The cold weather this weekend is actually helping out citrus growers in Lake County. Organic farmers in Clermont say it’s a good thing for their orange crops.
Benny McLean lives on Sugarloaf Mountain Road and is head of production for Uncle Matt’s Organic. McLean says because of all the unusually warm weather we have had this fall, navel oranges aren't as bright in color as they normally are.
He says Saturday’s cold air should help bring them back to their bright colors.
"If we have a real cold November and December, they'll be bright orange right now, but we still have a little bit of a green tint in them so we're glad to see this little bit of a cold snap, hopefully we can get a better color break on our citrus now,” said McLean.
With Christmas just around the corner, citrus growers say the cold air is just in time. This is actually a very busy time for them, filling orders for holiday fruit baskets.
McLean says they are no longer offering fruit baskets online because of fruit shortages and citrus greening disease. McLean says once the trees are infected by the bacteria-carrying insect, they produce less fruit.
"The last crop estimate that came out was roughly 70 million boxes. I think in '08 we were producing like 240 million boxes in the state, so you can see it's a major concern for all the citrus growers,” he says.