Featured image: “Early Long-Day Keepers”, courtesy of Michael Blake with New Zealand Onion Co. Go to this week’s story about New Zealand and Japan onion update to learn more.
Steve Baker with Baker & Murakami Produce in Ontario, OR, told us on Dec. 2 that he’s seen “fair demand so far this week.” He said, “Demand has been equal among yellows, whites and reds, and demand for colossals and super colossals this week has been greater this week than previous weeks.” Quality, he said, has been excellent. And, he noted, “The market continues to be steady.” Transportation “is still very tight, and I don’t see that changing throughout the month of December.”
Dwayne Fisher with Champion Produce Sales in Parma, ID, cut right to the chase this week, saying, “Well let’s start with the good news. Speaker Pelosi and friends are taking up legalizing marijuana and making it illegal to own exotic cats this week in our nation’s Capitol! That should help small business and our foodservice friends who have been mandated to shut down! You can’t make this stuff up.” He continued, “I do think there is one thing we can all be united on right now, and that is it is slow – and that has nothing to do with price. Dropping any more is not going to help anything, including drive demand. Demand is understandably dead this week. We just have to sit and wait it out. My suggestion is to call your congressman instead of another customer begging for business that they don’t have.” And, Dwayne said, “On a very positive note our quality looks to be in great shape for the long haul. As a freshman in high school, I memorized the FFA creed. The closing paragraph means much more to me today than it did then: ‘I believe American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.’ I love the message of American agriculture CAN and WILL. We are blessed to be a part of this amazing industry of American ag…. may we do our part during these difficult times.” Dwayne concluded, “We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, are looking forward to a Merry Christmas, and let’s keep our families and teams healthy, safe, and keep doing what we do as an essential industry – it is an inspiring task!”
We caught up with Rick Greener with Greener Produce on his way to the Sun Valley ski slopes. “This week is the typical Thanksgiving hangover,” Rick said. “We are moving onions, but not many. Sometimes it’s better to step away from things to see if we can stir things up, so I figured I would take the boys to the ski hill today.” He continued, “The main movement for us has been some whites and medium yellows. We’re working on trying to move some reds, too.” Looking at transportation, Rick said, “This freight thing is driving demand. We’re getting freight quotes to New York at $10 to $12, and who wants to pay that? And then you hear about others that are getting cheaper trucks, so any way you look at it, freight in the U.S. is a mess.” He offered some good news: “We have been happy that the market is steady and has been for the last month or more. In addition, Panama, Mexico and Canada are still pulling, so exports offer a bright spot in an otherwise dull week for onions.”
Colorado Western Slope/Utah:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on Dec. 2 the market was running steady. “Demand is excellent,” Don Ed said. “Trucks are available, and quality is fantastic.”
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in Mission, TX, told us on Dec. 2 his Western Slope deal continues to move along well, and the onions will run through this month.
Robert Bell with Western Onion in Camarillo told us the planting season is going well in the region. He told us on Dec. 2, “Planting continues uninterrupted in SoCal as we have had no rainfall. Short-day or overwinter varieties are in, and we’re planting early intermediate varieties.”
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in Mission, TX, told us on Dec. 2 the Tampico-area crop is coming along nicely with all onions in the ground.