How Florida Citrus Crops Weathered The Cold Snap - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

How Florida Citrus Crops Weathered The Cold Snap

MSNBC.COM - Florida's citrus and strawberry growers are breathing a sigh of relief after enduring a night of sub-freezing temperatures without major crop damage.

Temperatures dipped well below freezing for several hours early Wednesday across central and north Florida. Growers say the extreme cold didn't last long enough to do lasting damage.

"All in all I would not call it a non-event but in general the industry came through in pretty good shape," said Andrew Meadows, spokesman for Florida Citrus Mutual, the state's largest citrus grower organization with nearly 8,000 members.

Meadows said there was some damage in low-lying areas. Young trees in the southwest were exposed and could be affected. Statewide there were a reports of ice on fruit and some leaf damage but nothing widespread, Meadows told msnbc.com.

"Without a doubt, last night we were scared," David Mixon, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Seald Sweet International of  Vero Beach, told The Packer, a publication covering the fresh fruit and vegetable industry. "An hour or a degree here or there could have hurt us. We got by the skin of our teeth."

Forecasters say temperatures will remain chilly but slowly warm up starting Thursday.

Significant damage to citrus crops isn't expected, since most of these groves are much farther south compared to decades ago, according to accuweather.com. click here to read more

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