TALENT, Ore — A family owned pear orchard will be shutting down operations after 111 years in the Rogue Valley.
Meyer Orchards in Talent told NBC5, that its closing due to rising costs in labor/federal expenses, along with foreign competition keeping the prices of pears low.
It cut down the trees Friday afternoon and already sold some of its land.
“Things have changed over the last five years, and we haven’t made any money on pears,” Ron Meyer, owner of Meyer Orchards, said. “We just could not sell the pears enough to make a profit and so we decided to do something different,”
The severe drought over the past few years also contributed to the strain on the business. The family began discussing the options of closing, following the Talent Irrigation District’s decision to shut off water in July.
Even if the Valley gets enough water next season, the family says the trees would not be able to produce enough fruit due to this year’s drought.
RELATED: Talent Irrigation District shuts down amid drought conditions
Kirt Meyer, general manager of Meyer Orchards, believes there may not be any pears growing in the Rogue Valley in the near future.
“This industry has suffered financially for decades for various reasons,” Kirt wrote in a Facebook post. “The H-2A program is the only way now to get crops picked. It’s very costly, complicated and highly regulated. These types of farms do not get government subsidies… So the financial burden is solely on the farmer.”
Though the business won’t be around – Ron says he plans on staying at the property, and is grateful for the community’s support over the years.
© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.