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Slim cranberry harvest means sauce could be sparse this holiday season

Katie Thoresen

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.”

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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