Ryan Stewart with Fort Boise Produce in Parma, ID, told us March 7 the operation is still shipping reds and yellows, running mostly mediums and jumbos. “Larger sizes are tighter,” he said, adding that he expects the season will run through mid- to late April. He said transportation has been somewhat better. “We’re not booking too many trucks. Our customers mostly book their own,” he said. Ryan added that rail cars have been available.
Bob Meek at Onions 52 in Syracuse, UT, said the Nyssa operation is “running steady” at this point. He added, “We expect to finish up there within a month.”
Dan Phillips with Central Produce Distributors in Payette, ID, said on March 7 that demand is “decent.” He said, “We are getting our eight hours of packing in each day, so it can’t be too bad.” He told us that Central is out of whites, but demand for yellows and reds is good. “With Mexico shipping more volume, all I can say about the market right now is that it’s sloppy,” Dan said. “The Mexican onion deal has just created more competition. Luckily our quality is excellent. This is by far the best onion crop I’ve seen in years!” Dan said transportation is still an issue. “The rail never did get better, and there are still some truck problems.” He said Central is on track to finish up toward the end of March. “So far we are on schedule to finish, but of course, that all depends on business.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, reported on March 7 that demand steady this week. “We have good demand across the board,” Jason said. “We are out of whites for Idaho-E. Oregon, but we have a very good supply of reds and yellows, and we also have a good supply of whites out of Washington. We do see the market starting to fall off a bit, but our quality is very, very good.” He said transportation is a little better, and he also noted that growers are preparing to plant, although as of March 7 they had not started.
Bob Meek with Syracuse, UT-based Onions 52 said on March 7 Prosser shipments are “steady,” adding, “We’re good on inventory. We’re not long at all; we’re more on the tight side as we transition our customers to Texas and Mexico.” The Prosser Hartley Produce facility is also growing and shipping the new tearless Sunions, and Bob said that item, which was showcased recently at SEPC’s Southern Exposure in Tampa, will go well into April. “We continue to bring on new customers for Sunions,” he said.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us March 7 his Mexico deal is doing well. “We’re seeing more and more of the nation come in for new crop onions,” he said. “Quality is excellent, with reds, whites and yellows all available. Prices are trending a little lower than we like, but I’m expecting a little bounce to come along at any time. Right now we’re up against a Peruvian deal that’s going longer, and we’re also contending with the second of two Nor’easters to hit the East Coast. We can’t get any onions up there.” Don Ed said there are continuing transportation issues, explaining, “We had a good week, but getting onions into the Midwest and Northeast is all by reefer now – and they’re having problems getting in.” He said Mexico will run with heavy volume into the first week of April. “The truck deal is also affected.”
Bob Meek at Onions 52 headquarters in Syracuse, UT, said on March 7 the Mexico deal continues full-steam. The company is moving onions from Tampico, with all colors and sizes available.
Rick Minkus with Minkus Family Farms in Hampton said that demand this week is good. “Speaking for our company, we have been very busy,” he said. “We are still working six days a week, so that is a good sign.” Rick said that Minkus is shipping its own New York onions and some product from the West. “Mexico is putting the pressure on,” he said. “The market for jumbo yellows has backed off some, but mediums are steady, and we are seeing a little increase in medium reds.” Rick said the quality is very good. “Isn’t that always the way?” he laughed. “We end up shipping the best onions for less.” He added said transportation is a problem for New York right now. “Due to storm warnings, they are shutting down parts of the Interstate, but you know there isn’t any snow on the ground. It’s just wet.”
California Imperial Valley:
Robert Bell with Western Onion Sales in Camarillo told us March 7 the Imperial Valley crop is looking good and expects valley wide shipping to start the second or third week of April. “There will be some onions out of here the early part of April, but bigger volume will begin later in the month,” he said. He added that weather has been good. “No complaints about the weather here,” he said. Robert has provided our featured image and additional Imperial Valley Photos of the Week.
Walla Walla, WA:
Michael J. Locati with Pacific Agra Farms in Walla Walla told us March 7 the 2018 season is setting up to be a good one. “We’re harvesting onion plants today that we sell to garden centers,” he said. He added the fall-seeded onions look good coming out of the winter months. “We’re getting ready to transplant now and should finish that up by early April,” he said. Walla Walla Sweets harvest early to mid-June, and Mike said the weather thus far has been good. “We’ve avoided the heavy rains we had last year,” he said.
Ryan Stewart with Fort Boise Produce in Parma, ID, said on March 7 that Fort Boise’s 2018 planting had started March 6. “The weather is warming up and is supposed to be in the 60s next week,” Ryan said.
Dan Phillips with Central Produce Distributors in Payette, ID, reported to OnionBusiness.com on March 7 that Central received word planting would start “today.” He said, “We haven’t planted anything so far, but our growers told us tractors would be in the fields and getting started today.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said on March 7 that a few loads of Texas 1015s had shipped, but the deal won’t get started throughout the Rio Grande Valley until the latter part of March or early April. “It hasn’t started in earnest yet,” he said. “The weather just hasn’t warmed up very much. It’s been in the 60s the last couple of days.”
Rick Minkus with Minkus Family Farms in Hampton told OnionBusiness.com on March 7 that his operation should start toward the end of March. “We always try to start around March 25,” Rick said. “We are on track so far.”