University of Wisconsin Stout | Wisconsin's Polytechnic University
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The smudge pots do not put out enough heat to heat the orchard, however the thick smoke cloud acts to reflect infrared radiation (heat radiation) from the orchard, thus "trapping" heat between the cloud and the ground. By reducing the amount of heat lost by radiation to the night sky, the orchard cools more slowly, hopefully keeping it above the freezing point through the night.