Steve Gill at Gills Onions in Oxnard told OnionBusiness.com, “We started harvest in Brawley in the Imperial Valley Monday, April 11, on yellow onions and expect to have fresh onions in the plant Friday to start processing for all customers on Monday, April 18. We are having a smooth transition from our storage onions to fresh new crop onions. The quality is very good, yields look to be above average and size on the first field is mostly large jumbos. We anticipate starting harvest on reds May 1.”
John Vlahandreas at Wada Farms in Idaho Falls, ID, said Wada Farms, will start packing and shipping at Troy Caston Farms in Brawley, CA, on April 25. “The growing season was very favorable, and the crop looks like it will be outstanding,” John said. “ Looks like we will start with mostly jumbo size in our early varieties and then move into heavy jumbo/colossal split as we switch varieties the second week. Overall the stands have been lush and look to be very high yielding.”
Mike Smythe of Big Country Sales, Inc. said his operation will begin shipping from the Imperial Valley on April 20, starting with yellows and adding reds seven to 10 days later. He said, “Yields exceed our five-year average, and sizing is heavy to jumbo and larger.”
Peri and Son’s Cindy Elrod said on April 13 that a few showers in early April slowed the start date by a couple of days, but the Imperial Valley facility at El Centro as well as the Firebaugh facility will start shipping April 25 with yellows and whites and organic yellows. Imperial Valley reds and organic reds will start May 2, she said. “We caught that rain at just the right time,” she said, adding, “It isn’t a bad thing.” The San Joaquin Valley onion crop will start shipping around June 1, Cindy noted. “Everything looks really good, and we believe the market is poised to be at a good price.”
Chris Woo at Murakami/Potandon in Ontario, OR, said Potandon will transition from IEO to the California desert/Brawley area and will start its California shipments on April 18, shipping all sizes and colors. The California crop is very good quality, he said, and Potandon’s growers had adequate water supplies, which with mild weather was conducive to a healthy crop. Sizing is leaning heavily toward jumbos.
Maria Lopez of Pajaro Valley Fresh in Watsonville said the Terra Linda deal in the San Joaquin Valley will start June 1 with yellows, reds and whites. The fresh onions will ship through the end of August and possibly into September, Maria said.
Western Onion’s Gerry Valois said the Camarillo, CA, operation markets reds and yellows out of Phoenix, and this year’s crop is about 230 acres. The crop is looking very good, and Gerry said weather conditions have been good, with a middle winter. Western Onion will start its Phoenix shipments on May 1.
Potandon Produce in Idaho Falls, ID, will be marketing Vidalias again this year, with a start date of April 25. Chris Woo of Murakami Produce/Potandon in Ontario, OR, reported that the crop looks very good and the yields look to be higher than last year.
Jason Walker at Bybee Produce in Prosser, WA, reported that the Bybee acreage is slightly down this year due to rotation, but the operation will have plenty of onions to sell for the 2016-2017 season.
Carzalia Valley Produce in Columbus, NM, is looking at a start date of May 21 and will ship through early September, according to James Johnson. James told OnionBusiness.com that the severe weather that’s hit Texas and the Southwest has missed Carzalia Valley, and he said, “Everything here looks great. This is the best crop I’ve ever had.” The company plans to start with its Merlin sweet for the first week to 10 days, followed by the Red Rock red variety and the White Castle white the last week of May.