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Greater FBK escapes frost damage


Last updated 2/21/2008 at Noon

Preliminary reports indicate that the Greater Fallbrook area’s agricultural crops have been spared from any damage due to the cold weather the night of February 14.

Official temperatures reached lows of 34 in Fallbrook and Bonsall that night, and while temperatures may have been lower in locations other than the recording stations no reported crop damage has reached the San Diego County Farm Bureau.

“I’ve heard no news,” said Farm Bureau executive director Eric Larson. “Nothing has trickled to me.”

Although the snow level dropped low enough to hit Alpine and Ramona, some crops can handle lower temperatures. “The concern when it gets cold are the avocados that are in the colder areas,” Larson said.

Avocados can survive to a temperature of about 24 degrees if the low temperature is for a short enough time. The duration of the freeze has a greater impact than the lowest temperature reached.

The local floral industry was also apparently spared. “It got fairly cold. There was frost on the ground, but I don’t think we had any damage,” said Mike Mellano, the vice-president in charge of production for the Bonsall nursery Mellano and Company.

During the January 2007 frost which significantly damaged various fruit, nut, and floral crops in the county, the reported temperatures dropped to 16 degrees in Greater Fallbrook and to 14 degrees in part of Valley Center. Last year’s cold weather in the county’s avocado and citrus producing regions also lasted for a longer period of time.


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