Pear growers will keep their same assessment rate of 44.9 cents per box for the administration of the federal marketing order for fresh pears from Washington and Oregon during the 2016-2017 season.

The Fresh Pear Committee approved the assessment Thursday at the group’s annual meeting in Portland, Oregon.

Of that assessment, 38.5 cents will go to promotion, 3.1 cents to research and 3.3 cents to administrative expenses.

The committee will keep the same slate of officers for the 2016-2017 season. Jordan Matson will remain chairman, Ron Meyer first vice chairman, Don Gibson second vice chairman and Matt McDevitt secretary-treasurer.

Meanwhile, Gibson will remain the Fresh Pear Committee’s appointed representative to the Northwest Horticultural Council’s science advisory committee, a position he has held for 20 years.

Also Thursday, pear growers predicted they will harvest a total of 18.7 million boxes of fresh pears in 2016, less than 2 percent more than the 2015 crop but about 7 percent less than the five-year average.

– by Ross Courtney