Citrus growers in California’s Central Valley will be checking for possible damage in the coming weeks as some areas saw temperatures drop to as low as 28 degrees Fahrenheit.
Growers were able to use wind machines and other measures to manage to low temperatures, according to California Citrus Mutual, Exeter. Rain just before the cold on the night of Feb. 10, however, raises concern on external fruit quality, according to a release from the citrus group.
If that happens it will take a couple of weeks for the damage to be seen.
“Generally, afternoon sun and breezy conditions on (Feb. 10) helped to dry the fruit before temperatures dropped, which growers hope will be enough to mitigate any damage,” according to California Citrus Mutual’s release. “As an added precaution some growers used wind machines to dry the fruit before temperatures started to dip into the low 30s.”
The wind machines were mostly used on mandarins and lemons, which have a lower tolerance for cold. Navels can tolerate temperatures as low as 27-28 degrees, according to the release.
“Generally, last night's temperatures are not a cause for concern for Valley citrus growers,” according to the Feb. 11 release. “In the coming weeks growers will be assessing the external quality of the fruit and implementing standard protocols to ensure blemished and damaged fruit does not enter the market.”