Initial analysis: little crop damage from cold start of the year
It was more like "cold lang syne" to begin 2012 in Southwest Florida!
Although temperatures dipped into the mid-20s in the early morning hours of January 4th, it appears Southwest Florida farmers and growers luckily escaped any major crop damage.
"We did see some crop damage, but nothing catastrophic like last year," said Gene McAvoy, a multi-county vegetable agent with the University of Florida/IFAS in Immokalee, as quoted in the Naples Daily News.
Early morning temperatures on January 5th remained cold but not below freezing and normal temps returned by January 6th.
The Packer, a publication which covers the produce and citrus industry, also reported relatively little crop damage around the region.
To protect citrus against freezing temperatures, growers try to coat fruit with water to insulate it from the cold. Vegetable growers cover tomatoes and other crops with cloth to protect them.
Citrus can survive freezing temperatures for as many as four hours before sustaining serious damage. Tomato plants and other produce crops suffer damage at freezing.
Read more in The Packer.