The Pear Bureau Northwest forecasts about a 20% bump in production this season, but that's in line with overall five-year averages and a reflection of the currents season's low production. ( File photo )

Pear growers in Washington and Oregon estimate they’ll produce 18.9 million standard box equivalents, which at 415,000 tons for the fresh market is an 18% increase from the small 2017 harvest, but equal to the five-year average.

Pear growers representing Washington’s Yakima and Wenatchee districts and Oregon’s Mid-Columbia and Medford districts met May 31 during the Pear Bureau Northwest’s annual meeting in Portland, Ore., compiling reports for the season’s first production estimate, according to a news release from the bureau.

The pear bureau has broken down the estimates by variety:

  • Green anjou, almost 50% of the crop, with 9.3 million cartons;
  • Bartletts, 24% of the crop at 4.6 million cartons;
  • Boscs, 16.7% of the crop at 3.2 million cartons; and
  • Red anjous, 5.6% of the crop at 1.1 million cartons.

If those estimates hold true, according to the release, green anjous will see a 10% bump in volume compared to last year’s low production. The Bartlett estimate, if it holds true, will be 24% more than last season, but just 5% higher than the five-year average. Bosc estimates put production at 42% more than last season, and 8% over the five-year average, according to the release.

Growers anticipate 1.64 million standard boxes of organic pears, about 9% of the overall Northwest pear production, according to the release. The green anjou, bosc and Bartlett organic production is expected to be 583,500 cartons, 321,050 cartons and 564,700, respectively.

 “We will be grabbing the attention of consumers through a strong social media program and messaging through media and influencers while working to keep pears in front of today's consumer,” Kevin Moffitt, president and CEO of the Pear Bureau Northwest, said in a news release. “We will be connecting with them through online shopping sites, promoting meal kits with pears, targeted advertising and more."