Posts Tagged “cranberry shipments”

Shipments of Cranberries from Wisconsin, Massachusetts to be Down This Season

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The USDA has estimated the U.S. national cranberry crop for 2023 at 7.62 million barrels, down 5% from the 2022 crop year. In Wisconsin, the largest growing state, the USDA forecast production at 4.6 million barrels, down 5% from last year.

Production in Massachusetts, forecast at 2 million barrels, is down 12% from last year, the USDA said.

Cranberry growers experienced cold temperatures, with below-normal precipitation and above-normal snowfall during the winter months.

In Wisconsin and Massachusetts, the winter freeze and early snow affected plant dormancy and froze out buds, the release said.

In the spring and early summer months, numerous frosts and hailstorms occurred during the growing season.

Growers in some areas reported severe frost damage, resulting in reduced crop growth and yield loss, according to the USDA.

In Oregon, the crop faced threats from the intensive heat and extreme weather in late June and mid to late July, and growers are concerned about fruit size. With good management practices, cranberry growers expect a good to average season despite the challenging weather during the bloom period, the USDA said.

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Keeping It Fresh: Cranberry Season

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By Dave Comber, ALC Madison

Most of us have enjoyed cranberries one way or another. Whether drinking one of the varieties of cranberry juice, as a salad topping, as an ingredient in a dessert, or as the cranberry sauce staple in the holiday season meal in the U.S. We have all at least tried cranberries in one form or another. Have you ever thought about all it takes to get cranberries from the farm to our households? The season to harvest cranberries is upon us now in full swing to get them to us for the holiday and the remainder of the year in all varieties, we enjoy them on a regular basis.

Cranberries are one of the few types of berries native to the U.S, with Wisconsin and Massachusetts producing more than 90% of the cranberries grown in the country. As most in the transportation industry are aware, shipping produce is no easy feat, and

transporting cranberries is no exception. Cranberries need to be handled with care.

The cranberry harvest begins in mid-September for most cranberry-producing states and runs through mid-November. Harvesting dry and wet cranberries are accomplished in two ways. Dry harvesting is a popular way for many small farmers as it doesn’t require as much coordination and machinery as wet harvesting. A device similar to a lawn mower pulls the berries off of the vines and into burlap sacks. While this is an easier method, a greater percentage of cranberries do get damaged. Wet harvesting is a method used by

large farms that work with major juice companies like Ocean Spray. Bogs are closed off and flooded with about 18 inches of water. Water reels are sent off on the water to stir up the plants and knock the berries off the vine. Cranberries have little pockets of air in them, so they float to the surface of the water. Nets and floating barricades are then used to move the berries to where they can be collected.

Before cranberries can be shipped they need to be carefully packaged for their journey. Cranberries have tougher skin than most other berries, but they still need to be handled with care. There are a couple of methods used to package them. They can be packaged in plastic bags with holes to vent out excess moisture, or in clamshell packaging. They then need to be placed in sturdier boxes that can support the weight of them being palletized. If shipping cranberries in bulk, they are put in plastic or fiberboard bulk bins to be placed in the truck.

Cranberries do not typically require any temperature regulation if they are being transported short distances. Frequently cranberries are transported only short distances from the farm to where they are being processed. However, if transporting cranberries in very cold or hot temperatures, or if shipping directly to stores at greater distances from the farm, then cranberries need to be transported in a refrigerated (reefer) trailer. Cranberries transported in a reefer should be kept at a temperature of 36 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Cranberries generally can be stored for up to three to four months if kept at this temperature. Outside of these temperatures, cranberries can become damaged. If cranberries are kept too warm they will deteriorate and begin to rot within a few hours. If cranberries get too cold, they will turn brown and the inside will become tough and rubbery. It’s important that the temperature remains at the proper temperature to avoid any damage upon delivery.

As we get closer to the holiday season in the U.S., we think about all the good food we are going to enjoy with family and friends. More than likely, we will have cranberries in one form or another at the holiday meals. Enjoy and remember all it took to get cranberries from the farm to your dinner table.


Dave Comber is the manager of ALC Madison and has been with the Allen Lund Company for eight years. He worked for three years as the assistant manager, before being promoted to his current role. Comber brought with him over 20 years of management and customer service experience within the transportation industry from Northern Freight Service, Inc. and Schneider National, Inc. Comber attended Lawrence Univercity in Appleton, WI and earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a Major in History.

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Cranberry Shipments Increase Gradually Until Peak Loadings in November

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U.S. cranberry shipments are forecast to be 8.3 million (100-pound) barrels, up 4% from a year ago, according to The U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee.

The U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee, reports the majority of the cranberry crop is processed for juice concentrate and sweetened dried cranberries although the fresh and frozen category is growing.  

