Cranberry Crop Outlook, 20.09.2023
The extremely changeable climate in Canada led to significant yield reductions in 2023. The winter was fairly mild for the first few months, but left a snow cover well above average, causing damage to many fields. The summer season was also challenging, with July being the rainiest month in the last twenty years, but also having the hottest nights. This weather cocktail took its toll on cranberry plants, and both organic and conventional yields are expected to be down.
In addition to the difficult climate, growers in the Centre-du-Québec region, which represents more than 80% of the province's production, had to contend with new pests observed on most farms. The impacts varied from farm to farm, but some suffered significant losses. These same pests will now be monitored and studied to prevent these consequences in the future. (fruitdor.ca)
Conditions in New Brunswick were similar to those in Quebec, but with fewer spring frosts. As a result, the province's performance is expected to be better than Quebec's, but lower than last year.
In Massachusetts, the region saw a record number of frost protection events in 2023. This delayed the growing season and affected yields on some farms. However, abundant rainfall has not been a problem this year, which means that the harvest is likely to be normal, albeit slightly smaller than last year.
In Wisconsin, the world's largest cranberry producer, growers are expecting their best season in five years. This is good news for the state, given that harvests over the past four years have been below normal levels. However, 2023 will not be a record year due to the inconsistent spring. As soon as the thaw began, the region's high temperatures quickly awakened the plants, but subsequently, an intense frost set in and damaged several fields. Since this event, the weather has been kinder to the plants, with dry, sunny conditions. However, this drought is worrying some growers, who fear that they will not have the water they need to harvest their crops. (fruitdor.ca)