MORRO BAY, Calif- Farmers across the state are fighting freezing temperatures. At Morro Creek Ranch in Morro Bay, farmers are fighting the frost from the air and on the ground.
When temperatures fall, sometimes crops need help from the sky. "We bring warm air which is normally 40-50 feet above the cold trees and we are trying to mix that warm air down into the cold air that settles onto the avocado or lemon trees," said Scott Sinton of Sinton Helicopters.
From up in the sky, you can see acres and acres of trees that have been bitten by the cold. Sinton will fly the chopper 2 to even 7 hours a night depending on how cold it is. When the cold comes, farmers need to utilize every tool they've got. An average night of flying costs 35-hundred dollars.
"It's fairly cheap insurance compared to total crop loss," said Sinton. This team effort takes place in the air and on the ground. "I've got the radio and I'm in communication with the helicopter, I drive the orchard and check my thermometer stations in the orchard," said Ranch Manager, Alan Cavaletto.
Thermometers are strategically placed all over the orchard, but there are more tools in fighting the frost. Wind machines are also utilized because air becomes stagnant, and machines help to circulate the air. Although using all these tools is costly, Calvaletto said it needs to be done. "If you don't you're going to lose everything, the frost will come in, it's like a fire it just burns, its not just the crop you see on the tree at the time but its the next years crop and the crop after that," said Calvaletto.
Something the 348 acre ranch can't afford to lose.
Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:40 PM EDT2013-06-05 21:40:27 GMT
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