Cold snap delays June New Mexico onion harvest - The Packer

Cold snap delays June New Mexico onion harvest

05/27/2011 11:35:00 AM
Dan Gailbraith

“It will definitely hurt us a little bit,” Dencil Russell, shed manager at Arrey, N.M.-based grower-shipper Desert Spring, said of the fallout from the February chill.

Debbie Porter, co-owner of Hatch Valley Produce, a 300-acre onion operation in Hatch, N.M., estimated her early crop would be 30% to 40% leaner.

“Later will be better,” she said.

She added that it would be a letdown from a year ago.

“Last year we had a great year: no weather problems, prices were fantastic,” she said.

The cold didn’t last, but there were other weather problems, said Marty Franzoy, manager and owner of Hatch-based Skyline Produce.

“The wind is just killing us every day,” he said. “We’re getting winds up to 55 to 65 mph, and it’s hurting some of our spring stands.”

Other than that, the spring crop appeared to be doing OK, he said.

“The spring crop … will be a little late here, but it’s looking pretty good,” Franzoy said.

Larry Barker, owner of Las Cruces, N.M.-based Barker Produce, said he had to replant about 30 to 40 acres of his total of 650.

“We should be OK,” he said.

Jamie Hooper, general manager of Las Cruces-based Charles Johnson Co., said he’s optimistic, weather problems notwithstanding.

“That is a factor, the weather, but we think we’re going to come through it just fine,” Hooper said.

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