Cranberry Crop Hurt by Weather, Competition and Geese

The cranberry harvest in South Jersey is down, due to extreme weather, competition and geese.

Last year, the state produced 562,000 barrels, the second best year on record.  But Rutgers University's Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research says the harvest is expected to fall short this year.  Most of the state's cranberries are grown in bogs in South Jersey, many of which are located in Burlington County.

Cranberries still are grown in communities like Chatsworth, and sorted at area farms, but they do not go directly to the Bordentown plant.

Nick Vorsa, director of the research center, said the season was stressful this year due to extreme heat in the summer and then flooding which caused fruit rot.  He said some growers had "a considerably reduced crop" by the time the harvest ended in late October. 

Local growers also said competition with their counterparts in Wisconsin and Canada took a toll.  And then there were the pesky Canadian geese that chewed up the vines.  One Atlantic County grower said that each time he tried to scare the geese away with a shotgun, the birds would barely notice.

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