Ag officials say frost damage to locally grown citrus has been minimal so far. But anytime oranges, mandarins and lemons face bitterly cold conditions, growers must take protective measures. Irrigation helps release warmth from the ground and wind machines move the warmer air around the groves.
"The wind machines have been very effective giving us 4-6 degrees depending on the night," said Citrus grower, Greg Thonesen. "The sugar in the fruit's very high so I think we're going to have a very protectable crop."
Fresno Co. Asst. Ag Commissioner, Fred Rinder said, "After the last frost we did cut some fruit but the damage just wasn't there."
After the last freeze event, a random sample of 120 pieces of fruit showed only two oranges had sustained frost damage.