Improving profitability of cranberry growers

Many cranberry growers in Oregon sell to Ocean Spray. In 2016, the company changed its color requirements for cranberries, necessitating a significant shift in harvest strategies, moving it to an earlier timeframe. That shift also created concern that fruit harvested then would result in smaller, less-developed fruit, impacting yield.

Oregon State’s extension service partnered with Ocean Spray and local growers to address these concerns and developed fruit development data that growers can use to know the best time to harvest to maximize yield and color goals.

As a result of the data collected, the number of barrels (1 barrel (bbl) = 100 pounds of fruit) of cranberries delivered to the Ocean Spray receiving station in Bandon that met the requirements for maximum color incentive grew from 24,000 bbls in 2016 to 133,000 bbls in 2018. That’s a 454% increase translating to an additional $272,000 for growers in the region.