Big jump in cranberry production expected in Oregon as other states wane

KOIN - November 17, 2023

By - John Ross Ferrara

While other regions saw declining cranberry production in 2023, farmers in Oregon are wrapping up another successful season ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The USDA stated in its September Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook that the country’s top cranberry growers in the U.S. — Wisconsin, Massachusetts and New Jersey — are all anticipating a smaller cranberry harvest in 2023. Wisconsin, which produces roughly 60% of the cranberries grown in the U.S., is expected to see a 5% decline in production in 2023. Massachusetts accounts for 26% of the U.S. crop and is forecast for a 12% decline since 2022. In Oregon, meanwhile, the USDA projects that cranberry farmers will enjoy a healthy increase of 17.5%.

“Cranberry production is forecast to be up in Oregon, the fourth-largest cranberry producing State, accounting for 6.2% of U.S. production this season,” the USDA stated in its September report. “Despite hot temperatures during summer bloom, the 2023 cranberry crop in Oregon is forecast to be 470,000 barrels, up 17.5% from 2022.”

While numbers are thought to be down in the Northeast and the Midwest, Pacific Coast Fruit Company buyer Jenny Williams told KOIN 6 News that the industry saw a 10% jump in cranberry yields in 2022 thanks to an excellent season that produced especially large fruit. Following a bountiful 2022 harvest, cranberry vines expectedly produced smaller fruits in 2023 as the vines replenished themselves, she said. As a result, the industry is mostly seeing yields fall back to normal levels.

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