Featured image: Ray Farms Inc., in Glennville, GA planting underway, photo courtesy of Danny Ray
OnionBusiness has been made aware of the buzz surrounding this year’s November Statistical Report from the National Onion Association. As our contributors weigh in on the market and crop reports during the coming weeks, we will share any impressions they may have about the information provided in this report. We never share specific numbers in accordance with NOA guidelines for membership services. If our readers have any feedback they wish to include in Market and Crop updates, they can share that with us at email@example.com.
Dan Phillips with Eagle Eye/Central Produce in Payette, ID, reported in on Nov. 2 and said, “Demand is steady this week. We are already managing our supplies, so the demand we have is perfect for what we have and what we want to move.” He continued, “Everything is selling well across the board with the exception of medium reds. They are a little sluggish. I don’t know the reason for sure, but my best guess would be that there are a lot of medium reds out there. On the market, you always hear rumors, but for us the market remains steady as she goes, and as far as quality goes, it’s great – knock on wood.”
Dwayne Fisher with Champion Produce Sales in Parma, ID, said on Nov. 2, “Things feel like they are about ready to start really moving very positively and rapidly in terms of market. It is Wednesday a.m., and we are sold out at all our facilities for the week. We will have to run all five days and maybe some overtime to get everything already on the board. That hasn’t happened since closer to the first of the season.” Dwayne added, “With good demand finally in place and historically low inventories for us, the time has come to start the move back up to where we need to be for our farms and growers to see some positive returns on their record investment. Transportation so far is stable, but with increased demand, stupid high diesel fuel prices and weather, I suspect that will tighten rapidly.” And he said, “Next week we should see even more positive news with the election wrapping up! A positive change in the market and a positive change in the trajectory of our country would make for Happy Holidays. A quick lifeline to so many of these economic issues would be having a positive posture toward fossil fuels. So many things could change in that one area alone.” He said, “Will that happen? The President still has to sign his name on bills, so we will see. Regardless, plenty of positives coming together to move these prices back up.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce in Ketchum, ID, told us on Nov. 2 that demand is good this week. “I have to say that for a week after a trade show, demand is pretty good,” he said. “Usually the week after a trade show it takes a minute to pick back up but sales are fairly decent this week.” Rick went on to say, “This week I am selling out of Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Washington, and we have some nice medium yellows and reds out of Michigan as well. Buyers are looking for the big stuff, jumbos and up. That’s a little surprising too, because after the COVID thing when retail wanted smaller sizing, you would think that type of buying would stick – particularly in a year when there is short supply on larger size profiles. But demand is leaning toward larger sizes.” He said, “Then it makes you wonder why the price isn’t jumping on these larger sizes too. I mean the market is solid and steady, but on larger sizes the market should be a lot higher. I think we might see that in the coming weeks. At least we should see it in the coming weeks, particularly when we have good quality like we have been seeing.” And, Rick aid, “Another area where we might see a price increase is freight. We have been doing well so far, but with flatbeds going away and the holiday freight coming up, rates could and probably will jump, so be ready for that.”
Colorado Western Slope/Utah:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on Nov. 2 his Olathe, CO, onion deal is “rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’” now. He said, “The market eased during the IFPA convention – everybody in the world must’ve been there – but it’s bouncing back up a bit, and I expect it will pick up next week ahead of the holidays.” He said his Utah deal is also going well. “Everything there is good. The onions are moving, and the quality is very good this year.” Don Ed noted a good supply of reds and whites in Utah, and he said transportation is “a little easier” in Colorado and Utah as well.
Colorado Western Slope:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, said on Nov. 2 his Western Colorado deal is moving along at a steady pace. “It’s going well,” he said. “We’ve settled into a rhythm with how much we have under cover and how much we need, and it’s very steady. The transportation deal is predictable, and that’s what we asked for. And pricing on onions is holding steady.” David said his growers continue to move all three colors, and he said demand is best for “anything big.” He said, “We don’t have much left in medium sizes, less than 5 percent of our volume. It’s just steady, and it’s very nice.”
Danny Ray with Ray Farms Inc. in Glennville told us on Nov. 2 that their family farm started planting on Nov. 1. “We started planting yesterday, and things are running smoothly,” he said. “We have plenty of help, and that’s key. We will have the same program that we had last year. We sure won’t be adding any acres.” Many thanks to Danny Ray for providing planting photos this week. Click images to view and enlarge.
Texas Rio Grande Valley/Tampico, MX:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen told us on Nov. 2 planting is complete in the Rio Grande Valley and Tampico, and growers will start planting this weekend in the Wintergarden area of Texas. “Mexico usually begins shipping in mid-January, and by Feb. 1-5 it’s going full speed,” he said. The Rio Grande Valley, weather permitting, usually starts shipping in mid-March, followed by Wintergarden. David said the RGV and Tampico might be up in acreage slightly this year “but not significantly.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said on Nov 2 his grower will be finished planting in the Rio Grande Valley either later this week or early next week after showers slowed them recently. “Mexico is all in,” he added.