Featured image: 2020 crop photo, courtesy of Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island, New York
California San Joaquin Valley:
Steve Baker with Baker & Murakami Produce in Ontario, OR, said on July 22 that he has seen largely favorable market conditions for the California deal. “Demand continues to be very good this week,” Steve said, adding the demand is “equally strong on all sizes.” About trucks, he said, “Transportation has been tighter than previous weeks. It’s causing some delays with scheduled ship dates.” But he said the market has been steady this week. “We have had good availability on yellows and reds,” he commented. “Quality has been very good.” And when asked when the San Joaquin deal will wrap up, he indicated that’s not been determined yet.
Dan Borer with Keystone Fruit Marketing in Walla Walla, WA. told us on July 22 that Keystone’s Walla Walla deal is going very well. “We have been very busy with our Walla Walla sales,” he said. “Quality has been nice, pricing is very good, and the demand remains steady.” On his California program, Dan said, “We are still moving onions out of California, and we will have some crossover with hybrids out of Northwest. In fact, we start up with early hybrids tomorrow. So transitioning will be smooth, and we won’t have any gaps.” He continued, “As most buyers know, these early varieties aren’t storage onions, and we won’t be into those storage varieties until September. We expect the quality to be good with our Washington hybrids. The weather has been pretty typical, and the recent heat will help the onions finish well.” Dan also said that Keystone’s Peruvian onions are starting to trickle in. “We are seeing a few deliveries to the East Coast, but really it’s too early to make predictions on what the Peruvian program will look like until we get further into the crop.”
Michael Locati with Locati Farms/Pacific Agra Farms also weighed in on the Walla Walla season, telling us on July 22 it’s been going very well, “especially given all the external forces that have been involved.” He said the region has average to above-average yields, and size is trending to jumbos. “Movement has been very good,” he said. Of his Walla Walla Rosé Sweet Onions, beautiful red Walla Walla Sweets, Michael said, “They are doing great! We introduced the new label and did some branding,” he said. “And we’ve finished harvesting the fall seeded and will get into the transplants soon. Reception is excellent for them.” Michael said the Walla Walla season is expected to run through “at least mid-August.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, said that Eagle Eye is still moving onions out of California and New Mexico, and he also noted that Eagle Eye’s Washington program started this week. “Medium yellows continue to be really tight,” Jason said. “As most people know, this is due in part to the USDA Food Box program. Overall demand has been very good this week, and the market remains steady. Our Washington program has started, and we are very happy with the onion quality. We are starting out with yellows and will add reds around the second week of August.”
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Salem, OR, reported on July 22 that Wada is still shipping out of Five Points, CA. “Things have been going really well out of Five Points,” he said. “Quality has been decent, and demand and the market have been good. We should be finishing up in about three weeks.” John also noted that currently, mediums are tight. “Like it’s been all summer, medium yellows are extremely tight,” he said. “Red demand and the market have been solid, and getting whites have been sporadic. We get whites in waves.” He continued, “Pricing overall has been good for the summer onion program lately. At least with current pricing and demand being very good, the growers aren’t getting slaughtered.” John said of Washington, “We’ve just started up in Washington, and it’s been slow. Onion shipments out of there will be ramping up, and the quality looks great!”
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island, NY, commented on July 22, “Our entire produce line is doing great. In addition to good onion sales, our greens have been selling really well. For our onion program, we are currently moving onions out of California and New Mexico. Quality has been decent, and we are fortunate to have good partners out West.” She added, “We take care of them, and they take care of us, so things run smoothly. Right now, there are three product types doing really well. Medium yellows are very tight, and pricing is fairly high. The same goes for jumbo yellows and jumbo reds. You just can’t keep these items on the floor, which is good.” On transportation, Michelle said, “Freight rates are extremely high.”
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island, NY, told on July 22 that the company’s New York onions will be harvested in late August or the first part of September. “We are really getting hit with the heat right now,” she said. “It’s slowed the growing process down some, but the onions look to be in very good shape.” View Michelle’s crop photos below:
Colorado Western Slope:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in Mission, TX, said on July 22 all indications are for a good season in Western Colorado. Harvest is anticipated to start around Labor Day, or “maybe a week early,” David said. “Everything is progressing really well,” he added.
Zach Mason with Zach Mason Farms in Fowler told us on July 22 his crop is coming along well in the Lower Arkansas Valley. “The onion crop looks great here in Southeast Colorado,” Zach said. “It’s been hotter and drier than normal in this area all summer, but irrigation water has been adequate. Quality looks to be excellent, and we are on track to harvest all three colors the last week of August.” View Zach’s crop photos below.