Ah, another growing season begins….

9 May

 I’ve been hiding out and not posting.  After last year’s terrible crop almost everywhere, it is easy to be optimistic about this year’s crop.  I mean, seriously, can Mother Nature hit us three years running?

We are seriously hoping for some seasonal averages here in WI.  How is your sprinkler coverage?  Here are a few photos from up top…the camera doesn’t lie.



WI crop update

25 Oct

Here we are on October 25th and the old saying “big crops get bigger and small crops get smaller” seem to be coming true in WI. There are stories about the northern marshes being down 40-50%. In the Warrens area I know of one grower that went from a 400 bbl average to 300. And another that went from 300 bbl average to 210bbl. The receiving stations are looking for fruit. I’ve only heard of two growers whose crops that are even or up from last year.

Obviously we won’t know for a couple more weeks.

The CMC estimate from last August was a WI crop estimate of 5,200,000 bbls. If we are off 20% that is a solid 1,040,000 bbls of fruit. That is the equivalent of 52,000,000 lbs or 1300 container loads of dried cranberries. And a lot of concentrate. (My estimates. Take it for what it is worth)

I haven’t heard much from other regions, but due to the sheer size of the WI crop, they would all have to be up 30-40% to make up for WI.

This is going to get very interesting.

2019 harvest photos WI

17 Oct

A couple more

More 2019 WI harvest photos

17 Oct

This is not an average crop in WI. Pretty disappointing.

2019 Wisconsin crop may be down 20% over last year

16 Oct

It has been a long time since I’ve been compelled to post. But this WI crop is a major disappointment.

The latest inventory report on the 2017 crop is stunning.

28 Sep

Read it Here

sorry all, the link wouldn’t post, so look in the uscranberries.com website, under industry reports.

2018 Producer allotment marketing order is approved!

12 Sep

The Secretary of Agriculture has signed the marketing order as it was proposed in the Federal Register. Here

Almost a year ago, we met in Long Beach WA and the CMC voted

1 Aug

They voted in August 2017 for a Handler set aside for the 2017 crop and a producer allotment for the 2018 crop.

The USDA Secretary of Agriculture enacted (finally!) a Handler set aside of 15% for the 2017 crop.  My understanding is that many of the handlers were exempt from that set aside.  The 2018 producer allotment was proposed in the Federal Register on 4/27/18 and the comment period ended 5/29/18.  Still no word from the Secretary on a final rule.  Cranberry Harvest in Wisconsin begins in less than 60 days.  What in the heck are they waiting for? Tick tock.

My thoughts are that the USDA stepped in it when they tied the two different kinds of actions (handler and producer) together by saying essentially, if you are a handler and you were exempt in 2017, you are exempt in 2018.  Problem is, the 2018 is a producer allotment, a totally different regulation than the 2017 handler set aside.  So the USDA is saying if you are a producer and you deliver to a handler who was exempt in 2017 then you as a grower are exempt in 2018.  Wow. Clear as mud.

Here is a clear, simple solution.  Enact a 2018 Handler set aside of 15% ( a lower amount, since mother nature did HER part with the 2017 crop). If handlers have no carryover, ie frozen fruit or concentrate in freezer on January 31 then they are exempt.  If a handler has an excess of concentrate, let them dispose of 100% of their restricted fruit in concentrate if they want.  Yes, the handlers will yell that they bear the costs of disposal but everyone knows the disposal will be in sort outs and concentrate which will have the added benefit of decreasing the inventory of concentrate which EVERYONE knows is 99% of the problem.  Come on, just do it.

Or, do you have a better idea??  it’s probably too late to make suggestions, but why not?  The Secretary can basically do whatever he wants regardless of what he proposed in the Federal Register.

No tariffs from EU for Cranberries

11 Jun


This came out Friday…good news!

Let’s talk about planting….

5 Jun

I keep seeing new acres going in….some new beds being constructed and some renovations. I get it. Every farmer’s goal in life is to have the highest production for the lowest annual costs. Efficiency. But lets think about the industry and this thing called supply and demand.

*The industry’s sales growth over the past 18-20 years has been averaging 1-2% a year. (According to CMC charts, in barrels)

*A 1% growth in acreage on an 80 acre marsh is .8 acre/year. Save them up and renovate a 4 acre bed every 5 years. 1000 acre marsh is 10 acres a year.

*if you are planting/renovating varieties with average production at the rate of 1-2%a year, then you’re keeping up with the sales increase. A reasonable thing to do.

*if you are planting/renovating new varieties with double the average production, at more than the rate of 1-2% a year, you are contributing to the oversupply. Why?

*the smallish 2017 crop is proof that supply matters. Prices are up in SDCS and concentrate. These increases had little to do with the 2017 marketing order as little fruit has been disposed of yet. Thank you Mother Nature.

One thing I will ALWAYs do from here on out is pay attention to the CMC numbers and the amount of carry-out inventory. In the chart below, it is easy to see why, finally, the CMC voted for a marketing order in both 1999 and 2016 for ensuing crops. In my mind, the correct percentage of carry out is between 50 and 75%. Lower than that and we won’t have product to grow markets, above 75% gets us low prices. And above 100% is just dumb. The CMC estimates that with a set aside we will get to the low 80% range. We should all be thankful that the CMC had the courage to recognize the problem and do something. The USDA has not signed the final order and the proposed order has some issues BUT, it should get us closer to the desirable inventory levels.


It is up to us growers to pay attention and exercise some restraint in our planting /renovations.