Ryan Fagerberg with Fagerberg Farms/Fagerberg Produce in Eaton told us on Dec. 11, “We were very busy for Thanksgiving business but have slowed down recently. I’m already seeing an uptick in orders for the end of this week and anticipate a good Christmas push in the coming days.” Ryan added, “We still have quite a few yellows to move out of storage, and I should ship well into March.” And of two major issues facing the produce industry now, he said, “We are actually in pretty good shape as far as labor is concerned. [And] our location is proving to be quite the asset this year as trucks seem to be getting more and more difficult to come by in the Northwest.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said his Colorado deal has been good. “Everything is moving really well,” he said. “We’re out of whites and reds in Colorado, and we’re still shooting for the first or second week of January [for the last of the loads]. We’re shipping medium, jumbo and a few colossal yellows.” Prices are still good, he said, and he said, “We’re holding our own with trucks.”
Bob Meek with Onions 52 in Syracuse, UT, said Colorado has been very good this year. “It’s still steady,” he said on Dec. 13, adding that one shipper will be done in the next “week or so.”
Bob Meek with Onions 52 in Syracuse said that the Utah deal is slowing down, along with Colorado, and that shipments have been good. “It’s been steady as she goes,” Bob said.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said he’s still seeing good movement out of Utah, and the deal will wind down the third or fourth week in January. Like Colorado, Utah is out of whites, but Don Ed said there’s been good Christmas pull, and Utah is shipping a lot of jumbo, colossal and super colossal yellows “We’re rocking right along, trying to get things done this week,” Don Ed said of his onion operations. “We’ll have business next week Monday through Wednesday and then might not have trucks for a week. Truck drivers like to be home for Christmas, too. And it will be interesting to see what the market does after the first of the year.”
Ashley Robertson with Fort Boise Produce in Parma, ID, said on Dec. 13 that transportation “is terrible with both railroad and trucks.” Fort Boise has had steady demand and loads going out, she said, and quality of the onions is good. “We’re looking to go into April and will sure go to the end of March,” Ashley said.
Bernie Pavlock with Pro-Source Produce in Hailey, ID, said on Dec. 13 the current market is steady with good pricing. “We hope the pricing maintains or goes higher, and the next point where we see it changing is when Texas and Mexico come in. We know of some early sweets coming up now from Mexico.” About the Treasure Valley crop, Bernie said, “We are still shipping all three colors from Golden West Produce.” Trucks are “an issue and we think they’ll continue to be very tight for at least the next two weeks.” Bernie said the Treasure Valley supplies will finish up the first week of April.
Bob Meek with Onions 52 in Syracuse, UT, said loads have been very steady out of that company’s Nyssa, OR, operation. “We’ve had good numbers out of Nyssa and Washington as well. It’s been very normal for this time of year,” Bob said. He commented on transportation overall, saying, “Trucks have gotten a little better, which has given us some relief. But that could be the calm before the storm, and they could tighten up again.”
Trish Lovell with Curry & Co. in Brooks told us on Dec. 12, “It’s been fairly crazy here. Holiday times are always busy, and demand has been very good. It’s keeping us hopping daily to cover orders.” Trish said both jumbo and medium yellows have been in high demand. And, she said, “Transportation here, like all areas, has been tight. We have been able to get the trucks, but they do come at a premium price.” When asked how far into 2018 the current crop will ship, she said, “We will re-evaluate our storage supplies in January.”
Bernie Pavlock with ProSource Produce in Hailey, ID, said the New Mexico crop planting has taken place on time, and the region has had good weather. “We should see those onions in June,” he said.
Bob Meek with Onions 52 in Syracuse, UT, said his company’s New Mexico partners have everything in the ground, and he added, “I haven’t heard anything negative at all about conditions there.” Bob expects the season to start in May.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said the Rio Grande Valley crop saw some cool weather recently “and even a bit of snow, which is very unusual.” But, he said, “It never got to freezing, and the cold didn’t hurt the onions at all. The crop looks good, and we needed the moisture. There’s more rain in the forecast, too.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on dec. 13 that the first Mexico deal is “coming right along.” He said recent cooler weather took the temps into the 50s, which slowed the crop down just a bit, but he added that early sweets will start coming in during the first or second week of January.
Bob Meek with Onions 52 in Syracuse, UT, said his company’s Mexico onions are all in the ground, and he added about recent cold weather south of the border, “Luckily we’re not tomato guys. The onions are young enough that they weren’t affected.” Onions 52 will start bringing white onions out of Mexico in mid-January, and Bob said, “We’re looking for Mexican onions to run into spring, which will be a welcome relief for some of the guys in the Northwest who are trying to hang onto their onions.”