California’s primary citrus growing region, the San Joaquin Valley, has received its second consecutive night of freezing temperatures. Hard freeze warnings are in place for most of the valley. Temperatures dipped as low as 27 degrees yesterday and will remain that low this morning.
Citrus growers are using irrigation water and wind machines as frost prevention tools to raise temperatures a few degrees decreasing the risk of damage to their crop. Currently, no significant damage has been reported to orange or lemon crops. The threat is higher for Mandarins and Clementines, which are more susceptible to freeze damage.
A heavy freeze can rupture internal cells causing fruit to dry out and become unmarketable. Reports thus far indicate internal frost damage is minimal, but ice crystals forming on the exterior of the fruit may lead to more cosmetic issues and Choice grade fruit in the next 7-10 days.
Temperatures are expected to rise a few degrees tomorrow with no more heavy freezes forecast through the end of the month.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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