Cranberry production up in Wisconsin - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Cranberry production up in Wisconsin


WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -- Wisconsin is the country's leading producer of cranberries. As the harvest season wraps up, local growers say this crop is one of their best.

More than half of the country's cranberries are grown in our state. Mike Moss with Elm Lake Cranberries has been growing the fruit for nearly three decades.

He said this year isn't the best, but it's a close second.

"Numbers were there. Numbers of berries per square foot was good this year. Exceptional," said Moss.

The US Department of Agriculture estimates the entire state to produce about 4.3 million barrels of the crop this season, which is a 9 percent increase from 2010.

Moss said this year was delayed because of the late spring, but production was still on the higher end of that average.

"We were two weeks behind for most of the summer but then later in the summer we started catching," Moss said.

He added the weather plays a huge role in how the season turns out.

"We had some timely rains, and enough heat in September," said Moss. But the warmer summer weather means smaller berries, "Our size was average at best", he said.

 Moss said he's already planning for next year's crop.

"I'd say average for next year, being that we had above average this year. It's hard, most likely it's going to be off some next year," said Moss.

He said cranberry growers will spend the next two weeks harvesting their crops before the season ends. Then they shift their attention to making sure next year's crop makes it through the winter.

Online Reporter: Courtney Fasano

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