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Cold Snap Could Damage California Citrus Crops

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The Orange stands alone. Photo by ccharmon via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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This cold snap is doing more than cramping your style. (BTW Angelenos, cold weather does not mean it's time to wear sweat pants in public. Buy a peacoat, for Pete's sake.) This beyond-chilly weather could potentially have an impact on California's citrus crop.

Farmers are preventing damage from the six consecutive nights of freezing temps by running warm water through the soil and using wind machines that mix high warm air with lower cold air.

They are attempting to protect the produce that amounts to a $2-billion industry here in California.

“While damage is expected, it is certainly not at levels close to damage in the last significant freeze events in 1998 and 1990,” Alyssa Houtby told the L.A. Times, a spokeswoman for California Citrus Mutual, a trade association representing more than two-thirds of the state’s citrus farmers.

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The majority of the damage will likely be to the highly-sensistive mandarin crop, with less damage anticipated for the navel orange crop. The extent of the damage won't be seen for another few weeks.

Hopefully the ramifications will be minimal, because our fancy Old Fashioneds are already pricey enough without high-priced citrus peel garnishes.