Pear Bureau Northwest announced in a news release the first official estimate of the 2020–21 fresh pear crop for Washington and Oregon. Pear growers and producers from Washington’s Wenatchee and Yakima districts and Oregon’s Mid-Columbia and Medford districts estimate this year’s fresh pear harvest at 16.6 million standard box equivalents, or approximately 366,000 tons of fresh pears. The estimate is slightly above last season’s harvest, according to the release.
“Growers throughout Washington and Oregon are reporting beautiful fruit and good sizing,” said Kevin Moffitt, president and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest, in the release. “Shippers are reporting solid demand for pears while retailers are also showing strong interest in the category.”
Harvest is underway for early varieties such as Starkrimson and Bartlett in all regions, and growers will begin picking Green Anjou, Red Anjou and Bosc over the last two weeks of August. Specialty pears such as Comice, Seckel, Forelle and Concorde will be picked near the end of August and into the first week of September.
Growers expect to pick 8.6 million standard boxes of Green Anjou pears, which will be more than 51 percent of the total crop. Other primary varieties include 4.2 million boxes of Green Bartlett pears, at 25 percent of the crop; 2.3 million boxes of Bosc, at 14 percent of the crop; and just under 1 million Red Anjou pears, at 5.5 percent of the total harvest.
The organic pear estimate is expected to come in at 1.96 million standard boxes — more than 43,000 tons, which is nearly 12 percent of the total Northwest crop. Green Anjou and Bartlett combine for 74 percent of the organic crop, and Bosc and Red Anjou make up 14 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
The Pear Bureau’s domestic and international marketing teams are adjusting promotions to adapt to current trends.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and changing shopping habits of consumers, we have shifted more resources to innovative digital programs reaching online shoppers, targeted advertising, influencer campaigns and digital sampling,” Moffit said in the release.
The Pear Bureau export team plans to shift more resources to retail banner ads, in-store radio advertising and social media promotions with influencers, according to the release.