Calif. Citrus Growers Take Steps To Protect Crops During Cold Snap

BAKERSFIELD (CBSLA.com/AP) — Citrus farmers across central California are bracing for a cold snap that could put their crops at risk.

Farmers have been checking wind machines and running water through their fields in anticipation of the colder temperatures, which began Tuesday night with temperatures as low as the upper 20s in the Central Valley.

Wet ground increases the absorption of heat that can keep groves warmer at night. Wind machines keep warm air from rising.

The critical point for citrus is a temperature of about 28 degrees, which after several hours can begin to ruin crops.

California Farm Bureau spokesman Dave Kranz told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO growers have been firing up wind machines and irrigating the trees in hopes of staving off a killer freeze.

“The warm air and the movement of the air helps raise the temperature in the groves from three or four degrees, and that can often make the difference between crop damage and no crop damage,” Kranz said.

The brisk weather is linked to a cold front out of Alaska, which is expected to continue through Tuesday.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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