Featured image: Mexico crop photo courtesy of Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House, LLC
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce reported from his Nyssa, OR, office on Dec. 4, saying, “Demand is definitely picking up today. It was a little slow on Monday and Tuesday, but today has been good, and it looks like Thursday and Friday are going to be very good.” Jason said that the big pull is for yellows. “We’re taking a lot of orders for yellows, but we have also been getting quite a few calls for whites,” he said. “The market is pretty much status quo, but overall things are going well. We’re very happy with the quality we are shipping, and though rates are getting higher on freight, we really haven’t had any weather-related issues.”
Dan Phillips with Central Produce in Payette, ID, reported that Central is very busy this week. “Monday morning it was extremely slow,” Dan said. “It started to pick up on Monday afternoon, but because I had a lot of pre-orders and didn’t need anything, I was quoting higher. After Monday things have really picked up, and demand is excellent for yellows and very good on jumbo whites.” On the market, Dan said everything is steady. “The market is plugging right along and remains steady,” he said. He added that the quality of packouts is good. “Last year, it was so easy. Basically, the quality was so good we were pretty much sizing the onions to ship. This year, we have had to work a little harder, but we’re getting it done.” Dan said freight has been OK. “Shipping is going well, but the prices are getting a little higher,” he said.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on Dec. 4 his Colorado Western Slope deal cleaned up the last week of November. Noting the fall freeze and reduced volume, Don Ed said the decision was made to stop shipping early. Normally the deal runs into January, he said. The Corinne, UT, onion program is still going, although shipping is light. “We’re looking for the market to pick up,” Don Ed said. This program is expected to go into early February, and Don Ed said it normally runs into March.
John Harris with Paradigm Fresh in Fort Morgan checked in on Monday, Dec. 2, before he headed to Naples Florida. He said, “The onion market was pretty active late last week, which I found a bit surprising. Luckily we were able to find both product and trucks between Wednesday and this morning.” He said early in the week that he thought product would be tight the next two days, “catching up from the holiday, and then we should see thing loosen up mid-week.” John was leaving for Naples Tuesday morning “bright and early for the National Onion Association Winter Convention.” He said, “We have a lot of cool stuff happening with the Association right now, and we are taking steps to grow as a membership.”
Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor, WI, reported from Naples Florida on Wednesday, Dec. 4, where he was attending the National Onion Association Winter Convention during the week and taking his position as president. “We are looking forward to the event kick off tonight, and I anticipate that we’ll have a pretty heavy turnout with the meeting location in beautiful Naples.” On demand, Doug said that Gumz is experiencing very good movement. “We have been extremely busy,” he said. “Our Thanksgiving shipments were some of the largest on record for the Thanksgiving holiday.” And regarding quality, Doug that it’s also been good. “Our quality is definitely better than last year so we’re in good shape,” he said. “Freight has been good for us, too. We have plenty of truck availability and haven’t experienced any issues.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce in Ketchum, ID, told us on Dec. 4 that he is working his “free-range” brokerage away from his Ketchum office this week. “Business is good,” he said. “I have been texting quotes from a duck blind in Kentucky this morning.” Rick continued, “Demand is really picking up. We’re shipping out of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah, with some medium yellows and reds out of Michigan. We’re also doing some pre-packs out of Michigan too.” Rick said the market is steady. “The market has been stable for about the last month. Not much has changed there,” he said. Rick noted transportation has been smooth. “The prices are higher, but there isn’t any lack of availability, and Christmas tree shipping doesn’t appear to be having much effect.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said on Dec. 4 the Rio Grande Valley crop is “one of the prettiest I’ve seen.” He added, “Weather has been ideal. It’s dry, and daytime temperatures are between the mid-70s and low-80s. The nights are cool, and the onions are starting to go dormant.” He expects a normal start, and he said acreage is down in that area.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told OnionBusiness on Dec. 4 the Tampico-area onion crop in Mexico has had a fantastic growing season so far, and he expects it to start with light movement around Jan. 20. “It will be light with sweets,” he said of the first loads. “By Feb. 10 we should see volume picking up, and by Feb. 15 it should be moving good.” Mostly whites and yellows will start the season, with reds coming in a few days later. Like the Rio Grande Valley, Mexico’s acreage is down, he said. View additional Mexico crop photos provided by Don Ed below.