Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on March 22 that the market dipped in the past few days. “A few Texas boys got in earlier in the week and dropped the market a bit,” he said. “It’s always a sloppy market when there’s not enough business, but with Idaho-Eastern Oregon winding down and the snow is thawing in the Northeast, there will be more coming in here for onions. Onion consumption usually is high in late March and going into April, when it’s spring and people who’ve been cooped up in the house all winter get outside and fire up the barbecue,” Don Ed said. “We’re basically down to the last two big growers in Mexico, and we’re one of them. Our guy is on the last quarter of his crop, so he’ll be light next week, then heavier the week after, and then we’re out. That leaves one bigger guy and a few smaller guys. I don’t think we’re overrun with onions.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said he started shipping early Texas sweet varieties on March 21, but others in the Rio Grande Valley started earlier in March. “A few had already started,” he said. “They had retail commitments and needed to get in, and that always causes a reshuffling of the deck.” Movement will pick up next week, he noted.
Cindy Elrod with Peri and Sons in Yerington said the last loads will ship from Nevada in late March. “We’ll be out for part of April and then pick back up the last week with onions out of El Centro,” she said. “Demand for retail quality is good with steady pricing,” Cindy said. “Demand for wholesale and foodservice quality is slower. Seems to be a lot of commercial and #2 grade product in the market place right now, which has the pipeline full and pricing is on the low side.”
Tiffany Cruickshank at Snake River Produce in Nyssa, OR, updated us on March 22 on both market and new season planting. “Demand has been steady, price is less than desirable and we have very few acres planted so far. The rainstorm last night will delay planting a bit more, but we are confident our growers will be able to get the crop planted in a timely manner for a normal start in August,” she said. Tiffany said Snake River Produce will be done with the 2016-17 shipping season “no later than April 7,” and she added that “quality has been really very good.”
Trevor Frahm with Frahm Fresh Produce in Ontario, OR, reported that demand this week has been good. “It looks like the market has come up a little bit this week,” Trevor said. He said the company will complete shipments for the season next week.
Dan Phillips with Central Produce Distributors in Payette, ID reported that demand is very good this week. “We are out of whites, but the market for reds is steady, and we are staying bullish on yellows due to the strong demand,” Dan said. “We haven’t really set a finish date, but we will be going for at least the next two to three weeks.”
OnionBusiness.com can report that four sheds in the Treasure Valley have completed shipping, and more will be finished over the next two weeks. We’ll have additional updates next week.
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island, NY, told us that demand is steady this week, and the market is stable. She said that recent storms in the Northeast “it held up production and shipping for a couple of days, but now everything is back to normal.” She added, “It’s full steam ahead for us at Gurda Produce. All of onions are in storage, so no major effects from the storms. Quality of all varieties is good along with sizing. Everything is staying consistent. All colors are available at this time.”
California Imperial Valley:
Cindy Elrod with Peri and Sons in Yerington, NV, said the El Centro crop is looking good, and “word is harvest will start between April 18-20,” and she said Peri will have organics out of that region.
California Central Valley:
Cindy Elrod with Peri and Sons in Yerington, NV, said everything is planted in the Central Valley, with both intermediate and long day onions in the ground. She noted that rains had disrupted planting of intermediates. “They were outside the window,” she said of intermediate planting.
Cindy Elrod with Peri and Sons in Yerington told us that about 500 acres have been planted in Nevada, but the planting hit delays this week with rain. Crews will be back in the fields as Mother Nature allows.
Dan Phillips with Central Produce Distributors in Payette, ID reported that their southern most growers have begun planting. “Just this morning I heard that growers are making adjustments to their varieties and have opted to use some varieties that require less time to mature,” Dan said on March 22. “We shouldn’t have a problem making our standard start date.”
Brent Ishida with Brent Ishida Farms in Adrian, OR, sent OnionBusiness.com this close-up photo of onions starting to sprout. “We’ll have onions emerging by Saturday,” Brent said.
Steve Smith with National Onion Inc. in Pleasant Grove, UT, reported that the New Mexico crop is progressing well, and his operation plans to ship at the end of May or the first part of June. “The weather has been nice,” Steve said. “We have had some wind recently, but it hasn’t had any effect on the crop.” Steve reported that National Onion’s New Mexico crop is all yellows this season.
Steve Smith with National Onion Inc. in Pleasant Grove, UT, reported that the company will begin shipping onions out of Chihuahua, Mexico around May 1. Steve said the onions are looking very nice and the weather has been good for this season’s crop.
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island said there have been no delays for planting. “We are on schedule for a normal planting season,” she said on March 22. “We normally start around the second week of April.”
This week’s feature photo comes to us from Brenden Kent at Sunset Produce in Prosser, WA, and shows spring planting. Winter ’16-’17 is behind us… we’re pretty sure!