“Cranberries have a very small window when fresh cranberries are available because they are so perishable. The fruit is harvested within a six-to-eight-week timeframe in September and October, depending on weather and fruit maturity.  

Cranberries also are a unique product since it is only grown in the northern part of the U.S., unlike other specialty crops.

The 2022 crop experienced a variety of adverse weather across the country, beginning at the bloom stage in the Northwest and continuing with the extreme drought in the Northeast.

In addition, the upper Midwest experienced hail and other major weather events.  

This is significant since Wisconsin produces the majority of cranberries in the U.S.

Shipments of fresh product are expected well into December, while whole frozen cranberries are typically available all year.

The increasing demand for fresh, frozen and sweetened dried cranberries has been notable in the past five years, in part to growing exports.

Wisconsin is the biggest cranberry-producing state, statistics show. In 2021, Wisconsin is projected to produce 5.2 million barrels of cranberries or about 63% of U.S. output.

The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, says the expanded crop in Wisconsin and the U.S. should have good demand, considering lighter harvests in 2020 and 2021.

Cranberries are grown on 21,000 acres across 20 counties in Wisconsin, according to the association. The sand and peat marshes in central and northern Wisconsin create ideal growing conditions for cranberries.

During the early 1890s, the center of the Wisconsin cranberry industry shifted to the Cranmoor area, just west of Wisconsin Rapids. Later developments occurred in the Black River Falls, Warrens and Tomah areas, followed by cranberry farms in northern Wisconsin, primarily around Manitowish Waters, Eagle River, Spooner and Hayward.

Other leading cranberry growing states, according to the U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee’s 2022 forecast, include:

  • Massachusetts: 1.89 million barrels
  • New Jersey:  550,000 barrels
  • Oregon:  510,000 barrels
  • Washington: 160,000 barrels

Less than 5% of the cranberry crop is sold fresh.
Fresh cranberry shipments have been stable in recent years, according to statistics from the U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee. Fresh shipments in 2020 totaled 285,814 barrels, up a little more than 1% from 2019 and 2018. 

Processed cranberry sales have shown stronger growth in the last five years. The U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee reported processed cranberry sales in 2020 were 5.78 million barrels, little changed from 2019 but up 10% from 2018.

Ocean Spray reports it will have ample fresh cranberries this fall. It is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers in the U.S., Canada and Chile.

The current 2022 crop forecast for Ocean Spray is over 7 million barrels, up from 6.6 million barrels of cranberries harvested in 2021. 

North American cranberry harvest is active from mid-September through about mid-November; Ocean Spray also markets cranberries from Chile, which are harvested from March through May.

The co-op sources fresh cranberries from British Columbia, New Brunswick, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Washington.

Oppy and Ocean Spray became partners in 2003 to market fresh cranberries.  

 Since then, Ocean Spray’s presence has expanded significantly to include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, citrus and grapes through its partnership with Oppy.

Ocean Spray’s most popular fresh product is Ocean Spray Cranberries.

Americans typically consume about 80 million pounds of cranberries during Thanksgiving week alone.

The majority of Ocean Spray’s 12-ounce fresh cranberry bags ship in November.   

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Cranberry Shipments, Led by Wisconsin, Similar to a Year Ago

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It’s that time of year when light volume in cranberry shipments is getting underway leading up Thanksgiving in late November.

The USDA predicts there will be 1 percent more loadings this season compared to a year ago.

U.S. total cranberry production is forecast at 9.04 million (100-pound) barrels, up 1% from 8.93 million barrels in 2018, according to the forecast.

In Wisconsin, a cold, wet spring put the crop one to two weeks behind normal, but warmer temperatures in July helped the crop catch up. Wisconsin is the leading state for cranberry shipments, with 2019 output forecast at 5.6 million barrels, up about 1% from a year ago.

In Massachusetts, some growers reported excessive moisture, but production was pegged slightly above 2018. Massachusetts is the second ranked leading shipper of cranberries, with 2019 output of 2.3 million barrels,  compared with 2.29 million barrels a year ago.

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Cranberry Shipping Report as USDA Takes Action to Prop Up Prices

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DSCN0857Fresh 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.

Cranberry Overproduction

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.

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Massive Amounts of Cranberries Could be Dumped This Season

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A12Huge amounts of cranberries could be dumped this season or diverted to other places such as a charity institutions as production has soared in recent years.  Light loadings of fresh cranberries are underway.

At the same time cranberry growers are pushing the USDA to bail them by having the feds slash the amount of fruit that can be sold for the 2018-19 shipping season by about 25 percent.

The USDA published a proposed rule last Apple upon the recommendation of the Cranberry Marketing Committee, which would limit the quantity of cranberries from the 2018-19 crop a handler may purchase from growers.  The bottom line is hope the recommendation will artificially prop up prices for growers.

