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Washington sees later start, slightly smaller volume of pears

As with many commodities this year, Washington pears are arriving later than last year’s start date. 

“We’re running about 19-20 days later than last year,” says Mike Preacher of Yakima, Wa.-based Domex Superfresh Growers. “But remember that last year was early on everything. I think this week is when you’ll see the state get underway with appreciable volume.” Preacher does add that on a five-year average though, the pear season is starting approximately two weeks later than normal. “In the state, we have a late-arriving spring so that early cell division is what caused that,” he says. 

Pears may still size up
And, with thoughts of suggesting that retailers promote bags of pears this year, Preacher also says pears are slightly down in sizing as well. “There’s still time for a lot of the varieties to size up. But there’ll still be plenty of bulk-size fruit so there’s nothing to be alarmed about,” he says. “Washington State is calling for about 17.6 million boxes this year which is down but we usually produce about 19-20 million boxes every year. It’s not as dramatic as apples can be with crops size.”

That said, the fruit’s quality looks promising. “I’ve been out in the orchards and I’m very happy with what I’m seeing in terms of quality and condition,” says Preacher.

Bartlett leads the way
In terms of varieties, the Yakima Valley is starting with the Bartlett pears right now and the Northern pears, which is the vast majority of pears from Superfresh Growers, start this week or next. “But the Bosc pears didn’t set up great, so those numbers are projected to be down pretty significantly in the Northwest,” he says. Boscs are likely to start mid-September, while the Anjous will begin around September 10th.

“We’re still expecting a good season,” says Preacher. “Demand should be good and volume should be enough to promote but not to get us into a supply exceed situation.”

For more information:
Mike Preacher
Domex Superfresh Growers
Tel: +1-509-966-1814
[email protected]