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Cranberry Farmers Going Solar
News Bytes 11/4/2019 44 Comments

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. But the American cranberry industry isn’t thriving as it has in the past. Plummeting cranberry prices have farmers eyeing solar power as a new source of income.

Massachusetts is the nation’s second largest grower of the red, boggy berry. (Wisconsin takes first place.) Farmers there are proposing to build solar panels above the bogs they harvest each fall.

It’s a novel approach to blending renewable energy technology with traditional farming. It has been researched across the world but not yet tried on a large scale, say solar power and agricultural experts. The idea is to build solar arrays high off the ground and in spaced-out clusters. The arrangement allows crop growth and harvesting underneath.

Cranberry farmers hope to shoulder lean times by gleaning extra revenue from long-term land leases to solar developers. But they don’t have to give up their cropland to do it. They can still produce the same quality berries they have for generations. An ongoing, nationwide study suggests certain crops can thrive under solar panels. It’s unclear at this point how cranberries will fare, however.

Michael Wainio is a fourth-generation cranberry farmer. He has sold off some land, started a side business working for other growers, and launched a farm stand, deli, and bakery to make ends meet. He’s willing to try the solar approach too.

“We’re doing everything we can to diversify,” he says. “And it’s not enough.”

Wainio is working with developer NextSun Energy. The project calls for roughly 27,000 solar panels over about 60 acres of bogs near Cape Cod. It could produce about 10 megawatts of energy. That’s enough to power more than 1,600 homes, according to NextSun.

The price of cranberries has dropped 57% over the last decade. That is due mainly to a drop in sales of cranberry juice, says Brian Wick. He is the executive director of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association. Trade disputes with Europe and China compound the problem. Wick says about 30% of the tart berries were previously exported to those markets.

Wick says the solar project has “a farm-first mentality. . . . This is an opportunity to keep the industry going. This isn’t about replacing farms with solar.”

In Massachusetts, cranberry growers and their solar partners hope the “dual use” option will offer a sweet solution to a sour situation.

(Cranberry grower Mike Paduch examines cranberries growing in the same bog where solar arrays are installed in Carver, Massachusetts. AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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Most recent comments

First Comment!

This is interesting! We don't really eat many cranberries except at the holidays. (Which are coming soon, believe it or not!) We eat dried cranberries some, but a lot less then we used to. It's good that they are using solar power!

I think that solar power is

I think that solar power is really cool. I'm glad that people are finding creative alternatives to the cranberry situation. I really like the canned cranberry we have at Thanksgiving, but I feel like I often forget about it because I'm so used to only having it around the holidays.

Hm

That's great they're using solar power. I don't really like thanksgiving food. All I really eat is turkey, bread, and cranberry salad. I'm more of an ethnic food fan LOL. : D

I love cranberry sauce! The

I love cranberry sauce! The canned stuff is good, but my grandma makes it with other stuff like apples and oranges in it as well and it is really good.

We usually get our

We usually get our thanksgiving dinner from Luby's and last year we ordered an apple pie but they gave us cherry. We didn't realize it until we cut it :).

Cranberries

I haven't had those in a long time!! my mom usually buys the canned gelly stuff around Christmas. I think solor panels is a good idea!

I don't know if I've ever

I don't know if I've ever tasted cranberries.
Guess what? I got a WORLDkids magazine yesterday instead of a WORLDteen magazine!

:-P

:-P

@Mirela J

That happened to me once too.

@ Beth G

Ohh ok

I keep on getting logged out

I keep on getting logged out of WORLDteen.

@ Mirela

Yes that happend to me before. I emailed member servases and never got response. So me being me I called the phone number and they told me that it was a tecnicle problem. They fixed it and now its working fine. :-)

@ Mirela

Also if you don't log in every day it will log you out. But if you can't log Bach in like me..then you should call.

@ Mirela again

Bout the magazine. That has he er happened to me before. You can see the magazine on the demo mageze button .

@ Nadia

Thank you so much! :-)

@ Mirela

:-) any time. But I meant the issues button not dem magazine. Sorry.

Interesting! I love cranberry

Interesting! I love cranberry sauce my mom makes ours we don't buy it canned, cool their using solar panels!

Aw man!! You still can't

Aw man!! You still can't comment on the articles!! :(
Though I did get my magazine yesterday! :)

@Nadia A

Huh. I dont log out every day and i still stay logged in. I only get on here a little on Monday and an hour or so ( give or take) on Tuesday.

@bethsarah

The cranberry thing ur makes sounds really cool!!!!! Does anyone whose got their magazine live in Texas?? Because i haven't received the magazine yet!! I hopefully will get it sometime soon i was just wondering if anyone around here got it yet or they haven't sent them over to this area yet.

Whoops!

Nvm when they sent it they stapled it wrong and so i thought it was like a trial magazine or something!!!! Whoops!!!!! :-P

@ Gloriana

I mean if you log in and then don't use the website for a few da then you will have to log back in when you come back on.

@ Hannah S

I got my magazine today but i live in North Western Oregon.
Hope you get yours soon! :-)

@ Hannah S

And then i dont come back until the next Monday(normally) but they dont automatically log me out.

To Above

Oh. No wonder no one comments on the weekends.! :-) lol:-) :-)

@Nadia A& Hannah S

And then i dont come back until the next Monday(normally) but they dont automatically log me out.
Sorry, Hannah that was for Nadia.

@ Gloriana

@Nadia A

haha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We commented at the same time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*
LOL:- ) : -) :- ) :- ) : -)

@ Gloriana

Hahaha! Oh! Click on the link

I love cranberries!

my mom makes a killer cider on holidays with whole cranberries in it and oranges. she puts dried ones on salad all the time.

Janna

I only like dried cranberry's because I think normal cranberry's taste to bitter.

@Lily

Yum!!!!

@Nadia A

Hey, you can stop posting that. Why did you post it anyway???? I posted on it.
Bad article probably anyway.

@ Lily S

That sounds really good!!!!!!!!!
One time on our jamboree our soccer team decided our name would be :
* * * * * * * * *
* P U M P K I N S P I C E S *
* * * * * * * * *

@ Lily S

That sounds really good!!!!!!!!!
One time on our jamboree our soccer team decided our name would be
____________________________________________________________________ * * * * * * * * *
_____________________________________________________________________*________P U M P K I N____S P I C E S__!!!___*
______________________________________________________________________* * * * * * * * *
The first try didnt work out too well so im trying again.
I promise i will only post a comment to a maximum of three times.
Honest I will, though i bet some of you dont believe me.

@ Lily S

That sounds really good!!!!!!!!!
One time on our jamboree our soccer team decided our name would be
* * * * * * * * *
*________P U M P K I N____S P I C E S__!!!___*
* * * * * * * * *
The first try didnt work out too well so im trying again.
I promise i will only post a comment to a maximum of three times.
Honest I will, though i bet some of you dont believe me.
Well, my second try didnt work.
Here goes # 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If this one doesnt work out i wont post it anymore.

Oh well.........................................................

the first one was the best, but then again, none of them turned out how i wanted them.
^
S I G H............................................................................................................................................................................
O H W E L L.............................................................................................................................................................

Oh well.........................................................

WELL. THAT TURNED OUT REALLY WEIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

weird

weird, but got 2nd page!

I’m confused! Lol

I’m confused! Lol

To above

So am I?????

@Nadia A and Beth H

I think Gloriana had gotten a second page but they deleted some of her comments.

To Above

Oh.

@Bethsarah G

yeah, they must've.

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