EXETER — California citrus growers say six nights of freezing temperatures will likely damage this year’s orange crop but no disruption is expected to supplies.
California Citrus Mutual said Monday that damage to mandarin and navel oranges is expected in the Central Valley but not nearly at the levels seen during cold spells in 1998 and 1990 due to improved frost protection and weather forecasting.
A spokeswoman for the growers’ association says the prolonged nature of this cold snap has fatigued wind machines designed to elevate temperatures in the groves. Spokeswoman Alyssa Houtby says growers will need more fuel than usual to run the machines because cold weather is forecast through Wednesday morning.
Houtby says temperatures fell to the low 20s and teens in some parts of the Central Valley early Monday.