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Rain helps cranberry harvest

Rain Helps Harvest Cranberries

WARRENS, Wis. (WKBT) - Heavy rainfall brought many challenges for farmers in Wisconsin.

But for some, the rain may be an added benefit.

Scott Schultz of Warrens has been growing cranberries for the last 33 years and says mother nature's efforts helped with the harvest season.

"All this rain, being it's detrimental to some agriculture crops, it's not really totally detrimental to us."

More than 60 percent of cranberries are grown in Wisconsin. And in the small town of Warrens, finding which ones are good and bad comes from an old tradition.

"When they mechanically clean them, they run them on a bouncer and they bounce them five or six or seven times and if they make it past the bounce test,  then they're good enough," said Scott Schultz, owner and grower of Ocean Spray in Warrens, Wisconsin.

From honey bees for pollination, to fertilizing for growth, harvesting cranberries is no easy job, but as with anything, growers get better with time.

"We're using less fertilizer than we ever have, we're using less water than had, we don't sprinkle as much, we're learning more about the plant and that all in turn makes a little better cranberry growers," said Schultz.

With 21,000 acres of cranberries in the state, the fruit holds a special meaning for those who grow it.

"The best part is just the feeling of accomplishment for us and it's actually kind of a comradery, when I'm up on top of that berry bump, I can see neighbors that I have known since the day I've been born and since the day they've been born," said Shelly Schultz, who is also a grower for Ocean Spray in Warrens.

There are currently 4,000 employees representing Ocean Spray in Warrens, Wisconsin.

Many of the equipment they use for the cranberries is actually built in the town.

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