While there should be steady supplies of organic onions throughout the summer, the market is also expected to remain strong as volume will be relatively light.
Jessica Peri, retail sales manager at Peri & Sons Farms in Yerington, NV, said the company has some organic onions still coming out of storage, but it has mostly shifted to its fresh production in the San Joaquin Valley.
Jessica Peri, Retail Sales Manager, Peri & Sons Farms
“We have organic yellows, sweet yellows, reds, and whites,” she said. “During the summer, we have steady supplies, but at this time of year organic onions are not plentiful.”
Peri & Sons production of organic onions in the California desert is finishing up, and its Nevada fields won’t begin harvest until sometime in August. Peri reiterated that summer tends to be a “down cycle” for organic onions for several cultural reasons. At the top of that list this year is the minimal rain California once again received this winter and spring. The state continues to suffer through a very dry period, which leads to a reduction in acreage of many different crops.
Peri & Sons organic red onions
The organic onion market is reflecting the lack of supplies, Peri said, as organic yellow onions are in the mid-$20s per carton, while the red onion price is in the upper $30s to $40s.
Across the country in Vidalia, GA, Bland Farms also has steady organic supplies of its signature crop. “Currently, we are packing our organic Vidalia sweet onions,” said CEO Troy Bland. “We also have organic bags available in a variety of sizes.”
Peri reiterated that summer tends to be a “down cycle” for organic onions for several cultural reasons. At the top of that list this year is the minimal rain California once again received this winter and spring.
The company’s 2022 crop, which began harvest in April and should last well into September, is off to a good start. “We planted more [organics] this year as we are expanding the program in Peru and plan to be the category leader in organics for sweet onions.”
Troy Bland, CEO, Bland Farms
In fact, the company is offering retailers a secondary display unit that holds 40 pounds of organic Vidalia onions, specifically designed to promote the organic category.
“We are looking at a strong season. The Vidalia organics are looking good, and then we will switch to the premium sweet organics from Peru,” said Troy Bland. “We should have a consistent supply of organics throughout the year, and there should not be a gap in availability.”
“We planted more [organics] this year as we are expanding the program in Peru and plan to be the category leader in organics for sweet onions.” -Troy Bland
The USDA’s Specialty Crops Market News Division reported on Tuesday, June 7, that organic Vidalia sweet onions had a steady market and moderate demand. The FOB price for a 40-pound carton ranged from $28 to $38, mostly hovering around $32-$33.
Bland Farms organic Vidalia onions
Walla Walla Organics, the only certified sweet onion grower in the state of Washington’s well-known district, will also join the organic onion parade.
“We are looking at a strong season. The Vidalia organics are looking good, and then we will switch to the premium sweet organics from Peru.” - Troy Bland
“We are going to begin harvest at the end of June so we can have onions in time for the Fourth of July,” said Sarah McClure, who owns the farm with her husband, Dan. The couple has been growing organic onions under the Walla Walla Sweet Onion marketing order for almost 30 years.
Sarah and Dan McClure, Owners, Walla Walla Organics
Sarah said last year’s crop was devastated by both the intense heat that gripped Washington in June and heavy rains during the summer. This year, they have cut their acreage back a bit, but they will have Walla Walla sweet organic onions through July. “We market mostly in the Pacific Northwest,” she said, but added that their onions have been shipped to many other destinations as well. The company uses a couple of Walla Walla onion distributors to sell their organic volume under the Walla Walla River label.