California Five Points:
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Idaho Falls reported to Onion Business from his Salem office on July 12, telling us demand has picked up significantly. “We are in a good place right now,” John said. “It was a rough start to the season, but the quality is looking nice, and demand is very good.” John said the market is doing well too. “The red market has really taken off, and the white market is strong,” he said. “The outlook for the balance of the season is good, and that sure makes it easier to move onions and get things done.” John said Wada will be shipping from Five Points through the middle of August.
California San Joaquin Valley:
Cindy Elrod with Peri and Sons based in Yerington, NV, told us on July 12 that the onions out of Firebaugh “have been in a gap, and we re just now starting to get out of that gap.” Cindy added, “We will get into volume with yellows the week of July 17. We don’t know what the yields will be, but we made a crop.”
Columbia River Basin:
Jared Gutierrez with Columbia River Basin LLC in Hermiston, OR, told us that demand this week has been good, with mediums showing a stronger market return – “but it depends on where you are going,” he said. The market is steady, he said. Availability has been good, and he added, “We are close to wrapping up over winters and will have a day or two gap going into transplants beginning July 14.”
Chris Franzoy with Young Guns Produce in Hatch told us on July 11, “Our weather has cooled off considerably and we have not seen any damage from the heat other than the size profile may be a little smaller for the next two weeks. We are coming out of a small gap and starting tomorrow we are harvesting very nice Cimarron variety onions. Markets have been higher the past two weeks and we expect prices to continue going up, especially on red onions, and larger size yellows. We will pack NM onions until August 20th and start out of Washington around the same time.”
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island told us on July 12 that demand is steady, and she said, “The market on jumbo reds and medium reds is going crazy right now, and pricing is higher than usual.” She said that across board the market is steady but pretty aggressive. Availability and supply are good on all sizes and colors, but Michelle noted that Gurda is a little tight on jumbo and medium red availability right now.
World Onion Market
Mike Blake with New Zealand Onions provided us with a comprehensive perspective on July 12. He said, “The Southern Hemisphere (NZ) is wrapping up its campaign in Europe and Northern Asia and now concentrates closer to home for any late marketing opportunities mainly in South East Asia (Indonesia/Malaysia/Pacific Islands). Northern Hemisphere crops are now ready for the market, but in Holland old crop is still available and getting marketed/ exported around the globe so sales of new crops are slow to start.”
Mike continued, “In Germany the early quality is also good, and supermarkets are taking the opportunity to change over from imported products to domestic. But demand is still low, and some supermarkets will need to continue for another one or two weeks to clear imports.”
He said, “Prices around the world appear to be at low levels, and this will not change for some time to come as the pipeline is already full. New crops coming on stream just adds to the surplus, and it will take a major disaster either during the growing or the harvest to turn the market around as planted areas in the Northern Hemisphere have again increased especially in the major exporting countries (Holland +4 % on planted area).
“With better seeds/harvesting and storage systems the world can very easily become out of balance from demand to consumption. Maybe it’s time all world producers had a good look at how much volume they produce and to whom they can sell their products and for how much.”
Columbia River Basin:
Jared Gutierrez with Columbia River Basin LLC in Hermiston, OR, said the new crop is coming along nicely. “Transplants are looking good, and direct seed are really starting to bulk up,” he said. The weather has been favorable, and Jared said, “We are getting some more heat units here as of late, with the nights cooling off.” He said Columbia River Basin is “already harvesting our early onions, and the rest is seems to be on schedule.”
Northwest/Oregon and Washington:
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Idaho Falls told us on July 12 that Wada’s Northwest crops are looking very nice. “We will start shipping the first of August,” John said. “The crop has really come along. The onions have a few weeks to size up, but everything looks good. Right now, it looks like we might not a lot of huge onions, but we will have a nice mix of jumbos and mediums.”
Chris Woo with Baker & Murakami Produce Co./Potandon Produce in Ontario, OR, said on July 12 that the crop has progressed quite a bit over the last several weeks. “We have onions in various stages of growth,” Chris said. “But the recent warmer weather has helped to get the onions bulbing. I personally don’t go out to the field but about every five to seven days, because I like to be able to notice the progress, and in this last week they have really taken off. It’s all very exciting, and we are anxious to get going. We have even had customers call this week ready to start with the new crop.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us that Colorado Western Slope onion grower John Harold said the crop could come in a little early. “I think it will be right before or on Labor Day,” Don Ed said. “They’ve been getting good heat units, running into the low and mid 90s, and the onions are coming along really well.” He said the Utah crop could be a week later than usual after a cool spring. “But everything is looking good,” he said. “Our grower is expecting better size.” Don Ed said the operation loads the barn in late September and starts shipping around Oct. 10.
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce told us July 12, “Everything looks good and the crop is progressing nicely. We are on track for harvest the beginning of September, and it looks like we’ll have more mediums than jumbos this year.”