Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, USDA has approving up to $55 million nationwide to purchase up to 68 million pounds of surplus cranberry products. The move will provide stability to Washington state cranberry growers. U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell applauded the move. Washington along with Oregon, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Massachusetts are the top 5 cranberry producing states in the U.S. Lacy Gray has more.
GRAY: Last week, the delegation members sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting the USDA purchase. According to the Cranberry Marketing Committee, there are 110 farms in Washington state on 1,700 acres of farmland supporting approximately 165 direct jobs and $8 million in local revenue. The purchase will be made under USDA’s Section 32 program, which provides funds for USDA to purchase surplus foods from farmers for use in USDA food and nutrition programs.
Washington state is the 5th largest producer of cranberries in the United States, and is expected to produce 162,000 barrels this year, which is an increase of 10,000 barrels from 2013. The state has been seeing consistently higher yields due to favorable weather conditions in cranberry-growing areas.
That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.