Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. There is no season that says cranberries like the holiday season ... and while Washington growers only produced about 2.2% of the U.S. crop in 2016, they are well established in the cranberry industry...

KIM PATTEN ... "Yeah, you're talking third, fourth, fifth generation family farms ... and there's a few add-ons come in, new growers, but for the most part they're small family farms."

Kim Patten, with the WSU Extension Office in Long Beach says cranberry production is misunderstood ...

KIM PATTEN ... "If you watch the TV commercials, you're kind of under the impression that cranberries are grown in water, which is not the case. For process berries they will flood them with about a foot of water, you beat the berries off and then you add a little more water to float them off. It's that small little window of a day or two when they have water on them."

Patten says dried cranberries are a big player in the market ...

KIM PATTEN ... "One thing that has kept the industry moving forward is the Craisin market, in terms of export in particular. I mean the juice market is pretty much saturated and not going anywhere, but the Craisin market is continuing to expand. It's sort of the bright future for the cranberry industry, one of them anyway."

Washington growers produced about 194,000 barrels in 2016, or 19.4 million pounds, about 2.2% of the U.S. total. The 198,000 barrels produced in 2015 brought in over $8.7 million dollars.

Wisconsin leads the nation with just over 60% of U.S. production.

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