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Wed Feb 5, 2014, 10:59 AM

 

Freeze cost nearly a quarter of California citrus crop

EXETER, Calif. -- A week of freezing temperatures in early December wiped out nearly a quarter of California's $2 billion citrus industry, an industry group estimated on Monday.

The group, California Citrus Mutual, said the damage was confined to the state's Central Valley, where about $441 million in mandarin and navel oranges and lemons were lost during seven consecutive nights of freezing temperatures in early December.

California Citrus Mutual said about 20 percent of the mandarin crop had already been harvested when the freeze set in, but about 40 percent of the remaining oranges, or $150 million in revenue, was lost. The navel crop suffered a 30 percent loss, with the dollar value of the damage hit $260 million, the group said. About $24 million in lemons also were lost.

California's drought will not affect this year's crop, but it could be a factor for the following year, he said.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/state&id=9418321

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