Chris Woo with Owyhee Produce in Nyssa, OR, and Parma, ID, reported to us on May 25, saying, “Market and movement have been decent on all three colors from areas we are pulling from, matching our fine grower pricing with the freight rates to the areas we’re hitting.” He added, “Shipping points we’re presently using include the Calif desert for at least another week and Arizona for three more weeks.” Chris said that Northern Mexico “via Donna Texas just got going,” and New Mexico is set to begin the end of May. “It seems very little overlap with everyone shipping, and transition has been smooth. Pricing should remain steady, and quality is a non-issue.”
Calipatria, CA/ North Carolina
Trent Faulkner with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, gave his report this week from Calipatria, CA. “Demand has been excellent this week,” he said. “We are packing larger size profiles here in California, and mediums seem to be the hot ticket this week. So last week we thought we may have to push this week, but the orders started coming in, and on Monday we had a 37-truckload day. We’re not sure if it’s due to Texas finishing or if there is a gap – and then there is the holiday coming up.” Trent continued, “No matter what is driving the demand, we are in a good spot right now. The market is steady too, and we’ve been happy with pricing.” And, he added, “We’ll start finishing up here in Calipatria, and then we’ll start up about mid-week at Billy the Kid’s place in New Mexico. Then we’ll transport the equipment we have in Calipatria to Bakersfield, and as soon as we get that set up, we’ll start shipping out of there. It should be a very smooth transition for us.” Trent said in New Mexico “we’ll start out slow.” On quality, Trent said L&M has been very pleased this season. “Quality this year has been excellent, and we’ve been very happy about that. Transportation has been good too. Freight is expensive, but the drivers are doing a very good job.” Trent also commented on L&M’s North Carolina onion program. “We are right in the middle of our North Carolina shipments,” he said, “We have had some rain, so there has been some start-and-stop going on, but we have three growers that raise about 150 acres of yellows, and it is a nice little local deal that helps our customers out with freight. We are currently doing a 1–2-acre trial of reds to see if we can add those in the coming years.”
David DeBerry with Southwest Onions in McAllen said on May 25 the Eagle Pass/Quemada deal continues. “Harvest goes on,” he said. “We managed to miss a lot of the weather recently. Further south and east of us was not as lucky as we have been.” He added, “We’re still seeing record yields and good markets, but we know that could change tomorrow, and we celebrate the moment.” David said, “We’ve got at least two full weeks left, and beyond that depends on the weather. But we’ll probably ship through June. 10.” He also said transportation this week “is as good or better than 30 days ago, and we like that.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on May 25 that he continues to move whites and the S. Texas deal has cleaned up for the season. “We’re still working whites out of Mexico,” he said. “The onions are really nice, and we have good volume and demand.”
Trent Faulkner with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, told us on May 25 that L&M will be starting up New Mexico the middle of next week. “We are getting started a little early in New Mexico this season,” he said. “So we will start out light with yellows, and they will be on the smaller size profile, which is good because we have plenty of larger sizes for our customers coming out of California. The crop looks to be in great shape and we are anxious to get going with Billy the Kid’s operation.”
Chris Woo with Owyhee Produce in Nyssa, OR, and Parma, ID, told us on May 25 Mother Nature has been cooperating in the Treasure Valley where the 2022 crop has gone in. He said, “Weather has finally warmed up in Idaho land, and you can see row onions more so than looking at a green tinge.”
Ken Stewart with Asumendi Produce in Wilder, ID, told us on May 25 that the Asumendi crop is progressing well. “We are a little behind at this point, Ken said. “We need some heat, and it looks like there are some warmer temps coming up in the next several days. We also had a little wind damage so there are some spots of light stands. But we didn’t get the winds that other areas received, and we have plenty of time this summer to catch up. All in all, we are happy with the progress of the crop at this point, and we’re looking forward to a good season.” Ken also noted that Asumendi will have the same acres that they had last season.
Colorado Western Slope/Utah:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on May 25 that his Western Colorado and Corinne, UT, deals are on track, with all onions in the ground.
David DeBerry with Southwest Onions in McAllen, TX, said his Delta, CO, growers have told him that “everything is going pretty good.” He added, “They went through the windiest April and May in their history, with some small acreage replanting. But they’ve had some timely late snow and some rain recently, which has helped. And we are looking forward to a production year similar to last year.”