Fresh cranberry packing and shipping started the week of September 17th from Central Wisconsin for the Cranberry Network LLC, which markets fruit grown by Habelman Bros. Co. of Tomah, WI. Wisconsin cranberry shipments are expected improve this season, although it will not be a bumper crop. The 2017 season was off from normal shipments.
Cranberry shipments for the fresh market got underway the week of September 24th in very light volume from bogs in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Quebec, Washington, and British Columbia by Ocean Spray and Oppy. Organics produced in Quebec will begin shipping next week.
Only about 5 percent of cranberries are harvested and shipped for the fresh market, with the remaining 95 percent of cranberry volume going to the processors. The majority of cranberries are harvested during October.
Today is the Canadian Thanksgiving and U.S. shipments have received a bump to provide for that demand. Thanksgiving in the U.S. is November 22nd and cranberry shipments will increase in the weeks leading up to that holiday.
Wisconsin continues to be the leading producer and shipper of cranberries.
While fresh cranberries are grown in Canada, Chile, Mexico, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington, Wisconsin shipped by far the most fresh cranberries of any state or country, according to the USDA.
Wisconsin accounted for 13.83 million pounds of conventional fruit in 2017, down from 14.2 million pounds in 2016.
Wisconsin shipped about 70,000 pounds of organic fruit in 2017.
- The second largest producer and shipper of fresh cranberries in 2017 was Massachusetts, which the USDA reported shipped 4.21 million pounds, up from 3.84 million pounds in 2016.
- Washington fresh cranberry shipments in 2017 were 2.2 million pounds, up from 1.87 million pounds in 2016.
- 2017 U.S. imports of Canadian cranberries, according to the USDA, were 2.67 million pounds.
- The USDA reported that Michigan fresh shipments of cranberries in 2017 totaled 340,000 pounds, down from 420,000 pounds in 2016.
- New Jersey fresh shipments in 2017 were 90,000 pounds, down from 170,000 pounds in 2016.
- Mexico and Chile shipped light volume of fresh cranberries to the U.S. in 2017.
Over a year ago a group representing growers known as the Cranberry Marketing Committee sought approval from the USDA to issue a rule limiting what growers can sell in 2018-19 in an effort to prop up prices. It was recently approved by the USDA.
The rule permits growers to sell only 75 percent of their historical sales volume, with the balance of the crop donated to food banks or other charities, used as a soil amendment, used to expand under-developed foreign markets, or otherwise disposed.
“With volume regulation, returns are expected to be higher than without volume regulation,” the USDA said recently. “This increase is beneficial to all growers and handlers regardless of size, and enhances total revenues in comparison to no volume regulation.”
The USDA said establishing an allotment percentage allows the industry to help stabilize supplies. The regulation could remove a potential 2 million barrels from supply, reduce industry inventory, and increase industry returns.
The marketing order volume control regulation, issued Sept. 12, applies to cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island in the state of New York.