Posts Tagged: citrus
Newspapers up and down the state are covering the cold storm system approaching California. In addition to reporting the weather, Sacramento Bee reporter Loretta Kalb took the time yesterday to check on the impact of the storm on California citrus.
Even though it was Sunday afternoon, UC Cooperative Extension Butte County farm advisor Joe Connell contacted Kalb to tell her citrus crops should emerge with little or no damage from the week's storm.
"As far as citrus goes, for the naval orange, it takes about 3.5 hours at 26 degrees for the first orange to freeze," Connell was quoted in the story. "The orange juice itself has high sugar. It's like an antifreeze in the fruit. If it's colder, down to 25 degrees, after about an hour you'll get 5 percent of the fruit frozen."
At 27 degrees to 28 degrees, the low temperature forecast for most parts of the Valley, "I think most of the (citrus) fruit will be fine," Connell told Kalb.
The Redding Record Searchlight ran a story advising homeowners to protect their freeze-sensitive plants in the face of the winter storm. Citrus trees may be protected by a sheet or blanket, or as retired UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Fresno County Mark Freeman typically suggested this time of year: Wrap the tree in good, old-fashioned Christmas lights. They'll keep the tree warm and look festive at the same time.
More information from UC Cooperative Extension about citrus freeze protection and damage is available in a citrus freeze media kit.
One week from today, the University of California Lindcove Research and Extension Center will combine its annual citrus tasting with a laboratory dedication and a 50th anniversary celebration, an event that will be covered by California Country. California Country is a 30-minute weekly television broadcast produced by the California Farm Bureau Federation about the people, places and lifestyles that have made California the nation's largest food-producing state, according to its Web site. Producers will be in the area for several days collecting information for its program about the significant benefits of the Lindcove facility to the California citrus industry.
When the California Country program on Lindcove is posted online, you will find a link to it on this blog.
From humble beginnings in 1959, Lindcove has grown into a 175-acre research center where scientists conduct more than 25 projects annually. The facilities include 125 acres of research groves, three greenhouses, a packing line and fruit quality laboratory, two screen houses, a recently constructed laboratory for entomology and horticulture studies, and a conference center for teaching.
Many UC dignitaries are scheduled to attend the Dec. 11 event, including:
- Dan Dooley, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources vice president
- Barbara Allen-Diaz, ANR associate vice president-programs
- Kay Harrison Taber, ANR associate vice president-business operations
- Bill Frost, Director of ANR's statewide research and extension center network
Citrus growers and other ag professionals are invited to attend the ribbon cutting and citrus tasting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 11. The following day, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, Dec. 12, the general public is invited for citrus tasting. Master Gardeners and UC Cooperative Extension advisors will be available to answer questions from home gardeners and citrus connoisseurs.
Click here for more information and driving directions.
See scenes from last year's citrus tasting in the video below./span> Riverside Press-Enterprise.
The idea was dropped after grower Andy Wilson raised objections to the plan saying the reclaimed water contains trace amounts of boron and sodium, which could accumulate in the soil and eventually kill trees. Instead, the city will sponsor a 10- to 15-year UC Riverside study to learn how boron affects trees and fruit.
According to the article, written by David Danelski, UCR soil chemistry professor Christopher Amrhein said Wilson had good reason to be concerned about the city's plan divert fresh water from the Gage and Riverside canals and replace it with the recycled wastewater from the city's sewage treatment plant.
"We basically told (city officials), 'We can't take your reclaimed water,' " Amrhein was quoted.
The city has used UC Davis agricultural engineering professor Mark Grismer as a consultant to counter arguments by UCR citrus experts that recycled water would harm the trees. The city's recycled water project is still in the works. The reclaimed water will be used to irrigate Martha McLean Anza Narrows Park, Fairmont Park and the future Tequesquite Park, and could also be used to recharge aquifers.
The San Joaquin Valley is bracing for a hard freeze predicted to strike tonight and tomorrow morning, putting the Valley's $1.3 billion citrus industry on high alert. Whether farmers will have to spring into action depends on a lot of things, such as cloud cover, according to Joel Nelson of California Citrus Mutual, who was quoted in today's San Francisco Chronicle.
"But we will have the wind machines primed and many of them on from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.," Nelson is quoted.
The Bakersfield Californian turned to UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor John Karlik for advice for homeowners worried about potential freeze damage to landscape plants. He said residents within the city limits can rest fairly easy this week, but those who live in the slightly colder, outlying areas may need to take added precautions.
According to the article, he suggested homeowners bring tropical and sub-tropical plants inside, if possible, and cover outdoor plants overnight using plastic, cloth or newspapers. Watering the plants during the day will help preserve heat at night.
For more details on protecting your garden from frost, see this article by Pam Geisel, the academic coordinator for the UC Master Gardener program.
A note about the headline: The Valley, of course, is rarely as cold as New York, where Frank Loesser wrote the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in 1944, but the music still rings in the ears of Californians when an artic air mass descends on the state. A cute version of the song by Doris Day and Bing Crosby is one of many posted on YouTube.
Coachella Valley citrus growers and industry researchers met yesterday to discuss an attack against the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect lethal to citrus crops that has recently been found in California, according to a story in today's Desert Sun.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced late last week that a single Asian citrus psyllid was detected in San Diego County, which set in motion a collaborative effort that includes UC Cooperative Extension to protect the state's citrus industry.
Asian citrus psyllid transmits citrus greening disease, which is already endemic in Florida and has wreaked havoc for citrus industries in Asia, India, the Middle East, South and Central America.
According to an article in Western Farm Press, the Citrus Research Board and representatives from the USDA, CDFA, UC and the San Diego County Agricultural Commissioner’s office met with citrus growers and other citrus industry leaders immediately after the psyllid find. They discussed the discovery and the threat it poses, as well as the industry and regulators’ plan of action.
The Citrus Research Board plans another meeting Sept. 25 in San Diego.