Calif. Citrus Growers Lost Big In December Freeze



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 3, 2014

Talk about a one-two punch.  Between the lack of rain and the sub-freezing temperatures, “there’s no doubt about it – the two together give it a harder case,” says James McFarlane, who grows 700 acres of citrus in Fresno County.

And McFarlane says he’s one of the lucky ones: “Even though we’ve spent all that money on propane and labor, to get those wind machines on and off, even though for about a 40 day period I only spent two full nights in my warm bed, we’re probably gonna make more money because of it.”

That’s because his supply weathered the weather fairly well.  Others did not.  California’s citrus industry estimates the cost of the seven-day December freeze at about $440 million.  That’ll lead to a shorter California citrus season in stores, and perhaps higher prices for customers.

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