Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year ending July 1, 1921
Vol. LI (1921)
Goff, M. B.
Marketing of Wisconsin apples, pp. 81-92 PDF (3.1 MB)
82 FIFTY-FIRST ANNUAL REPORT oF our Wisconsin apples, and those do not need to be repeated in detail now. I shall deliberately propose some ideas which will run just as counter to the opinion of many of you here as they do to the ideas of many of our fruit men at Sturgeon Bay.- I want you to bring out your viewpoint in the discussion that I hope will follow. The function of this Society as an assistant to the successful marketing efforts of the fruit growers of the state is a vital part of thoughts on this question. What I want to say on this matter is largely my own viewpoint, and does not necessarily represent such opinion as has been crystalized on the subject in my own community. The market for Wisconsin apples is not yet developed. Alter- nate years .of shortage and surplus are reflected in the returns received by the growers. Either our fall and early winter apples meet a good demand in Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, and the few larger cities of the state, or they do not. We have, as growers, largely accepted the result, pocketed our winnings, or paid our losses, as the case may have been, and waited hopefully for another season. It takes a jolt sometimes to produce results, other than those to which we have been accustomed. We re- ceived just such a sudden shakeup at Sturgeon Bay the past year in the form of a disastrous hail storm just as we were ready to market our Wealthies. When we sat down in conference the afternoon following this disaster, not one of our growers who was badly affected by the storm had any hope that the crop would find any outlet but the cider mill. That the commission trade could not use what we had we knew all too well. What we did was what anyone else would have done under the circumstances -looked for new markets. We used the bulk car, the bushel basket, the utmost care with our sorting machine, and marketed nearly twenty cars of fruit, that for the most part was not fit for barreling, to absolutely new trade, the farmers and country towns of Wisconsin. We used the cities on about a dozen cars imore, but of high grade offerings, of better average than we have ever sold before, but the rural communities saved our lives. Two-thirds of the population of this state, in round numbers, lives in cities under 25,000 and rural districts. So far most of our commercial Wisconsin crop has gone to the centers of population where it has come in contact with the surplus of every other growing territory in the country.
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