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Cranberry Harvest Underway; Smaller Crop Than First Projected


The cranberry harvest is underway and an industry spokesperson says the crop will be a large one, but likely not as large as earlier thought. Tom Lochner from the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association in Wisconsin Rapids says earlier harvest projections have been scaled back...

"...the crop projections that came out estimated Wisconsin would bring in between 500 and 530 million pounds of fruit. I think we're going to be closer to the 500 million mark...."

Lochner says slightly less fruit might not be all that bad...

".....after this week we'll have a pretty good handle on what the crop is going to look like. And with the market the way it is, if we're a little short on fruit, since we're in an oversupply situation, it might not be so bad for growers is supply drops a little bit and prices move up...."

Lochner says the harvest was affected by the lack of cold night time temperatures which ripen the fruit, so growers were holding off. He says some growers this year saw some damage to the plants caused by the very cold winter temperatures. Lochner says even with the lower projection, Wisconsin growers will supply between 55 and 60 percent of the nation's crop, making it the largest producer of cranberries in the nation.

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