(Aug. 20, 3:35 p.m.) It will be a while before cranberry growers are ready to harvest their crops, but when they do, they expect to see ample supplies of high-quality fruit.

In Massachusetts, growers expect volume to be equal to or slightly greater than last year’s 1.5 million barrels, but less than the 1.9 million barrels harvested in 2006, said David Farrimond, general manager of the Wareham-based Cranberry Marketing Committee.

About 350,000 barrels will go to domestic and international fresh sales. Farrimond estimated 4% to 6% of the state’s cranberry crop typically goes to fresh market.

About 6.9 million barrels of cranberries are expected to be harvested this year, 5% more than last year and the second-highest total ever, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Volumes should be up in Massachusetts in Wisconsin and down in New Jersey, Oregon and Washington, according to the USDA.

John Decas, chairman of the board at Decas Bros. Sales Co. Inc., Wareham, Mass., said he expects a normal year this season.

“The bogs look very good,” he said in late June, as the plants were entering the blossom stage.

If conditions hold up, he said, the company should experience a significant increase in yields compared to last year, when low yields adversely affected fresh volume.

Bloom also was getting under way in late June in Wisconsin, said Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin Rapids-based Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association.

The crop seemed to be running a little behind at that time because of cooler weather, but Lochner expected the plants to catch up.

The crop appeared to be of good quality, but he said it was too soon to tell for sure what the final product would look like.

Last year’s Wisconsin cranberry crop was estimated at 4.1 million barrels, up from 3.9 million in 2006, said Tod Planer, project coordinator for the association.

The Cranberry Network LLC, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., plans to hold back on early-season promotions to ensure retailers have plenty of fresh cranberries for Christmas, said Blake Johnston, a principal in the company.

About 80% of The Cranberry Network’s volumes are slated for the fresh market, Johnston said. This year the company expects a high-quality, normal-sized crop, with harvest in Wisconsin expected to begin about Sept. 20.

The Cranberry Network is the marketing agent for Tomah, Wis.-based Habelman Bros. Co. and other cranberry shippers. Habelman left cranberry cooperative Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., Middleboro, Mass., in December.

This year’s crop should be similar to last year’s, but Lochner said, “There’s lots of variables” before the harvest begins in late September or early October.

Picking continues until mid- to late October.

Up to 5% of Wisconsin’s crop is sold as fresh during the winter holidays, and the rest goes to processing, Lochner said.

Together, Wisconsin and Massachusetts account for about 80% of U.S. cranberry production.

Cranberry prices have been trending upward because of tight supplies, and as they do some fresh growers are switching to processed to help keep costs down, Farrimond said.

Fresh cranberries are dry harvested in Massachusetts, which is more costly than the wet-harvest method used for processed product, he said.

The industry has seen slow but steady growth since the 1960s when cranberries started being used for juice, then dried cranberries and other products, Lochner said.

In all, there are about 15,000 acres of cranberries in the U.S. he said.

The industry also is growing in Quebec and in British Columbia, as well as in Chile.

As the value of other cranberry products continues to skyrocket, Decas said he is not sure what impact that will have on fresh sales. Sweet, dried cranberries even are replacing some fresh sales for Thanksgiving, he said.

Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., Middleboro, Mass., will cross-merchandise fresh cranberries this season with cranberry bread and sweet potato casserole mixes made by Concord Foods, Scott Simmons, general manager of fresh fruit, said in news release from Ocean Spray’s marketing partner, Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group.

Packages of the Concord mixes will have a $1 coupon off a bag of Ocean Spray cranberries, he said.

Markets Editor Andy Nelson contributed to this article.