Mike Smythe of Telesis Onion Co. in Five Points said the operation is pushing hard to finish its season and will wrap up between Aug. 10-15. He said, “We value all of our customers, and we have been running six days a week to get the orders out.” He added, “It does appear that this season there have been more partial pallet orders, and this has become an industry-wide issue. Partial pallets delay loading/shipping times, and with the rising cost of labor, it definitely increases the cost of doing business.”
Lauren McDougall at Veg-Fresh in Corona told OnionBusiness.com, “2016 has been a very good year so far, and we are hoping for the rest of the year to finish strongly. The market will be active from now and until 2016, and depending on growth out of the Northwest we will see what 2017 has in store.” Lauren said Veg-Fresh’s bagged onion program that offers red and yellow organics out of California is “booming in the retail industry.”
Robert Bell with Western Onion said that company has one field remaining for harvest in Bakersfield, and he said mildew and decay have been issues in the area. “That field is in good shape, but there are still some other onions with trouble in this region. It was unusually hot early in the season, and that might be a factor,” Robert said. He said Western Onion will clean up in the Bakersfield area the end of the first week of August. “We’re also harvesting long day fresh-market onions for another shed, starting harvest the end of the second week of August and going through the end of the month,” he said.
Robert said the harvest in Willow Springs is seeing 15 loads a day and should wrap up this week. Those onions are all organic, he said, with 80 percent yellow and 20 percent split between reds and whites, and quality is excellent.
Gary Atkin at Columbia Basin Onion in Hermiston, OR, said his company is currently shipping its seeded crop. “Quality has been very good,” Gary said on July 27. “We are shipping strong – all colors and all sizes, including organics.” Gary said this week the market has slipped a little bit, and demand is slightly off for conventional onions, but he noted the market for the organic program is doing very well with high demand.”
SEASONAL MARKET PERSPECTIVE:
Ralph Schwartz of Potandon Produce said, “The crop progressions through the summer seasonal areas has been orderly, and there are no excessive inventories needing sell-off before we transition into the fall areas. So at this point we feel that upcoming season will be very successful.
Ralph’s colleague, Stephanie Bench, agreed, saying, “Overall the onion market has been steady demand and market is steady in all segments. Quality out of the seasonal areas has been excellent and will be ending strong. This will help to carry over into the storage crop out of the Northwest.”