California pear shipments have gotten underway with volume expected to be down a little, but similar to a year ago.
California is forecast to ship about 2 million 36-pound boxes of Bartlett pears, the leading variety.
However, Bosc and golden bosc are down about 30 percent from 2015, with most of the reduction in the early shipments coming out of the Sacramento River district. Red pears are also down from last year, particularly from the early district.
Bartlett pear shipments started the week of July 3rd. Rivermaid Trading Co. ships over half of California’s fresh pears, and expects to load over 1 million boxes of bartletts. The other three California pear packers are Scully Packing, David J. Elliot & Son and Greene & Hemly. The California pear industry has experienced considerable consolidation. Just a few years ago there were over a dozen packers.
Pear loadings have gotten off to a fast, early start, beginning with Lake County.
Mountain bartletts are expected to begin around July 25th in Lake and Mendocino counties, and boscs by August 1st. Remaining pear varieties pears will be available by mid- to late-August.
The northern reaches of California production will overlap with Pacific Northwest production, with bartletts available all the way into October from the Golden State. The Yakima Valley in Washinton state typically starts with pear shipments in the second week of August,
Last year’s combined volume for all California pear varieties was 3.1 million boxes.
The crop might be down a little, possibly 5 to 7 percent on the bartletts from last year. The red pears are going to be very comparable to a year ago with the new varieties coming on. Golden bosc pears will probably be off 15 to 20 percent due to a severe blight problem on the river that hit the crops. Lake and Mendocino counties will have significantly less pear volume than last year, when a bumper crop materialized.
Southern and Central San Joaquin Valley stone fruit and tomatoes – grossing about $5800 to Atlanta.