Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island told us on Sept. 27 that demand is steady this week. She said, “Demand is stronger with jumbo yellows right now. The sizing profile isn’t there, and therefore there are fewer jumbos available.” Michelle said the market is also steady.
Colorado Western Slope:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onions Growers in McAllen, TX, told us on Sept. 27 that Colorado’s Western Slope onion deal is “going really well.” He said, “We’re moving intermediates that are hand-topped and shipped out of the field now, and they’re continuing to put onions into storage.” David said this is his fifth year to work with the Western Slope growers, and he noted, “This is the biggest crop and the best in terms of yields and quality since I’ve been doing it. Size is heavy to jumbos with some colossals.” All colors are moving now, and all the onions should be in storage by Oct. 15-20, he added. A rainy fall has caused the crews to miss “on average a day a week with harvest because of showers,” but he said shipments are going extremely well. Trucks, he noted, are tight.
Ken Stewart with Four Rivers Onion Packing in Weiser, ID, reported that demand has been very good this week. “Large yellows are in heavy demand, and so are reds” Ken said. He continued, “Well, it’s starting out to be a strange season. In a normal season, by now we would have thousands of bins accumulated, and that’s just not the case this year. Our onion supplies are limited, and last week we almost gapped. Luckily we had enough on hand to get by.” Ken said growers are working this week to get more onions in. He noted the onion market is strong and holding. “We are in a good spot for the market,” he said. “We are done with the early varieties and we are into our storage varieties. Quality is looking very good.”
Chris Woo with Baker & Murakami Produce Co. in Ontario, OR, told us demand is strong for larger jumbos on all colors. “Demand has slowed up a little on medium sizes,” he said. “But all in all, the demand is very good.” Chris said that this week everyone is concentrated on harvest. “Growers are going hard on storage trying to get everything in.” Chris said, “The onions look amazing. There is a big difference in the storage onions we are getting in now. They are really firm and have beautiful skin.” He said the market continues to be strong. “I am really happy for our growers,” With a market like this, our growers will be more apt to run their onions, and they deserve a good market for all of their hard work.”
Cindy Elrod with Peri & Sons in Yerington told us that there has been good movement out of Silver State. “Yields are off, so it’s a bit of a challenge,” she said. “We’re moving everything right now – yellows, reds, whites, organics and our proprietary Sweetie Sweets.” Cindy said showers last week curtailed harvest somewhat, but she added, “We’re moving right along, and both our Nevada plants are operational.” She said that the operation is set up to ship through March, but the lower yields this season could cause the deal to end a bit earlier. “It’s too early to tell right now, though,” she said.
Brenden Kent with Sunset Produce in Prosser said on Sept. 27 that demand is very strong this week, particularly for jumbo yellows. “Our biggest concern this week is finishing harvest,” he said. “Our growers are going like the wind to finish because it looks as though there may be rain again this weekend, and it could last for 10 days.” Brenden said quality is looking very good so far. “Of course, we are a little down on yields, but not bad,” he said. “Sizing is off, but overall the crop and quality looks good.” He also told us pricing is holding. “The market eased up a little last week, but it seems to have strengthened again this week. I can’t forecast the future, but I don’t see that changing anytime soon.” Brenden said transportation continues to be an issue. “We started seeing availability tighten with the hurricanes. This week we have seen it loosen up a little bit, but we don’t expect freight rates to drop anytime soon.”
Jared Gutierrez with Columbia Basin Onion LLC in Hermiston reported demand is good this week and said, “Demand for jumbos across the board is very good. Right now we are in the mode of managing supplies.” He said the market is good this week, adding, “We’ll have to see what it does as more sheds get their onions in, but right now the market is steady.” He also said quality is good. “The onions look good, and we haven’t had any issues,” Jared said. He added that Columbia Basin has good availability and is also shipping organic yellows, reds and sweets.
John Harris with Paradigm Fresh in Fort Collins and Denver provided us with a market report from his point of view. John said, “Prices are steady, and product is still fairly tight with the exception of medium yellows. Action is slow this week. Seems like the whole world slowed down.” John went on to say, “There is still a lot of product to be harvested in the Northwest, and weather is not cooperating with scattered showers. Next week is October, and time is of the essence at the moment. If these guys don’t get things harvested in the next couple of weeks, this deal could get wild. I guess time will tell.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen said on Sept. 27 that planting in the Rio Grande Valley is set to start on Monday, Oct. 2. He said no big changes are planned for the program. “Our growers have been doing this for a long time, and they don’t make a lot of changes from year to year,” David said.
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, said on Sept. 27, “We’re about a week away from being done with planting in Tampico,” he said, adding that weather has been good for getting into the fields. “No major problems,” he said.
Mike Davis with Tex-Mex Sales in Weslaco, TX, said growers have been actively planting in Tampico and other areas of Mexico. “Mexico’s onion growing areas have had rains recently, which has halted planting,” Mike said. “But it is rain that was needed, and so it hasn’t presented any problems. Even with the minor slowdown the growers are right on track.” Mike said his Mexican growers should have about the same program that they did last year. “We might see more whites this season,” he said. “The white market in Mexico is great right now, so it may have an impact on what growers are planting.” He said it looks like Mexico should begin harvest near the first part of February.
Featured Image: storage onions near Ontario, OR.