Our spring 2018 planting is completed, and our team has already turned their attention to the next acreage in our multiyear bog renovation plan. This year, we plan to renovate over fifty acres at Cedar Swamp and Ben Haines.
Bog renovation is a time-consuming and capital-intensive but necessary project that will increase both yield and quality by improving bog and irrigation design. First, our team redesigns the layout, deciding how to best work with the surrounding water resources for maximum land use efficiency. They reshape some beds, remove the old vines, and do the initial leveling to prep the soil.
As we like to say so often, the three things most important to growing cranberries are water, water, and more water. Currently, the team is hard at work on the irrigation improvements. Effective bed drainage is critical, especially in New Jersey, where the humid climate can provide a favorable environment for Phytophthora cinnamomi, a known cause of root rot. Other improvements to the water system will include new gates, rebuilt ditches, and relocation of pumps, if necessary. As part of our irrigation redesign, and with the redesign of some of the beds, it’s sometimes necessary to make some changes in order to maximize water flow to the pump. Relocation of the pump houses is also helpful for improved access, both for refueling and repairs.
Bog renovation is a key component to maintaining Pine Island’s core values of continuous improvement, continuous growth, and protecting the environment. Increasing production over time through bog renovation and decreasing the time to achieve full production is essential to accomplish our growth objectives.