Florida citrus growers looking to stay abreast of freezing temperatures can subscribe to Winter Weather Watch for weather forecasts and more.

Freezing temperatures aren’t all that common through Florida’s citrus belt, but when they do hit, they can ruin an entire grove’s citrus crop. Florida citrus growers looking to stay one step ahead of freezing temperatures can subscribe to Winter Weather Watch, a service offered by UF/IFAS Extension, to get expert forecasts and expertise, according to a UF/IFAS blog. See the details below.

Details on Winter Weather Watch

The service started around 50 years ago by UF/IFAS Extension as a recording for citrus growers to get up-to-date weather forecasts concerning freezing weather that could be detrimental to citrus crops, according to the blog.

“Growers could subscribe to this service and get this ag weather forecast,” Chris Oswalt, a multi-county commercial citrus agent with UF/IFAS Extension said in the blog, and he maintained that service is still available. “We provide growers with weather information and the education they need to better help protect their crop,” he said in the blog.

Available from November 15th through March 15th and costing $100, citrus growers get a special phone number to call to get weather information tailored specifically to citrus growers and expertise on protecting groves from freezing temperatures.

Oswalt shared that “These are the official forecasts out of the National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Tampa and Miami,” and added that Fred Crosby, who was once the meteorologist-in-charge at the Ruskin weather service assists UF/IFAS Extension with interpreting the NWS weather forecasts for citrus growers. “He was there when the NWS provided agricultural weather forecasting and did a lot of that over his career in Ruskin,” Oswalt explained.

Citrus growers interested in signing up for the service can find the registration form for the program at the bottom of this edition of Citrus Notes.

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