Good Fruit Grower

April 15

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P acific Northwest pear processors are raising grower prices this season in hopes of sourcing more Bartlett pears for the pro- cessed market. Canned pear products, at their lowest inven- tory in years, are in jeopardy of losing market from increased imported product, says a canned pear promoter. Bartlett pears are in a familiar supply-and-de- mand dilemma. Short supply means high prices, which is good for growers. But high prices allow cheaper, imported product to gain a foothold in the market. Northwest Bartlett pear growers sent nearly 115,000 tons to processors in 2013, the lowest number in a decade, Jay Grandy reported at the Washington- Oregon Canned Pear Association's annual meeting in late February in Yakima, Washington. "That's one of the lowest production numbers going to the processors in many years and has resulted in canned inventory that's also one of the lowest in years," said Grandy, manager of the association. Just seven years ago, more than 152,000 tons of Northwest Bartlett pears were processed. Canned inven- tories are so low that there's been no carryover in the last few years. The low processed volume is a result of Northwest growers sending more pears to the fresh market. In 2013, fresh- market Bartletts reached a new high for the decade of about 107,000 tons. In 2004, around 73,000 tons went to the fresh market, according to Grandy. The switch to fresh has occurred throughout Washington in the Wenatchee and Yakima areas as well as in Oregon's Hood River. All three Northwest processors (Del Monte, Seneca, and Northwest Packing) are voluntarily increasing grower contract prices in 2014 to $300 per ton for No. 1 grade, up from the bargaining association's con- tracted price of $272 in 2013. Grower prices haven't been that high for a decade, Grandy said. "Processors want more pears," he said. "They need more Bartletts for their processing plants to keep overhead costs down." 12 APRIL 15, 2014 GOOD FRUIT GROWER Contact Doug Anyan (509)949-9231 G.S. Long Co. Redox Chemicals, LLC 7KHJRDOLVVLPSOH3URGXFHKHDOWK\FURSVDWDSURÀWLQ a manner that is environmentally responsible. Traditional IHUWLOL]HUVDUHEDVHGRQWHFKQRORJ\PRUHWKDQÀYHGHFDGHV old, resulting in increased application rates and repeated calls to reduce or ban the very nutrients needed to accomplish your goals. Through the science of Redox, we have solutions that lower application rates by as much as 98 percent – including both phosphorus and nitrogen – while improving or maintaining crop quality and yields, without increasing the overall cost of treatments! Technical data demonstrates that Redox product solutions are the environmentally friendly choice for superior fertility management. But the results that matter are the show up in exceptional yields, and not in the streams. Ask your GS Long Co. representative about how you can grow "green" while seeing more "black" on your bottom line. Distributed By Green Through Better Technology. Yakima, WA, Wenatchee, WA and Hood River, OR T H E P O W E R O F NA T U R E T H E S C I E N C E O F R E D O X Not enough CANNED PEARS Canned pear promoter Mark Miller, right, discusses the canned pear program with Johnny Jones, a Yakima Valley pear grower. Grower prices for processed pears will be $300 per ton this year. by Melissa Hansen PHOTO BY MELISSA HANSEN

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