US (CA): Citrus growers deal with cold weather

After a growing season where temperatures have stayed relatively mild, low temperatures have arrived in California's Central San Joaquin Valley, and citrus growers are taking measures to make sure they don't interfere with this season's crops.

“We had cold weather Tuesday night, though last night the duration of low temperatures was longer – it got cold early and leveled off,” said Bob Blakely, director of industry relations for California Citrus Mutual. With below-freezing temperatures arriving, he noted that growers had to keep an eye on their crops to ensure there was no frost damage.

“It was a night where growers had to be up all night,” he said. “They ran water all night and some growers started the wind machines around 8:00 p.m.” Efforts to deal with the cold were largely successful, and Blakely added that there were no reports of damage from growers. He credited the lack of sustained low temperatures up to this point as one of the reasons for the way fruit held up.

“We've had a fairly mild winter, so fruit hasn't had a chance to cool down,” he said. “It takes more chilling hours to bring the internal temperature of fruit down, and we haven't had enough of those yet.” He also cited high sugar levels in this year's crop as making fruit resistant to ill-effects from the cold.

“Some areas also had breezes at night, so it was a combination of things that led to it not being a bad night,” he said. “There's no damage indicated at this time, so it was a critical night, but it's not as bad as we first thought.”

Publication date:
Author:
©



Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here


Other news in this sector:


Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber