Farmers Brace for Cold Overnight Temperatures
Growers are taking extra steps to keep their crops safe in dropping overnight temperatures.
Overnight temperatures are dropping into the 20s in some inland areas and local farmers are taking extra steps to protect their crops. "We have a defense system set up for the cold to try and protect whatever we can," strawberry grower Daren Gee said. Strawberries are Santa Barbara County's top cash crop and the cold weather can be harmful to Gee's fields. "On one side we like it because it makes that plant a lot stronger and healthier in the spring time when we go to harvest them," he said. "But on the other hand it will destroy the flowers and fruit." To protect against freezing crops, growers use fans to keep cold air from settling. Farmers also continue to water their crops when the temperatures drop below freezing. "When you apply water, it's of course warmer than freezing temperatures, so as it freezes it actually gives off heat," Deputy Agricultural Commissioner Guy Tingos said. Farmers say it's not abnormal for these cold temperatures in the winter and they are prepared for overnight conditions. For more on the weather, visit the <a href="http://www.keyt.com/weather">SkyTracker Forecast</a> page. KEY News reporter Joe Buttitta has the story.