Winter pear handlers in Washington and Oregon will be pay three cents less per carton in marketing order assessments for the 2011-12 season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service issued an final rule April 11 that decreases the assessment established for the Fresh Pear Committee from 50.1 cents to 47.1 cents per carton of fresh winter pears handled. The assessment decrease was made because the fresh winter pear promotion budget for 2011-12 was reduced, according to the USDA.

The committee’s fiscal period begins July 1 and June 30.

The Fresh Pear Committee administers the marketing order that regulates handling of Northwest fresh pears, and it contracts administration of the marketing order activities to Milwaukie, Ore.-based Pear Bureau Northwest.

In a proposed rule published last year, the USDA said the assessment rate for winter pears during 2011-12 was dropped by three cents per box because the committee reduced the winter pear promotion budget from $6.6 million in 2010-11 to $6.35 million in 2011-12. Based on USDA projections published last year, the 47-cent assessment for 15.5 million boxes of winter pears projected by the committee in 2011-12 should yield $7.3 million.