Commission will be using a combination of Landsat, SPOT, and USDA aerial photography information to determine if the acreage of avocado groves is still shrinking. Between 2005 and 2009 Riverside and San Diego counties saw a 19 and 26 percent decrease in avocado crops respectively. Higher water prices are thought to be responsible for the decline. The avocado crop measurements now will be conducted on an annual basis to more closely monitor the decline; free Landsat data are a major reason the measurements can be made more often.

Further Information:
“Avocado Commission to assess shrinkage of avocado groves from space,” North County Times, Sept. 28 [external link]