Feature image: King City, CA courtesy of Megan Jacobsen with Gills Onions
California Calipatria/Imperial Valley:
Jake Jurney with L&M Cos. reported from his Calipatria, CA, sales office this week, saying, “We have been super busy. Demand is very good, and it looks like things are heating up on reds this week. Pricing remains steady, and actually, it has increased a bit over last week.” Jake continued, “We have had cool weather here, so our quality is the best it’s been in years. It looks like we will be going until the end of next week, and we will have a nice finish to the season.”
California Central Valley:
Megan Jacobsen with Gills Onions told us Gills’ new crop season is going strong. “Harvest, harvest, harvest! We have wrapped up our onion harvest in Imperial County (Brawley) and are heading to Kern County (Bakersfield) this week. Quality and size are looking absolutely fantastic in Bakersfield. We will be harvesting here until August. King City follows in September, and our onions are shaping up well there.” View more of Megan’s King City photos below:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on May 29 he’s “still bringing in whites from Mexico.” He added, “We’ve got really nice whites, and as far as the market goes, we’ll see what happens.”
John Harris with Paradigm Fresh in Fort Morgan checked in with us on May 29 to say, “It’s been a bit all over the place, hence the reason for my delayed response sending out an update. Southern Cal is finishing up this week for the most part, which is pretty darn early. Transition to Southern New Mexico has commenced, and we will see volume increase out of there over the next 10 days. From my vantage point, I sure feel like this crop is a little short for the next 60 days as compared years past.” John added, “There were some rumors that Central Cal lost over 1,000 acres due to hail over this past weekend. It’s hard to say exactly how accurate that is, but I suspect it is somewhat close. Even if it’s half, the number is significant.” And he noted the Colorado facility is ramping up. “We are starting to roll here in Fort Morgan with a bit more volume as we are pretty competitive out of here on a delivered basis.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce in Ketchum, ID, told us on May 29 that things are going well for demand this week. “We are moving onions out of California and just started up with New Mexico,” he said. “We still have some whites coming out of Texas, but that is coming to an end. We are selling yellows out of New Mexico and will start up with reds and whites over the next 10 days. Quality has been nice and considered pretty standard for summer onions.” And, Rick said, “We have a steady market right now, and it looks like we might be seeing an increase in the next week. All in all, things are going well.”
James Johnson with Carzalia Valley Produce in Columbus told us May 28 that he expects to begin shipping June 3. “We’re late about a week,” James said, adding the low temperatures have still been dipping into the 40s and highs getting up to the 80s. “Our initial lots are small, and we’re seeing that in the whole state,” he said. “Quality is excellent, but the size is smaller.”
California Central Valley:
Heath Justesen with Tat-On Inc. in Moses Lake, WA, said his operation’s California crop will start shipping June 3 out of Terra Linda. “They’re getting some good heat,” Heath said on May 28. “There’s been a lot of rain, but all in all the crop is looking very good. And those onions will take us into the start-up of our Washington crop in August.” He said the California shed will ship all sizes and colors, with yellows and reds early and whites coming in to finish the deal.
Heath Justesen with Tat-On Inc. in Moses Lake said on May 28 the Washington crop is growing well now after the NW’s cooler spring and later planting, and the onions are on track for a mid-to-late August start.
Larry Bauman with L&L Ag in Othello told OnionBusiness on May 29, “The onions were all late being planted, and it is only a guess where that will lead in the final end. Our crop in Pasco has moved along very well as they were planted earlier than the North area which are slower.” Larry added, “The weather after planting has been mostly good with two bad wind days, but what happens in the next three to four weeks really will make the crop.” And, he said, “Generally, we have good stands and will be taking our stand counts soon. Per normal the weed control has been OK except for the volunteer potatoes which continues to be a costly problem. I think we will have a better view after the 4th of July as to the sizing of the crop.” View recent photos courtesy of Larry Bauman below:
Grant Kitamura with Baker & Murakami Produce Company in Ontario, OR, reported on May 29 that growers’ crops are progressing nicely. “The bottom line is we have had water and sun, so the onions are really growing,” Grant said. “With the intermittent rains, it has been frustrating for growers because they have a schedule they want to keep for cultivation, fertilizing and weed control, and that has been hard because it has been tough for them to get into their fields. Still, the crop is progressing on schedule, and the onions are in good shape.” View recent photos courtesy of Grant Kitamura below:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said his Corinne, UT, onions are all in the ground and growing well. “The Utah boys told me the crop is moving along,” he said.
Colorado Western Slope:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on May 29 the Western Slope crop is “all good.” The region has gotten good precip, and like most of the Western states is looking for the summer warm weather to set in.
Bob Sakata with Sakata Farms in Brighton said that operation dodged the wind/rain/hail storm bullet in recent days. “We were spared the bad weather,” the veteran grower/shipper said. “We had a lot of wind and threats of bad weather, but it didn’t hit us, and everything is fine.” Bob did note that his area would benefit from some summer temps. “It could be warmer,” he said.