BANDON, Ore. -- Oregon cranberry growers are looking at a near-record crop as the 2009 harvest season nears. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oregon production could approach a half-million barrels this year, a mark topped only once by Oregon growers.

The state's growers this year are expected to produce 490,000 barrels, or 490 million pounds of cranberries.

The record, 510,000 barrels, came in 2003.

Oregon growers produced 495,000 barrels in 2004 and again in 2007. Cranberry production last year dropped to 400,000 barrels.

NASS estimates Washington production also will rise in 2009. The agency estimated Washington production at 155,000 barrels, up from the 109,000 barrels growers produced last year, but down from the 176,000 barrels growers produced in 2007.

Nationally, cranberry production is expected to be 10 percent below the 7.8 million barrels produced in 2008, but up significantly from the 6.55 million barrels produced in 2007.

-- Mitch Lies

In the two biggest cranberry-producing states, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, production is expected to be down nearly 1 million barrels -- a drop from 6.85 million barrels in 2008 to 5.9 million this year.

Oregon and Washington rank fourth and fifth nationally.

-- Mitch Lies

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