Steve Gill with Gills Onions in Oxnard reported that his growers have been harvesting for the plant out of the Imperial Valley. “The quality has been very good,” Steve said. “We have partnered with some excellent growers in the valley, so we are fortunate.” Steve said prices for the new crop have been very good, and said Gills will move up to Bakersfield around June 1.
Paul Reeping with G Farms in El Mirage, CA, reported on April 26 that they will start shipping on April 27. Paul said G Farms will be shipping yellows in all sizes from pre-packs to colossals. “We have had an excellent year for weather,” he said. “The crop turned out nice, and quality is great. We have good supplies right out of the gate.”
Jon Watson with JC Watson Packing Co. in Parma, ID, told us that Watson is shipping all three colors in all sizes, with a limited supply on whites. “We are bringing all three colors out of our cold storage, and the quality is very good,” he said. He said JC Watson will be shipping daily until May 9 or 10.
Ryan Stewart with Fort Boise Produce in Parma, ID, said on April 26 most shippers in the Treasure Valley have wrapped up their 2017 shipping season, and Fort Boise has a couple of weeks left to ship mostly jumbo and colossal yellows and mostly jumbo reds. “Quality is good for late season,” he said of the onions..
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said he was shipping his final Rio Grande Valley loads on April 26. He said, “The Texas deal ended much better than it started. We had the best Easter pull I’ve ever seen.” He said the market started at $6 with Texas and ended at $12, and he said on April 24, “Today we’re still at $11-$12.”
Marvin Davis with Tex-Mex Sales in McAllen said Tex-Mex will run 1015s another 10 days to two weeks. Marvin said demand is “not bad,” although it has slowed somewhat.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said he’d be running loads out of Chihuahua from May 1 into the second week of June. “We finished up in Texas and will reset out of Mexico,” he said of this week into next.
Marvin Davis with Tex-Mex Sales in McAllen, TX, said his company will start its Chihuahua deal between May 1 and 4, “depending on the weather.” Tex-Mex will run all three colors, and Marvin said the onions look very good.
Dale DeBerry with AllVeg Sales in Boerne, TX, is in Georgia for the sweet deal now, and he told us on April 26 movement is picking up. “I’ve been here for two weeks,” Dale said. “And more onions are shipping as the deal progresses.” He said rain earlier in April didn’t adversely affect the crop where he is, which is about 15 miles SW of Vidalia, although fields in other areas near Vidalia saw more of an impact. Dale said he’d been in the Georgia deal for about another six weeks.
Minkus Family Farms in New Hampton, NY, reported demand has been slow this week. “Buyers are trying to decide whether to stay with last season’s crop or go with new crop, because the pricing is different,” Rick Minkus said. “There are still onions available out of Upstate New York and Canada yet, and they are pushing to get out.” Rick said the quality of onions he is selling out of California is very good, and Texas is “decent.” He said, “Last season’s onions are starting to wake up, and some have had a birthday already.”
Jessica Peri with Peri and Sons in Yerington, NV, said on April 25, “El Centro is looking great. Harvest crews are moving fast and picking up product in a timely manner, and that’s key to a successful desert deal. We have a very nice setup in El Centro. Everything is hand harvested, then moved to our storage buildings where product is held in bins. We have a system to help dry the onions and cool them down. Nothing is field packed, and nothing is packed or shipped at high temperatures. Steady volume will start next week, May 1. We do have promotable volume of organic reds and yellows. Organic yellows also start the week of May 1, and organic reds start the week of May 8.” Jessica also told us that harvest in the San Joaquin Valley will start mid to late May. She said, “We are not anticipating any gaps between our Imperial onions and San Joaquin onions.”
Chris Franzoy with Young Guns Produce in Las Cruces, NM, said the company’s Arizona deal is gearing up to start Wednesday, May 3. “We’ll start harvest this weekend,” Chris said on April 26. “We’ll start packing slow at first.” Chris said the crop looks good, and Young Guns will have a variety of sizes in both reds and yellows.
Chris Franzoy with Young Guns Produce in Las Cruces said he expects volume to come out of New Mexico the first week of June. “The crop looks good,” he said, noting there could be “a couple of weeks when volume may drop a little bit.”
Marvin Davis with Tex-Mex Sales in McAllen, TX, said his company’s New Mexico deal will start mid-May, and he said the “crop looks good.”
Larry Bauman with L&L Ag Production in Connell told us on April 26, “We finished planting last Friday and are starting all drip systems. It has turned drier now, with high winds today and again tomorrow.” Larry added, “The early planted crop is looking good, but time will tell on these later planted fields. It does look like the weeds are slower moving than last year, and there are no volunteer spuds since it really froze hard during the winter.”
Ryan Stewart with Fort Boise Produce in Parma, ID, said on April 26 the operation has finished planting. “It was all about timing,” Ryan said, noting recent rains in the Treasure Valley had delayed planting a bit for some growers. “Fortunately our fields are in areas where the ground is not as saturated [from winter storms and spring rains],” he said. Ryan said depending on weather between now and mid-August, the crop should progress normally. “We always say we’ll be going mid to late August,” he said. “But that depends on growing conditions. We did have a cooler spring.”
Jon Watson with JC Watson Packing Co. in Parma, ID, said he and his growers finished planting last week. “We were the first ones planting and among the first to be done,” Jon said. “Because we have a multitude of farm locations, we were able to keep our planters going. The onions are coming along nicely, and the plants are in the two and three leaf stage, three to four inches tall.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said his Colorado growers have everything in the ground and are looking at a late August start to their deal.
Minkus Family Farms in New Hampton, NY, reported on April 26 that most growers in the area are finishing planting, and the Minkus operation should be finished by Saturday. “We had a little rain today and so we stopped, but we will be back in there tomorrow,” Rick Minkus said. “Our transplants are coming up really well, and our seeded crop is doing great too.”
Matt Murphy with Paradigm Fresh in Fort Collins/Denver, CO, told us on April 26, “The onion market feels like it has plateaued with supplies increasing in California and Georgia. Storage crop in the NW, Midwest and NY has yet to completely finish. Even though movement remains high, the higher supplies have caused some prices to slip.” He commented that “white onions remain scarce,” and about transportation, Matt said, “Truck capacity has slowly been tightening over the last few months as we move into warmer weather.”