This week’s cold weather has Kern County citrus growers using wind machines and irrigation.The wind and water is used to prevent freezing as they are now getting into the harvest season. Joel Nelson of the California Citrus Mutual says a lot of the citrus grown locally are the small Mandarin oranges which are more vulnerable to cold. Damage happens on citrus when temperatures get below 27 degrees for a period of four hours or more, but that has yet to happen this season. As for the navel oranges, they benefit from temperatures of about 33 degrees overnight to strengthen and sweeten the fruit. Nelson says it’s so far so good for the crop, but winter is just beginning and the crop is about 70 percent harvested.

Sean Michael Lisle