In late June, Persky said he expected the River District to start the week of July 16, with the Mountain District starting the week of Aug. 6.
This season should be about a week earlier than last year’s record-late start.
“It’s hard to say what a typical start is any more,” Persky said. “Over the last few years, we’re moving more toward a mid-July start.”
Fruit quality and sizing appears good from both production areas, he said.
Strong demand at the start
With pears from the Pacific Northwest and Argentina expected to be gone from the market when California starts, Perksy said it may take about a week for the channels to become full, “which is great.”
“It’s a good indication that pear movement is good and the category is doing well,” he said. “I think we’re expecting strong demand from the start, and I think the market will adjust.
“Once the pipeline gets full, generally in California the prices go down. I think this year we’re expecting a more stable market.”
Steve Johnson, marketer for Johnson Family Ranch, Ukiah, Calif., said he’s hopeful about this year’s crop.
“It’s shaping up very well,” he said. “We have a very clean crop here in the Mountain District.
“I think it’s a slightly above average (-sized) crop, but it’s the kind of crop you want to have ― not huge but not small.”