The cranberry harvest in Wisconsin is underway right now.
And the results are looking good despite the drought.
That harvest means hundreds of millions of dollars for
Wisconsin, as we are set to lead the nation in cranberry production.
"It's always due to the weather. This year was certainly
unusual to say the least," Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin
Cranberry Growers Association said.
This year, the USDA says Wisconsin is expected to harvest 4.5
million barrels of cranberries, up two percent from just last year. That's an
impact of $300 million on the state.
"Brought in a few more acres into production this year, plus
above average yields—we're going to see that crop increase a little bit,"
At Elm Lake in Wisconsin Rapids, it's the timing that's been
the biggest change.
"This year has been one for the record books as far as
early. I've never seen anything as early," Mike Moss, owner of Elm Lake
Moss says he will produce around 40,000 barrels. But for
him, that's not too much of an increase.
"This year will be an average crop," Moss added.
Cranberry growers say the drought hasn't really affected the
size of their crop, but it has impacted the amount of work that goes into
"It's made more work to bring the crop through. We had to
protect it earlier, we had to sprinkle more throughout the summer," Moss said.
That work is coming to an end. Moss says all his cranberries
will be harvested by Wednesday. And now, he's looking ahead.
"Being a farmer, you have to be optimistic for next year,"
Moss told Newsline 9.
Optimistic—as Wisconsin goes for the 19th year of
leading the nation in cranberry production.
Experts say cranberries were able to thrive this summer
because farmers use irrigation systems and don't have to rely on too much rain.
1908 Grand Avenue, Wausau, WI 54403
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