California Five Points:
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Idaho Falls, ID, reported from his office in in Salem, OR, that Wada is still shipping out of Five Points, CA, and will continue until at least Aug. 20. “We have definitely had some bumps this season, but the quality shipping out of Five Points now has definitely gotten better,” John said on July 26. “Reds have been the bright spot in the deal, and pricing is very good. Jumbo yellows are holding their own, and mediums may have dipped slightly on pricing, but it’s still good.”
Trish Lovell with CSS Farms/Agri-Pack in Pasco, WA, told us on July 24 that the operation started packing new crop, direct seed yellows on July 14. “Size profile is a little small, which was to be expected. The market price has been decent, and quality has been very good.”
Jared Gutierrez with Columbia Basin Onions said on July 25 the facility has been running onions since June 16, and he added, “We started out with our over-winters, then went right into our transplants, which took us to July 20, when we started early direct seed. Our main volume will come in August.”
Chris Woo reported for Potandon on Vidalia and said growers will be winding down this week. “Overall the Vidalia season went well,” he said. “They are having a good finish, and pricing picked up toward the end.”
New York/ California/Washington:
Rick Minkus with Minkus Family Farms in Hampton, NY, told OnionBusiness on July 26 that the market is steady this week. “We have been really busy this week,” he said. “All colors and sizes are doing well. We are a little tight on whites, but they’re available.” Rick said quality coming out of California is shaping up. “The onions coming out of California now are good, and the Washington onions we are getting are absolutely excellent.”
Trish Lovell with Agri-Pack in Pasco said that operation is starting its red onions on July 31, and whites will come in “around Aug. 25.”
Columbia Basin-Oregon and Washington:
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Idaho Falls, ID, said Wada growers are pushing hard right now to get onions out of the fields and into the drying rooms. “Our growers are getting the onions in to avoid the early August heat,” he said on July 26. “It looks like the first onions will run on Friday, and shipments will begin on Monday. Quality is looking good, and while the availability may be a little tight at first, it should pick up toward the end of next week.”
Chris Woo with Baker & Murakami Produce Co./Potandon told us on July 26 it looks like an Aug.14 start date. He said the Baker & Murakami new packing line will be completed in seven to 10 days, and he added, “We are just finishing the electrical now, and we will test in 10 to 14 days. Then we will be ready to rock the new season! It’s all very exciting and we are anxious to get going!” He said the onions “are still bulbing, and fields are still being irrigated.” Overall, he noted, “The start up is late for this area, and it looks like tonnage and sizing might be off too. This could definitely contribute to a better market this season.” Chris also made mention of the upcoming solar eclipse. “On Aug. 21, millions of people will be coming to Ontario to view the eclipse.” Millions? Chris said, “It is one of the best viewing points along the eclipse path. If we need a little boost in sales, I am going to set up and onion sales stand along the highway and sell 10-pound consumer packs. They’ll fly off the tables like hotcakes.”
Ryan Fagerberg with Fagerberg Farms/Fagerberg Produce said he is still “planning on starting Aug. 1.” Ryan said he’ll have “all colors and sizes, including Colorado sweets” at the start of the season.
Rick Minkus with Minkus Family Farms in Hampton, NY, told OnionBusiness on July 26 his operation started harvesting yellow transplants on the July 25. “We started harvesting yesterday, and we are drying the onions now,” he said. “We should start shipping them the first part of next week. Quality of our transplants is excellent, and the direct seeded crop looks excellent as well.” Rick said unlike last season, the region has received just enough rain. “Last year we were really dry, but we have really received timely rains all season long,” he said. “When it comes to weather, we have dodged a lot of bullets. Not far from here, four inches of rain fell within an hour and a half. And while we are all one storm away from a disaster, we have had the benefits of good weather all season long.” He said that the favorable growing conditions have increased the size profile of the New York crop. “It looks like we will have more jumbos than mediums this season,” Rick said. Minkus will start harvest of its direct seeded onions toward the end of August.
View photos from Ventucopa, CA
View photos from Cuyama CA. Organic Fields