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Pear harvest impacts from Almeda Fire

Pear trees located at Meyer Orchards in Talent survived the Almeda Fire. The farmer Ron Meyer said they also survived the smoke.

Posted: Sep 22, 2020 8:01 PM

TALENT, Ore.--- Pear trees located at Meyer Orchards in Talent survived the Almeda Fire. The farmer Ron Meyer said they also survived the smoke.

He says the fire delayed harvest and caused a shortage of workers—mostly on the packaging end but also in the fields. 

"Many of the people who work in the packing shed lost their homes," Meyer said. "And of course they didn't work for days because they were trying to establish new residence."

Evacuation orders also caused a delay in work as some employees live on the orchards. When water and power were not available in the area, meyer said he had buy water for everyone. He said the fire is going to force them to extend the season, even while using every available employee.

Luckily, the fire didn't make it to meyer orchards, but the smoke and wind did.

"I don't believe that the smoke affects the pears at all, no," Meyer said. "We had this several years back and we saw no difference."

Instead, his main concern is the wind he saw the day of the fire that blew off many of the pears. Meyers said this year they had a light crop to begin with and after the winds came through he had about half the harvest compared to previous years.

Meyer said that he is trying to decide if there will be a season next year or not but he is hopeful there will be.

"After a family's history of 110 years being in this business its not easy to change," Meyer said. 

Meyer said that his orchard sits on 115 acres and the last option would be to cut back some of the product-- but the economy will be the deciding factor for next year.

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