California citrus farmers weather the freeze

Jan 17, 2013

It has been particularly cold at night in California for about a week, but it appears the state's citrus industry will emerge mostly unscathed, reported Oliver Renick on

“The temperatures were not severe enough to cause widespread damage,” said Craig Kallsen, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Kern County. “This is nothing out of the ordinary, so we’re able to handle this.”

Thermometers dipped about 10 degrees below normal overnight during the cold snap, but growers efforts to keep the trees warm with wind machines and irrigation appear to have been successful.

"We are not anticipating any damage in the navels, maybe very limited damage on the outer row away from the wind protection,” said Shirley Batchman, the director of government affairs at California Citrus Mutual. “Certainly nothing that’s going to affect the orange production.”

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist