Crops at Risk From Cold Weather

Strawberries, avocados, and late season tomatoes will be impacted by subfreezing temps

POSTED: 03:51 PM PST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 09:33 PM PST Dec 04, 2013 
CARPINTERIA, Calif. -

Farmers are nervous over the forecast of subfreezing temperatures from Carpinteria to Paso Robles.

It could have an impact on late season tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and avocados depending on which areas get the deep freeze.

For now, the plummeting temperatures from the high 70's a few days ago have not reached the freezing point along the coastal valleys, but they are forecasted to be in the 20's in the Santa Ynez Valley and parts of San Luis Obispo County.

At the "Farm Cart" in Carpinteria,  Katie Shepherd said last April, a freeze impacted her families crops but so far everything is coming in from the fields in good condition this week.  She said carrots and kale are among the vegetables that can handle the cold weather more than others.

"Just last year we got really affected with our fruit orchard," said Shepherd. "Besides that, we've been pretty  fine. We're hanging in there."

She says the organic vegetable cart on Carpinteria Ave. has had steady business and she is stocking winter crops.

Avocado growers nearby on Highway 192, are planning to watch the thermometer closely tonight.   Many have wind machines ready to spin and stir up the air to reduce the impacts of frost.

No rain is in the forecast, which reduces the risk of icy conditions.