MADISON (WITI) — Governor Scott Walker announced Wisconsin retains its title as the number one cranberry producer in the country. In a production report released this week by the USDA, Wisconsin cranberry growers set another record by harvesting 6.02 million barrels of cranberries in 2013. That’s a 25 percent increase over the 4.83 million barrels produced in 2012. Wisconsin produced 67 percent of the nation’s cranberry supply last year, more than tripling the next highest producing state, Massachusetts.
“I drink cranberry juice every day, because of the exceptional health benefits, great taste, and of course, to support our title as the top cranberry producer in the nation,” Governor Walker said. “I commend all of our farmers for their efforts, hard work, and determination, particularly those who have faced extreme weather conditions these past few years.”
Meanwhile, the state’s cherry and apple growers rebounded from the tough weather conditions of 2012 with big increases in their production numbers. Wisconsin now ranks number four in the nation in tart cherry production. 12.3 million pounds were harvested in 2013. That’s compared to 2012 when only 1.7 million pounds were produced due to the unusually early spring and late freeze that year. Ninety-six percent of the state’s crop went to processing.
Wisconsin apple growers also recovered nicely from 2012 producing a total 41.7 million pounds in 2013, an eighteen million pound increase over 2012. Eighty-nine percent of the state’s apple crop were sold as fresh market apples.