Featured image: Hines Farms in Delta, CO crop progress, photo courtesy of David and Cole DeBerry.
Brad Sumner with Pacific Coast Trading Co. in Portland, OR, told us on Aug. 10 he is shipping out of Lancaster, CA, and Othello, WA, this week. “We have steady demand on most colors with really good demand on medium yellows,” he said. “Jumbo red and yellow market is softening a bit, with medium sizes staying strong. Whites are steady.” Brad said the new crop transplants are “good, light skin,” and he added, “As we get farther along, direct seed quality only gets better.” On truck availability, Brad said, “Transportation is transportation. Trucks are available – just have to work on cost.” When asked about transitions, Brad said, “The California organic onion crop still going, and Washington is just getting started with more players coming in weekly. All NW sheds should be rolling as of the first week of September.”
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms reported in from his Salem, OR, office this week. “We continue to ship onions out of California, and that is going well,” he said. “Demand is about the same as it has been for the last several weeks. It’s been hanging in there pretty steady. The hot item is jumbo yellows right now.” John went on to say, “We have been shipping more out of Washington, and those guys are continuing to get ramped up. Over the next couple of weeks, I think we’ll see more volume and then all colors will be going out of Washington, too. Eventually, we will be shipping some out of Idaho-Oregon, but they are a ways out. Some of those shippers will slide in next week, but the volume will be light.” And, he said, “With how the Northwest is getting started, it will make for a nice and smooth transition for California, and it will make it easier for California to clean up. Even though some buyers are holding out to see how the transition goes, the market should remain steady during the transition since there won’t be enough overlapping volume to drive down prices.”
Matt Murphy with L&M Cos in Raleigh, NC, told us on Aug. 10 that demand has been normal this week. ‘Overall, we have good demand,” he said. “It’s been about average for this time of year, off a little, but that’s to be expected during this Northwest transition. Matt continued, “We are still shipping out of New Mexico, and we will be done with harvest this weekend. It could be Thursday or Friday if we push it. So that means we’ll be pretty much wrapped up with Billy the Kid’s onions around the 17th or 18th of August.” He added, “We started up with our Warden operation on Aug. 3, starting off with yellows. Next week we’ll be adding reds and whites. Quality looks very good, and the crop has a nice size profile, too. We have been very happy with the demand for Northwest onions and the season start-up in Warden, WA.” Matt told us that the market is holding. “Despite buyers waiting to see how the Northwest gets ramped up, the market has remained good,” he said. It’s not like it was a month ago, but it is still in a good place right now.”
James Johnson with Carzalia Produce in Columbus told us on Aug. 10, “Most of New Mexico is finished or close to it. We are down to the last few lots.” He added, “It’s been a good season.”
Colorado Western Slope/Corinne, UT:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on Aug. 10 the crops in Western Colorado and Utah are doing very well and on track for a normal start. “Yes. My fieldman Brent Barr is out there now. He told me this morning it is a beautiful crop, the best he’s seen in years.” Don Ed added, “He’s going on to Utah tomorrow. Grower Wade Norman told me last week they also have a beautiful crop.” Sketchy weather in other parts of the country has largely bypassed the Colorado and Utah fields, Don Ed said. “Both have missed the hail that the Eastern Slope received and the heat that Idaho-Oregon and Washington got.”
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, said on Aug. 10 his Western Slope growers are still looking at a Labor Day start. “Everything is progressing as normal,” he said. “They hand-top the early onions and put them in burlap bags. Now, we might harvest a day or two earlier, but we won’t be moving anything until Labor Day. We’re competing with sweet corn for H-2A labor.” David commented on growing conditions, saying, “The first 60 days were a little rough. We had those high winds and lost a small amount of acreage. But since then it’s been pretty good.” Our thanks to David and Cole DeBerry for our featured image this week taken at Hines Farms in Delta, CO.
SE Colorado/Southwestern Kansas:
Matt Murphy with L&M Cos in, Raleigh, NC, told us on Aug 10 that the company’s Rocky Ford, CO, and Ulysses, KS, the crop is looking very nice. “The crop had a chance to catch up, and we are looking forward to a good season there,” he said. “We expect to start shipping on Aug. 29, and we’ll have all colors and sizes out of the gate. This deal we have in the region has been really nice for us. Depending on their location, some customers have been able to capitalize on the freight advantage there.”
This week for Idaho-E. Oregon we have two great very recent photos for a visual crop update. Thanks to Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce for sending a photo of beautiful red and white onions (shown right) and Joshua Frederick with Snake River Produce for sending his photo of white, yellow and red onions in the field (shown left). Both operations are located in Nyssa, OR. These photos give readers an idea what’s going to be harvested in the coming weeks.