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article imageToo many cranberries? USDA steps in to help with oversupply

By Holly L. Walters     Nov 28, 2014 in Food
Madison - Many of you enjoying Thanksgiving this week probably enjoyed a side dish of cranberry sauce or relish to go with your turkey and trimmings. However, what many of you may not know is that we have too many cranberries this year.
There are too many, though; about 68 million pounds too many of the pungent red berries, to be precise. Because of this oversupply, Local 12 News reports that the association spokesman for the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers, Tom Lochner, asked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase about 30 million pounds of the ruby red berries.
The USDA said that it would do that and doubled this buy with one that happened previously in January. According to Food World News, this agreement will see the Agriculture Department giving $55 million to the Congressional Cranberry Caucus in return for various cranberry products. The deal nets the Department 68 million pounds of surplus cranberries altogether.
What this means for cranberry growers is more stable prices, and the oversupply will also allow them to get between 10 cents and 19 cents per pound for their product. The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association says that they would need to get 25 cents to 30 cents per pound to allow them to break even.
At the end of it all, the growers took the agreement as good news, and they were extremely pleased with the decision by the USDA to purchase the berries.
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin spoke to the press on Monday about why the agreement took place. She indicated that, "Wisconsin is the main producer of cranberries and the decision of the USDA is to help growers at a tough time."
Senator Baldwin stated that the cranberries will most likely be used for school lunch programs, food banks, and other similar uses.
More about Cranberries, Wisconsin, Tom Lochner, Senator Tammy Baldwin, USDA
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