Jun 24, 2009
Northwest Pear Crop Estimated 10 Percent Above Last Year

As pear tree branches grow heavy with fruit, the Pear Bureau’s initial estimates suggest that the 2009 Northwest pear crop will be the fourth largest on record, with approximately 19.1 million boxes. That would make it about 10 percent larger than last year’s and 8.5 percent larger than the five-year average.

Weather conditions throughout the Pacific Northwest pear-growing regions during the winter and spring have been ideal, according to Pear Bureau.

Harvest begins in mid-August. Summer/fall varieties include Green Bartlett, Red Bartlett and other red pear varieties like Starkrimson. Winter pear varieties such as the Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle and Seckel will be picked from late August through September.

Some pear varieties are experiencing significant increases over the five-year average. The Comice crop is expected to increase by 23 percent, the Red Anjou crop by 18 percent and the Bartlett crop is experiencing growth of about 12 percent.

The organic pear crop is expected to be up 10 percent over last year for summer/fall varieties and 11 percent for winter varieties, for an overall crop size of 779,700 boxes.

With a good-sized crop of excellent quality, Kevin Moffitt, president and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest, said he is confident that Pear Bureau’s marketing programs will continue to be effective in helping to move the crop.

“Pears have regained their position at retail as one of the world’s favorite fruits,” he said. “To capitalize and expand on this, we have many progressive and innovative programs in place to grab the attention of the consumer as well as retailers and foodservice operators.”

The Pear Bureau anticipates the worldwide economic recession will have an effect on business in several export markets, and the strength of the dollar also could have a negative impact. The Pear Bureau will engage in promotions in 38 countries. Approximately 38 percent of the crop will be sold outside of the United States, and the top export markets for U.S. pears will remain Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Russia, the UAE and Germany.

India will continue to be the industry’s best growth market, and in India and Indonesia Pear Bureau will be the lead cooperator conducting the “US Fresh Fruit Showcase,” a joint promotional activity with the Washington Apple Commission, California Table Grape Commission, California Tree Fruit Agreement and Northwest Cherries.

For more information, visit www.usapears.org.





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