Haun Packing VP Herb Haun said the 2015 Treasure Valley got off to an early – and good – start this year, and the Weiser, ID, shed started bringing onions in the first week of August.
That was a week to 10 days earlier than most years, Haun said, describing the market as good and quality as excellent.
The region has seen a severe water shortage in recent years, and Herb said growers have been moving crops and not planting as many of the big water users such as sugar beets, choosing to put in grains instead. Drip irrigation is more commonplace for onions, Haun said.
Herb’s brother, Fred, farms most of the onions shipped by Haun Packing, and about three-fourths of the Haun fields are irrigated by drip. The farm produces more mediums for retail, and Herb Haun said quality is improved by drip.
This year he said onions were sizing up well, thanks in large part to Mother Nature’s 100+ degree heat for about two weeks during the growing season. Haun said the onions cured well with the heat and the cooler weather than followed.
Most of Haun Packing’s production is yellow varieties of the Spanish Sweet, but Herb said reds are picking up in sales and popularity.
He said onions will ship through the middle of March 2016.
The operation is certified through USDA GAP and GHP, with traceability back to the field.