Frost damage to California citrus at $441 million

Damage to oranges, lemons and other citrus cause by frost in December could cost Valley citrus growers about $441 million dollars in lost revenue.

And that doesn’t include the estimated $49 million growers spent fighting off the cold weather in December and January, according to findings released today by California Citrus Mutual.

The most extensive damage occurred over seven consecutive nights of sub-freezing temperatures in December, according to the press release issued today by the Exeter-based trade association that represents about 2,200 California citrus growers who farm about 70 percent of the state’s 285,000 acres of commercial citrus.

Frost didn’t damage groves in Ventura, Riverside, Imperial, and Monterey counties, while most of the damage occurred in the Central Valley.

“What has made this year complicated for assessing damage is that Mother Nature did not treat all areas and producers equally,” Citrus Mutual Chairman Kevin Severns said in the press release. “There are areas in Kern and Madera Counties where the Mandarins are completely wiped out, and others where damage is as great as 40-50 percent.”


[Information specific to Tulare County, the top citrus-producing county in the state, wasn’t included in the press release.]

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