Feature image: New York red onions courtesy of Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce, Pine Island NY
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island told us Sept. 4 that business has picked up. “We have been busier than we have been for the last couple of weeks,” Michelle said. “Kids are back in school, and moms are out grocery shopping again.” Michelle continued, “We are selling our New York transplants right now, and so we have New York medium yellows available. We also started harvesting our direct seeded onions this week. So far, the quality is very good, better than this time last year.” And, she said, “On the market side of things, prices have come down, but right now pricing is steady.” More images of A. Gurda New York crop courtesy of Michelle Gurda
John Harris with Paradigm Fresh in Fort Morgan filed this report on Sept. 3: “The onion market has finally stabilized. Don’t get me wrong, because there are still deals to be had. There is also a little disparity on price from one region to the next, but overall prices are pretty stable, and everyone should be able to buy with confidence again.” He added, “We have good supplies of a little of everything in Washington, and. There are a few Colorado onions around, but there will be a lot more in about two weeks. We are keeping our floor in Fort Morgan pretty bare for the time being, but I see that changing pretty soon.”
Dan Phillips with Central Produce in Payette, ID, reported on Sept. 4, “It could be because of the long holiday, but this morning has been a little quiet. However, we have been getting really good demand. Right now, we are in a good place. The demand is fitting well with the supplies we have.” Dan added, “Quality has been just excellent, but everyone in the Valley is a little late on the harvest. We are about 10 percent into harvest, so we have a long way to go. And there are some fields still getting water to help on sizing, which is pretty much the case area-wide.”
Dwayne Fisher with Champion Produce Sales in Parma, ID, told us on Sept. 4, “A four-day week was good for business! This will be the busiest week of shipping we have had since we started on Aug. 12.” Dwayne added, “The market is very steady for our group, and when I hear of ‘deals,’ I encourage the purchase of that product and say, ‘I’ll talk to you next week when they get in.’ Sure enough, back they come, once again happy to pay the going rate.” He said, “The future looks good on our end as temps next week will finally drop down to the low 80s and high 70s and we can start lifting onions for storage. Before we know it, we will be in ‘full steam ahead’ harvest/storage mode. Quality looks fantastic and we are optimistic about the months ahead.”
Ashley Robertson with Fort Boise Produce in Parma, ID, said demand has picked up this week. She said on Sept. 4, “It’s definitely better, and everything looks good.” The crop, she said, is coming in normally, and the shed is shipping all sizes and colors now.
Washington and Idaho/Oregon:
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce reported from his Nyssa, OR, office on Sept. 4. “This week’s demand is steady and seems to be increasing,” he said. “Of course, we are trying to fit five days of business into four days.” He continued, “All sizes and colors are doing well. We are moving a lot of reds and some whites, and jumbo yellows are also doing really well. Quality has been excellent, too.” Jason said the market “seems to be settling, but it really isn’t where it should be. I think toward the end of the week and the first part of next, we are going to see a push upward. We are still in growing mode on our storage stuff and probably won’t start harvesting storage varieties until the beginning of October.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce in Ketchum, ID, told us on Sept. 4 that demand is steady. “We finished with New Mexico, and it was a great summer with good quality and of course, great pricing,” he said.
Rick added, “We are all but finished in Cali with just a few loads this week and some trickles the first part of next week. Right now we are shipping heavy out of Idaho, Washington and Oregon with some smaller stuff starting out of Michigan and Wisconsin. Quality is getting better every day as we start getting into more storage variety product and out of the summer style onions.”
He said, “The market seems to be stabilizing as storage volumes increase. I think we are going to see the whole thing settle out as shippers are able to get onions under the roof and transition out of volumes that they need to move quickly. Right now there are some sheds with ‘spot buys’ or deals generally coming at the end of a week when they need to clean up their floor of a couple of loads or so. Those deals usually come as the result of a relationship, and while buyers at the time may be helping the shed out, that is not a reflection of the true market. I think we’re going to see more market stabilization at the end of the week and the first part of next.”
Rick also added that he and his staff are always available for questions. “We welcome everyone to give us a call, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions and update folks on what’s happening out there,” he said.