Citrus Growers Prepare For Sub Freezing Temps

Central Valley Citrus Growers Prepare for Cold Weather 

News Release

Central Valley citrus growers are anticipating subfreezing temperatures over the weekend. Forecasts show colder temperatures throughout the Valley Friday evening through Sunday morning, with the coldest areas expected to dip into the upper 20s and possibly the mid-20s.

Growers are prepared to implement frost protection measures if temperatures drop below freezing. This includes the use of irrigation water and wind machines to elevate grove temperatures by 3 to 5 degrees, thus mitigating the potential for frost to occur.

Generally, navel varieties can tolerate temperatures as low as 27 degrees without risk for damage, whereas Mandarin varieties tend to be susceptible to damage at temperatures below 32. The key factor is the duration of time at or below these thresholds. The potential for damage increases when cold temperatures persist for several hours.

At this time, forecasts do not suggest a critical freeze event will occur this weekend; however, growers will certainly be watching the temperature closely and activating freeze precautions as necessary.

According to the 2017 county crop report data, 90 percent of California’s commercial citrus crop is grown in Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kern counties. This represents a total crop value of $3.1 billion. Statewide, citrus is a $3.8 billion crop.

Heat Illness Prevention: Warning for Farmworkers This Week

Heat Illness Prevention

Extreme Heat Wave Expected to Continue Throughout this Week

 

With really high temperatures throughout the Central Coast, Cal/OSHA will probably focus enforcement in coming days in these areas. Please remember the key points of compliance with the Heat Illness Prevention Standard:Heat Illness Prevention

 

* Water — 1 quart per worker per hour, with a plan for replenishment throughout the work shift

 

* Shade — enough for 25% of the crew working at the location; use of natural shade is acceptable if no shadow is cast; air-conditioned vehicles are acceptable; provided at all times when temperature exceeds 85 degrees

 

* Rest — allow workers to rest in shade if they feel the need for no less than 5 minutes

 

* Training — workers & supervisors must be trained about heat illness and emergency response procedures before being exposed to heat

 

* High-Heat Procedures — ensure effective communications in case of emergency; observe employees carefully for signs of heat illness; remind employees to drink water throughout the shift; closely supervise un-acclimatized employees for first 14 days of exposure to high heat