[nafex] Re: Big 4 Commercial Pears

Joseph D. Postman postmanj at ucs.orst.edu
Sun Nov 19 15:29:06 EST 2000

Great discussion about the lack of new pear cultivars in the main
commercial North American markets!  Thought you would all enjoy a quote
from J.B. Cornell in a report of The American Pomological Society:

"With the great and increasing development in the field of Pomology
naturally there should be and are numerous changes in varieties, many of
the old standards being eliminated and newer more desirable ones taking
their places.  In the case of pears, we meet with almost an exception in
the whole line of fruits, for outside of the introduction of the
Orientals, the great commercial varieties of today, are varieties that
were produced nearly a century ago."

Here's the interesting part...  That was written in 1904!  Now it is a
century later, and the same few pears still make up the bulk of our
commercial production.  Could it be that it's hard to beat the 'Big 4'?
There's certainly LOTS of diversity out there in the pear world.

- Joseph

        Joseph D. Postman, Pyrus Curator
        USDA/Agricultural Research Service
        National Clonal Germplasm Repository
        Corvallis, Oregon  USA
              postmanj at bcc.orst.edu

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