Citrus growers in the San Joaquin Valley will need to prepare for drastically colder than normal temperatures this week as an arctic blast of cold air makes its way across the Valley. According to AndNowUKnow.com and the Fresno Bee, the National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for central and southern parts of the San Joaquin Valley, lasting from late Wednesday through Saturday. Temperatures are expected to drop to the high 20’s and low 30’s.
Growers may need to take precautions to protect their crops, however, Bob Blakely, director of industry relations for the California Citrus Mutual, said “it’s still too early to tell what should be done.” Due to their skins, oranges are expected to be fine, although specialty crops like mandarins are more at risk because of thinner skins.
Growers are typically well-prepared for these types of cold weather events, but Mother Nature is also lending a hand this year as citrus crops have been seeing higher than normal sugar levels, providing a natural internal barrier to frost damage.
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