Featured image: screenshot of Owyhee Produce market update video, courtesy of Shay Myers, CEO of Owyhee Produce in Parma, ID (video link included below.)
Dwayne Fisher with Champion Produce Sales in Parma, ID, weighed in on Oct. 19, telling us, “Harvest is done, supply is set, and the long-term market forecast looks positive. I don’t remember experiencing a more perfect harvest – and I don’t think that is from my memory slipping like my eyesight! Our curing and harvesting conditions were praiseworthy. Now let the rain come on in!” Dwayne continued, “In terms of demand, it is quiet for us this week. Anytime our industry lowers prices to find demand, the natural reaction in general is to slow down buying. It does, however, feel like the bottom is set, and now it just depends on what customers need and when. You can’t force-feed this thing, that is for sure.” And, he said, “The good thing is we sit in the driver’s seat, and with everything securely inside buildings we can stop and accelerate as needed to match demand.” He added, “Economic concerns, rampant crime and fuel prices certainly aren’t helping anyone. In the next two months our farms will shell out a new record amount of cash for next year’s – yes 2023 – onion crop, and that isn’t because acres will be up! Breaking these expense records is not one of our goals, but they are records we continue to achieve.” Dwayne concluded, “Eat More Onions! And we will see what happens in 20 days in regard to our political environment.”
Dan Phillips with Central Produce/Eagle Eye reported from his sales office in Payette, ID, on Oct. 19. “Demand has been steady for what we need,” he said. “We are in management mode, so we are packing what we need, and business is good.” Dan continued, “Demand for yellow in all sizes is very good, and red demand is doing well too. White demand is OK, but it seems like most shippers have plenty of whites to sell, so demand isn’t super-hot for them.” He said, “The market seems to be steady, and we are holding. It’s a short crop, so it really shouldn’t be going anywhere.” On transportation he said, “Trucks seem to be OK to find, and we did start rail last week for one of our customers, so that seems to be so far so good.” When asked about the upcoming holidays and forecasts there, Dan said, “You know, it’s just too early to tell for sure, but we’re optimistic. We anticipate we’ll have a great holiday season of sales and pricing, and that’s how we’re planning it.”
Chris Woo told us on Oct. 19 that in the Treasure Valley, he would say all onions have been harvested. “Demand is fairly light now. The market is steady, and we have decent production of high-quality onions on all three colors.” Chris said sizing is “mostly jumbos or better.” He added, “Weather has been the nicest fall I’ve seen in a long time. It’s still dry, cool evenings and comfortable days with no rain. Next week will be much cooler with some rain that we truly need. Also next week is PMA time”
Shay Myers with Owyhee Produce in Nyssa, OR, and Parma, ID, reported to us on Oct. 19: “Onion Market Report Week 42! My earlier predictions were correct. Yields in the Treasure Valley were down, OVERALL, by 30-35 percent. This, combined with 10-15 percent fewer acres planted, has resulted in nearly 40-50 percent of the stocks on hand that we normally see this time of year. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if our onions weren’t supposed to supply nearly 25 percent of the nation’s onions for the next six months.” Shay added, “Since our district does supply such a large part of the market, though, prices should remain strong, and with regards to reds, whites and larger yellows, they will likely get even stronger.”Our thanks to Shay for the update and the great video report as well. View Shay’s complete update video on the following LinkedIn link https://www.linkedin.com/posts/shayfmyers_onions301-onions-onions101-activity-6988485433299013633-0f9b/?utm_source
Colorado Western Slope/Utah:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on Oct. 19 that his Western Slope grower continues to run all three colors, and it’s been a good season thus far. “We’re running and storing – probably a little more storing right now. But still running all three colors, and we’ve got a good mix. Movement is good, and prices are also good.” Don Ed said transportation is “still a battle, but we’re able to stay on top of it.” In Corinne, UT, he said, the crop is all in, and the growers expect to start running this week. “It’s just a gorgeous crop,” he said.
Colorado Western Slope:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, said on Oct. 19 his growers were gapping, with storage to start up on Monday. “We’ll have all three colors, very good size and very few mediums,” he said. “Everything is under cover now.” He added the medium deal “has stalled a little bit.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley/Tampico, Mexico:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said on Oct. 19 planting continues in the Rio Grande Valley. “We’re about 20 percent planted in Texas now with another 80 percent to go,” he said. “Our window goes to Nov. 15, and we have a good forecast for the next 10 days or so.” He said his Tampico-area growers have 80 percent of their crop planted and expect to finish within the next 10 days to two weeks.
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen told us on Oct. 19 that his Rio Grande Valley crop planting was at the halfway point. “We had wet weather yesterday and today, but we’ll get back in there,” he said. “We’re a month away from planting in Wintergarden.” And, David said, “Tampico is completely done planting.”