Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor told us on Sept. 6 that Gumz has started its 2017 harvest. “We have started harvest and are packing and shipping with limited quantity,” Doug said. “Since we are starting a little late, we really want to take our time and give the onions a chance to mature and size up.”
He said Gumz is currently packing medium yellows. “We are very pleased with the quality. It looks great,” Doug said. “The market is good too. Pricing is higher for this time of year than we’ve seen in a while.” Featured Image: Gumz Farms, “onions lifted and drying”, courtesy of Doug Bulgrin.
Colorado Western Slope:
It was a short but good report from Southwest Onion Growers in Mission, TX, about its Colorado season this week. The office said early loads were going out on Sept. 6, with a slow start. David DeBerry told us last week that crews were filling stubs with hand clipped reds, yellows and sweets, and the crop looked great.
Dan Phillips with Central Produce distributors in Payette, ID, reported on Tuesday, Sept 6 that Central is “crazy busy!” Dan said Central is shipping all sizes and colors with limited supplies of yellow colossals and supers. “Demand is very good, and the market is steady and increasing every day,” he said. “Jumbo yellows are really hot right now, and pricing for everything else is on the rise too.” He said quality is excellent as well, and he noted that on Wednesday morning he was nearly sold out for the day. “I am going to be sold out for today, and I’ll start working on tomorrow’s orders. This is a great start to the new season!”
Ashley Robertson with Fort Boise Produce in Parma, ID, gave us the same description: “Crazy busy!” She said, “We are shipping everything now, mainly jumbos. Bigger onions are hard to come by.” Ashley added that the market was up, and she said that on Sept. 6, “Demand exceeds supply.” She said Fort Boise did have good supplies of whites and reds, in mixer volumes.
Herb Haun with Haun Packing in Weiser, ID, reported t the market is steady this week and increasing. “We are shipping everything we can get cured and harvested,” he said. “We are shipping all colors and sizes, but more mediums than anything. And we are limited on colossals and supers.” Herb said quality is exceptional. “We have seen tightening on truck availability but not anything significant,” he said. “We’re not sure if it has anything to do with the hurricanes, but I can remember that when Katrina hit, FEMA was paying trucks to just sit on standby which created a real problem for us. But actually, tightening of freight tends to happen at this time of year, and it might not have anything to do with weather.” When asked about fuel pricing and impacts on freight, Herb said, “I don’t think fuel prices are an issue. I know some parts of the country have seen fuel prices rise, but not nationwide. I checked crude prices today and they are at 47 cents.”
And check out photos sent to us from Jon Watson with JC Watson Packing Company.
Cindy Elrod with Peri and Sons in Yerington told us on Sept. 6 the operation is “in full-blown harvest” with all colors. She said Peri is packing reds, yellows, whites, sweets and organics, and she noted: “sizing is on the smaller size with these early varieties.” She said, “When we get into the intermediates, we expect larger sizes.”
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Idaho Falls, ID, said on Sept. 6 the market was steady this week for his shipments out of Nyssa, OR, Prosser, WA, and Walla Walla, WA. “Business is normal for this time of year,” John said. “Quite honestly, there isn’t any room for extra business right now. Growers are still working on getting their onions cured and harvested, and packers are busy completing storages and building, so there is a lot going on.” He said the quality is excellent. “The onions look fabulous. Now that we are into the storage varieties, they look just how you would imagine they should look. The yellows have that nice copper color and tight skins, the reds are that beautiful red, and whites look white.”
Larry Denke with Agri-Pack in Pasco told us on Sept. 6 demand is good, prices are going up and “sizing is normal for our varieties.” He said about half the yellow volume is in storage, whites are all in and reds would start going into storage this week.
California San Joaquin Valley:
Cindy Elrod with Peri and Sons said the Firebaugh harvest has finished, and she said packing would end next Tuesday.
Colorado Western Slope:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onions House in Weslaco, TX, said on Sept. 6 his Western Slope growers were waiting another week to kick off the season. Because Houston is a major market for the Colorado onions and getting loads into that beleaguered city was difficult after Hurricane Harvey’s horrific blow, the growers had decided to continue irrigating last week. “We’re looking at Sept. 14 now,” Don Ed said of first loads. “We wanted the onions to make more size and tonnage, and they’re still wanting to grow some. The medium market has come up, but jumbos are almost double mediums so we let the onions grow.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said the Tampico area crop continues to grow, with “seed beds up and direct seed going in.” Harvest will start in late January or early February.