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Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association / Thirty-eighth annual proceedings of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers' Association. Thirty-eighth convention, Pavilion, near Nekoosa, Wisconsin, August 12, 1924. Thirty-eighth annual meeting, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, January 13, 1925

Peterson, R. A.
Address,   pp. 13-16 PDF (957.7 KB)

Page 14

The cranberry industry is certainly a big asset to the country. Pos-
sibly most of the cranberry marshes are concentrated in one town-
ship here, and while we consider the dairy industry the most import-
ant industry in the state, I think the returns which come from the
cranberry industry will rank pretty well with the returns of the
dairy townships in this country.
As mentioned, the desire on the part of the growers to develop a
larger acreage should be carried along. So far as the county agent
work is concerned, I believe I have been criticized by some people
for not taking a more active interest in the cranberry industry than
I have. We have so many jobs, however, that we don't have time to
grant anyone as much attention as we should. We try to accomplish
as much as possible. Perhaps the cranberry industry hasn't received
the attention that it should have, but I know so little about it that
the advice I could give to the growers would be laughable. I haven't
much business offering advice to old timers in the business, but I am
thoroughly interested, and would like to help out in any way possible.
I imagine the cranberry growers are hit by economic conditions the
same as other farmers. The marketing organization has helped them
to go over the marketing more than any other farmer. All through
the deflation in prices, speculation enters in; and that is a factor your
marketing organization helps to overcome. We are working to build
up the dairy industry, and that is important. Another thing that
seems to effect the general industry now, whether it is one man or
another, and that is the low value the dollar has. Different statistics
show that the average purchasing power of the farmer's dollar is the
highest now since 1919. Conditions which have developed in the last
few months have increased the purchasing power of his dollar quite
a little, but it is still only 79c. It is hard to build up the increase in
price, but I believe the biggest benefit would be to bring conditions
back to the time when the dollar would really buy a dollar's worth.
This would help everyone generally.
We have heard a lot about the farmer benefiting a great deal from
the increase of price of wheat, corn, etc., but speculation enters in to
head that off. The increase will help the holder more than the grow-
er. Recently we read of some man in Chicago who made a $3,000,000
profit just through speculating in wheat. That isn't benefiting the
grower particularly. The condition should come about to eliminate
that speculation as much as po. sible through co-operative marketing.
I want to mention another word in regard to marshy soils. I be-
lieve there is a large acreage in Wisconsin that should be given over
to the growing of cranberries. Every effort should be made by grow-
ers to build up an increase in acreage. The marsh land is marginal
land. It has to have careful management, and the use of fertilizer
is necessary to make it successful. Under the complex economical
conditions that exist, the farmer has to be a good farmer to make
good on marginal land. A lot of drained marsh land is being held for

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