The U.S. Department of Agriculture will purchase $5 million worth of cranberry products, and it has the approval of two Wisconsin Congressmen who represent cranberry growers in the area.
U.S. Reps. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, and Sean Duffy, R-Ashland, signed a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture requesting that it take action to stabilize cranberry prices. The USDA purchased $5 million in cranberry concentrate for federal nutrition programs and food banks.
“I’m very pleased that Wisconsin cranberry producers will receive help from the USDA to ease some of the uncertainty brought by the high Canadian harvest and global uncertainty,” Kind said. “Not only will the rural economy benefit from the move by the USDA but food assistance programs will be able to offer healthy cranberry products.”
The letter cited a record 2012 cranberry harvest in the United States and increased cranberry production in Canada. The letter warned of cranberry prices falling below $20 per barrel, a level it said was below the cost of production for most cranberry producers.
“This announcement is welcome news not just for cranberry growers but for all the people who will now benefit from the nutritional value of cranberries,” Kind said.
Duffy affirmed his support for the cranberry purchase during an April 6 meeting with constituents in Warrens.