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Cranberry farmers struggle as surplus drops prices

Big Canadian harvest drives surplus

MILWAUKEE - Cranberry growers say they are struggling after many invested in new plants or expanding their farms only to see fruit prices fall.

Tom Lochner is executive director of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association. He said cranberry prices are falling because a big harvest in Canada led to a surplus worldwide.

Lochner said cranberry farmers who don't belong to a cooperative are getting $22 to $28 per 100 pounds for their fall crop. But it cost them $25 to $30 per 100 pounds to grow. Lochner said prices could fall more if something isn't done.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to buy $5 million worth of cranberry juice concentrate for domestic food assistance programs.

Lochner said that will help, but it won't eliminate all the excess.


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