Featured image: Zito Farms onion harvest in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, photo courtesy of Mikki and Jared Zito with Zito Farms in Glenns Ferry, ID
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Salem, OR, told us on October 18 that demand is good this week. “We’re selling out of Washington and Idaho-E. Oregon and demand has been pretty darn good,” John said. “Some are trying to beat down the market, and it’s working for some because there folks out there that may have overpacked, or need storage space, or they need to clean the floors up, but that should be temporary.” John continued, “Growers by nature are gamblers, right? So you gamble now or gamble later. Once this harvest thing is done, we will probably see the market trend upward. While there is a storage cost that growers have to deal with to go long, do growers really want to sell below cost of production? Of course not! With US exports going well for the bigger sheds, that definitely helps move the market up domestically, and other factors will also help. We get out of this October harvest deal, assess what’s in storage, and look to the holidays; we just might see a change, and the market could very well get a good rebound.” John commented on freight. “It’s been fine. Nothing too major to report on trucking.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on October 18 that demand has been consistent this week. “Buyers are looking jumbo reds and yellows as well as colossals,” Jason said. “Whites aren’t getting a lot of interest this week. We are happy to say that we are finished up with harvest and have everything under cover, and quality looks excellent!” Jason commented on the market. “Honestly, the market is pretty sloppy this week. People are seeing stuff on the floor and feel they need to clean it up, or they are trying to get everything in, and they aren’t sure if they need to get rid of some stuff. It just makes for some cheap, cheap pricing, and no one wins on that strategy. Everyone just needs to get through the end of harvest, see what they have, and adjust. I hope we can get the pricing where it needs to be. We need it for our growers.” Jason added his comment on trucks, “Freight is good this week. We are still loading some flatbeds, and availability is good, too. With the holidays, we expect that will change, but for now, all’s well.” Jason gave us a last-minute reminder to visit the Eagle Eye team at the IFPA Global Show in Anaheim, CA, this week at the Eagle Eye booth #2442 and at the Idaho-E. Oregon booth #2438.
Dan Borer with Keystone Fruit Marketing reported in from his Walla Walla sales office this week. “Movement has been good for the Northwest,” he said. “Harvest is complete, and our growers have everything in the barn.” He continued, “We had a little rain last week, but all went pretty well with no hiccups.” He continued, “Quality looks very good so far, and we may be a little larger on size profile than last season.” On onion movement, Dan said, it’s typical for October. “Movement is good and fairly typical for this time in October.” Dan noted that the Peru season looks to be short. “The quality coming from our Peru growers is very good, but due to weather, overall, the volumes shipping out of Peru will be short due to sizing issues,” he said. “We are encouraged, though. Mexico is planting now, and for our sweet program, we will look to Mexico for their sweet onion supplies down the road.” Dan also mentioned that Keystone has an all-new booth with Progressive at the IFPA show this week in Anaheim, and he welcomes OnionBusiness.com readers to stop by and visit booth #2497.
Steve Baker with Baker & Murakami Produce in Ontario, OR, told us on October 18, “Demand has been fair this week. Not overly busy but on par from previous weeks.” Steve added, “Business on all sizes and colors seem to be even across the board. Medium reds seem to be in tight supply at the moment.” On the market, Steve said, “With harvest being over, I would hope this would ease off the desire for pushing the market lower. You would think the growers at the very least, would want to get back to cost of production numbers. Hopefully, in the upcoming weeks, there is a desire to sell at a profit for all of the hard work and costs associated with growing and packing onions.” On transportation, Steve noted, “Trucks for the most part are around. This will change when you will no longer able to load flatbeds. The railroad is experiencing a car shortage this week. I would suspect that might be the case next week as well.”
Chris Woo also provided an update on Treasure Valley. “Like the weather forecasted, we have had a pleasant Indian summer all week here in Onionland,” Chris said. “Harvest is near completion, and a crop of our fine three colors were put away in good shape. The only field trucks I’ve seen on the road for the last several days were numerous trucks hauling sugar beets.” Chris continued, “I hope to return from my upcoming trip to Amsterdam with some photos and breathtaking commentary.”
Many thanks to Mikki and Jared Zito with Zito Farms in Glenns Ferry, ID, for providing us with this week’s featured image and other great photos! Click the image to enlarge and scroll.
Western Colorado/Corinne, UT:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on October 18 that the market is steady this week. “Movement has been fair this week, Don Ed said. “Quality is good, and we are shipping all colors and sizes. Our Utah program will start at the end of the week or the beginning of next week.”
Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor provided his report on October 18 from a regional Wisconsin trade event. “Onion harvest is complete, and we have everything in the barn,” he said. We are still working diligently on potato harvest, and things are going well there.” Doug commented on onion demand. “Demand is above normal for us this week,” he said. “The market is steady, and buyers are looking for medium and jumbo reds and yellows. Quality is excellent, and we are really happy with what’s in storage this season.” On transportation, Doug said, “It’s been good, and we haven’t had any issues there.
Rick Greener with Greener Produce provided his report on October 18. “Demand seems to have picked up compared to the last couple of weeks,” Rick said. “We are moving onions out of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah, some nice organics out of California, and we have nice small reds coming out of Michigan. They have a really nice crop out there.” He added, “We’re mostly selling retail stuff, but buyers are also looking for jumbos and colossals. Quality has been great.” Rick commented on the market and transportation. “The market seems to be steady, but transportation is kind of hit and miss. If you are moving a lot of volume east, you’re fine, but trucks going to Cali have been a little expensive and hard to book. They aren’t finding much to return with, so you’re looking at higher rates. It’s not a huge market and I’m sure that will change, but that’s what’s going on for now.”