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Business & Economics

Slim cranberry harvest means sauce could be sparse this holiday season

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Katie Thoresen
/
WXPR

Bags of fresh cranberries lined grocery store shelves ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, but there might not be many left come Christmas.

That’s because Wisconsin’s cranberry growers harvested about 100 million pounds fewer berries than the average year.

“Here in Wisconsin, we are well below what we would expect to be a normal crop and fruit is a little bit scarce,” says Tom Lochner, the executive director of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

Lochner says abnormal weather events and temperature fluctuations caused the plants to produce less fruit.

The central part of the state was impacted more than northern Wisconsin, but that’s where two-thirds of the state’s cranberry crop is grown.

Lochner says only about 3 percent of harvested cranberries are sold fresh.

With a slim harvest, his advice is simple: “We would encourage folks if they see cranberries grab them if they want them for Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays.”

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