Dan Borer with Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc. in Walla Walla, WA, said on April 5 that Keystone, along with other Georgia shippers, is packing Georgia Sweets ahead of the April 12 date for shipping Vidalias. “While some customers are waiting for the Vidalia start date, we are shipping Georgia Sweets, and that brand continues to gain momentum among our customers,” Dan said.
Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor told us April 5 that demand has been steady this week. “We expect to be finishing up in about four weeks,” Doug said. “We still have a good supply of medium yellows.” He also said that the quality of the remaining onions is very good.
Ashley Robertson with Fort Boise Produce in Parma, ID, said on April 5 that Fort Boise will continue to ship through April and possibly a week or two into May, “as long as demand is there.” She said this past week has seen “really good demand,” and she added, “It’s been crazy. Demand is very high for big sizes in yellows, jumbos through colossals.” Quality is very good, Ashley said.
Dan Phillips with Central Produce Distributors in Payette, ID, said Central is trying to get cleaned up for the season. “We are out of whites, but we still have some mediums yellows and supplies of jumbo reds,” Dan said.
Ted Brasch with Crescent Fruit in Edinburg told us that Crescent is going full steam with Texas onions and has been shipping since the middle of February. He said demand has been good, and the onions are shipping in primarily cartons. He also said that he hasn’t had any issues or complaints with quality.
Dan Borer with Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc. in Walla Walla, WA, reported that Texas shipments are progressing, but he predicted a short season. “The market is OK for Texas sales, but the rain affected the crop and created some issues,” Dan said. “It’s going to be a short crop, and I don’t see it extending much past the end of April.”
Dan Borer with Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc. in Walla Walla, WA, said that demand is steady for Keystone hybrids and quality is good. “We have a good supply of yellows and reds,” Dan said. “I have seen reports that say the Northwest stocks on hand are similar to last year, but it seems like there are a lot of onions out there. I don’t see the Northwest cleaning up anytime soon. Along with us, there will be shippers going well into May.”
Dale DeBerry with AllVeg Sales in Boerne, TX, told us that he will be moving Mexican onions from one grower for “about another week, and then we’ll clean up.” Dale said the finals weeks have been good. “We are finally getting some money for them,” he said.
Dan Borer with Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc. in Walla Walla, WA, said Keystone’s shipments are good coming out of Mexico. “The quality we are seeing this month is absolutely excellent,” Dan said. “The onions look good, and the taste is very good.” Dan said that demand has been good as well.
Ted Brasch with Crescent Fruit in Edinburg, TX, said Crescent is finished with Mexico. “We finished with our Mexican program a week ago,” he said.
Chris Franzoy with Young Guns Produce in Deming, NM, said his company’s Arizona deal will start up the first week in May with onions from the Phoenix area. Quality is “outstanding,” he said.
Dan Phillips with Central Produce Distributors in Payette, ID, said as of April 5 Central growers are about 35 percent in the ground. “We have had a little drier weather to the south,” Dan said. “We don’t anticipate being that much further behind. With good weather conditions throughout the summer, we really shouldn’t be behind schedule for harvest.”
Jeff Hartman with Hartman Farms in Parma, ID, said his operation’s planting is on track with last season. “We are hitting it in between storms and getting the seed in the ground,” Jeff said. “Basically, we are on call and ready when we get those windows of good weather. We don’t anticipate any of these minor delays are going to have much effect on start date.”
Chris Franzoy with Young Guns Produce in Deming (the Land of Milk and Honey) told us on April 5 his operation will ship out of New Mexico on May 20. “Our crop looks better this year than ever before,” he said. “The onions are very consistent in all varieties, and we have all colors and sizes.” He added, “We’re especially excited about our sweet onion program. We have a variety with low pyruvic acid, and we’re putting together a promotion with retailers.” The sweets will be in promotable volumes all summer and will start shipping June 1, he said.
Colorado San Luis Valley:
Jake Burris with Ellithorpe Farms/Ponderosa Partnership in Center, CO, told us 10 acres of onions went in on March 27. The operation grows onions as well as its primary crop of potatoes. Jake said he’s trying two onion varieties in 2017, the Talon and the Milestone.
Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor reports that they are preparing for planting. “We are getting the planters ready, and we expect to be getting in the fields in a week or so,” Doug said. He noted that Gumz will keep the same program and acres as last year.
Dan Borer with Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc. in Walla Walla, WA, said on April 5 Keystone is ready and ramped up for the new Vidalia season. “We are ready for the earlier start date on April 12, and the Vidalia onion quality we are seeing with harvest is just excellent,” Dan said.
Dan Borer with Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc. in Walla Walla said Walla Walla Sweet crop is progressing well. “We have been a little behind because of weather, but we have had better weather this week,” Dan said on April 5. “And while it’s not exactly warm, it is more typical weather for this time of year, and it looks like the crop is catching up nicely.” He said Keystone is in good shape for the new Walla Walla season.
Mackenzie Mills with River Point Farms in Hermiston, OR provided OnionBusiness.com with today’s featured photo and the additional photos shown below. Mackenzie reports, “We will be wrapping up planting the beginning of next week.”
Gerry Valois with Western Onion Sales Inc. in Camarillo, CA, reported that the crop in Brawley is looking very good. “I was in Brawley last week, and the onion crop for Rio Farms (sister company of Gills Onions) is looking very nice,” he said. “The crop is on schedule, and we haven’t had any weather issues, so it looks like Rio is going to have a good crop this season.” See March 31, 2017, crop photos provided by Gerry. Gerry provided OnionBusiness.com with the photos taken on March 31, 2017. Shown below.