US (WA): Growers wait to see effects of heat on onions

Following a month of high temperatures in Washington, onion growers there are waiting to see what effect the heat will have on this year's crop. While excessive heat could make for smaller sizes, it's not yet clear if sizes this year will be smaller.

"We're just starting the season, and we're waiting to see the results of the heat in July," said Shawn Hartley of Utah Onions. They harvest red, white, yellow and sweet onions in their Washington growing area, and the early stage of the season means there isn't enough to tell whether this year's crop will be adversely affected by the hot summer.

"Sometimes the heat affects size," said Hartley. "It could also affect volume, because though the heat won't affect later onions, it might pick off early stuff." For now, this year's crop looks good, but it won't be until later in the season, which typically goes into the first two weeks of October, when growers will know for sure what this year's hot weather has done to the state's onion crop.

"The market is good right now – not every shed is going right now in the Northwest, so prices might change once more supplies come in, but the market is not too bad," said Hartley. "The season started normally, and things look good."

Publication date: 8/13/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot