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Florida Mainly Spared From Freeze

Looks like most of the Florida industry dodged a bullet:

“Mother Nature cut us a break this time and now we can continue to produce the quality citrus crop Florida is known for,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and CEO of grower advocacy group Florida Citrus Mutual.

Temperatures were not below freezing for long enough to cause widespread damage to Florida’s citrus trees, the group said. In fact, the cold could benefit some growers because it slows down growth and hardens up citrus trees…

The early looks indicated that damage to most crops would be isolated and “not as bad as it could have been,” said Terry McElroy, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

McElroy said most of the crops growing in north Florida can withstand cold snaps and were probably not damaged in the freeze. But it may be days before some farmers know for sure how much they have lost.

And other areas look OK as well:

In Louisiana, strawberry farmers covered their crops with material in an attempt to protect them. Peach farmers, however, welcomed the cold, which they say benefits their fruit trees during their period of dormancy.

”The more cold weather we have, the better,” said Joe Mitchum, a peach grower outside Ruston, Louisiana.

You can read the whole story and see a nice collection of photos here.

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