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A Surplus In Wisconsin Cranberries May Lead To 25 Percent Of The Crop Being Discarded

Farmers Fear This Could Lead To A Drop In Cranberry Prices

November 10, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is dealing with a problem they never expected to come up. There is a surplus of cranberries around the country, and farmers don’t know what to do with the extra product. This has led to a decision to discard of up to 25 percent of this year’s cranberry crop yield.

While having too much of the small red berry may seem like a happy problem, it has thrown off the balance, and fear of price reduction has caused farmers to seek other solutions. The Department of Agriculture is looking into a number of ways to balance out the fruit supply. Some methods include using the berries as fertilizer, using cranberries as animal feed, donating to charities and overseas sales, along with the destruction of some of the product.

A portion of these cranberries will be held from the market, in order to help balance out the surplus. Still solutions are being sought out, as the large number of cranberries came as a surprise.  Wisconsin is the country’s leading supplier in cranberries, supplying over 60% of the yield each year. As farmers get better at growing the crop, the cranberry supply has continued to rise, leading to this surplus.

Also factoring in to the surplus for 2018 is the tariffs placed on The United States by China, as cranberries now have a 40 percent charge coming from America, up 25 percent from a year ago. As these tariffs hurt cranberry farmers, other countries have improved on growing the tart fruit, helping to create the current surplus in America.

With all these factors in play, it seems we may be stuck with an unnecessarily large number of cranberries moving forward. With 2017’s yield still in storage, it looks as if destroying some of the crop may be the only option for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If not, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may be seeing cranberries pop up in more dishes than usual.

Via USA Today