North American Cranberry crop and market situation for 2022.
The forecast of a good harvest begins in the previous year's fall with the formation of buds that produce the flowers and fruits of the season. In Quebec and Massachusetts, two regions where Fruit d’Or is present, fall bud counts predicted an excellent yield potential for 2022. For Wisconsin, the largest cranberry-producing region, forecasts were rather conservative, probably due to below-average yields over the past three years. This spring, however, observations shifted with a wind of optimism.
In Quebec and Wisconsin, January was very cold, in addition to a thinner layer of snow cover on the fields compared to other years. This has already reduced the yield of some fields, especially on organic farms. Wisconsin was hit by a series of hailstorms that affected a large part of the territory. This was a rare phenomenon, as hail is generally very local. Ultimately, it had an impact on the viability of the buds.
The season has only just begun, but these observations lead us to believe that what could have been a record harvest will be difficult to achieve. We, therefore, expect a rather average harvest. To date, the weather conditions in North America are rainy and cool, with the sun being slow to show itself. In order to have a good period of pollination by bees and bumblebees on farms, it is hoped that warmer and drier weather will come. These conditions before the summer season would help in the growth of the fruits before the harvests.
As you may have heard, North America's 2021 conventional cranberry crop experienced very low yields, resulting in a marked drop in inventories for the fourth consecutive year. This situation is likely to be uncomfortable for many dried fruit processors who will have to rely on the fruits of the 2022 harvest to meet the needs of their customers quickly. At Fruit d’Or, we have healthy inventory levels that will allow us to meet the needs of our customers. The same is true for our organic cranberries. We have no worries about our capacity to supply the growing demand, as well as meet new needs. We expect that prices will remain firm for the next year with steady demand.