Featured image: Walla Walla, WA crop progress, photo courtesy of Michael Locati with Locati Farms and Pacific Agra Farms
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms reported in on May 24 from his Salem, OR, office. “This week, I am actually moving a few loads out of Washington, and the onions are looking good,” he said. “Most of the onions are coming out of California, and supplies are tight, so demand is super high right now. It makes sense too. With Texas falling off, and Georgia tight on what they have, all the pressure goes to California. You have about seven shippers going there, and more will tail off after Memorial Day. Then you’ll have New Mexico start to trickle in, but it’s going to be a trickle. You aren’t going to see much New Mexico volume out of the gate, so California is going to get all the pressure.” John continued, “The market is responding with an increase, and it’s likely to continue because we’re just not going to get a ton of supplies for at least three weeks. Now what I don’t understand is why the market isn’t even higher. With the situation the way it is, these Imperial Valley onions should be going for a lot more. I just don’t get it.” John also commented on transportation. “Transportation is easy this week,” he said. “And it should be. If all you’re trying to do is get onions out of one major area, getting trucks should be the easiest thing in the world right now.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, reported in on May 24. “Demand is super high this week due to the lack of availability,” he said. “There are plenty of reds out there, but when it comes to yellows, they are super tight anywhere you go. With Texas finishing the way they did, and Georgia’s lack of many yellows, that’s pushed most of the yellow demand over to California.” He added, “There aren’t many yellows coming out of Georgia, but we do have reds shipping out of Georgia. We have reds in loads out of California, and this week we only have mixers in California yellows. We will have more California yellows next week. We are shipping California whites, but there are Mexican whites crossing, so that has impacted how many whites we’re moving.” Market-wise, Jason said it’s increasing. “The lack of availability is moving the market up this week,” he said. “And it has been increasing almost daily. When New Mexico comes on, we should have a good market.” On transportation, Jason said, there haven’t been any issues. “If you want a truck, you can definitely find one.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce in Ketchum, ID, told us on May 24 that his team is moving onions out of Mexico crossing at New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas this week. Greener is also moving onions out of California and Georgia. “We are trying to get onions anywhere we can find them,” he said. “We are getting a few onions from Georgia and moving some Mexican product, but most of our onions are coming out of California. I think most everyone knows that supplies are tight, mainly on yellows, so if you think you need onions, you need to plan ahead and stay ahead. If you think you are going to pick up the phone and get a load in an instant, think again. You better book it pretty far out. If you think you can hold out for better pricing, you better think on that one too. The price you are getting today or tomorrow most likely won’t be the price you’re going to pay on Monday, so it’s in your best interest to plan your orders early. There is just nothing out there to support waiting for a cheaper New Mexico onion to get delivered any time soon. You’re talking at least 10 days for New Mexico to really get going and about June 10 to start seeing any kind of significant volume.” When asked about quality, Rick said, “It’s summer goodness.” Rick also commented on transportation. “No problems here. Trucks are easy to get, but again, if you think you are going to need onions, don’t wait around to get your order in. Shippers are crazy busy, and that’s not going stop for a while.”
Danny Ray with Ray Farms, Inc. in Glennville told us on May 24 that demand this week is very good. “Demand is high this week, and buyers are looking for all sizes in reds and yellows,” he said. “There are short supplies all over the country, so it’s not surprising that there is so much demand right now.” Danny continued, “We have all of our onions, both reds and yellows, in storage. What we are pulling out has good quality, and we are happy about that.” On the market, Danny said it has been steady. “The market has been steady, but with all of the demand, it looks to be trending upward,” he said. “And that seems to be onion onions everywhere because of the tight availability.” Danny noted transportation has eased up this week. “Until this week, freight was a bit of a mess, but we’re getting all the trucks we need this week, and everything is running smoothly.”
Texas Winter Garden:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen told us on May 24 the Eagle Pass/ Coahuila deal will go through mid-June. “Peak harvest now on all colors, and it should continue through June 15,” David said. He added, “It’s mostly a jumbo deal on all colors, with an occasional block of yellows that churns out a few loads of colossal and supers.” Transportation, he said, is “very steady supply and steady rates as well.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on May 24 he has cleaned up in S. Texas and now shipping Chihuahua onions. “There are a few white onions coming in,” he said. “The market is steady, and quality is good.”
Michael Locati with Locati Farms and Pacific Agra Farms said on May 24 recent heat has got the 2023 Walla Wallas sizing. “The crop is looking good,” he said. “We went through a good heat period. It’s cooled down, but the onions are going now and starting to size up.” And he added, “We’re looking at a start in mid-June.” Michael said his Walla Walla Rosés are also doing well and are expected to have a July 4 start. Our thanks to Michael for great photos this week! Click image to enlarge.
Colorado Western Slope/Corinne, UT:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on May 24 it’s “steady as she goes” with the Western Slope and Corinne crops. Colorado generally starts around Labor Day, and Utah ships from storage in the late fall.