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Fruit growers on hard freeze: "We're concerned."

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Fruit growers on hard freeze: "We're concerned."

CREATED Jan 15, 2013

Reporter: Alexis Fernandez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - As Tucsonans deal with day five of near record low temperatures, local fruit growers are feeling the squeeze.

Jeanie Delauro, a local grower, says she's been waiting to see a healthy bloom of oranges and grapefruit in her backyard since the freeze back in 2011.

"We're hoping that we don't go through the same deep freeze that we did two years ago because our trees didn't produce for two years, this is the first crop we've had since then," she said.

If the cold nights continue, Delauro might have to wait even longer before she sees viable fruit. 

"We're concerned about if it's cold a few more nights -- fruits could freeze --so if that happens then we're going to lose the crop," she said.

She says the more than 50 citrus crops in her backyard help supplement her husband's income. 

"If we lose the fruit, than pieces of his income are lost, definitely, so I hope it's okay, we'll see how it goes," she said.

But the Delauro's are not the only one's feeling the squeeze. Todd Stadtlander, produce manager at the Co-Op in Downtown Tucson says local and organic citrus could become scarce and more expensive. 

"The citrus right now is being affected the most, with it being we only source our citrus from Arizona, so with the cold hitting arizona the amount of availability is going to be extremely limited," he said.

Limited availability often brings higher prices. 

"Could be felt this year, next year, three years, it really depends on the temperatures and how well the trees bounce back from being so cold," Stadtlander said.

Unfortunately, it's still too soon to tell whether all of us will have to take a bitter bite because of mother nature.