Featured image: Texas onion crop progress, photos courtesy of Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on Jan. 24, he expects to start shipping onions from Tampico a bit later than the original Feb. 5 date. “It’s been a little cooler there,” Don Ed said. “Now it looks like probably the week of Feb. 5 or possibly on Feb. 12.” Other than the delay, Don Ed said nothing else has changed and the onions look good. “The market is on fire, and everyone wants onions. I don’t see a lot coming out of Mexico in February. More volume will come in March – and it all is because of the water shortage there.
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, told us on Jan. 24 he’s looking at onions to come out of Mexico Feb. 5 or 6, starting with yellows and then adding whites and then reds. “It’s been cool there, and they’re letting the onions grow to their full potential,” David said. He said he expects to ship Tampico onions through February and March, with the Texas crop coming on during March.
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Salem, OR, told us on January 24 that demand is good this week. “We are very busy this week,” John said. “We are playing catch-up from the storms and taking care of new orders as well. We are pulling from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and the storms really put everything way behind. Onions are tight too. Whites are tight, and reds are a little tight, too. Shippers are selling out because you can only run so long, and you have to take care of customers and contracts.” On the market, John said, “The market is super solid right now. Mexico and Korea buying US onions have helped with that, and there is a delay in Mexican onions coming this way. When the Mexican onions hit the US, it will have an impact, but really, who knows what that will look like.” On trucking, John laughed; aside from the weather, everything has been just fine. We have had it all here; snow, ice, rain, you name it. Seriously, we have had some really bad truck issues, but hopefully, everything will get back to normal, and we’ll be OK.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on January 24, “Demand is very good this week,” Jason said, “Demand is good for everything across the board. If you have whites, you’re King of the World,” he laughed. “Seriously, whites are nonexistent, and medium and jumbo reds and yellows are doing well.” Jason commented on the market. “The market is strong and inching up daily. We are very happy about this for our growers. Things look good going into February, too.” On transportation, Jason said, “To put this in the best way possible, transportation has been a challenge for everyone,” Jason said. “However, roads seem to be opening back up and looking better. Hopefully, this will continue.”
Dan Borer with Keystone Fruit Marketing reported this week from his Walla Walla, WA sales office. “Well, in a nutshell, demand is good, and the market is solid and looks like it will continue to strengthen,” Dan said. “We’re looking at another two-week delay on the Mexican crop due to weather. Plus, US supplies appear to be tight all over.” He continued about the market, “Recent weather in the Northwest made it hard to get orders in and out. Still, for late January, the orders are rolling in. So, everything is looking good for the onion industry right now.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce provided his report on January 24. “We are shipping out of Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Utah, and it’s a little crazy out there, “ Rick said. “If you don’t plan and have your orders figured far in advance, you’ll probably miss out. Shippers are getting sold out by Wednesday, and that’s not just a few; that’s a lot. Of course, whites are a non-issue. You might as well say they’re gone. Small reds are tight. Yellows are selling out. Even scraps are gone by the end of the week. It’s a crazy situation.” Rick commented on the market. “The market is strong and steady; it’s ticking up. If shippers sell out mid-week, the market is not going down.” Rick commented on freight, saying, “Depending on the lane, you’re good to go, but there are still some delays out there. Again, pre-plan and get your orders in.”
Brad Sumner with Pacific Coast Trading Co. in Portland provided his report on January 24. “We are having some fun in the Organic onion world right now,” Brad said. “Demand is good and steady with regular business; it’s just filling the orders. OG whites along with conventional whites are through the roof. Over $50.00 on a 40# carton. Reds are getting shorter and shorter, and that market is creeping up. Yellows seem to be the only thing left with good supply but mostly jumbo’s, mediums are rare. We will not see any Organic onions out of Mexico until the week of February 5th. We have committed crop, but in a market like this, onions get bought right out of field and are gone.” He commented about the next couple of months, “February and March are going to be very interesting when it comes to OG onions, heck, for all onions. I am already looking forward to the spring.” On transportation, he noted, “Transportation is the least of my worries right now, but thankfully rates seem normal and steady. Except for when we get this crazy weather.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen said on Jan. 24 that the 2024 Texas 1015 crop is looking good and will start shipping in March. “It was planted late and will start a bit later,” he said, adding that the season is expected to run as it normally does through the end of May.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco gave us a Rio Grande Valley crop update on Jan. 24, saying, “The onions are dormant now, as they’re supposed to be this time of year. But they will take off around mid-February and grow fast. We should start around March 15.” Don Ed said although the region experienced a cold snap with temps hitting the 20s, the winter overall has been relatively mild to date.
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on January 24, “Everything in Texas looks great, and we are on target for a mid-March start-up,” Jason said. “We are also monitoring our California program, and all looks great there as well. We should be able to start up with California in mid-April.” Many thanks to Jason for sending recent photos showing Texas crop progress, which are shown as our featured images this week. EDITOR’S CORRECTION: In last week’s update, OnionBusiness.com mistakenly published that Eagle Eye’s Texas program would start in mid-April. This statement was incorrect. The post has been corrected to read mid-March.