FRESNO, Calif. — California, the leadoff hitter for the nation’s domestic pear season, will harvest the fruit later than normal this season.

California pear quality, volume solid through holidays“Everything is running 10 days to two weeks behind,” Chris Zanobini, executive director of the California Pear Advisory Board, Sacramento, said in late July.

“The river district started picking after the Fourth of July, and we anticipate starting the mountain harvest in mid- to late August.”

The mountain harvest represents about 40% of the industry’s volume, “but its fresh packout tends to be a bit higher,” Zanobini said.

The harvest peak comes in September when both districts are picking.

The state’s pear industry appears to have escaped damage from the unusual late spring rain and hail storms.

“Hail nailed us on one block of bartletts, but outside of that we weathered the spring storms very well,” said Atomic Torosian, managing partner of Crown Jewels Marketing LLC.

In addition to bartletts, the pear inventory at Crown Jewels includes all of the state’s top pear varieties: bosc, starkrimson, forelle, seckel, comice and Taylor’s gold, he said.

Perhaps because of the harvest start delay, the pears have sized well this year, Zanobini said.

“We have a very good bosc crop, and overall the bartletts look very good too,” he said.