Legislation Introduced for Growers Impacted by Freezes

Tacy Callies freeze, Legislative

U.S. Representatives Greg Steube (R-Fla.) and Darren Soto (D-Fla.) introduced the Temperature Endorsement for Multi-Peril Policies (TEMP) Act to protect farmers impacted by crop-damaging freezes. Rep. Steube proposes this legislation for inclusion in the 2023 farm bill. “This winter, a freeze caused significant damages to Florida’s citrus, sugarcane, ornamental plants, and many fruits and vegetables. Currently, specialty-crop insurance policies are expensive, leaving farmers with limited options …

Extension Agents Still Seeing Damage From Freeze

Jim Rogers Florida, freeze, Weather

It often takes time for the damage associated with freeze events to manifest in citrus. That was the case for the late January freeze in Florida. While some growers escaped fairly unscathed, others suffered significant damage. The damage began to show in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s March citrus crop forecast. The agency lowered expected production of Florida oranges this …

USDA Disaster Declaration for Florida Growers Impacted by Freeze

Tacy Callies freeze, Industry News Release

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) disaster designation for 17 counties and 10 contiguous counties impacted by the freezing temperatures that occurred in late January. View the USDA’s approval letter here. “With the approval of our request for a disaster declaration, farmers in Florida have resources available …

Florida Citrus Growers Say Freeze Damage Still Unfolding

Tacy Callies freeze

With more than two weeks past since the late January freeze in Florida, citrus growers are still assessing the fallout. Some key production regions saw the coldest temperatures in years. With HLB endemic, there’s a lot of unknowns how trees will react to the stress the cold temperatures induced. However, some growers didn’t have to wait to see damage to …

Know the Signs of Freeze Damage

Tacy Callies freeze, Tip of the Week

By Amir Rezazadeh It is important to know how cold temperatures impact citrus trees. Citrus trees are native to subtropical and tropical regions. Although some mandarins and tangerines are quite cold-hardy, other citrus trees are not particularly cold-hardy and temperatures below 20 degrees for more than four hours may kill most citrus trees. Chilling damage in citrus depends on several factors. …

Texas Freeze Update: Fruit Is Sparse

Ernie Neff freeze, Texas

Surviving citrus trees in South Texas have bounced back from extreme freeze during Winter Storm Uri in February, but fruit is sparse this season, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension horticulturist Juan Anciso.   An AgriLife Extension study estimated the severe freeze caused $230 million in damage to Texas’ citrus industry. Around 80% of the orange crop and almost 70% of …

Freeze Damage Update on Texas Citrus

Ernie Neff freeze

Citrus took the biggest freeze hit from recent Winter Storm Uri of any agricultural commodity in Texas, reported Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. AgriLife Extension estimated citrus crop losses of at least $230 million. Other Texas commodities taking major freeze hits were livestock, with losses of at least $228 million, and vegetable crops, with at least $150 million in losses. …

Texas Freeze Leaves Citrus Crop in Trouble

Ashley Robinson freeze

The historic cold snap that has frozen Texas this week has left citrus growers with little hope for saving their crops. “We’ve had the perfect trifecta this season,” says Dale Murden, citrus grower and president of Texas Citrus Mutual. “We’ve endured the lingering drought, Hurricane Hanna and now the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre — all on top of the pandemic. …

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Freeze Protection Measures for Citrus

Ernie Neff freeze

Multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt discussed historical and current freeze protection measures in a virtual Dec. 22 OJ Break. PASSIVE MEASURESSome cold-protection measures are taken well in advance of freezes; Oswalt referred to them as passive measures. They include grove site selection, crop selection and cultural practices. One site selection consideration is planting groves at higher elevations, which are …

Citrus Growers Dodge Freeze

Ernie Neff freeze

Lindy Savelle received numerous calls and texts from relatively new southern Georgia citrus growers prior to a mild freeze the morning of Dec. 2. “They were asking, ‘What should I do?’” said Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association. The new growers were concerned because lows of 26 and 28 that morning were the coldest in the region in several …

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Helping Generations Cope with Freezes

Ernie Neff freeze, Weather

Winter Weather Watch is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension program that has helped generations of Florida citrus growers be prepared for freezes. “Back in the ’60s, we didn’t have the Internet. We had rotary dial phones,” says multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt, who discusses the history and workings of Winter Weather Watch, which …

Freeze Summary for Florida and Georgia Citrus

Ernie Neff freeze

Temperatures dipped into the 20s in much of the Florida Citrus Belt on the morning of Jan. 18, but the state’s largest citrus growers association expected little, if any, freeze damage. Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows said there could be minor or moderate fruit loss in some low-lying pockets, “but absolutely no tree damage.” The coldest Florida citrus region …

freeze

Irrigation Expected to Save Georgia Trees from Freeze

Ernie Neff freeze

Most Georgia citrus growers believe microsprinkler irrigation will save their trees from a multi-day freeze that saw temperatures dip into the low 20s Friday morning, said Georgia Citrus Association President Lindy Savelle. “I think we’re going to do fine,” said Savelle, who ran microsprinklers virtually round-the-clock in her south Georgia grove because temperatures never got above 40 for five days …