Cranberries have been farmed on and around the Long Beach Peninsula since the late 1800’s. Today comprising approximately 1500 acres in Washington. It began on a commercial scale when a French gardener named Chebot planted about 35 acres of cranberries, however, extensive planting did not take place until 1912 with the first commercial harvests in 1915. Unfortunately, when many of the cranberries were brought in from the eastern U.S. the pests were also brought with them. In 1923 D.J. Crowley began his work of controlling weeds, insects and diseases, founding the WSU Long Beach Research Unit, as it is currently known. In 1925, he proposed using overhead sprinklers to protect the vines from frost damage, this practice is still widely used today. Cranberry farming as we know it, would not be possible on the Washington and Oregon Coasts without this contribution.
While it has been nearly 100 years since Crowley founded the WSU extension unit and many researchers have come and gone, all leaving their mark, cranberry growers continue to need research for weeds, insect, and disease control.