Farmers Still Assessing Freeze Damage

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Temperatures monday and tuesday nights dipped into the twenties threatening tens of millions of dollars of ripening oranges and lemons. Growers spent the nights in their groves, implementing frost protection measures. The widespread internal damage that nearly wiped out the crops a few years ago was apparently averted. But it will be a couple of weeks before growers can determine if some citrus suffered external damage that occurs when moisture  freezes on the fruit. Bob Blakely is with california citrus mutual.  
"That fruit will all have to be graded out, which will lower our yieldization and therefor lower the number of cartons that will be able to go into the fresh market."
SIt's estimated that valley growers spent between eight and eleven million dollars protecting their orchards from the cold. California citrus is nearly a two billion dollar a year industry.