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. It’s been an incredible ride.”
According to Murden, approximately 60 percent of the current grapefruit crop remained on the trees, along with 100 percent of the Valencia orange crop.
“Most everyone saw temps of 21 degrees for several hours,” shared Murden. “When temperatures dip below 28 degrees and stay below that mark for five hours or longer, the fruit that is still on branches begins to freeze on the inside.”
Unfortunately, the freeze came at a devastating time. Next year’s crop was already beginning to form on the tree, so there’s no doubt that yields from next season’s crop will also be impacted by the freeze.
Typically, it is possible for growers to protect their trees during freeze events. However, the extreme winds made it nearly impossible to utilize any preventive measures.
Murden believes it will take several weeks to …..
Read more about how the Texas Freeze Leaves Citrus Crop in Trouble on the Citrus Industry website.