Below Freezing temperatures have citrus growers on edge

TULARE COUNTY (KFSN) -- Below freezing temperatures keep citrus growers on edge this time of year. Many will be up late to watch over their fruit.

Growers have wind machines and water going during the night to help ward off any damage. "Its just been precautionary and it's actually been good for the trees and good for the fruit," said Bob Blakely, California Citrus Mutual.

Good, Blakely said, because short dips into frigid temperatures helps increase the color of citrus and its taste. "It's been almost ideal this winter so far."

This year's crop have been so good the California Citrus Mutual said that 90-percent of the crop is being sold. They said that's up from normal years.

This is the busiest time of year it's the peak of harvest season, but growers will also be up late watching the evening temperatures. If it gets too cold, like it did in 2013, it can cause problems. "When you have a frozen piece of fruit you'll start seeing drying-- primarily the cells will be broken-- there will be empty spaces here," said Blakely.

Blakely said those problems only start happening if we spend four or five hours below 28 degrees or we have nearly a week of freezing temperatures.
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