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Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association / Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers' Association. Thirtieth annual meeting, Grand Rapids, Wisconsin, January 16th, 1917. Twenty-ninth summer meeting, M. O. Potter's marsh, Cranmoor, Wis., August 8th, 1916

Searls, Andrew
President's annual address,   pp. 5-6 PDF (429.6 KB)

Page 6

thing less than 20 barrels. I believe it could be easily increased to at
least three times this amount and, as I have told you before; one hun-
dred barrels is the mark we should strive for.
My idea of the growing of cranberries is; we should use all of the
good sound horse sense we have under our hats. The cranberry plant
should be treated with the greatest consideration. I hardly think
there is another plant which will respond more readily to good treat-
ment and probably few plants resent more decidedly when badly
treated. One source of abuse is to keep the vines under water unneces-
sarily. This is one source of weakening your vines. In my opinion
cranberry vines should not be submerged until winter has set in and
then they should not be covered too deeplyv only enough to cover all
portions of the vines completely so the water may freeze through the
ground. I believe in removing the water from the fields as soon as
the ice melts and usually follow this plan, removing the flume planks
so the water may escape as the ice melts. Of course, if real winter
returns for a few days, we again flood up, but promptly remove it when
the weather again moderates. This plan gives us several weeks in
which to prune, weed and do any other work that must be done while
the vines are growing.
After several years of observation of the results of the use of sand
I am more than ever convinced of its benefits. The mere fact of its
protection from frosts or its aid in protection, the increased yield of
berries, and more uniform crops gathered should convince all growers.
In fact, few of the old ideas hold good in my opinion. I have long
since discarded what little moon lore I did have, also Hicks almanac
and the like, holding the only sure method of caring for a crop of cran-
berries is the one of watchfulness. Never sleep at the switch. In fact,
to know that no harm is coming to the crop, by either being on the
watch oneself, or having a trusty man on the watch.
By adopting every method by which we may insure a crop of berries
such as the use of sand, pruning, weeding of injurious grasses, improv-
ing of the water supply by engines and pumps when necessary. When
all of these things are perfected, the cranberry is one of the surest
crops that can be grown in our state, as well as the most profitable.
I think most growers fail to realize the importance cf keeping the
berries at proper temperature in their warehouses. That is; not allow-
ing the temperature of the berries to fall below 55 in the warehouse.
I do not know just what the best temperature is, but we have fixed on
this as about the lowest degree they should be kept at. We also see-
that cars are cleaned of ice. We also set oil stoves in cars that have
had ice to be removed to warm up so the berries may not be chilled
or the temperature be lowered so as to make trouble when the berries
go into a warm room or the car is opened in a warm climate.
I remember some years ago Neighbor Potter said "Searls is a crank"
and I admit a man must be something of a crank or In other words;
very careful or particular in every move he makes and it is up to him
to get his thinking cap on in this business.

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