Organic winter pear production in the Northwest expected higher

08/27/2013 03:18:00 PM
Tom Karst

Not all marketing companies handle organic pears.

Robert Wymore, vice president of operations for Diamond Fruit Growers Inc., Odell, Ore., said the company packs about 400 bins of organic pears as a custom packer, though no Diamond River growers are organic, he said.

“I think pears are pretty tough to grow organically, and I don’t know if the incentive is there for the growers to try to do it,” Wymore said.

Growers could choose to convert their organic apple and pear orchards to conventional if they cannot find an acceptable fireblight treatment, said Roger Pepperl, director of marketing for Stemilt Growers LLC, Wenatchee, Wash.

Since antibiotics are no longer permitted as a treatment, growers risk losing their orchards to the disease.

“Unless we find a solution, a lot of pear and apple ground will go out of organic,” Pepperl said.

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