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Freeze Watch May Damage Crops, Plants

Low could dip below freezing mark
Posted at 5:06 PM, Nov 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-30 20:29:25-05

The National Weather Service has placed a Freeze Watch for the Valley beginning Thursday night and lasting through Saturday morning. This Freeze Watch indicates that lows may reach the freezing mark and has the potentially to dip below 32 degrees.

NWS also says this may damage or kill crops. 

Deputy Director of the Kern County Department of Agriculture and Management Standards, Manuel Villicana,  says they take this freeze warning seriously and it's something his department monitors. 

"Typically, when we have a Freeze Watch, we'll go out there and monitor the temperatures at the citrus orchards," said Villicana. 

Citrus orchards are amongst the most sensitive fruits to the cold weather. Other fruits in danger include lemons, mandarins, and grapefruit. 

"It becomes inedible because the sacks in the cell of the fruit will burst open and the juice will come out and will dry the fruit," Villicana explained. 

Meanwhile, Suzi Williams is one of the many plant managers located Bakersfield. Williams is the plant manager at Bolles Nursey and said Freeze Watches are something she expects after Thanksgiving. 

"We get this cold snap and it always catches us off guard. But the reality is around Thanksgiving, we should always be prepared for it," said Williams.

Williams recommends watering plants well before a Freeze Watch is in place. She also said it's best to bring plants sensitive to the cold inside. The alternative is to cover those plants with blankets, and discourages using plastic.