Citrus orchards affected by fog, rain and intense cold

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) – Most of the state’s 250,000 acres of citrus crops are in the Central Valley, and although rain is desperately needed, it can force growers to make tough decisions.

With the current drought conditions in the central valley, every rainy day is enjoyed.

“No one is going to claim that the rain is very, very welcome,” said Tricia Stever Blattler, executive director of the Tulare County Agricultural Office.

However, at this time of year, the combination of fog and rain can pose additional challenges when it comes to productive harvest days.

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“It creates a lot of mud, which makes it difficult to move people and material around the orchard. It will create rust in the rows of the orchard,” she said.

Depending on the type, the weather can also have a direct impact on the fruit itself.

“Once citrus fruits have moistened the skin, they can spot and create blemishes or sweat and create other undesirable conditions for these fruits to enter the packing station.”

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If this is impacted, local farmers have decisions to make about what they choose to harvest – making sure it is the right fruits for the right market.

“They really have to decide if there is an opportunity cost large enough to continue to market the fruit and pay all the overhead for labor, diesel. It’s an expensive process to reap the rewards. “

A variety of citrus is grown here in the Central Valley, from oranges to lemons. On average, about 50% of the citrus fruit exported from the San Joaquin Valley comes from Tulare County alone.

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