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Calif. Citrus Growers Brace for This Week's Freeze

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(Lindsay, CA)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Frozen oranges lose their juices and turn bitter.  So whenever cold temperatures are in the forecast, citrus growers like Tom Wollenman with LoBue Brothers in Lindsay, California, use two prevention strategies.  First…

Wollenman: "We'll go out in the mid-afternoon, turn the water on, irrigation systems in the grove, and that comes up, let's say, at 70 degrees.  And that just puts heat into the ground."

And second, at nighttime, when temperatures drop to the freezing mark or below…

Wollenman: "We turn our wind machines on, which circulate the upper air in the inversion layer, which 35 feet above the ground is a couple of degrees warmer."

Wollenman says those two strategies combined can raise the pulp temperature in the citrus by several degrees - which could be enough to survive a freeze.

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