Strong Cranberry Crop Expected Despite Drought

HYANNIS – Despite ongoing drought conditions across the Cape Cod region and beyond, cranberry growers say they do not expect any shortage in crop this year. 

Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association Executive Director Brian Wick said that yields will be as expected, but the higher-than-average heat and low precipitation this summer is a challenge more common as the effects of climate change are felt.

“With those difficulties it’s often increasing the costs. In the drought, if the grower fortunately had enough water but they had to use their pumps to get the water onto the bogs—it’s a higher-cost growing season when you have to run your pumps more often during a drought and we have more frequent droughts,” he said.

Wick said seasons have been hard lately amid recurring yearly dry spans, but growers have tools to help maintain their crop.

“We estimate that close to 85% of the water that used in Massachusetts cranberries is reused or recycled in some manner, whether it’s returned to its original source or reused on the farm. But oftentimes it’s shared amongst other growers,” said Wick.

“So that same droplet of water is used to harvest one bog then  it moves down to the next bog. So there’s a lot of sharing and recycling of water, as well.”

Wick did not anticipate any significant price increases for products including the holiday staple due to the drought, save for across-the-board increases caused by other national and worldwide factors including recent economic inflation rates. 

The Association’s webpage can be found here.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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