(July 9) MILWAUKIE, Ore. — Northwest fruit growers expect this summer’s bartlett pear crop to jump 20% from last year’s vol-umes, but estimates are more in line with an average crop.

“This year the industry is projecting a full crop that is looking very clean and is expected to size up well,” said Kevin Moffitt, president and chief executive officer of the Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie.

California’s bartlett season started the second week of July, to be followed by the four Northwest districts — Hood River and Medford, Ore., and Yakima and Wenatchee, Wash. — in mid-August, slightly earlier than last year by three or four days, Moffitt said. Production in the Northwest lasts until January, when the first of the southern hemisphere imports arrive.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture hadn’t established prices for California bartletts as of July 9. Chilean imports arriving in Cali-fornia ports were $14-15 for 40-pound boxes of packham triumphs (size 70-80), and $12 for 100s; eastern ports reported $14-16 for boxes of packham triumphs (size 60-80) and $20-22 for boscs (size 70-80).

At the start of last season, Wenatchee and Yakima Valley bartletts were priced at $20 for 44-pound boxes of 70-90s, and $14-15 for 110s.

Washington and Oregon pear industry members met via conference call on July 8 to discuss estimates. The states’ combined pro-duction of green bartletts is expected to be 3.34 million 44-pound boxes, compared to last season’s lower-than average volume of 2.65 million boxes.

California’s river pear district estimates a crop of 3.76 million boxes, compared to 3.8 million last year.