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Bob Larson Cranberry Oversupply Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: October 15, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Too much of a good thing is not exactly the phrase cranberry growers are using to describe the industry’s current oversupply of fruit. The USDA has called for a 25-percent withholding of cranberries in an effort to try and stabilize prices.

Professor Kim Patten, with the Washington State University Extension Office in Longview, says it’s not an ideal situation …

PATTEN … “I think the big thing will be oversupply and how that is managed. And, that’s sort of a long-term thing that we don’t have, really, good answers for. That will be what people are watching for and what sort of restrictions we set on the industry and what impact the set-aside will have, etc. So, that’s pretty big news when you set-aside 25-percent of the crop.”

So, they’ve been overproducing a little bit?

PATTEN … “Overproducing, “a lot-o-bit.” The economists say that for every one percent set-aside, there’s a 2-percent, I think, increase in grower returns. So, it’s basically try to get grower returns back to where, or above the cost of production.”

Patten says the problem was were made worse with grower expansion in places like Quebec where some are trying an end-around solution to the surplus on their 10,000 acres …

PATTEN … “And, there’s a big shift in their acreage. A lot of that, half of that’s going to be organic just because there’s no market for conventional cranberries and so there switching to organic.”

Patten says that could make things tougher for the smaller organic growers.

The cranberry oversupply has gotten worse in recent years as production increased and demand remained flat.

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