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Calif. Citrus Producers Cease Packing to Check Cold Damage

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:31pm

EXETER, Calif. (AP) — California citrus growers have agreed to hold off packing fruit for two days to let state and county inspectors survey crop damage caused by a seven-day cold spell.

California Citrus Mutual says growers will wait to pack fruit harvested on or after Wednesday to facilitate inspections at 81 packinghouses in the Central Valley.

The association of growers says inspectors will also evaluate the effects of a week of freezing temperatures on more than 200,000 acres of groves, and that fruit unfit for the fresh market will be juiced.

Citrus Mutual president Joel Nelsen says the return on juiced fruit only covers harvesting costs.

The association says it is too soon to know if the damage was caused by the freeze but the worst appears to be over for now.

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