Michelle Gurda at A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island said demand this week is “fair” across the board for all sizes and colors. “The market is steady,” she said, noting this is the slow time of year. “Market conditions coming out of Mexico put pressure on the storage crop,” Michelle said. She added, “Weather conditions haven’t helped the market either.” Availability is good on all sizes and colors, and Michelle said Gurda is shipping year-round.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said on Feb. 15 the market “hasn’t come back like I thought it would.” Don Ed said, “We’ll have two or three days that are good, and then it’s slow again. The February doldrums. But I think we’ll see some changes in the next week to 10 days. It’s looking like it will turn. Peru is about to finish soon, and Mexico will fill the order for sweets when Peru is out. We’re getting into good size from Mexico now, and the medium yellow deal will be falling back in line. We’re getting 70 percent jumbos out of Mexico now.” He added that Mexico “won’t have the volume it had a year ago. It’s already shipped 35 percent of its volume, and the yields are light and the sizing smaller. We’re seeing reduced yields as we go into the later onions.”
Ryan Fagerberg at Fagerberg Produce/Fagerberg Farms in Eaton told us on Feb. 15, “We are anticipating being done with Colorado onions in two or three weeks. Movement has slowed down, but it is still comparable to normal February business.” Ryan added the farm will start planting its seeded onions “in approximately one month, weather permitting.”
Chris Woo with Murakami Produce Co. LLC in Ontario, OR, told us demand is quiet this week. “It seems that imports from Mexico are affecting the marketing chain,” Chris said. “Some IEO sheds may finish up sooner than normal, but time will tell,” he said. “Some people are just wanting the season to be over.” Chris reported that Murakami has good quality, and supplies in storage are manageable. He said that all colors and sizes are available.
Tiffany Cruickshank at Snake River Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on Feb. 15 that Mexico has “definitely affected our area and Snake River Produce as a company, especially with our customers in Texas due to the freight advantage [for Mexican onions].” Tiffany said demand “for this time of year is normal,” noting that late January and early February are traditionally slower. When asked about the planting schedule this spring, Tiffany said, “It will absolutely be later than last year because we had onions planted in February 2016.” She added, “Some folks are estimating an early April start, but it all depends on Mother Nature.”
Herb Haun with Haun Packing in Weiser, ID, said the market is typical for January/February. “We’re just coming out of the late January-early February slowdown, and there are signs that demand is picking up.” Herb said Haun Packing is limited on whites, but he said, “We have good supplies of reds and yellows.”
Trish Lovell with Agri-Pack in Pasco said the market is “sloppy” this week. She said prices are weak, and she added, “We can all thank the Texas shippers bringing across the onions from Mexico. They destroyed the market.” Trish went on to say, “Demand is light. February is always slow.” And she said, “There are still way too many onions out there that need to go.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said the Texas 1015s “are coming right along.” Weather, he said, has been unseasonably warm at times. “It’s 60 here today, but it was 90 yesterday.” The upshot, he said, is that “we’ll have more March onions than usual.” He said yields “don’t look like they’ll be where they were a year ago.”
California Imperial Valley:
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Idaho Falls, ID, told us that “planting last fall was tougher than usual with some heavier than normal rains for the desert area.” He said, “Onions look to be on time for a late April start. Some fields have a very nice stand and then there are some fields that are not as strong at this time but will catch up. The colder weather is behind us now and it looks like the growing will start to come on stronger.”
Paul Reeping with G Farms reporting on the Litchfield Park growing area of Arizona said his operation is up about 20 acres over last year. “Normally, we start near the first part of May,” Paul said. “But it looks like the warmer has the crop developing faster than normal so we may have an earlier start. You know it’s warm when the rattlesnakes are out, and they’re out a month early!” He said the crop looks good with a few fields that have lighter stands than others.