Featured image: Deming, New Mexico (Billy the Kid), photo courtesy of Matt Murphy with L&M Companies
Imperial Valley, CA/Central Valley, CA/New Mexico/North Carolina:
Matt Murphy with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, told us on June 14 that his company has wrapped up in Calipatria, CA. “We have finished with our Imperial Valley sales, and we are moving equipment up to the Bakersfield area this week,” he said. “It takes us about five or six days to set up and work out all the kinks, but the onions look great and we will be all ready to go in about a week.” Matt continued, “While we are getting ready for the Central Valley, we are wide open with our New Mexico deal with Billy the Kid in Deming, shipping all sizes and colors. The crop is in excellent condition and the onions look phenomenal.” When asked about demand, Matt said it’s been “typical.” He noted, “Demand could be higher, but it’s typical for this time of year, and pricing has remained solid.” Matt also commented on L&M’s North Carolina program, saying, “We will be shipping out of North Carolina for another week and a half. It’s been a good deal for us. It’s pretty much grown organically over the last 10 years. The growers there have done a good job, and we’ve been able to service the East Coast with onions closer to our customers.” Matt also commented on freight. “Getting trucks has been running smoothly, and we haven’t had any issues getting what we need.” Many thanks to Matt for sending in beautiful Deming, NM crop photos this week. Click images to enlarge.
Central Valley, CA/Arizona/New Mexico/Texas:
Rick Greener with Greener Produce in Ketchum, ID, reported in on June 14. “We are selling onions out of the Central Valley, New Mexico, and some Mexican product crossing through Arizona and Texas,” he said. “Demand is light this week. We are seeing buyers looking for mediums, which were tight, and colossals, but we don’t have huge demand for jumbos – which is strange. Usually, jumbos lead the pack, but not so much right now.” Rick went on to say, “The market is okay, but there are some deals out there. This is not the time to loosen the suspenders for – what? A couple of days? Let’s face it. There aren’t enough onions out there to lower the market, people! And those buyers sitting on their hands are going to wake up here pretty quick and say, ‘Hey, I need onions this week.’ And that’s when we need to have kept the good strong market up. It’s just a few days, so my advice is run shorter days and save yourself some labor. Chill out for a day or two, and keep the market strong and steady. It’s doable. The onions are in good shape, and as I said, there are not enough onions out there to lower the market.” Rick also commented on freight. “The truck situation is good. Loading flatbeds when it warrants it, and there are plenty of reefers out there, so we good to go.”
Michael Locati with Locati Farms and Pacific Agra Farms said he started shipping on June 14. “We started harvesting on Friday and shipping today,” he said. “Sizing is getting better, and volume is good so far. It has cooled down a little, and we need it to stay cool while we get the onions in.” Michael said he hopes to ship to Labor Day. His Walla Walla Sweet Rosé onions are expected to be in stores for July 4. Our thanks to Michael for great harvest shots. Click images to enlarge.
New Mexico/Chihuahua, Mexico:
James Johnson with Carzalia Valley Produce in Columbus reported on June 14 that “things are good.” He said he’s shipping “all colors out of both New Mexico and Chihuahua” currently, and he added, “USA whites are tight, especially jumbos.” James said supplies will be steady through about Aug. 15.
New Mexico/Central Valley, CA:
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, provided us with his report on June 14. “Demand is slightly off this week, but it’s no surprise – that’s how it usually goes for this time of year,” he said. “Jumbo yellows are tight and in demand as well as jumbo reds, but the highest demand this week is for medium yellows – and they are in very high demand. The market remains steady, and it does feel like it may be getting a little weaker. But I think that is temporary because Brawley is cleaning up, so it’s not a big concern.” Jason continued, “We are shipping out of California’s Central Valley with all sizes of yellows and reds, and we’re shipping out of New Mexico with all sizes and colors. Quality coming out of both areas is excellent.” On transportation, Jason said, “We in good shape on freight. If you need a truck, you can definitely find one.”
