Cranberry production seen down slightly

by Laura Lloyd
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WASHINGTON — In its annual Cranberries report the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast 2012 production at 7,684,500 (100-lb) barrels (768.45 million lbs), down slightly from 7,711,700 barrels in 2011.

Higher production from a year ago was forecast in four of the five largest producing states, the U.S.D.A. said, with lower output expected in the second-largest producing state of Massachusetts.

Production was forecast at 4,500,000 barrels in Wisconsin, up 2% from 2011, at 542,500 barrels in New Jersey, up 6%, at 400,000 barrels in Oregon, up 11%, at 142,000 barrels in Washington, up 23%, and at 2,100,000 barrels in Massachusetts, down 9%, the U.S.D.A. said.

“Growers in Wisconsin reported excellent pollination and limited impact by the summer’s high temperatures and dry conditions,” the U.S.D.A. said. “In Massachusetts, an early spring caused growth to progress ahead of normal and growers in some areas experienced frost damage. Growers reported good conditions for bloom and pollination in the state but suffered from heat stress due to recent high temperatures and dry conditions. In Oregon and Washington, growers reported cool, wet growing conditions that delayed crop progress in some areas. In New Jersey, growers reported an average crop that required more irrigation than normal due to hot, dry weather,” the U.S.D.A. said.

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