We heard reports from excited growers: The pears are fabulous. The pear harvest if off to an excellent start, with Bartletts coming off smoothly and d’Anjous waiting their turn. The state expects to harvest more than 19.5 million boxes of pears this year, making it the third-largest crop ever. They say they are delectable. Quality is superb.
So as you drive up the Wenatchee Valley look to the left, and look to the right, and see them harvest the fruit of the best pear orchards in the world. That is no brag. Washington produces more pears than any other state and more than half come from the Wentachee Valley. They are in demand worldwide. It is a $186 million-a-year business.
Remember, too, that 40 percent of Northwest pears find their way to export markets. The federal export assistance program that could help widen those prospects is still locked up in the Farm Bill stalled in our unmovable Congress. Dysfunctional Washington has an impact here in our valley, but while Congress dithers, the harvest goes on.
This is the opinion of The Wenatchee World and its Editorial Board: Publisher Rufus Woods, Editor Cal FitzSimmons and Editorial Page Editor Tracy Warner.