QUOTABLE QUOTES – Special “Cranberries by the Numbers Edition.”


By Bob Katzen

Cranberries are the largest agricultural food commodity produced in Massachusetts. Some 400 of North America’s estimated 1,000 cranberry farms are located in Massachusetts:

“Weather Bogs Down Cranberry Production Estimate,” read the headline of the press release from the 330-member Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association (CCCGA), one of the nation’s oldest farmers’ organizations. “As a drought expands across Massachusetts, cranberry growers said recent dry conditions have compounded other weather issues, leading them to lean towards a more conservative estimate for cranberry production this year.”

“This season has seen its share of challenges for Massachusetts growers,” said CCCGA Executive Director Brian Wick. “The mild winter brought the vines out of dormancy early, followed by a cold spring, hindering plant progression. Numerous frost events between April and early June caused a series of sleepless nights for growers. In late June, the weather excelled for pollination with dry conditions, allowing the bees to do their work. Just when growers noticed a lack of precipitation, periodic July rain events roused the growing fruit. August has brought concern with the continued lack of rain.”

1816.
The year commercial production of cranberries began on Cape Cod.

1888.
The year the CCCGO was formed to standardize the measure with which cranberries are sold.

1970.
The year cranberry juice was designated the official state beverage of Massachusetts.

1994.
The year the cranberry was named the state’s official berry.

23 percent.
The percent of cranberries nationwide that are grown in Massachusetts.

$60 million.
Annual crop value of cranberries in Massachusetts.

2.04 million 100-pound barrels.
The amount of 2020 Bay State cranberry production currently forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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