Pear picture ‘looking good’ around valley

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Pear bins have been filling fast at the Goe family pear orchards off Ehrck Hill Road, south of Hood River.

By ERIK HIDLE

News intern

“The pears are looking really good,” said Ken Goe of M. Goe and Son Inc. “It looks like the crop is going to be well above average for the year.”

Each day, Goe’s orchard will be shipping out around 200 bins. The smaller pears heading to canneries and the larger pears to packing houses around the Northwest.

M. Goe and Son Inc. is one of the first orchards to begin picking for the year as the crops in the lower valley have just reached maturity.

Although a short window of time, seven to ten days, the picking process began for M. Goe and Son Inc. on Aug. 18 and concluded late the following week. “That’s just the Bartletts though,” said Goe. “We start picking the Anjous in about two weeks.”

The encouraging nature of a crop that is “above average” will be a shared experience this year, according to Steve Castagnoli of the Oregon State Extension Center.

“I believe that the feel of a generous crop is a fair assessment for this year,” Castagnoli said. “The harvest should be pretty good across the valley, especially among the Anjous.”

According to Castagnoli, the reason for this year’s jump in pear numbers is attributed to good pollination conditions.

Jean Godfrey of the Hood River Growers-Shippers Association confirmed the expectations of this year’s harvest.

“It’s looking pretty good throughout the valley,” Godfrey said. “All of the reports I have heard are slightly above average for the year.”

“You can never be certain on how you are going to do,” said Goe. “The estimates are usually really close, but with so many factors and the current economy, the outcome can’t be for sure until the end of harvest.”

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