While Northwest pear shipments are forecast to decline by 9 percent from last season, and 6 percent compared to the 5-year average, good loading opportunities should remain.
The estimate for the 2019-29 fresh pear shipping season is 17.3 million 44-pound box equivalents. However, the decline doesn’t affect organic production, which at 10 percent of the overall crop, is seeing a 20 percent gain over last season.
The estimate includes Washington’s Wenatchee and Yakima valleys, and Oregon’s Mid-Columbia and Medford districts.
Estimates for pear varieties, and their percentage of the overall crop, are:
- Green anjous:8.8 million boxes (51 percent);
- Bartletts: 4.4 million boxes (26 percent);
- Boscs: 2.2 million boxes (13 percent); and
- Red anjous: 1 million boxes (6 percent).
The green anjou and bartlett crops are down single digits, but the bosc estimate is a 30 percent drop from the most recent season and 23 percent lower than the 5-year average. Red anjou estimates are a slight increase over last season, according to a news release.
Organic production is expected to be 1.76 million boxes, 10 percent of the total crop. That’s a 20 percent increase in organic production from the 2018-19 season. Of that, about 652,000 boxes will be green anjous, about 645,400 boxes will be bartletts and about 272,400 are boscs.
Harvests are expected to be about a week later than last season, which is close to the historical average. Starkrimsons start the first 2 weeks of August, followed in mid-August by bartletts. Anjou harvest starts the last week of August in all districts except in Mid-Columbia, which is early September. Bosc and comice harvest is from mid-August through mid-September, and concorde, forelle and seckel picking is in August and September in the four districts.