California San Joaquin Valley:
Steve Baker with Baker & Murakami Co. in Ontario, OR, told us Aug. 23 that the San Joaquin Valley deal has seen good demand this week, particularly for larger sizes. “Colossals and super colossal are in high demand,” Steve said. “There is also very good demand on jumbo yellows. Steve noted, “As of yesterday the market has been very steady. Today it seems there is more demand and a slight price increase on larger sizes.” He said the one reason the market is changing is that some production areas are “starting to wind down, and new regions are not up to full capacity.” With demand where it is, supplies are “tight at this time,” he said. Steve noted his SJV onion deal is expected to wind up soon. “We should finish packing sometime next week,” he said.
Trish Lovell with CSS Farms/Agri-Pack in Pasco, WA, told us Aug. 23 she “worked through eclipse” on Aug. 21, although she did take a quick trip out the door to look through special glasses and become “a part of history.” And then, she said, “Back to work.” On onions this week she noted, “Not much to report. We are in a gap at the moment. We ran through our first fields but find that onions are not curing down soon enough without a gap. We’re hoping to be back into production on Monday.”
Stefan Matheny with River Point Farms in Hermiston, OR, told us Aug. 23 that River Point is running full steam. “We are finishing up with the late summer onions and making the transition to our storage varieties,” Stefan said. “We have been very pleased with the quality of our late summer crop, and we expect the storage crop to be of the same high quality.” He said all sizes and colors are available. “While we are seeing the size profile leaning to smaller sizes, we do have larger sizes available,” Stefan said, adding that demand has been strong this week. “The market is holding firm on whites and reds and is steady on yellows.”
Nick Beahm with Eagle Eye Produce in Idaho Falls, ID, said on Aug. 23 Eagle Eye had gotten underway with IEO shipments this week. He said, “We ran yellows Monday and Tuesday and also some reds on Monday. We will be adding whites next week.” Nick said sizing is smaller than average. “Right now we don’t have any colossals or supers,” he said. “The quality is fairly decent for these earlier onions.”
Herb Haun with Haun with Haun Packing in Weiser, ID, said on Aug. 23 Haun was shipping with limited supplies. “We have received a lot of calls, so demand is very good,” he said. “We have all sizes and colors available, and I’m somewhat surprised and really pleased with how the onions are sizing up.” Herb added that quality looks very good. “We have great weather right now for the curing process, so we are happy with how the onions are finishing.”
Trent Falkner with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, told us Aug. 23 that L&M has made the transition from New Mexico to the Northwest and is currently shipping out of Nyssa, OR. “We are shipping yellows and have started getting some reds in too,” he said. “We should start packing whites next week.” He noted the market is steady and looking good, and he said, “We haven’t had any quality issues and we really don’t expect to.” The crop looks to be heavy to mediums and jumbos, he said. “Of course we will have the larger sizes, but not as many as in past years. That said, we will have plenty of all sizes to meet our customers’ needs.”
Steve Baker with Baker & Murakami Co. in Ontario, OR, said that operation is shipping new crop Idaho-Eastern Oregon onions now, but he added, “The area is coming along slower than in previous years. We are shipping a few contract loads this week, and we should increase volume next week.” Steve said quality is looking great. “Onions look very good on the first acres that have been brought in,” he said.
Nick Beahm with Eagle Eye Produce in Idaho Falls, ID, told us Eagle Eye has completed its season in New Mexico. “With the exception of a few loads, we are finished up in New Mexico and making the transition to Idaho/Oregon,” he said. “We had a great season in New Mexico. We shipped good volume and had great quality. We would say the New Mexico deal was a success.”
Trent Falkner with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, said on Aug. 23 his company’s New Mexico deal is finished for the most part. “We have a few shipments left out of New Mexico,” he said. “But really, we are considering the New Mexico deal finished.” He said that overall the New Mexico season went well. “We did battle some issues with heat. We were shipping flatbeds out of the area and switched to reefers to protect the onion quality. It was just a hot summer, but we managed to get through it in good shape.”
Bob Sakata with Sakata Farms in Brighton said his onion crop is “beautiful,” and he said harvest will start “right after Labor Day.”
Colorado Western Slope:
Don Ed Holmes of The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, recently returned from the “loop” trip that took him to Colorado and Utah, and he told us that the Colorado onions from John Harold in the Western Slope town of Olathe are looking good. “They will start clipping on Monday, Aug. 28, and running Thursday or Friday,” Don Ed said. “Then after Labor Day they’ll be running pretty good, with yellows to start and then reds a little later in the week. They’re tight on whites this year. Sizes will be mostly jumbos with a few mediums.” He said the wintered-over onions, which will start in mid-September, are “really pretty and making nice size.” He added, “We’ll see mostly jumbos with a few colossals and a few mediums.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said the Corinne, UT, crop is “beautiful and more on time.” He said labor constraints mean the crews top and put the onions in the barn, and shipments will start running the last week of September or in early October.