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A note about the CMC meeting in Bellingham

27 Aug

I missed the CMC meeting in Bellingham due to a family wedding….but then again most of you that know me, know that I swore off CMC meetings back in February when our elected representatives neglected to vote for a set aside when we clearly had a bunch of fruit sitting in the freezer. Here we are in August, set to deliver a pretty good crop and What? our surplus is growing? You would think that the CMC would do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to solve the problem. After all, they are the only people with the responsibilty to do such. Yup, you guessed it: they decided to study it some more…form a committee…argh!

Being the eternal optimist, I believe that finally, in February 2014 the truth will be obvious to everyone and enough members will vote to with hold fruit. Quebec growers are getting on board with the US growers, so that will go along with the Vancouver growers who already can enact a set aside. We CAN and WILL manage the crop people! In the meantime we need to sell, sell, sell and tell the world about our amazing red berry.

On a side note, it WOULD be nice to exempt, say, the first 5000 barrels (or whatever the right number is) of each contract’s production. This way, the smaller growers who “didn’t expand” could be hurt less from a set aside. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out the right size to exempt. In effect, the largest growers would be disposing of the most fruit. The smaller growers will be protected. I know this would take formal rule making, but if it is possible, lets get on it, or something like it.

Global warming targets Thanksgiving | Daily Record |

21 Nov

Thanksgiving Staple Impacted by Climate Change – Front Page Journal –

21 Nov

Wisconsin weather report. An early spring.

18 Mar

La Nina, Le Nino, global change, what ever you call it, 82 degrees on March 18 is crazy.  Just nuts!  This will mean lots of frost watch, lots of bugs, lots of berries?  Too soon to tell, but we will be counting buds PDQ.  Good luck everyone!

Supply vs demand, cranberry style

27 Feb

After attending the Cranberry Marketing Committee meeting last week, I’ve been thinking about our supply and demand situation, which by the way seems to be tightening up.  At the CMC, we mostly talk about cranberries after they are grown and delivered to handlers and we spend hours talking about too many or too few.  It seems to me, that we ought to talk about how to plant more efficiently.  If our current crop is 10,000,000 barrels and our usage is growing on average 2-3% a year that is 200,000-300,000 more barrels needed every year.  Thank goodness we are in a growing industry.

So if we need 200-300,000 more barrels every year, some comes from current bed renovation, about 150,000 barrels.  That means we need another 100,000-150,000 barrels from new plantings.  Divide that number by 220/barrel average, we need to plant 450-680 new acres, to handle the average increase in demand. That is all. Worldwide.  But we have to do it every year.  Seems to me, we do 25% at one time, increase supply too fast, crash prices and then stop planting, recover and repeat.  Isn’t there a better way?  I’m hoping that by discussing these things, growers will decide to plant SLOWER.  I know it may be more efficient to plant all at one time, we have been guilty of it personally, but knowing what I know now, I think we would do things differently.  Maybe others will too.  Slower planting will lead to more stable prices.  What do you think?

Cranberry exports as percentage of production

20 Feb

In 2001 exports were 12% of production.  In 2011 exports were 30% of production. Good job handlers!

First qtr CMC numbers are in (edited)

25 Jan

Just received a copy of the quarter ended 12/31/2011 on the cranberry crop from the CMC.  This is the first quarter in the crop year, and shows the delivery of the crop.


What I find interesting, if I am looking at this correctly is that the increase in sales in the first quarter of the year is about 5.8% over the same quarter last year!  Great news!

***edit*** ok, so this number was “total sales and shrinkage” , not total sales.  A good portion of this is shrinkage…what is that?  I heard that the crop had some rot and low color.  Does that affect shrinkage?  So, yes, our overall sales, without shrink, were up, but only about 2%.  Apparently the crop “shrunk” about 3%.  So maybe the rest of this original post isn’t as great as I thought. ****

This follows a 7.93% increase in sales in 2010 and a 4.33% increase in sales in 2009.  Look at the last page of the report for these numbers and do your own calculations.  If these are indeed the correct numbers, we are seeing more sales and usage of our cranberries.  We are “absorbing” in the increasing crop we are delivering.  Indeed the 2011 crop just delivered was the second largest US crop in history, behind 2008, and only smaller by 131,654 barrels. Our overall inventory remains high, but can I say…manageable? with our increased sales.

I’m certainly not the CMC numbers expert.  Call your CMC representative or Michelle Hogan at the CMC if you have any specfic questions.

Overall though, I think these numbers are good.  They show that our sales and usage is increasing.  Certainly, this is due to the low prices of cranberries and processors are finding new ways to use cranberries.  This is better than the alternative (meaning the prices are low and processors can’t figure out how to use them) So, I call this a win.  Now I’m off to find out how all of the above figures into the auction prices.  The OS concentrate auction is today.  Stay tuned.