Featured image: Eastern Oregon Onion crop progress just outside of Ontario, Oregon, courtesy of Eagle Eye Produce Company, Nyssa, Oregon
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Salem, OR, reported in on July 26, telling us that Wada is moving onions from California and Washington this week. “I am working with two sheds out of California, and they are both still going strong,” John said. “Quality continues to be very good, and the early onions shipping out of Washington have great quality as well.” He added, “There are about three to four sheds up and going out of Washington, and demand for both areas is good this week. Now, how demand plays here over the next couple of weeks is going to depend a lot on trucking. Trucking onions out of California has been easy, and the rates have been extremely good. The word needs to get out there that Washington is going, and we’ll have to see how the rates and truck availability will play out when compared to California. Frankly, there may need to be some price adjustment to match truck rates for Northwest shipment for a little while until the freight shift is made to accommodate the volume coming out of Washington.” John said, “And that brings me to the market, and I have to say it’s still hanging in there pretty steady and looking good. Double digits on both yellows and reds, so that’s not bad at all.” He continued, “We need to keep an eye on Eastern Canada. They are early, and it looks like they’ll be coming on in two to three weeks, so be prepared for that. A few buyers may want to move over, and that’s the word I’m getting. We don’t want it, but there is no use pretending it’s not going to happen, so be prepared.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on June 27 that his team is moving onions out of California and New Mexico, and Eagle Eye has just started out of Washington. “We are shipping all colors and sizes out of California and New Mexico, and we just started shipping yellows out of Washington this week,” he said. “There is good availability of jumbo and medium reds coming out of California, so that helps with the medium red demand, and we are starting with jumbos and smaller coming out of Washington, including consumer 16/3s. We won’t have reds for another one to one and a half weeks.” Jason continued, “Demand overall has been a little off this week, but coming into August that’s to be expected and is nothing new for this time of year. Of the demand there is, buyers are mostly looking for yellows and reds.” Marketwise, Jason said it depends on the region. “It seems like the market on California onions has dropped a little, which isn’t something we like to see,” he said. “But the market for onions coming out of New Mexico has remained steady. Quality out of both areas is very good. We anticipate continuing to ship from both areas through the middle of August.” Jason said buyers are looking forward to the Northwest new crop. “Our buyers are showing a lot of excitement to get started with our new crop coming out of the Northwest,” he said. “Consequently, we are seeing some California shippers looking to clean up.” On transportation, Jason said it’s been “easy,” adding, “We haven’t had any problem getting trucks, and everything seems to be running smoothly there.”
Chris Woo said on July 25 the Idaho-E. Oregon 2023 season is kicking off soon. “Earlies will be knifed starting July 27 for next week run,” he said. Chris added, “They are good to go. Not rushing them, but Mother Nature is telling them they’re ready to start the Idaho-Oregon shipping season once again.” Our thanks to Chris for onion field photos taken on July 25 as he was traveling to the golf course.
Our friends at Carzalia Valley Produce in Columbus posted photos of this season’s onions in the packing shed to Facebook on July 26. Great looking onions, and you can visit the Facebook page at (20+) Facebook Click images to enlarge and scroll.
Steven Shuman with G&R Farms in Glennville told us on July 24, “It’s almost the end of the Vidalia season with only about one more week left. It’s been an awesome season with great quality and flavor – and don’t worry, because Peru Sweets are on the way.” To buyers he said, “There might be a couple of weeks where sweet onions aren’t in abundance, but we’ll do our best to keep you covered so your customers continue to get their favorite sweets for every meal.” G&R’s Cliff Riner posted to his popular “Cliff Notes” on recently about seed trials. You can view his video on Facebook at (20+) Facebook
Bronx, New York:
Lou Getzelman with Canyon Sales Co. on the Hunts Point Market told us on July 26, “The market is pretty shaky right now and we’re trying to find some ground here. Particularly on the Jumbo yellow deal, there’s been an aggressive move down. We’re also seeing some California sheds start to aggressively sell jumbo whites to finish up before the Washington deal gets going. Some sheds are really pushing hard trying to either finish up or get started with some of their regular trading partners. There are plenty of onions to go around it seems like, and now with WA starting direct seed onions you could start to see some better quality out of the Northwest. We’re not too far away from getting going with the New York crop as well, harvest has started on some farms and by next week there could be some volume there as well. Transportation continues to be favorable, and rates are in fact down a touch this week, back to where they were a few weeks ago before there was a slight uptick.
Brad Sumner with Pacific Coast Trading in Portland weighed in on July 26, telling us, “Outstanding demand is out there for the items that are short, and nobody seems to have – like organic medium yellows. Jumbo yellow demand usually stays the same, whatever the season. Red mediums seem a little tight, but with some digging, you can find them. Jumbo red supply is covering orders with a few extra to be found. Whites are whites, steady as she goes.” He added, “Medium yellows seem to be the diamond search right now.” Brad said the market is “good, steady, and normal for this time of year. No real spikes but also no real dips.”He went on to say he’s heard the Pacific Northwest is at the starting gate for the 2023-24 season. “The rumblings from up north lean towards next week and the first week of August for some Organic Transplants hitting the market,” he said. “The pictures I have seen so far of the crop look really good. I’m hoping we get a pile of mediums. However transplants lend themselves to be bigger in nature.” He added, “I have heard nothing but a good growing season in the Northwest has occurred. Yields are good as a whole. Yes, it got cold then hot, but all indications are for a normal production this year.” When asked about current quality, Brad said, “Any product left from the short desert onions has nothing left and no legs. The intermediates coming off now have been good, and skin and color have been normal. The onions I have seen out of Central California have been nice and clean, which is good because of the growing season they went through with all the rain. Maybe more coal out at the shed level, but what’s in the finished package is nice.”Transportation, he said, is easing up. “California to Washington rates should get a little better over the next few weeks as more product becomes available out of Washington to come back down.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on June 27 that his company will start up with the Eastern Oregon shipments Aug. 14. “The onions are doing really well and developing some good size,” he said. “Last week we thought we were going to get some ridiculously high temps, and though we had a couple of days of 100-degree weather, it was nothing like we thought we were going to get. The onions have been responding really well to this warm weather, and the cool nights we’ve been having are perfect for our onions. They look great!” Many thanks to Jason and Dallin Klingler for sharing photos this week. Pictured, Jason (right) with Eagle’s Joe Ange (left) Click images to enlarge and scroll.
Colorado Western Slope/Mexico:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, said on July 26 his two Delta, CO, growers are still in good shape for a Labor Day start. Commenting on recent heat, David said the Western Slope has been experiencing high temps but not out of the norm. “The onions have been taking a lot of water, but everything looks good at this point, with good volume expected,” he said. David added that crews are already in the area working the sweet corn deal and will move on to onions as the crop nears harvest. Growers in the Tampico, Mexico, region are hoping to start planting seed beds by Aug. 15, depending on weather. David said that area has been experiencing high temps which could affect the planting schedule.
OnionBusiness.com caught up with Doug Bulgrin at Gumz Farms Inc. in Endeavor on July 26, which he said was a great day to visit. “Your timing is perfect today,” Doug said. “In spite of the dry weather, our crop has been moving along. Just this morning we had a good system move through, and another one is expected within the hour, so we are getting the much-needed rain – and the onions are going to love it.” He continued, “Even with the lack of previous precipitation, the crop has been shaping up nicely, and now that we’ve had some good rains moving through, they should really take off.” When asked about the start date, Doug said, “We were looking at a Sept. 1 start, but it looks like now we are pushed back a week. But the onions are coming along nicely, and we expect a good kick-off to the season!”