Featured image: Ahlberg Family Farms in Delta, CO yellow onions, photo courtesy of David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX
Dwayne Fisher with Champion Produce in Parma, ID, told us on October 11 that harvest is complete. “Harvest for all intents and purposes is finished here,” he said. “Very few onions are left out, and anything that is has a barn and will finish soon. When you look at demand (USDA daily shipments), we have been consistently in that mid to high 300’s to low 400’s daily for months. That variable hasn’t changed. What is different? We have taken a 40 percent reduction in price since the Northwest took over this deal! Everything fundamentally and financially should tell us to strengthen the market if our farms and growers aren’t already advocating for the madness to stop.” He continued, “Movement has been very steady for us; following in line with what are seeing reported. We have lost a lot of value in eight weeks of shipping. If we do a U-turn now, at as brisk of a pace as we have gone down, we will be in December before we get back to our starting point!” Dwayne ended his report saying, “Our thoughts, prayers, and support are with Israel at this time.”
Paul Reeping with Riverfront Produce in Payette, ID, told us that Riverfront should start up on October 11. “Demand is still off from the previous week,” he said. “We have all colors available, and buyers are primarily looking for jumbo yellows and colossals. We are keeping up with orders.” Paul added, “The market is so-so. Everyone is working diligently to complete harvest and get everything in storage. We are very happy with the quality, and everything looks good going in the barn. However, it doesn’t look like the yields will be as high as anticipated.” On transportation, Paul commented, “Transportation hasn’t presented an issue, and we’ve started loading railcars, and all is going well there.” Paul continued his report with a note about the upcoming IFPA show in Anaheim next week. “We are traveling to the IFPA show to walk the floor, and we are looking forward to visiting our industry friends and customers. Give us a ring if you would like to meet up.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on October 11 that demand is decent this week. “Buyers are looking for the same basic stuff, jumbos in all colors and colossals,” Jason said. “We have good availability of medium reds and whites in Washington, but they are very tight out of our Nyssa, OR shed.” Jason commented on the market. “Man, the market is all over the place. It seems like if businesses are seeing a bunch of onions on the floor and they are looking for bin capacity, they are trying to move them, and that doesn’t help the market at all. Then you have growers asking why they are getting what they need from this market. It’s a shame. I am just hoping and praying that everyone gets the onions in the barn and can assess what they have and the market can correct itself.” Jason added his comment on trucks, “Freight is definitely expensive, but we’re still able to load some flatbeds, and we can get the trucks. We are also loading railcars, and that’s been fine too.” To end his report, Jason invited folks to visit with Eagle Eye team members at the upcoming IFPA Global Show in Anaheim, CA, next week at the Eagle Eye booth #2442, and at the Idaho-E. Oregon booth #2438.
Western Colorado/Corinne, UT:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on October 11 that his Olathe grower, John Harold, is shipping all colors with good quality and nice size profile. “Movement is very good this week, and the market has been steady,” Don Ed said. “We look to start up with the Corinne, Utah operation in 7-10 days. With our slow start up, we should be going into mid-January.”
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, told us on October 11 that “Ahlberg Family Farms in Delta is transitioning to storage, so volume for our deal is low this week. Starting next week and for the rest of the year, we’ll be packing from storage. We’ll have availability in all three colors with normal sizing.” David also commented on transportation. “Transportation has been good comparatively speaking in recent years in terms of rates per mile.” Many thanks to David for the beautiful photos this week! Click to enlarge and scroll.
Rick Greener with Greener Produce provided his report on October 11. “Demand is doing okay this week,” Rick said. “We’re pluggin’ right along. It’s a typical mid-October sales deal. We are moving onions out of Idaho, Oregon Washington, Utah, some out of Colorado, and we have some nice smaller sized reds coming out of Michigan too.” He added, “We’re mostly selling retail stuff. Quality has been great. We’re said goodbye to the summer good onions and the more we get into the storage stuff, they just keep getting better and better. It’s great!” Rick commented on the market and transportation. “The market for us is pretty steady; it’s the transportation that is starting to get a little expensive. While you can still load flatbeds, do it! Freight rates are starting to climb, and as we get into the holidays, it will only get worse on rates and tighter on availability. We need to keep a watch on it for sure.”
Brad Sumner with Pacific Coast Trading Co. in Portland told us on October 11 that demand for organic onions has picked up. “Our demand this week has definitely picked up. Especially after a doggy August and September. Storage onions are tucked in and now we have a nice steady flow of movement, adjusting as we go.” He said, “Medium yellows continue to be the tightest item for us. The longer day onions tend to not be as big as Intermediates so that will help the overall size spread. Helping us a get a few more mediums. With Organic onions, a good mix of jumbos and mediums results in better marketability.” About the market, he commented, “Rumor has it that overall production is down about 25% on organic onions during the storage season this year. This could rear its head, and increase pricing like in February if the rumors are true.” On quality, Brad said, “Quality is getting better and better as we get deeper into the long day varieties.” On transportation he noted, “Consistent pricing on freight has been the go the last few weeks. Rates will increase as we approach the holidays. Nothing new, happens every year.” He ended his report with a note about the upcoming IFPA show. I will be attending IFPA. No booth but doing the walk, knee brace and all. Visit with growers and customers, of course. Also, overeat!”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX told us on October 11 that planting has begun in S. Texas. “We’ve started planting Texas 1015’s now,” Don Ed said. “We should be complete sometime between November 10-15.”