Cranberry production up 6% from 2009

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — In its annual Cranberries report the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast 2010 production at 7,350,000 (100-lb) barrels (735 million lbs), up 6% from 6,913,000 barrels in 2009 and second only to 7,865,000 barrels in 2008 if realized.

Higher production was forecast in the two largest producing states but lower outturn in the three other major states, the exact opposite of 2009 production compared with 2008.

Production was forecast at 4,350,000 barrels in Wisconsin, up 10% from 2009, and at 1,950,000 barrels in Massachusetts, up 7%, the U.S.D.A. said.

“Much of the crop has progressed ahead of normal this season,” the U.S.D.A. said of Wisconsin’s crop. “An early spring and warm, humid days have kept the crop in good condition.”

In Massachusetts above average temperatures in June and early July aided pollination, but later above-average temperatures and a lack of moisture reduced potential production.

But production in New Jersey was forecast at 530,000 barrels, down 5% from last year, in Oregon at 385,000 barrels, down 10%, and in Washington at 135,000 barrels, down 16%.

“Freezing temperatures damaged buds in December, followed by a cold and wet spring that delayed the crop,” the U.S.D.A. said of the Oregon crop, while in Washington, “A cold, wet spring resulted in poor pollination and small berry size.”

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