Trent Faulkner with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, reported on Feb. 12 that he has seen a lull in demand this week. “With Mexico starting up and other U.S. areas still having good supplies, we’re seeing buyers drop back a little to see what happens,” Trent said. “Some shippers are working to make sure they have orders, so they are dropping on price this week. But honestly, we are holding off to see how demand all works out next week, and we feel it’s going to get better. We’ll just have to see how it all shakes out.” On quality, Trent said the Warden, WA, onions are excellent. “Our yellows are really nice, and we have good supplies,” he said, adding that whites are dwindling. “We do have a few whites, but we are using those for mixers,” he said. On transportation, Trent noted that trucks have been readily available. “We are getting all the trucks we need, and the rates have gotten better, too. We are also fortunate to have Railex, and that has been very convenient for us.” Trent said that L&M will be shipping out of Warden through April, which is normal for the area.
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce reported from his Nyssa, OR, office this week. “Demand has been good this week,” he said. “We have good demand on reds and yellows. It looks like whites have dropped off a bit, but that is because they are pretty scarce.” On the market side of things, Jason noted that is has declined a bit. “The market has fallen some this week for colors across the board,” he said. “It’s due in part to the fear of Mexican crossings.” Jason also said quality has been very good. “We have really good quality coming out of both Washington and Idaho/Oregon, and we expect to have a normal season shipping out of these areas through April.” He added, “Transportation has actually been pretty good this week. We just find the trucks when we need them.”
Herb Haun with Haun Packing in Weiser, ID, said on Feb. 13 the current week has “been a little slower, but we’re hanging in there.” He added that this is traditionally a slower time of the season, noting also that demand for colossals and bigger jumbos remains good. “We’re shipping mostly yellows now and a few whites. We’re just about done with the whites but do still have some volume of reds.” Haun Packing will clean up for the season “about the middle of March,” Herb said. “We’re down to four or five weeks. It’s been a different season, start to finish, with late planting and late harvest, but overall it’s been a pretty good year.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said the Utah deal has run a bit longer than he thought it would, and he said he expects shipping to continue from Corinne into late February and possibly early March.
Mike Davis with Tex-Mex Sales in Weslaco, TX, said Mexico had started with lighter volume in early February, and Mike said on Feb. 8 he’d see more onions the next week. Explaining that Mexico is down in acreage this year, he said. “We’re shipping yellows and whites now and will have reds around Feb. 20.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on Feb. 12 “there’s still not much crossing out of Mexico.” He said, “There’s not a lot of demand, either. It’s kind of the dog days of February.” Still, he said, “Quality is beautiful, and we’re shipping yellows and whites now and will start reds on Monday.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
Mike Davis with Tex-Mex Sales in Weslaco said the Rio Grande Valley, TX, crop is coming along “really well, ahead of schedule.” He added, “It looks very good, maybe about a week early, and we expect to start in early March with our 1015s.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said on Feb. 12 weather in the Rio Grande Valley had cooled somewhat in recent weeks, slowing the crop slightly. “It’s more like average now,” he said of temps. “But I still think we’re going to have some Texas onions by mid-March.”
Mike Davis with Tex-Mex Sales in Weslaco, TX, said New Mexico onions out of the Las Cruces area look good, and `he anticipates that season to start late May or early June with all three colors shipping.
California Imperial Valley:
Mike Smythe of Joe Heger Farms in El Centro said on Feb. 12 the onion crop looks good, and the expected start date is April 15. “We added flat sweet onions to our program, both for organics and conventional,” Mike said. “Our organic acreage stayed the same, and we are slightly up on conventional onions.” He added, “During the offseason, we are adding some equipment to cut labor due to the minimum wage increase in California.”