Frigid temperatures, Valley growers in cold sweat over potential damage to crops

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Though the picturesque views of blossoms throughout the Valley are aesthetically pleasing. It is serving as one of the biggest concerns for Valley growers.

Simonian Farms Operations Manager Stacey Grote is checking on her peach trees after a hard freeze plagued the area earlier this week.

"I was looking for the damage to the pistol inside of the blossom. Doesn't look like it's going to be an issue at this point," said Grote.

The farm grows close to 100 varieties of citrus, stone fruit and berries.

"There's some crops you can't do anything with you just have to hope they're at a stage where it's not going to cause an issue and as always farmers do a lot of praying," said Operations Manager Stacey Grote.

To help keep their delicate fruit warm and dry during the frigid early morning hours they use drip irrigation and wind machines.

"We're hoping the oranges are okay their sugar is up high right now it could be a problem for the lemons and grapefruit," said Grote.

The rising cost of fuel wind machines become costly.

"That will reflect the price of the fruit when it does harvest in the summer because you can't just absorb those costs," said Grote.

Much like Valley growers, producers are working to protect their livestock like poultry and pigs.

The swine unit at Fresno State keeps their youngest residents under heat lamps and heaters in their gestation barn.

"We want to make sure that they're nice and warm and healthy so they can carry their liters to full term so they have nice babies for us," said Morgan Meyer.

Meyer lives onsite and helps monitor the pigs during the overnight hours. Additional precautions include bedding down the pens for the swine that sleep outside.

"It is an expense out of pocket but in the long run it helps us because we don't get as many sick pigs," said Meyer.
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