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Rain in Oregon is not expected to cause undue delays for pears

by Lora Abcarian | September 07, 2010
Kevin Moffitt, president and chief executive officer of the Pear Bureau Northwest in Milwaukie, OR, does not anticipate that rainy conditions in Oregon will create any undue delays in harvesting of the state's pear crop.

"The recent rain may cause some delay, maybe one day," he told The Produce News Aug. 31.

“When we did our first crop forecast in June, there was talk then that the harvest would be delayed,” he said. Spring conditions during the growing season were cooler than normal and wet, and Mr. Moffitt said that pollination was affected. As a result, harvest timetables were expected to be between one and two weeks behind normal schedules.

Rain showers were expected to end by Aug. 31, and Mr. Moffitt said that growers were preparing for a warming trend starting Sept. 1. “Fruit size is behind where the growers want it to be,” he said. “But the fruit can size up quickly.”

He added that the additional moisture will help plump the pears up as the temperature warms.

Starkrimson pears were already being harvested, and Mr. Moffitt said that some Bartlett producers began their harvest around Aug. 22.

“We’re going to have plenty of fruit this year,” he concluded. Volume is expected to be good for both domestic and export markets.