Trish Lovell with Agri-Pack in Pasco, WA, said the market has been “crazy.” She said, “We’re overrun with demand and sold out at $9 on jumbo yellows. The market is holding, and we’re packing long days to keep up with demand.” Washington had also seen bad weather, and Trish said, “We got a break today (Jan. 24). It’s been great today, with temps in the mid-30s during the day. The interstates are staying open, and we can run.” Mindful of her counterparts in the Treasure Valley, Trish said, “Our first thoughts are sorrow and sadness for the growers and shippers in Idaho and Eastern Oregon. I hope they’re able to come out of this OK. We’re doing what we have to do here, and in the meantime I’m glad to see the IEO shippers who can run getting a decent price. I’m really sorry it took their disaster to open up the market.”
Stefen Matheny at River Point Farms in Hermiston, OR, told us demand has been very good across the board for all sizes and colors. “We have seen an increase in the market this week, which is all good,” Stefen said. “We have also had very good demand in January for our organics, and we anticipate finishing up with our organic program in about two weeks.” He also noted that transportation has been good. “We have been able to secure trucks, and we haven’t had any hold overs or delays,” Stefen said.
Dan Phillips with Central Produce in Payette, ID, reported that the market is definitely up. “Prices have definitely risen since snow damage onset, and it’s too bad that such a disaster created a spike in the market, but currently the market is $10.00-plus on jumbo yellows. And we’ll take it,” Dan said, adding Central is allocating limited resources as effectively as possible to stay up with orders while at the same time working on snow clean up. “As for the market staying strong, I really don’t know, but I can tell you that with the tremendous amounts of lost onions and buildings, the Treasure Valley will not be back to what is considered normal for the balance of the season.”
Ryan Stewart with Fort Boise Produce in Parma, ID, said his company lost a small building holding packing supplies in Nyssa, OR, in the recent storm-related building collapses. “We’re getting through OK,” Ryan said on Jan. 25. “We are having a problem with our rail. We usually do daily pulls, and we haven’t had one in a week. It’s slowed us down.” Ryan said Union Pacific requested that snow be cleared from Fort Boise’s loading facility, which the company did – but the rail service didn’t follow through. “We have also been told that UP has had rails blocked,” he said. “It’s made it difficult. Trucks were tough the past few months, but they’re starting to ease up. Everything is just very unpredictable with the weather.” He added, “We’re shipping everything we can and wish we could ship more. Jumbo yellows were at $11 today.”
Dale DeBerry with AllVeg Sales in Bourne, TX, told OnionBusiness.com on Jan. 25 he is waiting for loads out of Mexico. “We’ll start getting them between Feb. 15 and 20,” he said of the Tampico onions. “Weather there has been perfect.” He said the deal will start with whites and yellows, with reds coming in the first part of March. Mexico will run until the end of April, at which time Dale will move his operation to Vidalia.
Rick Minkus with Minkus Farms in New Hampton, NY, told us demand is solid this week. “Prices are up a couple of dollars, which is all good,” Rick said. “Supplies are a bit tight in New York, with few supplies in Cook County and even less north of us because the drought during the growing season caused some shortages. Customers are crying and complaining, but they are still buying.” He added, “And we becoming the new best friends for new customers too.” He said transportation has been a concern for onions he is bringing from out West. “We are having some transportation issues with the whites and larger yellows we are bringing out from the West, but we’re dealing with it.” Minkus Farms will have New York onions through April 1.
Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor, WI reported that demand has been excellent. “We are having to run the pack shed extra hours to keep up,” Doug said. “Pricing has is increasing as well.” he said, “Will see how things hold up over the next few weeks as some of the people who lost buildings figure out what they have left to market. Those that have suffered loses are in our thoughts and prayers”
Dale DeBerry with AllVeg Sales in Bourne, TX, said there was no permanent damage to the 2017 Vidalia crop from recent rains, hail and wind. “The crop is coming along good,” he said, noting that a return to normal January temperatures is a positive after a run of warmer days and nights brought the onions on more quickly that desired.