Because of the USDA’s perceived inability to act upon the recommendation, frustration is running high in the cranberry trade.  Most of issues actually involve cranberries destined for markets other than fresh.  Fresh cranberry shipments, which represent only a small percentage of total production, should remain relatively stable this season.

The Cranberry Marketing Committee’s proposal divert fruit from the U.S. commercial market could be sold to foreign markets (except Canada), be given to charitable institutions, provide nonhuman food use or simply be used as compost in the field.

Soaring inventories of processed cranberries led to the recommendation.

In 2011, existing cranberry inventories were around 4.6 million barrels, but that increased to 9.9 million barrels at the end of the 2016-17 season.

By the end of the 2017-18 season, inventories are projected to be approximately 10.9 million barrels, the proposal said. Inventories as a percentage of total sales have also been increasing from approximately 50 percent in 2010 to approximately 103 percent in 2016, and could reach an anticipated 115 percent after the 2017-18 season. These inventories have had a depressing effect on grower prices, which for many growers have fallen below their cost of production.

Fresh cranberry shipments won’t be compromised.

The proposal, put forward by the Cranberry Marketing Committee in a February vote, would establish a marketable quantity of 7.275 million barrels and a grower allotment percentage of 75 percent based on their historical production. The proposal exempts organic cranberries.

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Fewer U.S. Cranberries This Season; NJ Peaches are Experiencing Increase

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IMG_2991+1Nationally, cranberry shipments will be down this season.  Meanwhile, favorable weather helps boost New Jersey to second place nationally in peach shipments.

Cranberry growers in Wisconsin are expected to have another big harvest this fall, although it will be less than last year when average yields reached an all-time high.

The USDA has released its latest forecast for the 2017 cranberry crop showing Badger State producers are projected to rake in 5.6 million barrels of the tart fruit, down nine percent from the 2016 crop.

The Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association says producers will begin harvesting their crop in late September and continue through much of October.  Approximately five percent of the state’s cranberries will be sold as fresh fruit, with the remainder being frozen and stored for dried cranberries, juices, sauces and more.

Nationally, about 9.05 million barrels are forecast to be harvested, down six percent from 2016.  In Massachusetts, growers will harvest less than half of Wisconsin’s total production at 2.2 million barrels. Washington producers expect 2017 to be a good year due to favorable weather conditions.

NJ Peach Shipments

by New Jersey Department of Agriculture

TRENTON)  –The USDA’s August Crop Production Forecast for 2017 sees New Jersey peach shipments rising to second in the U.S.  The forecast, which is based on phone calls, mail, internet, and personal interviews with farmers in New Jersey and around the country, predicts state peach farmers will produce 48 million pounds of peaches this year.

“Conditions in New Jersey have been perfect for growing peaches this season, allowing farmers to have an extremely high yield of the juicy, sweet tree fruit,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said. “We want people to know Jersey Fresh peaches are plentiful and available at supermarkets, farmers markets, and roadside stands. We appreciate the work the USDA does to keep produce buyers and consumers up to date on the current trends in the industry.”

New Jersey is on track to harvest approximately eight million more pounds of peaches in 2017 than it did last year, and is behind only California in peach production.  The Jersey peach season should continue through mid-September.

The USDA surveyed approximately 21,700 producers for the crop production report. The producers were asked questions about probable yield.  These growers will continue to be surveyed throughout the growing season to provide indications of average yields.

The August Crop Production report also forecasted a crop of 44 million pounds of apples for the Garden State, also up from last year. New Jersey cranberry producers expect to harvest 590,000 barrels, which would rank New Jersey third in the U.S. in cranberry production.

(Editor’s Note:  Both South Carolina and Georgia suffered severe crop losses this year due to a spring freeze, allowing New Jersey to come in second in peach volume.  Also, virtually all of New Jersey cranberry production is for the processed market, not fresh.)


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U.S. Cranberry Shipments Up; Spuds Loads were Down

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img_29981U.S. Cranberry loadings will increase a little this season, while the nation’s potato shipments final count for last season were down.

The nation’s 2016 cranberry shipments are forecast at 8.59 million barrels, up slightly from last season, according to the USDA.

Wisconsin production, the largest cranberry shipping state, is up from 4.9 million barrels in 2015 to 5.2 million barrels.  Meanwhile,in Massachusetts, the second leading state, fell from 2.4 million barrels in 2015 to 2 million barrels.

At 588,000 barrels, New Jersey production is off from 595,000 barrels in 2015, while Oregon production is tabbed at 530,000 barrels, down from 562,000 barrels the previous season.

Harvesting of fresh and processed berries in Massachusetts began the third week of September and should be completed by the third week of November.

Massachusetts cranberry growers have been harvesting fresh and processed fruit from respective dry and wet bogs.  In the water bogs, which account for about 85 percent of the fruit, which goes to processing, fruit is grown in dry bogs or fields.  Then the fields are flooded with water to bring fruit to the surface.

