Jamie Brannen, partner with Statesboro, Ga.-based Curry & Co. of Georgia LLC and Sweet Vidalia Farms LLC, said he visited all the region’s fields and said the disease isn’t as bad in northern production areas.
He said he expects Curry to supply adequate volume.
“One of our fields has 20 acres of it where it’s bad, but the rest is okay,” Brannen said April 5. “It’s worse in some other fields further south. I think we will go at it in promotions. The only thing this may do is it may shorten the deal’s storage crop a little.”
Brannen said he expects the disease to lower the volume of jumbos and mediums. Medium-sized onions constitute the majority of bagged onions.
Shuman reported increasing sweet onion prices. He said 40-pound cartons of Texas grano sweet onions increased from $10 in late March to a $12-14 in early April, likely caused by unfavorable Texas weather and word of a smaller Vidalia crop.
Shuman said he expects the Vidalia deal to open at $16 for 40-pound cartons.
In mid-April last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported the deal opening with 40-pound cartons of U.S. No. 1 Vidalias selling for $12-14 for jumbos.
Pazderski said Bland plans to start its harvesting April 5, a week earlier than the April 12 official season start date a growers committee set March 12.
Shipments sent before the official date require inspection stickers of U.S. No. 1 from the USDA’s Federal-State Shipping Point Inspection Service.