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Extended Winter Shortens Cranberry Growing SeasonSubmitted: 05/08/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MANITOWISH WATERS - The cold April meant you could ski and ice fish longer, and had to keep your winter coat at hand.

But it also could have an impact on northern Wisconsin crops.

Cranberries from the Northwoods might be smaller and not as deep red in color this year.

That size and color difference shouldn't make a difference on how our official state fruit tastes this year.

The expected difference in how they grow is due to the shortened growing season compared to last year.

Cold weather into May this year pushed things back much further than last spring.

"Last year, we were at one extreme, and this year, we're the other extreme. Last year was probably the longest growing season we've ever had. This year, I would predict that it would be closer to what the average growing season would be," says Bob Winter of Vilas Cranberry.

A short growing season often produces berries smaller and lighter in color.

That doesn't change the taste.

But it could change profits for growers.

"You'd probably have to wait a little longer into growing season before you start harvesting to get a little better color. Size is weight, so, the bigger the berries, the more they weigh. You get paid by the hundred pounds, so size is good," Winter says.

Many growers are flooding their bogs right now to help get frost out of the ground faster.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/29/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll show you scenes from the funeral and police processional for fallen Everest Metro Police Detective Jason Weiland who died in last Wednesday's shooting.

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We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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The invasive species has slowly been making its way into lakes here in the Northwoods.

It first occurred in Squash Lake in Oneida County in 2009. The Lake Association had luck containing the plant by using divers.

"We decided to use divers to pull Eurasian Water Milfoil. Over the years we've worked with divers to do that. It cost roughly $25,000 a year to do that," said Squash Lake Association Board Member Craig Zarley.

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Wednesday, 49-year-old Mark Mayo pled guilty to intentionally firing a firearm at a law enforcement officer and operating a firearm while intoxicated.

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According to police, Mayo said if he saw officers, he would shoot them.

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The Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday was also to hear from Attorney General Brad Schimel and the new secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Seemeyer testified Wednesday before the Legislature's budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. Gov. Scott Walker rejected the Medicaid expansion money and instead took a hybrid approach to make sure everyone at poverty level or below was covered.

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THREE LAKES - Thunder Lake Wildlife Area draws in birders and hunters alike.

The 3,000-acre marsh in eastern Oneida County is a critical breeding ground and migratory stop for birds like sandhill cranes and chestnut-sided warblers.

It's also become an important place to the Nicolet Bird Club of Three Lakes--so important that the club decided to adopt it.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods Memorial Day service attracts hundreds of people, rain or shine.  But getting there isn't always easy for some.

This year, service organizers will offer free coach bus rides to the Union Grove Cemetery in Harshaw for its May 27 ceremony.  Rick Smith started the ceremony after going to his father's grave site on Memorial Day in 1997 and seeing no one else out there.

Ceremony treasurer Craig Lau says the service has grown from an informal gathering to a day with cannons, fly-overs, and music.

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