Average pear crop forecast
The winter pear crop should be down almost 10 percent from last year’s record production.
The Northwest pear industry is forecasting an average crop of 18.5 million boxes of fresh pears this year, following a record crop of more than 20 million last year.
During the annual meeting of the Fresh Pear Committee in Portland, Oregon, in early June, industry representatives compiled the first official estimate of the season. Fruit set was affected by cool spring weather, and a freeze last fall may have further reduced the potential crop in the Wenatchee district. All districts expect to harvest fewer pears than a year ago.
“This spring has been challenging for everybody,” commented Dan Kelly, manager of the Washington Growers Clearing House Association. “There’s still some concern at this point that these numbers might be a little on the high side.”
Northwest producers expect to harvest 14.2 million boxes of winter pears and 4.3 million boxes of Barlett, Starkrimson and other summer and fall pears.
The winter pear crop is made up of d’Anjou, Red d’Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle, Seckel, Packham, Taylor’s Gold, and other minor varieties. The d’Anjou crop is forecast at 10.0 million boxes, down from 11.2 million last year but similar to the five-year average. The Bosc crop is expected to be 2.7 million, down from 2.9 million a year ago.
The Bartlett crop is estimated at 3.7 million boxes, down from 4.1 million a year ago.
The Wenatchee district should harvest 47 percent of the winter pear crop, with another 35 percent coming from the Mid-Columbia district, 12 percent from Yakima, and 6 percent from Medford, Oregon.