Growers predict bountiful cranberry harvest

Aug 20, 2020

This year’s cranberry harvest in Wareham and across Massachusetts is predicted to be slightly larger than last year’s, as growers report their crops are in “good to excellent” condition. 

The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association’s leadership believe that this year’s crop will be roughly 2.04 million barrels, up one percent from last year. A barrel is equal to 100 pounds of berries. 

Recent dry conditions have been somewhat worrisome to farmers, as the berries might not get as big as they would with regular rainfall.

The association’s executive director, Brian Wick, said that the season has been challenging. The mild winter brought vines out of dormancy early, and the cold spring hindered their growth.

Numerous frost events between April and early June caused a series of sleepless nights for growers. In late June, the weather excelled for pollination with dry conditions, allowing the bees to do their work. Just when growers noticed a lack of precipitation, periodic July rain events roused the growing fruit. August has brought concern with the continued lack of rain,” Wick said.

However, cranberries are a resilient crop, well-suited to withstand extremes in the weather.

“There is still ample opportunity for rain to refill water sources and allow the fruit to absorb moisture and grow. Farming is always complex. When your success is at the mercy of the weather, patience and ingenuity are paramount, attributes our growers demonstrate with abundance,” Wick said.

Cranberry growers have taken precautions to maintain distance between workers and sanitize equipment regularly -- precautions that will continue throughout the fall harvest.