Cranberry Farmers Prepare For Growth

Just because you may not see those bright red cranberries in the bogs this time of year, that doesn’t mean those growers are getting a vacation.

During the winter months, cranberries undergo dormancy. This dormancy period extends into spring, signifying a critical phase for farmers as the cranberries begin to awaken.

“Springtime is a time of vigilance for us. We closely monitor our cranberry beds, paying special attention to protecting the delicate cranberry buds from potential damage,” explains Rochelle Biegel Hoffman, owner of Rooted in Red Cranberries.

Traditionally, farmers employ ice and water protection methods to shield the budding cranberries from freezing temperatures. This process typically involves flooding the cranberry beds. This allows layers of ice to form, thus insulating the buds from the cold. However, with the unseasonably warm winter we’ve had, Hoffman has made adjustments.

“In previous years, we’d be applying ice protection around December or January. But with warmer temperatures, we’ve had to adapt. Instead of ice protection, we’re focusing on early irrigation to safeguard the buds from unexpected freezes,” she explains.

Innovation remains at the forefront for Hoffman as she leverages technology and research to enhance productivity and sustainability. Collaborations with academic institutions like the University of Wisconsin’s agricultural department enables her to access the latest research findings and also implement evidence-based management strategies.

“We’re constantly exploring new technologies and techniques to improve our farming practices. From retrofitting equipment to integrating advanced monitoring systems, innovation drives our commitment to excellence.”

Beyond cranberry cultivation, Rooted in Red Cranberries offers a unique agritourism experience, welcoming visitors to explore the farm’s scenic beauty and participate in community events. From live music performances to private rentals, the farm serves as a hub for agricultural education and celebration.

“Aside from farming, we take pride in fostering a sense of community and sharing our passion for cranberries with visitors. Our upcoming events promise an authentic farm experience for all.”