Eagle Pass/Quemado, Mexico:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, told us on June 14 he’s in the home stretch of his Winter Garden area deal that has onions grown on both sides of the border. “Just a few days left,” David said. Only yellows are shipping now, he said. After a fast-paced deal, it’s now “nice and boring for a change,” David added.
Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor told us on June 14 that his team is very busy this week. “We have about another two weeks to go,” he said. “We are moving jumbo and medium yellows out of cold storage, and with medium yellows tight across the country, needless to say we are extremely busy.” Doug added, “We are servicing our existing customers with their needs, and there is some availability, but honestly, we have had to turn some new business away. I guess this is a good time to mention that if there are buyers looking to work with us this upcoming season, now would be the time to reach out to me to get some plans in place.” Doug continued, “With the increased demand, we are seeing increased pricing as well, so these last couple of weeks are going to be pretty active.”
Brad Sumner with Pacific Coast Trading in Portland told us on June 14 demand has slowed somewhat. “There have been less crazy outside calls and even had some orders cancelled that were placed last week. I do not think it was a matter of a better price, just a slow down for everybody,” he said. Brad noted on demand that “medium organic reds and yellows seem to be more active, especially when you can get good money conventionally for mediums. They do not stay long in the cooler.” Looking at the market, he said, “Whites are steady and yellow jumbos are steady, while mediums are a little stronger. Mexico/desert sheds are trying to clean up. Central California sheds just getting started.” We asked him his thoughts on transitions to new areas, and Brad said, “I do not do a lot in New Mexico. I know they are rolling, but [regarding] volume, size, etc., I do not have a good pulse on it. Central California’s big sheds are just ramping up and getting to full production over the next two weeks.” Brad continued, “Mexico/desert quality is waning as the heat and age are showing their signs. I will be seeing new crop this weekend/Monday and will get a good look. I am hearing good things but proof is in the actual.” And as for transportation, Brad said, “Trucks to get from Southern California growing regions to our warehouses in the Northwest went up $1,000 this week. I was told the melons out of the desert contribute to this. Either way, I can’t raise my prices to cover an increase like that quick enough.”
Video Market Update:
Shay Myers with Owyhee Produce provided OnionBusiness.com with his latest video update, which can be viewed below. For this update and more ag. related information Shay offers on his LinkedIn account, go to (10) Activity | Shay Myers | LinkedIn
Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor told us on June 14 that Gumz onions are coming along. “Things are looking pretty good for us,” he said. “It has been dry, and we could use some more rain, so we’ll be keeping a close watch on everything – and we’ll keep OnionBusiness updated as the season progresses.”
Our friend Chris Woo filed this report over the past weekend, saying, “Here is a recent picture of some Idaho-Oregon earlies.” Chris added, “The bulk of main crop growth is behind two weeks. We have plenty of water and now warm dry weather for crop to play catch-up. There are no major issues regarding progress of crop growth, and we’re looking forward to the upcoming season.” Our thanks to Chris for the great photos. Click image to enlarge.
Colorado Western Slope:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, said on June 14 his Western Colorado deal is progressing well at this point after a slow start to planting due to weather. “The onions are growing, and all systems are normal,” he said. David said start-up will be around Labor Day.
Matt Murphy with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, told us on June 14 that L&M’s deal in Colorado and Kansas is coming along nicely. “We had some weather issues in Colorado early on, which did have some impact on the onions, but we were up in plantings so it won’t affect the crop. And we expect to have the same acreage we had last year,” he said. “Our Kansas deal is looking very good. We expect a late August harvest, which is normal for the region. On our Washington program, we are in great shape there. The onions look outstanding, and we are ahead of schedule. It looks like we will be able to start up there the first week in August, and we are very excited about that.” Matt said, “If all goes according to plan, it’s shaping up to be a stellar season for our Northwest program.” Many thanks to Matt for sending the latest Warden. WA crop photo.