Weather affects some onions in South, but not West - The Packer

Weather affects some onions in South, but not West

05/17/2013 02:07:00 PM
Cynthia David

Chris Franzoy, president of Hatch, N.M.-based Young Guns Produce, said he anticipates a good market because of problems in other growing areas.

“The pipeline is emptying out sooner with storage crops because of stronger demand over the winter,” said Franzoy, who expected to start harvesting yellow onions around May 20, transitioning to colors in early June.

“Our crop got a really good start last fall thanks to warmer than normal weather,” he said. “Our winter was fairly mild.”

Don Ed Holmes, owner of The Onion House, a year-round onion shipper in Weslaco, Texas, expected harvesting in the Rio Grande Valley to end by May 20.

“We would’ve finished earlier but we had a nasty rain April 28 that knocked us out of the fields for a week,” he said.

It was the first measurable precipitation since Jan. 15, a boon to later-maturing onions.

Holmes started harvesting around May 5 in the Uvalde-Winter Garden growing area, where acreage is down 25% from a year ago.

“We’re anticipating a nice crop up there and good supplies available for the latter part of May and all of June,” he said, adding that it’s been a good, dry year so far with unusually good yields and prices.

“We’ve had double-digit prices on all three colors,” he said, “which is unusual given that we never got past $6 in 2011-2012.”

Crops in the Pacific Northwest are also looking great, said Bob Hale, president of Hermiston, Ore.-based River Point Farms, which contracts growers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California for its whole, peeled and processed business.

Harvesting should begin around June 15 on yellows, Hale said, and end about Nov. 1.

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