Wisconsin surpassed Massachusetts two decades ago as the nation's top cranberry producer. Now, the state is about to get its first major research facility aimed at improving cranberry growing practices and yields.
The Wisconsin Cranberry Research and Education Foundation says it will buy 155 acres in Jackson County, about ten miles south of Black River Falls, for a research station. It's due to open late next year at a cost of one-point-five million dollars -- half with private money and the rest mainly from U-S-D-A funding.
Tom Lochner, who heads the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association, says the new research site will offer more studies on things like root growth and water quality -- and in greater depth than similar research sites at the University of Massachusetts and Rutgers in New Jersey.
The Northwoods is home to a large number of cranberry producers.