Overall, the onion market was a “mixed bag” in mid-May, said Steve Smith, president of Pleasant Grove, Utah-based National Onion Inc., which has an office in Las Cruces.
“It was very good for February, March, a lot of April, but I guess Tampico, Mexico and Texas have overlapped each other a little bit and the market has dropped quite a bit, and California has started out with a little volume,” he said.
Growing conditions in New Mexico are very good, he said.
“All the fields look very nice,” he said.
The ongoing drought, which has varied in intensity from one area to the next across the state, has complicated the situation, but growers have done their best to work around the obstacles, Smith said.
“It’s still there, but you just plant what you can get water for,” he said. “They cut back allocations, and you have to decide what you water and what you can’t, so you don’t plant it unless you can water it.”
Smith said volumes should be the same this year as last.
“It looks like they should have a pretty good yield out of these fields,” he said, noting that normal volume was about 1.5 million pounds.
The onions were sizing up well, Smith said.
“You should have plenty of jumbos,” he said.
Jay Hill, salesman with Hatch-based Shiloh Produce Inc., agreed with Smith’s assessment.
“It looks like it’s going to be a good medium-jumbo blend,” he said. “We’re ahead of schedule on size, so it looks like we could have some pretty good size.”