Featured image: Bakersfield crop image posted on Gills Onions Instagram. See more cool Instagram posts at INSTAGRAM POSTS FOR JUNE
Imperial Valley California:
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms reported from his sales office for Troy Caston Farms in Brawley on June 4. “Well, we have about two and a half more days to run, which will give us onions into next week,” he said. “After that, we will move north and start selling out of Five Points. We still have yellows, reds, and whites available, and as it’s been all season, the quality is excellent. The market this week is pretty strong. The reality is, it could be higher, but it’s not bad. All in all, I would say it’s been a good season down here.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce reported from his Nyssa, OR, office on June 5, “We are bringing our Brawley program to a close. We will be shipping until the end of the week, but all the onions we have left are committed. It has been a good season for us in California. The quality was very good and the market was steady throughout.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce’s Nyssa, OR, office told us on June 5 that Eagle has started shipping out of New Mexico. “We have been extremely busy, and demand is very good,” he said. “We are shipping all colors and sizes, and we have excellent quality. It’s been a smooth start, too. We haven’t had issues with trucks, and all things are going well. The market is solid, and we expect that once California completely finishes, the market could be getting even better.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on June 5 that Mexican onions are staying in that country, at least for the time being. “The market is better in Mexico, and they are selling them down there,” he said, adding, “We’re watching it daily.”
John Harris with Paradigm Fresh in Fort Morgan provided us with a Monday morning update on June 3, and again with a good report on June 5. On Monday he said, “And just like that, school is out and it’s June. I woke up a little jealous this morning that I was the only person in my family that had to get up and be responsible today…” John continued, “The onion market gained the strength the end of last week, and it looks to take that momentum into the month of June. Just about everything but whites went up last week.” Looking at production areas, he said, “S. California is just about wrapped up, and New Mexico is still not firing on all cylinders. It looks like it’ll be another 10 days before that is happening. There are a few Texas onions left, but no real volume there either. We have supplies in Fort Morgan, but with so many areas short, we can’t keep much on our floor either as we saw a major spike in volume out of our place start last week.” On Wednesday, he updated his report to say, “This week is off to a red hot start.” John noted that “this deal is short, really, really short. Southern Cal is basically wrapped up and Central Cal is just getting started. New Mexico is running at about 50 percent steam, and West Texas is pretty well done. There will be a few more supplies next week, but there will have to be to keep up with all of the demand.” He said, “The medium yellow market can be whatever these shippers want it to be next week. I think by Monday it will be at least $14 and I see no reason it can’t be higher than that. Jumbo yellows are close behind, and the white market is picking up steam – there isn’t nearly as much available now as there was just a week ago. Reds seem to be bit more sporadic from area to area.” John concluded, “The bottom line for the next 10 days anyhow will be that it is a bull market. If you need supplies, buy first and figure out how much it costs second. We have supplies available in Fort Morgan and trucks are plentiful here.”
Jason Vee with Vee’s Marketing in Superior, WI, told us on June 5, “Shippers are in the driver’s seat again. Central California is a couple of weeks behind. I can’t remember a time when Brawley and Central California gapped like this, but that’s what is happening. California just isn’t covering any volume. Winter Garden, TX, isn’t big enough to make a dent. On top of that, Eastern Canada is starting to pull yellows. So, demand is increasing, supply is low, and scarcity is high. I am very grateful to the shippers taking my orders right now.” Jason went on to say, “That’s the now. There are more onions coming. Central Cal should be further into production on Monday next week. Cold weather is mostly what put them behind. It’s warming up now. And there are more New Mexico shippers coming on too. That should even this out.” On to another topic: “We haven’t talked trucks in a while,” he said. “I’m heavy into New Mexico now, and the truck market is getting tight. Some say that’s because it’s DOT week. The 72-hour inspection blitz.” Jason continued, “I’ll never understand for the life of me the purpose of DOT week. When I explain this to someone who doesn’t know what DOT week is, I tell them it’s enforcing all the rules that we already have but doing it with such severity that it deters drivers into staying home. Government!” And he added, “*shakes fist*”
Get a look at the new office for Vee’s below. Complete with a custom toy semi for the shipping dept.
Michael Locati with Pacific Agra Farms told us Wednesday, June 5, that it’s “game on” with this year’s crop. “We harvest on Monday,” he said. “I can’t believe it’s June already!” Michael said the onions will be cured before going out, and he added, “We’ll see our first onions to market June 14-17.” He added, “We like to spread the harvest out, and so far, so good.” The season traditionally runs until around Labor Day. Michael also talked about his rosé onions, which will be in limited commercial supplies this year. “They are sizing,” he said, adding the rosés are “more of a mid-season onion that will start up in July.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, said that the Idaho-Oregon crop is growing well. “We have optimum growing weather right now, and the onions are really coming along nicely,” he said.
Grant Kitamura with Baker & Murakami Produce Company in Ontario, OR, told us on June 5 that the early plantings are “growing like crazy.” He said, “When you compare the fields that were planted before the spring rains and after, there is some difference in growth, but everything here is doing really well. The weather has been fantastic, and growers have been able to get into the fields and do their weeding and other crop maintenance. So far so good.”