Jun 8, 2016Northwest pear estimate slightly up from 2015
Northwest pear growers are releasing fresh pear harvest projections following their annual meetings in Portland last week. Collectively, Washington’s Wenatchee and Yakima regions and Oregon’s Mid-Columbia and Medford regions estimate a fresh pear harvest of 18.7 million standard box equivalents, or 414,000 tons of fresh pears. These figures are up 2 percent from 2015 final harvest figures, but represent a 7 percent decrease from the five-year average.
Warm spring weather and good pollination led to a full bloom, with no significant weather events to hurt the fruit finish.
“Growers are reporting beautiful, clean fruit that is filling out nicely in terms of fruit size,” said Kevin Moffitt, president and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest.
Harvest is expected slightly earlier than historical average, but similar to the last two years, with Starkrimson expected in the last days of July, Bartlett in the first days of August, and Anjou, Bosc, and Comice in the last two weeks of August, across the four growing regions. Concorde, Forelle, and Seckel will be picked from late August through September.
The top three varieties produced by Northwest growers remain the same as in previous years: Green Anjou pears are anticipated to make up 50 percent of the total 2016 crop, and Bartlett and Bosc pears are expected to yield 23 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
Green Anjou pears are showing a projected crop decrease of 3 percent compared with 2015, and a 13 percent drop compared to the five-year average. Growers estimate that the Bartlett pear crop yield will increase by 9 percent compared with last season’s results, matching the five-year average. The Bosc pear crop increase is expected to be 4 percent over the 2015 harvest, 3 percent higher than the five-year average. The size of the Red Anjou pear crop is expected to be 3 percent higher than last year, but down by 3 percent compared to the five-year average.
Harvest of certified organic pears in the Northwest is projected to make up about 6 percent of the crop, with 1,103,600 standard boxes (24,279 tons) for 2016, up 14 percent compared with 2015. The organic Green Anjou crop is expected to be 430,000 standard boxes, while the Green Bartlett and Bosc crop sizes are estimated at 310,000 and 235,000 standard boxes respectively.