The 2009 Pacific Northwest pear crop is expected to yield about 19 million boxes, 10% more than the 2008 crop and 9% above the five-year average.

If the estimate from the Milwaukie, Ore.-based Northwest Pear Bureau, released June 24, proves correct, it will be the fourth-biggest Northwest crop on record.

“This year’s pear crop forecast is projecting a bounce back from last year’s relatively short crop,” said Kevin Moffitt, the bureau’s president. “There was a rather cool and wet spring, but no issues to hurt the size or quality of the crop. In fact, at this point it looks very clean and we’re expecting a good year. There will be an abundant supply of green bartletts and red anjous.”

Also, Moffitt said, the Northwest’s green anjou crop has bounced back after last season’s shorter crop, and the comice and bosc numbers and quality look good as well.

Harvest may be 5 to 7 days later than last year but should nevertheless fall within the “normal” harvest range, Moffitt said.

Harvest should begin in mid-August with green and red bartletts, starkrimsons and other red varieties, Moffitt said. Anjous, boscs , comices, concords, forelles and seckels will follow in late August and September.

Compared to the five-year average, bartlett production is projected to be up 12%; red anjous,18%; and comices, 23%.

Organic pear production should continue to rise in 2009-2010. The number of summer and fall organic varieties is expected to climb 10%, and winter varieties 11%. Total organic production is expected to number about 780,000 boxes.

The projected larger crop this year promised aggressive marketing opportunities, Moffitt said.

“We’re looking for a very promotable crop for both domestic and the nearly 40 countries where we export,” he said.