The fruit is harvested with spindle-type machinery and once the berries surface at the top of the water, the free-flowing berries are vacuumed into a machine that removes leaves, litter and chaff.  It is then loaded into trucks and delivered to a receiving station.

Concerning cranberries for the fresh harvest, gasoline-powered machines are used that drive over the vines and gently pull berries out of the vines and into burlap bags.  The fruit is brought to the shoreline and sorted before being transported to a receiving station for cleaning and packaging.

U.S. Potato Shipments

About 441 million cwt. of potatoes were produced in the U.S. in the 2015-16 marketing season.

That’s up slightly from an estimate in January but slightly lower than production in the previous season, according to a report from the USDA’s Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Major producers included:

  • Idaho, 130.4 million cwt.;
  • Washington, 100.3 million cwt.;
  • Wisconsin, 27.8 million cwt.;
  • North Dakota, 27.6 million cwt.;
  • Colorado, 22.6 million cwt.;
  • Oregon, 21.8 million cwt.;
  • Michigan, 17.6 million cwt.;
  • Maine, 16.2 million cwt.; and
  • Minnesota, 16.2 million cwt.

About 122 million cwt. of the 2015-16 total were for the fresh market.

The number of acres harvested in 2015, 1.05 million acres, was up slightly from 2014, but yields fell from 421 cwt. to 418 cwt. per acre.

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Cranberry Shipments; Port Manatee Signs Agreement

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ManateeU.S. cranberry shipments are expected to be up slightly in 2016 with loadings beginning in early September.  Meanwhile, expect imported bananas and pineapples from Port Manatee to be available for decades.

About 8.59 million barrels are expected to ship this year, up from 8.56 million barrels in 2015 and 8.4 million barrels in 2014, according to an annual cranberry report from the USDA.

Industry leader Wisconsin should ship about 5.2 million barrels, up from 4.9 million barrels last year.  With the exception of some isolated hail damage, the growing weather in Wisconsin has been excellent this year.

Production in the No. 2 state, Massachusetts, should fall, from 2.4 million barrels in 2015 to 2.1 million barrels this year — due in part to drought in the state.

Production in New Jersey (which is mostly processed), Oregon and Washington also should be down from last year.

Del Monte, Port Manatee Agreement

Port Manatee of Palmetto, FL and Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc. has signed an agreement to keep its importing operations at the Port for up to 20 more years, which goes through August 2021.

The lease includes options for three additional extensions of five years each, according to a news release.  If Del Monte uses all options, the grower-shipper and importer could be importing fruit at the central Florida port until at least 2036.

Del Monte,has imported fruit at the port since 1989 and handles weekly refrigerated vessels containing containers and pallets of Central American bananas and pineapples.

For exports, Del Monte ships linerboard used in packaging and also handles other third-party containers and project cargos.

“We are very pleased to continue our relationship with Port Manatee,” Brian Giuliani, Del Monte’s Port Manatee-based port manager, said in the release. “The cooperation with Port Manatee is exceptional and has been vital to the growth of our business at Port Manatee.”

Del Monte has moved 8.7 million short tons of cargo through the port since 1989.

“Extension of Port Manatee’s long-term partnership with Del Monte demonstrates the mutual commitment on the part of our port and a most-valued tenant,” Betsy Benac, the port authority’s chairwoman, said in the release.

Del Monte’s Southeast distribution center at the port has become the company’s second-largest U.S. facility.



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Thanksgiving Shipping Update: Normal Volume Depends Upon the Items

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001Normal Thanksgiving produce shipments are occurring for such favorites as sweet potatoes and cranberries, but green bean volume will be light.

North Carolina sweet potatoes shipments for the new crop got underway in mid August this year, a couple of week earlier than usual.  Fortunately, there was great weather for about six weeks that allowed harvesting to go pretty much uninterrupted.

It could have been a real disaster for North Carolina sweet potato shippers if Hurricane Joaquin hadn’t taken a right turn into the Atlantic.  Otherwise North Carolina may have been pounded with rains and flooding like South Carolina.

Eastern North Carolina sweet potatoes – grossing $3000 to Boston and Chicago.

Cranberry Shipments

Wisconsin continues to the be leading state for fresh cranberry shipments, with Tomah, Wis.-based Habelman Bros. Co., of Tomah, WI being the largest grower/shipper.  The Wisconsin cranberry harvest has been in full swing as it gears up for Thanksgiving shipments.

Green Bean Shipments

Green bean shipments for Thanksgiving out of the Southeast are expected to be very light due to heavy September rains.  Some bean shippers will be down as much as 60 percent compared to last year.  Excessive rains washed a lot of plantings out.  Green bean shipments are not expected to rebound until after Thanksgiving.

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