“Once the fruit is pre-conditioned and cooled again, we should start shipping the week of July 18,” he said, “And we’ll continue at least through October.”
The quality of the Northwest fruit looks excellent, Moffitt said. The harvest is scheduled to begin in mid-August, he said, with bartletts, red bartletts and other red pear varieties.
Picking and packing of winter pear varieties, such as the anjou, bosc, comice, concorde, forelle and seckel, con-tinues into early October.
“Between California and the Northwest and today’s controlled-atmosphere storage, we can cover the market pretty much all year-round,” Moffitt said.
Organic volume in Oregon and Washington is forecast to be up about 5% over 2009 for summer varieties, but down slightly for the winter pears. The 2010 volume is expected to be nearly 800,000 cartons, almost double the production of organic pears in the Northwest five years ago, Moffitt said.