NewsCovering Kern County


Citrus crops growers implementing freeze protection measures for rest of the week

Posted at 10:13 AM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 13:13:13-05

A late-season freeze that swept through the Central Valley Monday night and Tuesday morning caused temperatures in the citrus belt to reach lows of 20 degrees.

The swing in temperature will affect the citrus crops. According to a statement from California Citrus Mutual, This year's citrus crops are approximately 45 to 50 percent harvested. This includes navel oranges and mandarins.

Temperatures below 32 and 27 degrees can create opportunity for damage, but the sugar content in the fruit still on the tree can act as a natural defense against the cold.

Growers do not anticipate any damage from the freezing temperatures given the timing of it and the good size and sugar content of the crop. However, the warmer temperatures in the past few weeks have caused trees to bloom two to four weeks earlier than usual.

Drastic changes in temperature like what is happening now could translate to a smaller crop for the 2018-19 season.

Growers started implementing freeze protection measures for the rest of Tuesday and possibly some days this week.