Featured image: Ray Farms, Inc. red onions, courtesy of Danny Ray in Glennville, GA
Imperial Valley, CA:
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms gave his report from Troy Caston Farms in the Imperial Valley this week. “Demand has been good this week,” he said. “We blew through our whites, and we are selling reds and yellows now. The quality is excellent, and movement has been very good.” John added, “I have no complaints about the market. It has bounced around a bit, but overall pricing is good, and any time the growers down here can make some money, I am happy! So all is good that way.” He continued, “I do want to mention that at times it is hard to market fresh onions when the NOA, food publications, and others promote onions as though they all should look like they have copper-colored tight skins like the Northwest onions. It doesn’t help growers and marketers in California, Texas, New Mexico, and any other area that grows and sells a mild summer onion. It’s a real battle trying to educate everyone every single year about the qualities and characteristics of a fresh onion, and it makes it hard when we don’t get any help from supporting organizations and publications. I mean these onions are on the sweeter side and they’re mild. They have excellent quality, but they have flaky skins. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but everywhere you look, the only onions that get promoted or shown in photographs are onions that look like a Northwest copper-skinned onion and it’s a challenge having to deal with it every season.” He went on to say, “Still, we are working hard and getting them out the door. We have been putting in up to 20 hours a day down here, and despite other areas threatening to come on early, we plan to ship until the end of May and maybe the first couple of days in June, so we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.” On transportation, John said it’s been smooth. “No complaints so far,” he said. “All the trucks have been showing up and getting loaded. What more can I say.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion Valley clipping later that day and should have everything cleaned up between Saturday and Monday. He also said he received first loads of whites out of Chihuahua on May 10, adding, “They are beautiful!” The whites will run through early June.
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen reported on the Quemado/Eagle Pass deal on May 11, saying, “We’re going 100 mph! Harvest is in full force with all three colors, and demand is really good. There are some areas going out, and there are some areas just getting started. So we’ll see what it does to the market.”
John Adams with John Adams Produce in Atlanta weighed in on May 11, saying, “In Atlanta we’re moving a lot of peeled onions, and we’re starting to pull out of California. Arizona will be ready by the end of the week.” He added, “I still have some stuff down in Texas, but they’ll be done soon.” And, John said, “Trucking prices are not as bad as I thought they would be, but most customers would rather pull closer than further away in California. Business is steady, pricing is good, and a lot of my customers telling me that it’s a little slow this week.” He said, “I still have some product coming across the border, but they’re just about finished. All in all everything is going steady.”
Danny Ray with Ray Farms Inc. in Glennville, GA, told us on May 11 that demand is good this week. “Demand is very good this week,” he said. “Buyers are looking for reds and yellows in all sizes. Reds are particularly strong. They are basically buying it all… Yellows and reds! The market is steady too. It hasn’t come off like it did this time last year, so things are looking good.” He continued, “The quality is excellent, and the yields are high here. We have a mess of onions in Georgia. We are filling our storages and we should be done in the fields by next week.” Along those lines, Danny said labor’s been rough. “We have a terrible labor shortage this year,” he said. “It’s as bad as I’ve ever seen it. It’s a good thing we have a big family – everyone is working and pitching in, and we are getting it done. That’s all we can do.” On the market, Danny said, “We’re happy with the market the way it is right now. It’s holding steady. And transportation is better than I thought it would be too. I had been hearing horror stories, and maybe they are coming, but for now, transportation has been pretty good with no issues.” Many thanks to Danny for sending in great photos of his reds this week.
Colorado Western Slope:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, said on May 11 his Colorado growers have all their onions in the ground and will be replanting a small percentage that was blown out by recent 75 mph winds. “It’s all storage acreage,” he said of the replanting. “That will likely make some of our storage crop come in a little later.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on May 11 that his Western Colorado and Corinne, UT, growers are “all set” with the 2022 crop in the ground and ready for a good growing season.