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Published May 05, 2010, 08:18 AM

Wisconsin could benefit as USDA buys surplus cranberries

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. — The federal government will buy up to $18 million worth of cranberries to help reduce the surplus in Wisconsin and other states.

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. — The federal government will buy up to $18 million worth of cranberries to help reduce the surplus in Wisconsin and other states.

Growers of the tart fruit saw record harvests in the last few years. That led to supply that outstripped demand, resulting in lower prices and surplus inventories.

So the U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy excess cranberries for use in food-assistance programs.

The next step is for the USDA to determine which farmers’ crops it will buy. Wisconsin growers should be well represented among the beneficiaries because the state produces about 60 percent of the nation’s crop.

Tom Lochner is with the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association. He tells Wisconsin Public Radio the USDA supply will be used for cranberry sauce and juice.

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On the Net:

Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association: www.wiscran.org

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