Almond Farmers Crops Threatened As Subfreezing Temperatures Continue
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - An almond crop winter freeze chilling profits.
"It's gut-wrenching," explained Almond farmer, Kelli Evans.
"It was a huge surprise! Look at February, look at January it's been dry, it's been warm," said Tim Taylor.
Kelli Evans and Tim Taylor own Evans Farming in Live Oak. The cold snap is freezing their almonds during blooming season, killing them before they ever make it to harvest.
"Our top concern is trying to figure out how we are going to pay the bills this year if we don't have a crop," said Taylor.
The couple is working around the clock to try to fight the frost with irrigation.
"We can raise the temperature 1 degree maybe 2 degrees and even at 28 degrees we are seeing massive crop damage," explained Taylor.
The costs are mounting for the company who are bracing for losing large profits this year.
"I feel nauseated. It is just the uncertainty and then trying to plan, reevaluating and recalculating our budgets," explained Evans.
Mel Machado at Blue Diamond Growers says the sub-freezing temperatures are coming at a terrible time.
"You hate to see this happen," explained Machado. "There are early bloomer varieties that are well beyond peak and they are more susceptible so that all gets rolled into a calculation about what the total impacts are," he said.
Almond growers already dealing with the drought are now dealing with this latest setback.
"It's creating one after another economic impact on us that we are hoping, everyone hopes we can recover from," said Evans.
Almond growers say it will take a week or two to assess the total impacts.
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