01/02/2015 10:49 EST | Updated 03/04/2015 05:59 EST

California citrus survives cold temperatures with minimal damage, growers say

EXETER, Calif. - Citrus growers in California's San Joaquin Valley say their crops survived the freezing temperatures of the last three days.

California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen said Friday that citrus growers put in place frost-protection measures for eight to 10 hours each night Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and that damage appears to be minimal. Growers sprayed water in their mandarin orange, navel orange and lemon groves and turned on wind machines to protect their crops.

Nelson says potentially damaging cold temperatures lasted short periods of time, and that prevented widespread damage.

Citrus is grown on more than 200,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley and 75 per cent of the crop is still on the trees.

The last critical freeze for the industry was December 2013.