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Cranberries

Winter 2003

Low prices bog down cranberry growers

In the not-so-old days, circa the mid-1990s, a small farmer along Washington’s southern coastline could rake enough cranberries—and money—from just 10 acres of bogs to send the kids to college and maybe have enough cash left to spend Christmas in Hawaii.

Since the late 1990s, however, some cranberry farmers have been bogged down in another shade of red: debt.

“Now,” says Kim Patten, Washington State University Extension’s cranberry specialist based on the Long Beach Peninsula, “both husband and wife better be working outside jobs and having the kids go to college on their own—and never have a day off.”

An expanding supply of cranberries outran … » More …