Wisconsin’s role as a cranberry producing powerhouse will continue in 2019. According to projections released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Wisconsin growers will harvest an estimated 5.6 million barrels of fruit this fall. The forecast marks the 25th year that Wisconsin has led the nation in cranberry production.
“More than half the entire world’s supply of cranberries are grown on Wisconsin family farms,
generating $1 billion in state economic impact and providing thousands of local jobs,” said Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association (WSCGA). “We are proud of our role in providing a locally-grown, healthy product to millions of consumers here in Wisconsin and around the world.”
The harvest projection is part of the approximately 9.04 million barrels of cranberries expected
nationwide, up one percent from 2018. Last year, Wisconsin growers had a crop of 5.545 million barrels. This year’s projections are dependent on good growing conditions for the remainder of the season. Lochner says that a cool and wet spring resulted in the crop being about two weeks behind schedule, and warmer weather will be needed leading up to the fall harvest to keep the crop on track.
NASS, which bases its estimates on grower surveys nationwide, also made crop projections for other
top cranberry producing states. Those projections are: Massachusetts at approximately 2.3 million barrels, New Jersey at 570,000 barrels and Oregon at 570,000 barrels.
The U.S. cranberry industry overall has faced a surplus in recent years, caused by a number of factors, including strong growing conditions, new cranberry acreage and technological advances. The U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC), a Federal Marketing Order charged with ensuring a stable supply of quality cranberry products, is working diligently to increase demand domestically and open new markets overseas. CMC will release its annual report next week.
Cranberries are grown on 21,000 acres across 20 counties in central and northern Wisconsin. Approximately five percent of this year’s crop will be sold as fresh fruit, and the remaining cranberries will be frozen and stored for longer-term sales as frozen berries, dried cranberries, juices, sauces and more.
WSCGA was founded in 1887 and is committed to developing and implementing programs that will assist growers in doing a better job of growing cranberries and strengthening the public support for the industry in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.wiscran.org, Like WSCGA on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.