No major citrus damage from frost, growers' group says
EXETER, Calif. -- Despite nighttime temperatures as low as 27 degrees, California's citrus crop has so far escaped widespread damage from frost, a growers' group reports.
New Year's Eve lows dipped to 27 degrees in Hanford, 28 degrees in Madera and 30 degrees in Merced, according to the National Weather Service.
The temperature threshold for mandarins is approximately 32 degrees for a duration of 2 hours, while navel oranges can withstand temperatures as low as 28 degrees for 4 hours before frost protection measures must be used, California Citrus Mutual explains.
So far this season, mandarins have experienced 13 or 14 critical nights compared to over 30 critical nights for the same time period last year, the organization reports. Less than a dozen nights of critical temperatures have been reported this season for navels compared to more than two dozen nights by New Year's last season.
-- Tim Hearden