Featured image: Washington harvest, photo courtesy of Cody Anderson with Target Ag Production and L&L Ag in Connell/Pasco, WA (more included in the report below)
From the editor: Summertime busy-ness has a good number of our contacts on the road this week, many off for the IFPA Foodservice Conference in Monterey (send us photos!) and others on family vacations ahead of back-to-school and late summer harvest prep. But we have covered key areas and issues, and our Eagle Eye Produce profile also provides good information on crops and market conditions. Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer this week. We’ll be brimming with news as folks return to their desks next week.
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms reported from his Salem, OR, sales office this week. “I am mainly shipping out of California this week with some shipments coming out of Washington,” he said. “The overwinters have dried up a little there, but the direct seeded will start trickling in starting next week.” John continued, “Demand is decent this week, mostly for the larger sizes on yellows which have been the trend for a while. Medium yellow demand has just started picking back up. Red demand is good, but now there is more availability on reds. The market is still good, but there are just more reds out there. Pricing on yellows is steady and still very good.” He went on to say, “As California tapers off and the Northwest ramps up, we’ll see how that all plays out, but the market is holding well right now.” On quality, John said it’s been good all season. “Quality has been good this summer,” he said. “Knock on wood, I haven’t had any complaints on quality this go-round.” On transportation, John said it’s the same. “Rates are expensive, but we can get trucks,” he said. “The real headache is dealing with all the massive truck broker calls I get every day.”
Michael Locati with Locati Farms and Pacific Agra Farms told us on July 27 the area had hit the “Dog Days of Summer.” He said, “Highs are reaching 110.” Michael went on to tell us, “We are in the last fields of transplants that have some green tops which are helping them in the heat.” He also said, “We should wrap up harvest the second or maybe into the third week of August.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce in Ketchum, ID, told us on July 27 that not much has changed since last week. “We are currently shipping out of California, New Mexico, North Dakota, with overwinters and transplants coming out of Washington,” he said. “Believe it or not, we even have Eygitian onions shipping out of New York. Image that! Demand is steady but not off the charts. Buyers are looking for small stuff now and still pulling the big sizes that they have been pulling for a while.” Rick added, “Whites are tight and reds have now stabilized. The market is steady and not much change there. We don’t expect any significant volume of new crop out of the Northwest for 2-4 weeks. Quality remains summer goodness. All in all, it’s an average summer week. Rick noted, “We’re still moving shallots, pearls, and Cippolinis coming out of Idaho with good demand.”
Cody Anderson with Target Ag Production and L&L Ag in Connell/Pasco provided us with a great update and photos of the operation’s transplant harvest. “We’ve been going for a few days now, just in time for some lovely 100-plus degree temps all week,” he said. “The onions we’re harvesting now are fitting well with what our customers need with respect to size.” Cody added, “Quality and single centers look good this season. Our early direct seeded crop is finishing nicely, so we are pleased with that and can roll right in there once we get through our transplant acres.” Thanks to Cody for our featured photos!
Colorado Western Slope:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, reported in this week to say the Western Colorado onion crop is coming along on schedule. “It’s going good,” Don Ed said. He added that Olathe grower John Harold “has a great crop, and it’s looking like Labor Day start.” Don Ed also has growers in Corinne, UT, and he said that crop is “also very good. Acreage is down, but yields look good.” Utah is harvested in early fall and shipped later.