Local Citrus Farmers Scared by Freeze

Dec 5, 2013 6:16 PM

“It's cold,” said local citrus farmer Caroline Murad. “When I woke up, it was 28 degrees.”

When it’s this cold, the fate of citrus crops rest in the hands of a higher power.

“We're at the mercy of Mother Nature,” Murad said. “The weather is iffy. We’re hoping to get through this unscathed.”

Murad has farmed oranges on her Oroville ranch for the past 27 years. This year, harvest came early.

“They were ready earlier this year because of the weather. That’s why were anxious to get them off,” she said while handling an orange tree. “That’s a navel orange which is ripe right now.”

While the fruit is ripe and ready to be picked, they are still hanging on trees until Murad gets the go ahead from the packing house.

“Whenever they say we can pick they tell us,” she said. “It’s very scary because you work all year for this.”

And this freeze only adds fear.

“We just have to sit and hope for the best pray to god it doesn't get any colder,” Murad said. “If it does, your profits would go down the tube.”


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