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USDA will purchase surplus cranberries

Cranberry bog
Cranberry bog

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The U-S-D-A plans to reduce an over-supply of cranberry crops, by buying $5-million of concentrate for federal nutrition programs. House Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse announced the purchase, saying it's not nearly as much as he and others on Capitol Hill had wanted. They asked Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to buy 50-million pounds of cranberries worth $30-million.

The lawmakers said record cranberry crops the last two years have put pressure on producer prices, as did a 50-percent jump in Canada's crop.

Kind and the other lawmakers said farm-level prices will be below the cost of production for almost half of all U-S cranberry growers. Wisconsin made 60-percent of the nation's cranberry crop a year ago, harvesting a record 4.8-million barrels.

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