Freeze concerns for Florida’s specialty crops

Southern Florida is seeing some really cold weather, and it is starting to concern producers about their specialty crops. They are already on pace to harvest the smallest orange crop since World War II.

Temperatures have dipped to the mid 20’s in the primary strawberry production areas, and lower 30’s in some of the winter vegetable areas.

USDA’s Brad Rippey explains how producers tried to mitigate damage.

“Producers were very active those two nights, putting sprinkler systems running and keeping the ice caps on the strawberries. Also, hiring helicopters when applicable to keep the air stirred up in some of the vegetable fields in an effort to minimize freeze-related losses,” Rippey explains.

He says that early reports indicate the efforts paid off, but given the magnitude of the freeze, there will be damage in some areas.


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