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Central CA Citrus Farmers Stop Packing to Inspect Freeze Damage

Central California citrus farmers stop packing as inspectors check citrus crop in packing houses.

Ag inspectors are taking one more look at the Central Valley citrus crop.
Valley farmers are reporting major losses in the citrus industry.

KSEE 24's Lemor Abrams is live at at a citrus farm in Fresno County with
precautions farmers are taking.

Keith Nilmeier is still trying to catch his breath after over a week
monitoring icy temperatures on his 60 acre orange grove.

"Coldest we've had outside our groves...20 degrees," said Nilmeier.

To add to the stress, the packing houses estimate that up to 30% of the
industry's navals, and up to 70% of clementines...are lost.

"Is that a wipe out? No, but it will make it harder on the industry to go out
and find fruit...and where it's good," said Nilmeier.

Now valley farmers are being asked to stop packing atleast two days after
harvesting.

Inspectors want to check fruit for freeze damage.

"Sometimes I assume...stay away when they're cutting my fruit simply because
you get frustrated when you see what you got," said Nilmeier.

State and county inspectors sliced open more samples Friday.

But Deputy Ag Commissioner Fred Rinder says it's still too early to tell how
much damage to expect.

"Once information we get is compiled with other counties...it's going be what
it's going be," said Rinder.



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