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Severe Weather Could Hurt Citrus Crops

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The cold temperatures threaten California's citrus crops. Tom Wollenman is general manager of LoBue Citrus, a grower and packer of citrus fruits in the Tulare County town of Lindsay.

"We are a little bit vulnerable this year because the sugar content in our fruit's a little bit lower. So we certainly have paid very close attention to this cold snap that's come here into the valley."

Back in 2007, a mid-December cold snap caused more than $1 billion in crop damage.

But Wollenman says as long as it doesn't get too cold for too long, the chilly weather can actually have an upside.  

"It toughens up the rind of the fruit on the tree right now, allows the fruit to color up and basically what it does, it sets the trees up to handle potentially colder weather along through the holidays."

California's annual citrus crop is valued at about $2 billion.

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