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This isn’t a berry good sign.
The heat wave is killing cranberry farms in Massachusetts, which might disrupt this year’s Thanksgiving celebrations.
This implies that cranberry sauce and cosmopolitans are in jeopardy as the Northeast dry weather threatens crops and the whole industry.
Ten of the state’s 14 counties experienced extreme drought, while the remaining four were only classified as severe.
According to Zachary Zobel, a scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Massachusetts, the “boom or bust” situation is a direct effect of climate change and offers harvesting challenges.
“The boom or bust situation that climate change provides in terms of precipitation events — the boom being massive precipitation events, the bust being protracted dry periods — that’s not healthy,” Zobel told Grist.
It’s a fragile fruit – too much rain causes a fungus, yet not enough water prevents the berries from growing.
Cranberries are planted in flood fields with freshwater, protecting the crop from harsh winters. The bogs are drained in the spring to allow cranberries to grow, but this year’s environment was dangerously dry.
But the growing season isn’t done yet; farmers have another month to cross their fingers and hope for rain before harvest.
“We’ll see how much rain we receive over the next few weeks,” said Brian Wick, executive director of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association, adding that producers would have to “adjust” to the obstacles.
“You’re not going to get that wonderful, steady growth season; it tends to be one extreme or the other.”
What do you think of that Cranberry harvesting shortage? Let us know in the comments below.