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Washington and Oregon pear growers will receive $353 per ton from two Northwest processors this year, based on a new one-year contract.

In July, the Washington-Oregon Canning Pear Association signed a contract establishing prices for Bartlett pears sold to Del Monte Foods in Yakima, Washington, and the Neil Jones Food Company in Vancouver, Washington.

The 2018 price is lower than the $360 per ton paid last year due to lower prices from the food service sector and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and an influx of Chinese canned pears sold at lower than the cost of U.S. production, according to a July newsletter from the association.

The association, based in Yakima, negotiates processor prices on behalf of pear growers in the two states. Prices this year will be $353 per ton for Grade 1 pears, $371 for Grade 1A and $210 for Grade 2. Grading measures will stay the same as they’ve been in recent years.

Meanwhile, the annual crop assessment voluntarily paid by growers to the association will drop from $1 per ton to 50 cents per ton. Processors signing the contract agree to pay the same amount to the association as a service charge.

Typically, the association negotiates three-year contracts, but the growers wanted a single year contract this year, said B.J. Thurlby, business manager for the Canning Pear Association.

—by Ross Courtney