Plummeting cranberry prices and the country's ongoing trade wars have America's cranberry industry eyeing a possible new savior: solar power. Some cranberry farmers in Massachusetts are proposing to build solar panels above the bogs they harvest each fall.
Extension in Southeastern Massachusetts
About Southeastern Massachusetts
The southeast region of Massachusetts is composed of Norfolk, Plymouth and Bristol counties. The largest city in the region is Brockton. Plymouth County funds and manages the 4-H Program in Plymouth County.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has named Clem Clay as director of the UMass Extension Agriculture Program, a 110-year old educational outreach program that serves farmers, landscape and turf professionals, fruit growers, arborists, nursery owners, flower growers, service providers, public agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses.
Wednesday, March 27 was Agriculture Day on Beacon Hill. It’s a day when legislators and legislative staff get to meet with farmers and other members of the agricultural community to hear about the issues important to them. It’s also a day when everyone gets to eat a delicious meal made from locally-grown ingredients (and cooked by students from one of the state’s agricultural-vocational high schools) and sample Massachusetts’ specialty food items, including but not limited to maple candy, cranberries, cheeses, apple pie (very popular!), oysters, ice cream and more.
In late November, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy of UMass Amherst visited the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham. He arrived to tour the station and to offer financial support to update two buildings with a new roof for the Station’s Administration Building and an upgrade to the HVAC system in the Laboratory Building. The UMass Cranberry Station is one of the preeminent research and educational outreach centers on cranberry production and was founded in 1911.
Cranberry farmers buried under a glut of the tart fruit are seeking permission for a radical way to dig themselves out: destroying millions of pounds of their crops. "Overproduction is the bane and has been for cranberries in the last few years, and consequently we’re not getting much money for our crops,” said Jack Angley, owner of Flax Pond Farms in Carver, and Chair of Board of Public Overseers [BOPO] for UMass Extension.
If you are part of Jack and Dot Angley’s family, you can be sure that at some point you will be up to your elbows in cranberries. Cranberry growing, harvesting and offering tours of bogs is in the Angleys’ blood by now, after 51 years in the bogs. Dot and Jack own and operate Flax Pond Cranberry Company, a 100-acre farm in Carver, Mass. Although Jack did not grow up with cranberry juice in his veins, you would never know it as he talks about the Bay State’s tart red native fruit.
Martha Sylvia, a research technician at the University of Massachusetts Cranberry Station in Wareham and scientists have studied the wild bogs in Provincetown and Truro for the last 25 years, in part to learn how a bog behaves without the cultivation practices used in cranberry farming. (Cape Cod Times11/22/17)
Technology in cranberry farming has come a long way in just a handful of years. Hillary Sandler, director of the Cranberry Station at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, explains how drones, lasers and smartphones are used to grow and harvest cranberries. (WUMW 11/23/17)
Why would anyone embed 3,000 feet of fiber-optic cable straight through an old cranberry bog in an historic town on the coast of Massachusetts? That’s a lot of cable: the equivalent of ten football fields, end-to-end.
Hilary A. Sandler, an extension associate professor of cranberry integrated pest management (IPM) and weed science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been named director of its Cranberry Station in East Wareham after a national search. She will become the sixth director in the 106-year history of the internationally respected center for research and education on a native fruit of Massachusetts.