LODI (CBS13) – With overnight low temperatures expected to dip below freezing Monday night, many farmers are concerned that frost could damage their crops.
“At the right time it could be devastating, it could destroy the whole crop,” said farmer Jim Quaschnick.
Just about a week ago, farmers dealt with unseasonably warm temperatures, now they’re bracing for a cold snap.
Over at Quaschnick Cherry Farm in Lodi, thousands of sprinklers were turned on.
“They’re gonna run all night ’til about 8 a.m. tomorrow morning,” said Quaschnick.
He says with freezing temperatures and lows in the 20s, the key is irrigation and keeping the soil wet.
“The groundwater temperature is 57-62 degrees, so we are trying to keep the soil and temperatures slightly warmer,” he said.
The water helps warm up the surface and also keeps the shallow roots of the tree warm. And even though cherries are not in bloom, without it, the consequences could be devastating.
“If we get temperatures for more than a couple hours below 28 we can have some serious frost damage,” says Quaschnick.
Meanwhile, over at an almond farm in Woodland, farmers are especially concerned because their crop is in full bloom.
“You see the wet spots and the radius around these trees that will keep this ground warm,”’said Para Khagura.
Almond farmers like Khagura are putting the water on for a few hours at a time and making sure they don’t water too much which can then cause other issues.
“If you water too much and the winds do pick up, then there’s concern trees will topple,” said Khagura.
Frigid cold temperatures prompting necessary frost protection, as farmers do what they can to save their crops.
“We just do the best we can do,” said Khagura.
“This crop is my main crop and it’s my livelihood, so I depend on good farming cultural practices to ensure that I have a livelihood,” said Quaschnick.