Hatch, N.M.-based Adams Produce Inc. has added to its onion-drying capacity, said Scott Adams, owner.
“It’s 16% more drying capacity,” Adams said, noting that his facility now has a capacity of 12,000 bins.
Desert Springs adds facility
Arrey, N.M.-based Desert Springs Produce, has built a 65,000-square-foot packing facility about six miles west of Hatch, N.M., said Bill Coombs, salesman.
“We added that to kind of give us a little more packing, an extra line, the ability to focus on certain packs at one shed and other packs at another,” Coombs said.
The company also recently completed its latest round of audits by PrimusLabs, Coombs said.
J&D Produce upgrades line
Deming, N.M.-based J&D Produce has taken another step in increasing its production volume, said Jeff Brechler, salesman and grower liaison.
“Last year, we completed installation of the new six-lane cup sizer and the new receiving area and new continuous bin dumper,” he said.
The computerized system is automatic and increases shipping volume by about 20%, Brechler said.
“The cups hold onions. Each gets weighed and gets dropped into the respective sizing,” he said.
The company has two new box fillers this year, which gives it a total of eight.
Shiloh Produce grows capacity
Hatch, N.M.-based Shiloh Produce Inc. has increased its production volume in the last year or so, said Jay Hill, salesman.
“Shiloh is responsible for all consumer packaging, and we got another 3-pound packing machine, which puts us up to seven,” he said.
Adding one new apparatus a year earlier nearly doubled production, he said.
“We added the same machine this year,” he said. “I know we can get a whole load of 3-pounds out within an hour, compared to three hours before.”
Skyline Produce disbands
Skyline Produce, a network of five growers who had banded together to pack onions together from a combined peak of about 800 acres, has closed this year, said Marty Franzoy, one of the growers who had owned and managed Skyline.
Franzoy said he cut back his own onion production this year to 75 acres from a range of 100-125.
“At the end of last year, some of my growers — because of the lower markets, they haven’t made money the last three years — they decided they didn’t want to grow them,” Franzoy said, discussing the decision to shutter Skyline.
Franzoy said he leased the shed to another grower.
Skyline growers, for the most part, have moved to crops that require less water and labor, Franzoy said.
“I’m the only one of the five who grows onions now,” he said.