As they continue to cope with relatively low prices for their crop, Wisconsin's cranberry growers may see some relief for some of that price stress due to the prediction of a nearly 11-percent drop in production this year compared to the state's record crop in 2013.
That's according to a recent report by the Wisconsin field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, which is predicting a 4-percent decrease in cranberry yields across the nation this year. The expected cutback in Wisconsin is greater than the total decrease in the nation's production.
The report indicated many Wisconsin growers are finding their berries are smaller due to the relatively cool weather during much of the 2014 growing season. Others are expecting yield losses due to hailstorms that struck in several areas during the last weekend of July.
As a result, the anticipated cranberry crop yield for 2014 in Wisconsin is pegged at 5.385 million barrels compared to nearly 6.016 million a year ago. The nation's crop is predicted to be 8.565 million barrels compared to more than 8.957 million in 2013.
Massachusetts, which ranks second among the states, is expecting nearly a 12-percent increase to 2.065 million barrels this year, thanks to good pollination, excellent weather and minimal rot, the report stated. New Jersey, Oregon and Washington, which are the other states in the top five for cranberry production, are all expecting small increases in production this year.
As a result of the shifting of numbers, Wisconsin cranberry growers will account for almost 63 percent of the nation's production this year compared to their 67-percent share in 2013.