Chill threatens SoCal citrus groves

Jan. 13, 2013 at 11:12 AM

HEMET, Calif., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Citrus growers in Southern California said they expected to take their lumps from a weekend cold snap that sent temperatures in their groves plunging.

Lows around the freezing mark were in the forecast into next week, which meant some sleepless nights for inland farmers.

"You worked hard all year to get your crops, and there's a chance you'll lose it all," John Gless, a grower outside Hemet, told the Los Angeles Times.

California's citrus crop is the largest in the United States and still had about $1 billion worth of oranges, lemons and other fruits still on the trees this weekend, the newspaper said.

Cold weather was to continue into early next week, although the winds should be strong enough to stir up the air and help prevent a freeze from setting in.

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