January 5, 2010

Freeze Report Update, Jan. 5

Following is a preliminary freeze update as reported by our AG-ER response teams around the state. At this point we have no grave reports of significant damage to our industry. We will continuously update you on events and/or measures as they occur.

-Growers in North and Central FL have covered or are sprinkling their crops when needed. So far strawberry consensus is that the damage is minimal.

-Tropical Fish Farms in Central FL have covered ponds and/or are pumping warmer well water in the ponds. Consensus here is that heavy losses will be tallied next week.

-Citrus areas haven’t actually had a freeze yet, temperatures maintained around the low 30’s. This is perfect citrus weather as temps in the 30’s help kill citrus pests.

-Produce S.W. FL area so far so good – however low temps will hurt fruit set and quality on vegetables in the long run and prolonged irrigation to protect crops against frost will leach fertilizer and cause root damage and an increase in disease over the next few weeks.

-S.E. FL all the tropical groves here also have microjects and reservoirs/ponds full. Some farms that have large acreage of corns and beans also reserved helicopters yet didn't have to deploy them last night.

-Growers in Miami-Dade and other areas in S. FL have increased harvesting in advance of the projected cold weather.

The bad news is that the worst is yet to come. Tonight’s forecast lows are:

Plant City – 26degrees for up to 6hrs.

Alachua and Sebring – 26degrees for up to 5hrs

Acadia – 27degrees for up to 5hrs

Okeechobee – 26degrees for up to 8hrs

Clewiston and Immokalee below freezing for up to 3hrs

A warming trend on Thursday, but that will bring more moisture in the air, which causes more chance for frost in low-lying areas.

Saturday and Sunday night will see a repeat of what is forecasted for tonight!

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