Citrus farms thrive in cool weather

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PAVO, Ga. (WCTV) -- South Georgia farmers experienced the first freeze warning of the season as temperatures took a dip from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

A citrus farm in Pavo, GA says the cooler months are bittersweet for their crop.

Wednesday, Tony Smith with the Fruit Factory farm started hand-clipping satsumas. A popular, seedless fruit.

"We'll start by picking around 1,000 pounds today," said Smith.

They tackled their first day of harvest following the freeze warning issued, Tuesday.

"Citrus is risky for the cold factors. Last night wasn't too bad, but if we get down into the teens, that's when we really worry."

The farm only uses their cold protection irrigation system if temps drop into the twenties. It coats the trunk of the tree to protect it from the damaging cold.

Smith says growing citrus is a risky business. Where a cold snap causes ruin, the cold season is needed to ripen.

"As long as we keep getting these cool nights and cold nights the fruit does nothing, but sweeten up and color up."

The citrus farm is now welcoming the cool weather to help boost local business for their Fruit Factory gift boxes.

Smith says they're looking forward to a good season this year.

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