Citrus Growers Avoid Freeze Damage
Packer Dot Com says temperatures in the Central Valley of California dipped to a recent low of 27 degrees. However, no damage to the citrus crop is expected.
The California growers even say the cold temps can lead to better flavor and fruit quality. Lows across the valley ranged between 27 and 31 degrees. Growers actually ran wind machines in preparation for the temp drop. A news release from California Citrus Mutual says, “In the event of a hard freeze, the combination of a wet grove floor and using wind machines can elevate the temps by five degrees.”
The cold weather took place on the morning/nights of December 28 and 29. But, below-freezing temps only lasted from three to four hours, which isn’t long enough to cause damage. The crop has grown through high summer temperatures and a mild winter so far, and the colder temperatures are actually welcome because they allow citrus to stay on trees longer and extend the season. The release from California Citrus Mutual says Mandarin oranges are more susceptible to below-freezing temperatures. Navel oranges can tolerate temperatures as low as 27 degrees
Source; NAFB News