Agriculture

Cranberry Glut Causes Prices to Fall

Canada floods the market

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U.S. cranberry farmers who spent millions of dollars to replant and expand bogs face a financial crisis after a huge harvest in Canada flooded the market and sent prices plummeting.

Farmers in Wisconsin, the leading cranberry producer, have been working for years to expand their acreage at the request of Ocean Spray and other processors who expected to see strong growth in overseas sales of juice and sweetened, dried cranberries.

Growth has been slower than expected, however, as nations continue to struggle with the Great Recession and its aftermath, said Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association. Growth of 2 percent to 3 percent overseas, coupled with flat demand in the U.S., left farmers with a huge excess of cranberries this fall after an unexpected jump in production in Canada, he said.