Featured image: Many thanks to Kerrick Bauman for sending this photo of harvest taken near Pasco, WA photographed by his field operations manager Hayden Burglar
California and Washington:
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms reported to us on Aug. 18 from his Salem, OR, office. “I am selling onions out of Washington and will be selling onions out of Five Points, CA, for about another two weeks,” John said. “The onions coming out of California are jumbo and medium yellows, and I am also selling all three colors in mostly medium and jumbo sizes out of Washington.” He continued, “Out of the gate, the size profile of the Washington stuff was on the smaller side due to the heat we had over the summer, but as we are getting into some of the other fields, the size is getting larger, and quality has been really decent so far.” John said demand has been good. “We are seeing really good demand this week, and the market has been good too. While there is a notable price difference between California onions and Northwest onions, so far everyone is playing nice when it comes to pricing. We might see a slight dip as more people come on in the Northwest, but I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal. There’s not a lot of pressure to come off, and that’s good news.”
Larry Bauman with L&L Ag in Connell/Pasco told us on Aug. 18, “We have been harvesting yellow transplants since July 23 with normal quality and size.” Larry went on to say, “The direct-seeded crop was started Aug 11 with normal quality and size. Red harvest started on Aug.17 and look to be normal sizing and internal quality.” And, he said, “The storage crop seems to be finishing up normally with storage starting around Labor Day.” Larry concluded, “It has been a bad year for weeds and volunteer potatoes!” Below is an additional photo provided by Kerrick Bauman taken near Pasco, WA photographed by his field operations manager Hayden Burglar.
James Johnson with Carzalia Produce in Columbus told us on Aug. 18 his operation is probably two weeks from wrapping up the 2021 harvest. “We’ve been dancing with the rain, trying to wrap things up,” James said. He added, “We’re glad the quality is holding up.” As for the season, James said, “Something’s got to change. Inflation killed us.”
New Mexico, Washington, Idaho-E. Oregon:
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on Aug.18 that Eagle Eye is still moving onions out of New Mexico this week and ramping up production in Idaho-E. Oregon and Washington. “We are selling all colors and sizes out of New Mexico, but our program there is winding down quickly,” he said. “We’ll be done in about a week or less.’ At the same time, Jason said, “We are ramping up in Idaho-E. Oregon and Washington, and demand is very good. We are tight on colossal and supers, with strong demand for jumbos and mediums. As we get further along into harvest, our size profile is getting larger, and I have to say that our quality is as exceptional as it’s ever been.” Marketwise, Jason said, it could be better. “You know, with the other regions getting out, we should be seeing a stronger market,” he said. “However, we do expect to see it increase as we get further into the season.” When asked about transportation, Jason said, “Same ol’ song and dance, short and expensive. That’s about it.”
Rick Greener with Rick Greener Produce in Ketchum told us on Aug. 18 that he is finishing up selling onions out of California and New Mexico. “We are finishing up with our sales out of California and New Mexico and have been moving product out of Idaho, Oregon and Washington,” he said. “Actually, this has been one of the smoothest transitions we’ve had in a while.” He continued, “The onions in the Northwest have been on the smaller side to start. Larger sizes are pretty tight. Quality is good, and I have to say for the dog days of summer demand has been pretty good this week. Some sheds are sold out for the week. I think there are some growers that might be hanging back, letting onions develop some size. There are plenty of smaller onions out there.” On the market, Rick said it’s steady. “Overall, the market’s steady,” he said. “Because there is quite of bit of the smaller sized onion supplies, there might be a deal or two out there, but for the most part, it’s steady.” Rick noted, “I don’t know what’s going to happen on the larger stuff. It’s hard to say. If there’s not a lot out there, that market could get really good.” On transportation, he said that it probably won’t get better in the foreseeable future. ‘Get ‘em when you can,” he said. “Expect to pay for ‘em and wait at least one to three days. That’s just how it goes.”
Steve Baker with Baker & Murakami Produce in Ontario, OR, weighed in on the Treasure Valley this week, saying on Aug. 18, “Demand is fair this week.” Steve explained, “Everyone is looking for colossals and super colossals. I believe the colossals and supers will be a struggle to find consistently this season.” He noted the market has been “been steady through today,” and he added, “I don’t see that changing the rest of the week.” Quality has been good on the new crop, Steve said, and as for transportation, he commented, “We have been able to get what trucks we need for the week.”
Our thanks to Tiffany Cruickshank with Snake River Produce in Nyssa, OR, for great photos this week. Tiff sent shots of reds and yellows and Grower-Owner Kevin Corn inspecting some of his early reds coming off the truck.
New from our friends at G&R Farms in Glenville, GA, is that the first Peruvian containers will be arriving next week, “and quality is looking excellent.”
Robert Bell with Western Onion in Camarillo reported to us on Aug. 18, saying, “I won’t start Cuyama until Aug. 30.” Robert said he’d be in the Treasure Valley next week to look at new Top Air harvest equipment, visit with growers and “inspect our onions at OSU Malheur Experimental Station with Dr. Michael Havey and also SPS Idaho who are growing some bulbs to seed for us.” OSU’s Malheur Station field day is Aug. 24.
Colorado Western Slope:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on Aug. 18 his Colorado grower, John Harold in Olathe, will be clipping next week. “We’ll be selling the following week,” Don Ed said. “We’ll start with whites and reds, and we’ll have yellows a week later.” Onions are sizing to jumbos, he said.
From Michael Blake in New Zealand comes this update on Japan. Hokkaido early onion crop has been harvested. Hokuren (Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives) has said that last season some 630,000 tons were delivered but this season, if the drought continues, that could be reduced to 520,000 tons. The majority of the onions are expected to size to 70/80mm, although there will be some volume of 80/90mm and 90mm+.