Cranberry Growing Season Off to Slow Start

Cranberry Harvest On A Harwich Bog

Picture 1 of 18

Adam & Ben Marceline working with Fred Jenkins on his Harwich Cranberry Bog...the black rubber boon starts out wide and gets smaller as they corral the cranberries and they are sucked through tubing onto a conveyor belt and loaded onto a truck.

HYANNIS – The warm beginning to the fall has slowed local cranberry production, but growers still anticipate a strong season for the state’s largest cash crop.

The cranberries have been delayed getting their nice red color due to the weather and have put the industry about two weeks behind typical growing seasons.

The black cranberry, which is an early ripening variety, is beginning to get good color now, which is a good sign, according to Brian Wick, the executive director of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association.

Wick said the recent cold nights will help bring color to the berries.

“Size is looking good from most accounts,” Wick said. “Growers are having a good crop. It’s not a bumper crop, but a good, solid crop is coming in to this point.”

Wick said the size of the berries look good as well.

Quality of cranberries has been an issue for some growers.

“It’s sporadic, but the excessive rains that we have had have caused some rot issues for a few growers,” Wick said. “We are hoping that those things kind of level out and that the crop holds up well as we continue through the season.”

The association initially felt growers would yield more fruit than predicted by the USDA, but Brian said it is too early to tell if they will exceed those predictions.

“I think we are still hopeful that we may,” Wick said. “It’s still looking like a good crop but we are not really even halfway through it at this point.”

Wick said the quality of the berries will be key for growers.

“Does the fruit hold up over time and is it able to overcome the wet conditions we had in late August into September?,” Wick said.

The market for cranberries remains strong with two new juice products available to consumers. One of the new juices is pure cranberry.

“It’s a bit tart for some folks but you can take it and sweeten it with your own sweetener,” Wick said.

There’s also a new Ocean Spray pink cranberry juice with 5 percent of proceeds to go towards breast cancer research.

“It has a nice refreshing taste,” Wick said.

Wick said the overseas export market for cranberries also continue to develop and expand.

“We are excited for the future growth of the industry,” Wick said.

There are some local growers who are interested in removing some of the lesser-producing, older varieties and replacing them with higher-yielding cranberries.

The higher-yielding varieties are currently more in-demand and make a better dried cranberry product.

The association is also trying to expand opportunities for growers that are harvesting the tradition heirloom varieties.

“We are helping to expand some of those markets in terms of fresh fruit and sauce and other products made with those traditional berries,” Wick said.

Wick said there are different types of cranberries and different products to satisfy every taste and it is the association’s job to market those products to the public.

Massachusetts remains second in cranberry growing production in the country, at approximately 23%. Wisconsin maintains the number one position, yielding about 64% of cranberries grown in the U.S.

For more information about Massachusetts cranberries you can visit Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association’s website at or follow the Association on Facebook, and Twitter.


About NewsCenter

The award-winning NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy