Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island said on Aug. 14 demand has been moderate this week, adding, “Right now the jumbo whites are stronger than any of the other colors or sizes.” Michelle said the market is steady. “The jumbo white market has changes significantly over the past few days. There are gaps in the market right now because not all the areas have started on the new crop whites, so there is less available right now.” Overall availability is “adequate,” she said.
Weather along Colorado’s Front Range and out onto the Eastern Plains has followed a monsoon pattern for several weeks, with rain and some hail and lightning hitting on a regular basis. Ryan Fagerberg with Fagerberg Produce/Fagerberg Farms in Eaton told us on Aug. 14 that it’s been a “real challenge.” He said, “That’s an accurate way to describe the weather of late. We haven’t been able to harvest for a few days due to rain.” Ryan added, “Fortunately, we keep enough product in temporary storage to run for up to a week.” And, “Even the onions that got some untimely moisture seem to be cleaning up well, which has been encouraging. The weather is forecasted to cooperate more next week and hopefully we can resume harvest.”
James Johnson with Carzalia Valley in Columbus said the New Mexico onion season has been a good one. “We are in the last week of harvest,” he said on Aug. 14. “Yields have been above average, and that coupled with a few weather events has delayed us longer into August than we had planned. We should be wrapping everything up out of the field late this week, and it will take us a week to run through what we will have in dryers, so ultimately we will be complete by Sept 1.” He added, “Pricing has held well on bigger sizes, making for a fantastic finish.”
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms reported from his office in Salem, OR, on Aug. 16 about Wada’s market for shipments coming from co-packers in Nyssa, OR, and Prosser, WA. “Quality being shipped out of both areas is looking very good,” John said. “Our Washington co-packer is shipping full steam with all sizes and colors, and our Oregon co-packer will be shipping full steam tomorrow. They are getting reds in today.” He said the white market is “really nice right now, and the red marketing is holding its own. The yellow market is steady.” He added, “The pricing is that of California, so that’s not too bad.” John also said Wada is monitoring the storage crop closely. “The Northwest did have heat over the summer, so the next two to four weeks will be telling on how the storage crops finishes.”
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms reported from his office in Salem, OR, on Aug. 16 that Wada is winding down on shipments in Five Points. “We have about 10 days left of shipping,” John said. “We are out of reds and nearly out of whites, so the availability is mostly yellows at this point.” He said it’s been a tough season for the area. “Five Points had issues this season, and it was a rough go,” John said. “All we can do is build on the mistakes and look forward to next year.”
Steve Gill with Gills Onions in Oxnard told us on Aug. 16 that crews will be done with harvest in Bakersfield at the end of August. He said yields in the area were down this season, noting, “We did have some issues with yields on our intermediates due to a wet winter, but overall the quality was good.”
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island said on Aug. 16, “It’s looking to be an average crop this year for New York and we have not shipped anything yet.” She said the crop “overall is looking good,” with more medium yellows than jumbo yellows and more jumbo reds than medium reds.
Colorado Western Slope:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in Edinburg, TX, reported on Aug. 14 he had “just returned from Western Colorado, and it looks like the best overall crop there in many years.” David’s growers “are all very busy now harvesting a bumper sweet corn crop, and the onions are going to be ready in just a couple of weeks. By Labor Day we will likely be full speed on both red and yellow intermediate variety onions from Ahlberg Farms and Coal Creek Produce. Both colors from each of those producers are currently showing above-average expected yields.” In addition, David said, “The winter storage crop, including Hines Farms in Delta, is about six to seven weeks out from harvest, which is also right on schedule.”
Dan Phillips with Central Produce Distributors in Payette, ID, said on Aug. 16 Central is still 10 to 14 days out on start-up. “You know, the last couple of years we would have started last week, so we are anxious to get going,” Dan said. He noted yields will most likely be down this season for the whole area. “We are seeing some very thin stands throughout the valley,” he said. “So far the quality that’s out there looks good, but there just aren’t going to be as many onions.”
Steve Gill with Gills Onions in Oxnard said on Aug. 16 that harvest in King City will begin around Sept. 1. “Things are looking good for the area,” Steve said. “We will have larger onions. The size profile is really good.”