Farmers battle freezing temperatures

FRESNO, Calif.

Small pools of standing water were scattered all over the 20-acre citrus grove at Fresno state. Lately, students here have been turning on the sprinklers more often than not, in an effort to save the oranges they've spent months cultivating.

Ganesan Srinivasan said, "By running water, we can increase the temperature about 2 or 3 degrees, and so far we have been lucky." Ganesan Srinivasan oversees the college farm program.

Aside from water, he says they don't have to use wind machines or other resources to save the fruit, like farmers in other parts of the valley.

"We don't have a need to do that because we are right in the city with the asphalt and the road that temperatures is at least a couple degrees warmer."

So far in Fresno, there have been 15 days in the month of December where temperatures have dropped below the 32-degree mark.

The record was set in 19-90 when there were a total of 24 days. But, despite the cooler weather, the Fresno County Farm Bureau says the area's citrus industry hasn't experienced any significant losses this year.

"For the most part, these cold temperatures have only come in very short durations during the night, which is much different than in years past freezes, where we've seen significant damages, multiple hours under that 28 degrees."

Still, that doesn't mean farmers aren't keeping a close watch. Many we spoke to, plan on staying up all night. That includes students here at Fresno State. "If it really gets bad, they'll come here and run more water, but we don't expect it to happen tonight. We'll wait and see."

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.