But those losses will be real.
“It’s too soon to tell, but we do feel like there will be significant losses,” Shuman said.
Losses will likely affect supplies in June and July, he said. Shuman said this is the first year he can remember seed stem potentially affecting volumes.
On April 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $18-20 for 40-pound cartons of jumbo Vidalias, up from $14-16 last year at the same time.
The 2013 season won’t likely last as long, Pazderski said.
“I don’t think we’ll have full storage going into June, and I don’t think (shipments will last) into August,” he said.
Regardless of how much product is affected by seed stems, the onions that do make it onto retail shelves will be high-quality, Bland said.
“We’re able to put out a consistent product,” he said. “We’re fairly confident we have a good quality crop.”
“The onions look good,” he said. “There’s a little sour skin, but nothing out of the ordinary. No more than normal.”
The season also was going much more smoothly in its second week, the week of April 22, Pazderski said.
“It was a rough start — it was wet, everybody was trying to get into fields, and a lot was harvested immature,” he said. “But now everything looks pretty good.”