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TEXT OF STORY
Scott Jagow: It snowed in Florida yesterday. Just flurries, but still, it doesn’t happen often. Temperatures have been in the teens this week. And any time it gets that cold in Florida, farmers aren’t getting much sleep. We don’t know yet how much damage some crops might’ve taken, like strawberries and vegetables. But it looks like citrus growers might’ve escaped this one. Dan Grech reports from the Sunshine State.
Dan Grech: It’s been a long two days for Florida orange growers.
Andrew Meadows is with the Florida Citrus Mutual, a trade organization with 8,000 members:
Andrew Meadows: I know we had some growers out there who pulled all-nighters and kept track of the temperature in their groves. So it definitely creates anxiety.
Some growers tried to protect plants by spraying them with water that freezes. This created a frozen shell that insulated the temperature at 32 degrees.
In the end, Meadows says it looks like Florida dodged a bullet.
Meadows: Fortunately, last night’s cold snap was accompanied by some winds, about 10 to 12 miles an hour. And that helps mitigate frost. So that certainly helped us pull through.
Florida’s last freeze in 1997 raised the price and decreased the availability of oranges.
That proved to be a boon for clementines. They found a large market in the U.S. that year for the first time.
I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.
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