OnionBusiness.com was fortunate enough to get a California report from both Trent Faulkner and Jake Journey of L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, this week. L&M is marketing onions on-site in Calipatria, and Trent said, “Demand has exceeded supply this week, so we’re off to a great start. And with that great start, we have nice cool weather and good prices that are holding.” Jake said, “We’re shipping all sizes and colors, with about 70-80 percent being yellows right now. The volumes are starting to increase, and I have to say these whites and reds are some of the most beautiful we’ve seen.” On the market, Trent added, “Looks like the red market is starting to increase. There is a little lull on whites because Texas has taken a lot of that, but as they push them out the door, we expect our white market to start crankin’ back up. All in all, we are in a great place for this year’s Imperial Valley season.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
Back in Weslaco after attending the Viva Fresh Expo in San Antonio last week, Don Ed Holmes of The Onion House said on May 1 his operation is “on the back side of the Texas deal, and we should get close to finishing by May 20.” He said The Onion House is “still running 60-70 percent jumbos and 30-40 percent mediums, and I expect that to hold.” He added crews had finished the last seen acres of Texas whites on Wednesday. “Torreón will finish next week, and Chihuahua is starting up and will run into June.” Don Ed also said The Onion House has “enough reds to coast through the third week of June.”
John Harris with Paradigm Fresh in Fort Morgan provided an early week report on Monday, April 29. At that time John said, “This week we have a lot of options. Texas still has approximately two good weeks of volume to go in the Rio Grande Valley. The Winter Garden district will probably kick off next week some time. So far the Mexican and Texas onions this year have been very good quality, and they are a good option with all colors and sizes available this week. Southern Cal should hit a full head of steam this week and all colors and sizes will also be available. The cool spring have created some seeded issues in these early onions and there are some #2s available in quantity if you can use them for a foodservice item. I think as we get on with the crop, the seeded situation will be improving and quality will be up to usual standards.” John added, “We will be boots on the ground this week in California. I will post pictures when I update later in the week. Storage crop still has some life left in it, and a few sheds have some of their best varieties in front of them to finish off the year with. Other shippers are limping to the finish line. You definitely are getting what you pay for with what is left in this crop.”
Danny Ray with Ray Farms, Inc. in Glennville, GA, reported on May 1 that Ray Farms is packing Vidalias and Sweet Georgia variety onions. “Everything is looking good for us right now,” Danny said. And he sent OnionBusiness photos of the farm’s beautiful reds along with Ray Farms Vidalia onions in cartons ready to ship.
Many thanks to Danny Ray for this week’s featured image of his Georgia Sweet Red Onions.
Rick Minkus with Minkus Family Farms in New Hampton told us May 1 that the operation is busy this week. “We are very busy, and the truth is we haven’t slowed down since Easter,” Rick said. “I guess you could say we are shipping from all over. We are selling older stuff from New York, the Pacific Northwest, and North Dakota, and the quality has been very good. There is a pretty good number of customers that demand new crop out of California and Texas, and so we give them what they want. The quality has been very good out of those regions too. Market-wise, we’re ‘steady as she goes.’ Reds are tight but not as tight as they used to be, and yellows are holding their own.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce in Ketchum, ID, told us on May 1 that things are getting busier this week. “The action started picking up yesterday afternoon, and I have been really busy today,” Rick said. “We’ve started to make the transition to Texas and Cali, but we are still selling out of the Northwest. It just all depends on what the customer wants, and when they ask for new crop, we do our best to go get it. That said, there are customers still buying out of the Northwest. Looks like we will also be adding some Arizona product in about 10 days. Our Texas loads have been delivering great, and we’re really happy with that stuff. California is good, but because of the seeders, it’s a little hit and miss here at the start. On the market, things are steady and no surprises there. The white and red market is good, and anything above a jumbo on yellows is very tight. On organics, I do sell them when I have the opportunity, but not a ton of them. Right now, we have organics available coming out of Texas.”
Bob Sakata with Sakata Farms in Brighton told us May 1 that son and Sakata Farms owner Robert is hard at it with the 2019 crop. “Rob’s doing an outstanding job,” Bob, who celebrated his 93rd birthday on April 15, said. “The onions are turning into the flag stage and the two-leaf stage,” he said, noting the crop is on track for harvest to begin shortly after Labor Day. The program this year consists of yellows, whites and some reds, Bob noted.
Don Ed Holmes of The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, reported on May 1 that grower John Harold in Olathe, CO, is all in with his 2019 crop, and the Corinne, UT, crop will be all in by this weekend. “Both areas have had cooler and wetter springs than they’ve seen in a long time,” Don Ed said.
Rick Minkus with Minkus Family Farms in New Hampton told us that crews are nearly complete with their planting. “All of our direct seeded fields are planted, and we have just a few more transplant to get in and we’ll be done,” Rick said. “We got started April 2, and it’s been pretty smooth the whole way with just a day or two here and there of rains. Most of the growers in New York are in the same position. There are only a couple with much more to plant.”