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2012 saw record crop of cranberries in Wisconsin


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s cranberry bogs produced a record crop in 2012.

The USDA said growers harvested just over 4.8 million barrels – and 60 percent of the nation’s cranberries now come from Wisconsin.

Massachusetts used to be the nation’s cranberry leader – but the Badger State has had that distinction for 18 straight years.

The state’s output was bigger than what was predicted last August. Industry officials said at the time that warm weather and dry pollination period made for a high-quality cranberry crop – and lots of growers irrigated to make up for the drought.

Not surprisingly, Wisconsin growers are devoting more acres to the crop – almost 20,000 last year, 9 percent more than the previous year.

Wisconsin apples and cherries did not fare nearly as well.

The state’s apple harvest was the lowest since 1945, with 23.6 million pounds – down 54 percent from 2011. Wisconsin’s cherry crop – mostly made in Door County – was down 75 percent, with 1.7 million pounds harvested.

Both crops were the victims of crazy weather patterns. They started blossoming in March when it was relatively warm – but many apple and cherry crops died in April when cold and snow returned. And they could never recover after that.