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Cranberry Booms, from Texas Boom.

How Texas Boom helps Cranberry Growers:

The trailing vines that bear cranberries are similar to those of strawberries. To thrive, they need unique soil and water conditions. They can be grown in low-lying wetlands, commonly referred to as marshes or bogs. Cranberry bogs are flooded in winter to protect the cranberry plants from the cold. The plants can't grow underwater, so the bogs must be drained in the spring. The plants begin their growth period in the spring and continue until fall. To pollinate bogs, bees are needed. Growers use one to two bee hives per acre in the summer to do this crucial step. The vines are also protected during the growth window by growers who fertilize, weed and maintain them.

There are two ways to harvest cranberries in the fall: wet harvesting or dry harvesting. Dry harvesting means that the berries are then combed from vines and taken home. These berries are often sold to the markets as fresh cranberries. This harvest method can be labor-intensive, and more expensive. This harvests less than 10% of the annual crop. The vast majority of berries can be harvested using wet harvesting. Cranberries can be displaced from their vines by floating because of their internal air pocket. Cranberry growers flood the bogs with water, then use water reels (or egg beaters) in order to stir the water to remove the cranberries. The floating berries can then be gathered with booms and dragged to their collection points. Once the cranberries have been drawn in by the booms, they are either vacuumed out of the water or transferred via conveyor belt to a truck for transportation to a processing plant. These wet cranberries can then be used to make juices, sauces, and other products. Corralling is the process of collecting floating cranberries. Texas Boom Company offers these floating cranberry barriers to cranberry growers. To corral the berries, in the beginning, growers used wooden booms. These boards can be heavy and difficult to transport. The floating Cranberry Booms have proven to be more effective than traditional cranberry boards in that they can concentrate the berries in one central place for easy removal from the flooded Bog.

Texas Boom's Cranberry Boom products are designed to be used to corral the cranberries. Because the boom is flexible, lightweight, and durable, it allows the boom to be retrieved with less labor, drawing the cranberries in towards the collection point. A permeable mesh skirt reduces the drag when retrieving the cranberry boom. The 50-foot or 100-foot sections can be attached end to end. They can be easily dragged from bog to bog during the harvest, and fold accordion-style for transport and storage when not in use. Closed-cell foam is used for flotation, while a ballast chain keeps the Cranberry Boom upright during use. Anchor points and drain holes make it easier to maneuver the boom. This results in a more efficient harvesting process. It also helps to reduce injuries to workers and thus cutting down worker's compensation claims. All of these benefits contribute to a better return on investment and higher profitability. Farmers do what they do for the love of the industry, but also want to provide for their families and their employees. Utilizing cranberry booms during the harvest process makes good business sense. If you require assistance collecting your cranberries, Texas Boom Company can help!