“Perfect season” for cranberry growers
Grower and co-shareholder of Jardins VMO in Drummondville, Jean Olsthoorn produced twice as much of this fruit this fall as during the same period last year.
I have never had so many cranberries in 16 years of production. It helps when we had a less good year like in 2021he commented.
perfect season is explained by the ideal weather conditions recorded in 2022, indicates Vincent Godin, president of the Association of Cranberry Producers of Quebec.
There were no extremes, no very cold spells in the spring or prolonged heat waves in the summerhe raises. The buds were thus kept intact and were able to ripen abundantly.
In addition, the disappointing harvests of 2021, a year marked by intense cold and the occurrence of heat waves, have prepared the ground for what Vincent Godin describes as an exceptional season.
Cranberry is a biennial plant, so a below average year is going to be followed by an above average yearhe points out.
The last production record was recorded in 2016, with a total of 276 million pounds of cranberries.
The acreage of organic crops is decreasing
Despite the presence of ideal weather conditions, cranberry growers are experiencing growing difficulties in the organic sector.
The pressures of harmful insects are growing and the tools we have to fight against them are quite limited.supports Vincent Godin.
A new technique to limit the presence of insects consists in flooding the fields late, but this method is accompanied by a drop in yields. These reach only 50% of those of conventional culture.
In recent years, the area of land devoted to organic farming has gone from 30% to 22% of all cranberry crops, notes the Association of Cranberry Producers of Quebec.
The president of this association, however, specifies that it could be a question of a return to the balance between supply and demand for organic berries.
There was a huge wave of conversions from 2014 through 2019 which resulted in a bit too much organic fruit on the market. With the conversions we are seeing, the market is stabilizing in relation to demandsays Mr. Godin.
Organic production remains high compared to other Quebec crops, he says.
With information from Coralie Laplante