New Jersey cranberry growers are wrapping up their annual harvest — and it's a big one, as always. The state is No. 3 in the nation for cranberry production.

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher said annually the state produces "a nice crop, a big crop. And we have about 3,100 acres of cranberries in our state."

That translates into about 50 to 60 million pounds of Jersey cranberries annually, with a value of about $16 million.

Fisher said New Jersey cranberries are a marriage of environment and expertise — a sandy soil with a low PH value, and a workforce of farmers who've been at it for years.

The season winds up in early November, with the most production in mid to late October.

"So they're out there now harvesting," Fisher said. "They've been harvesting for a while."

He says 95 percent of the production goes to the Ocean Spray Co-Op.

"When you go to the store, you want to look for either Ocean Spray or some Jersey Fresh product, and you'll be getting fresh cranberries," Fisher said.

The state's suggests should choose cranberries that are firm and not shriveled. It says you can refrigerate cranberries for up to two months, or freeze them for future use.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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