Washington researchers lead push to improve cranberry management - FreshFruitPortal.com

Washington researchers lead push to improve cranberry management

Washington researchers lead push to improve cranberry management

Just around the corner from the Pacific Ocean, Washington State University in Long Beach plays a major role in keeping cranberry research and management current.cranberry_75865996

The research and extension unit - as well as host to the Cranberry Museum - dedicates itself to the berry's weed control, management practices, pollination and educational outreach, including the annual Cranberry Vine Newsletter.

With more than 20 years at the unit, WSU Extension Professor Kim Patten leads the research push on the university's 10-acre cranberry bog.

"We’re a critical component to making sure that they stay vital and sustainable for the next century. [Cranberries have] been farmed here for over a hundred years and we want to keep them going,” Patten told the WSU News Center.

"You’re trying to solve this complicated problem of how to get more from what you’re doing, how to make the farmers more productive, how to farm more sustainably. I think it’s a great challenge. It’s very enjoyable."

He also expressed concerns over sustainability in an industry where he said the average grower is over 65 years old. Keeping the industry profitable and appealing to young growers is a key motivater in Patten's work.

His efforts to promote the industry have garnered appreciation, including from local cranberry farmer Robert Whannell.

"The registration of new herbicides and pesticides that Dr. Patten has been working on has been a real benefit to the industry. Not only here, but down in southern Oregon and as far north as British Columbia,” Whannell told the university paper.

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