Featured image: August 2020 Gumz Farms onion crop, courtesy of Doug Blugrin
Washington and Kansas:
Derek Ennis with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, told us on Aug. 19 that things are running smoothly with the company’ shipments out of Warden, WA, and Kansas. “Demand seems a little light this week,” he said. “We are moving all colors and sizes, but we have seen more interest for larger onions. We have had buyers looking for more colossals and supers.” Derek continued, “We have been shipping out of Warden for about three weeks now, and we are very pleased with the quality. Quality is also excellent out of Kansas. We are really just getting started there, and things will ramp up for Kansas in the next week.” He also said the market is steady. “It looks like we are settling in for pricing, which is good. We hope the market doesn’t take a dip as more shippers get going, but we are optimistic that the market will remain steady.” When asked about transportation, Derek said it’s been tough out of the Northwest. “We have seen really high rates out of Washington, but we have been able to use flatbeds on some shipments, which has helped.” He cautioned, “I am really concerned about freight going into the holidays. If rates continue the escalate, it’s not going to be good going into Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Washington and Idaho-E. Oregon:
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on Aug. 19 that demand was good this week. “We are moving all colors and sizes,” Jason said. “Most of the interest is in yellows, and we have been getting a lot of requests for supers. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that one large onion is now going into the USDA food boxes. The market has started declining some, and I have to say we’re not very happy about it. Really, there is no reason for it. If we were all marketing the way we should be, we would be holding the market up – particularly since we have excellent quality.” On transportation, Jason said it’s “been hard.” He said, “This week it seems there has been a lot of demand for trucks, and it’s been really tough to get trucks going back East.”
Chris Woo with Owyhee Produce in Parma, ID, and Nyssa, OR, told us Aug. 19, “California and New Mexico are getting done or close to it. So Pacific Northwest will open up and transition pleasantly without much clashing with old crop.” He added, “Here in Idaho grain is being harvested, and a few early spuds being dug as well as some early variety onions of all three colors with good sizes and tonnage. Later storage onions are being watered one to two more times, and then we will call it good for the growing season without any major hiccups.” Chris also said, “We will continue to pack and market as fast as we can harvest at these present prices. Movement is higher compared to last year at this time, and good-quality fresh onions with good shelve life are moving well – and that should continue without any interruptions.” Owyhee Produce’s organic onions, he said, are “still in the ground growing and are not being harvested yet.”
Colorado Western Slope/Utah:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us Aug. 18 that John Harold in Olathe was 10 days out for his yellows and reds. His growers in Corinne, UT, were also 10 days out from their white onions, Don Ed said. The Utah yellows and reds will start Oct. 1.
Colorado Arkansas Valley:
Zach Mason with Zach Mason Farms in Fowler told us on Aug. 18 he’s a couple of weeks away from harvest. Zach said he was keeping his irrigation systems running to keep the crop wet in the heat Colorado has been experiencing. “I’m estimating I’m still a good two weeks from starting harvest, depending on the weather,” he said. “I would really like to see these temps come down before I get started.”
Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor, WI, told us on Aug. 19 that their operation has started lifting. “We’ll start harvest next week, and we’ll be packing toward the first of September,” he said. “Quality looks excellent, and we are really excited to get our season going. We have installed a new Volm 16 scale and a new Verbruggen stacker, and we’re definitely ready to go.” Many thanks to Doug for sending us recent photos of the 2020 Gumz Farms crop, as well as the upgrades installed this year to assist with their new crop packing.