Just heard back from my "French Connection"...the source of many of my Organic French essential oils. And the outlook for Lavendula angustifolia from France this year is bleak.
He wrote that the distillation hasn't started yet. The Lavandin has been harvested, but not yet distilled. The true Lavender will be harvested in September.
Of the new harvests he writes:
"-wild lavender: catastrophic year: new strange diseases are decimating specially low altitude lavender, we will have no low altitude
(700-1200 m at all this year)." This was the Lavender Fine which we offered a few months ago. I only bought a little bit, and it sold out in no time. I had planned to order perhaps 10 kilos, it was a lovely, relatively inexpensive oil.
"-high altitude (more than 1400 m): we will have only a very limited amount this year, with higher prices"
"The lavandula latifolia is not yet harvested, but I already asked to keep me a lot, it is not affected at all from diseases."
It appears that the organic cloned crops, the Mailette and Matheronne, have not been affected by this new disease. One would expect more hardiness in the wild crops than the cloned, so this is truly a mystery.