Preparing for Freezing Temperatures

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, freeze

With temperatures plummeting over Christmas weekend, the latest episode of the All In For Citrus podcast is well timed. Chris Oswalt, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus Extension agent covering Polk and Hillsborough counties, joined the podcast to discuss tips on preparing for freeze events.

Ice formed on a satsuma tree as a result of the application of microirrigation for cold protection. (Photo by Doug Mayo)

Oswalt encouraged growers to find a reliable source of weather information to keep informed and avoid being caught off guard when temperatures fall. “Whatever source you use, just as long as it is consistent so you can make specific adjustments for your grove, that is probably the best advice I have,” he said. “These instances when freezes occur, you can go into the evening and it appears the freeze is going to develop a certain way, but later on in the evening things change. So, you really can’t let your guard down.”

That’s why having a consistent and reliable source of weather information is so important to base timely decisions on cold protection. One of those systems is the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) that is operated by the University of Florida. The network has weather stations throughout the state.

“FAWN weather stations provide you with real-time data from those locations, which I consider very important in being able to determine what actual conditions are occurring in an area to compare with conditions occurring in your grove,” Oswalt said. “You can learn a lot about conditions nearby, especially where you might have a stable cold air mass that moves over. The FAWN stations can measure ground temperature, temperature at 6 feet and temperature at 30 feet, which can give you a better idea of a situation developing where you have warmer air aloft and colder air at the surface.”

Oswalt added the FAWN network can complement the data generated from on-farm weather stations that many growers now have in their groves. To hear more about freeze protection, don’t miss the December episode of All In For Citrus.

The All In For Citrus podcast is a joint partnership between UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.

About the Author

Frank Giles


Share this Post

Sponsored Content