Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island told us that demand is on the upswing this week. “We are pulling onions out of California and Texas right now,” she said. “Demand is pretty active across the board for all colors and sizes. There is strong demand for jumbo yellows, but we are having a tough time getting trucks to come this way. In turn, this has caused the market to go up because customers are having a hard time getting what they need.”
Mike Smythe with Telesis Onion in Five Points told us June 6 that Telesis has started shipping, and the quality is excellent. “We have great quality, better than last year,” Mike said. “Demand is good but would be better if the truck situation was better. But we have good contracts, and right now we are managing what we are bringing out of the field.” Mike said demand for whites and reds is very good and jumbo yellows is good. “There is great demand for medium reds, and that’s a good thing because these early onions have a smaller size profile.” When asked about the market, Mike said, “It’s a battle out there.” He added, “The market could be better, but we are happy with our product. We’re working hard and hanging in there.”
Brandon Calandri with Calandri/Sonrise Farms LP in Lancaster began his report with us by saying, “Considering the current onion market, it’s a great time to be a lettuce guy!” Brandon said demand hasn’t softened, but there is an oversaturation of supply. “Think about it. There are 10 districts shipping right now. Soon there are going to be overwinterings in the Northwest available too,” he said. “There might be a window sometime in September, but when your consumption is five, and your supply is at a 10, it can’t be good.” Brandon said Calandri/Sonrise Farms is finishing up in the Imperial Valley and has started harvest in Lancaster. “We’ll be harvesting in Lancaster for the next few months,” he said.
OnionBusiness.com was fortunate enough to catch up with Marc Bybee and Lance Poole with Eagle Eye Produce as they were returning from a grower visit in New Mexico on June 6. Lance, Jason Pearson, Marc and Marc’s son Yuta had been in New Mexico to get a first-hand look at this season’s crop. “It’s a very nice quality crop,” Marc said. “It has big size profile, and the onions have dried down well and are ready for market.” Lance commented that demand has been light this week due to other areas shipping. He said, “The Imperial Valley is winding down, so we expect demand to pick up next week. There seems to be a bit higher demand for mediums, but that is to do with supplies being tight more than anything else.” Marc said the market is volatile right now. “California is getting pretty aggressive, and of course, the truck situation is terrible, which doesn’t help,” he commented. The two concluded the report optimistically, looking forward to the New Mexico program. “We’ve been moving onions out of New Mexico for over 20 years,” Lance said, adding, “And we are looking forward to another great season.” Many thanks to Marc, Lance and the group for providing us with this week’s featured image and the images below:
Brandon Calandri with Calandri/Sonrise Farms LP in Lancaster, CA, told us on June 6 Calandri’s Quincy, WA, the crop is in the ground and growing well. “We have been doing the Quincy deal for years, and we are keeping the same program we have always had,” Brandon said.
Dan Phillips with Central Produce Distribution in Payette, ID, said on June 5 the 2018 crop is looking good, and there will be a slight uptick in reds this year. “Our acreage is about the same,” Dan said. He added Central growers are expecting to start packing in mid-August, “for sure two weeks ahead of when we started last year.” Ray Burzota added that the fields are showing typical progress this season, and he said, “We expect pretty good size.”
John Wong with Champion Produce Sales in Parma, ID, said on June 6 the crop looks good. “We had some hail in the area, but it didn’t affect the stands,” he said. John said he expects the season to get off to a normal start the first or second week of August.
Marc Bybee with Fiesta Farms/Eagle Eye Produce provided us with a positive outlook for the 2018-19 Idaho-Eastern Oregon crop on June 6. “The crop is really progressing well,” he said. “Weather has been good, we have plenty of water, and so even though it’s early to forecast, we should have a nice quality crop.” When asked about how this year’s crop compared to last year, Marc said, “One thing that is different is that we were able to get in on time this year, so we should have a normal sized crop with our normal timing, which is all good.”
Colorado Western Slope:
Ryan Homewood with Coal Creek Produce LLC in Montrose told us June 6 the onions are “right on schedule.” He said the stands “really started to take off last week. It’s warming up quite a bit.” There have been no serious weather issues, and Ryan said everything is on track for an early September harvest start for intermediates and late September harvest start for storage onions. The onions are marketed by Southwest Onion Growers of Mission, TX, and Syracuse, UT-based Onions 52.
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island said all of Gurda’s onions are planted, and the crop looks good. “We haven’t had any issues with weather, and everything is looking good,” she said. “We expect to get going the first part of September.” When asked about A. Gurda’s onion program for the new season, Michelle said, “We have kept everything the same. Basically, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”