Sustainability a growing part of growing cranberries

A survey by the University of Wisconsin-Madison finds cranberry growers in the Badger State have made significant gains in the implementation of sustainable management practices. The survey involved 114 producers who manage about 70 percent of the state’s cranberry acreage. The most dramatic change has been in nutrient management, about 13 percent of the growers followed a nutrient management plan in 1989, by 2009, 73 percent were operating under a nutrient plan.

Other sustainable practices being put to use:

  • 80 percent use non-chemical practices to control pests
  • 77 percent employ integrated pest management consultants
  • 97 percent of spraying decisions are based upon pest thresholds

A few other notes on Wisconsin cranberry growers, 98 percent of the state’s operations are family-owned; the average operation has been producing for 39 years and involves two generations of the family. For every acre of cranberries, the grower maintains 6.3 acres of support wetlands which are a wildlife habitat.

Wisconsin has more than 17,000 acres in cranberry production.

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