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Wind Machines Protect Crops During Cold Blast

Crops came through the cold weather blast last week here and throughout the state because of more money invested by farmers.

The State Department of Agriculture reports no major losses. The last subfreezing weather pattern resulting in damaged crops was in the winter of 2013.

Since then, farmers statewide have invested in systems to help with crop protection including wind machines.

Residents of Carpinteria could hear the machines last week on several mornings when temperatures hit 32 degrees in parts of the valley with avocado trees, and open field crops. Some nursery operations also covered their sensitive plants with plastic sheeting.

Many of the citrus growers also say their crops are more mature this time of the year and can withstand some of the cold temperatures better.

About 25 percent of the orange crops, and 20 percent of the lemon crops have already been harvested. That leaves tons of fruit on the trees to ripen, but they are also vulnerable.

In the Santa Ynez Valley grape vines are dormant and have not had an issue with the cold temperatures which fell into the 20’s last week.

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