Each year harvest of pears in California’s River District marks the fresh start of a new pear season.  This year, the nation’s fresh pear season is expected to begin in mid July with volume anticipated beginning July 25.  At a recent meeting of the California Pear Advisory Board, a pre-season crop estimate of just over 4.1 million 36-pound box equivalents of pears was set by the voting members of the Board.

According to the Board, which is represented by growers and shippers from all California pear growing districts, the majority of the crop, 3.2 million boxes, is expected to come from the leading California pear variety, the Bartlett, with the River District accounting for 1.9 million boxes, the Lake District expecting 950,000 boxes and the Mendocino District predicting 350,000.  Start dates for the later districts are in mid-August.

This year’s estimate is a bit higher than last year’s California pear crop which came in at 3.6 million boxes, but is below the 2009 crop year when nearly 4.7 million boxes were packed and shipped.

This year’s total includes other pear varieties in addition to the Bartlett now represented by the California Pear Advisory Board. Bosc varieties, which include the Bosc and Golden Russet Bosc, make up the second leading California variety and combined, are expected to produce their largest crop on record at 700,000 boxes.  Other varietal estimates include Starkcrimson at 85,000 boxes, Seckel at 34,000; Comice at 24,000; Sunsprites, 18,000; French Butter, 10,000; Forelle, 4,000 and other red varieties at 16,000 boxes.  The California pear industry is also expecting to produce 64,500 boxes of organic pears.

“As we do every year, the California pear board is looking forward to a good marketing season,” said Chris Zanobini, President of the California Pear Advisory Board.  “We have a nice crop of pears on the trees and with warm weather and excellent growing techniques California is poised to have a great pear season.”
Zanobini noted that just as the fresh start to pear season begins in California, the 2011 season marks a “fresh start” for the California Pear Advisory Board.