Follow these tips to prepare for cold weather in citrus to be able to protect your crop as fully as possible during a cold snap.
While Florida is not known for cold weather, the possibility of a cold snap that affects the citrus crop is a possibility every year. Cold weather in citrus is something that every Florida citrus grower should be prepared for cold weather before it arrives. See prepping tips in a Citrus Industry article written by Ray Royce, the executive director of the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association in Sebring, Florida, below.
Cold Weather in Citrus Prepping Tips
Royce maintained that a good starting point for preparing for cold weather in citrus is to check and maintain fuel tanks for irrigation pumps to ensure they can be run for a minimum of “several consecutive days.”
Other prepping tips Royce shared include:
- “Banking or wrapping young trees
- Checking thermometers for accuracy and that they are mounted correctly
- Determining what your forecast tracking options are and at what temperatures you are going to initiate frost-protection action
- Maintaining clean water filters at irrigation pumps
- Making sure that you are prepared during the day for what might happen at night; checking the fuel, oil and water levels in pump motors
- Double-checking that all grove vehicles and employees are properly outfitted or equipped with the necessary clothing, parts, flashlights, necessary tools for cranking engines and maintaining irrigation systems on cold nights, jumper cables, extra irrigation parts, etc.
- Having working middles mowed or disked to enable adequate airflow on cold nights
- Making sure that any lingering weed or grass presence within the tree row does not affect sprinkler coverage patterns
- Making sure to turn off automatic timers to keep electric pumps from turning on after jets may be frozen in the case of a marginal freeze
- Keeping in touch with various winter weather watch sources, such as Southeast AgNet, Florida Automated Weather Network, the Winter Weather Watch Program, the National Weather Service, the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association office, etc.
- Having a cooperative temperature watch and notification plan with fellow growers.
- Making sure that you record flow meter readings in advance of and after any cold-protection pumpage.”
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.