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Officials anticipate slightly reduced New Mexico onion volume

Katie Goetz, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, said the effects of winter weather are expected to reduce the state’s onion volume slightly in 2013. “New Mexico experienced a cooler-than-normal winter which affected the crop yield for over-winter onions,” she told The Produce News. “Yields are down a bit but not drastically. Some of the early onions might not size like they normally do. But spring-seeded onions should yield and size normally.”

New Mexico is home to approximately 20 onion growers and shippers concentrated in the southern part of the state. “A little more than half of the state’s onion acreage is typically in Dona Ana County, while the remainder is grown in Luna and Sierra counties,” she said. The majority of production is conventional.

OpenerShot-NM-OnionsAt the peak of summer harvest, New Mexico is a major onion supplier for the nation. (Photo courtesy of 20/20 Produce Sales Inc.)All onions grown are non-storage. “New Mexico onion growers produce mostly yellows,” Goetz went on to say. “But there are some whites and some reds. The major varieties of commercially grown New Mexico onions include Grano, Granex, Sweet Spanish and midsummer hybrids such as the popular Nu-Mex variety.”

The state’s onion shipping season begins in late May and generally continues to late August. According to Goetz, some sheds can ship through mid-September. “The retail market is the biggest market for New Mexico onions,” she said. “But a few shippers also sell them through the foodservice and/or processing channels.”

In addition to the domestic marketplace, onions grown in New Mexico are marketed in Canada and Mexico.

On June 10, the National Agricultural Statistics Service New Mexico Field Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on the condition of New Mexico’s onion crop. “Onion conditions ranged from fair to excellent,” the report stated, noting that 22 percent of the crop had been harvested.

On June 17, the National Potato and Onion Report provided data about pricing of the 2013 New Mexico Onion crop. Demand that day was moderate. Pricing for yellow Grano 50-pound sacks of super colossals was $ 12; colossals were $ 9-$ 10; jumbos were $ 8-$ 9; and mediums were $ 9. Repack sizes were $ 7-$ 8.

Fifty-pound sacks of jumbo white onions sold for $ 12-$ 14, and mediums sold for $ 10-$ 12. Twenty-five pound sacks of Red globe jumbos sold for $ 9-$ 10, and mediums sold for $ 7-$ 9.

In its report, Vegetables (September 2012), NASS provided historical data on New Mexico’s onion crop. According to the report, growers planted a total of 5,500 acres in 2012, down 10 percent from 2011. Growers harvested 5,400 acres in 2012, down 9 percent from the previous crop year. The production level for 2012 was set at 2.9 million hundredweight, up 9 percent from 2011.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Clove oil tested for weed control in organic Vidalia sweet onion

Weed control is one of the most challenging aspects of organic crop production. Most growers of certified organic crops rely heavily on proven cultural and mechanical weed control methods while limiting the use of approved herbicides. A new study of herbicides derived from clove oil tested the natural products’ effectiveness in controlling weeds in Vidalia® sweet onion crops.

“Cultivation with a tine weeder and hand weeding are the primary tools currently used for weed control in organic sweet onion (Allium ceps),” explained scientist W. Carroll Johnson, III. “However, conditions frequently arise that delay the initial cultivation; weeds that emerge during the delay are not effectively controlled by cultivation.” Johnson tested herbicides derived from natural products as a way to control these emerged weeds in organic Vidalia® sweet onion production. Johnson said that, although these types of herbicide have been studied previously, the majority of the studies were performed on warm-season crops and weeds. Vidalia® sweet onion is a dry bulb onion grown in Georgia as a cool-season (winter) crop.

To test the efficacy of the clove oil-derived herbicide, the researcher conducted irrigated field trials at the Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center near Lyons, Georgia. One treatment factor was sprayer output volume, with the sprayer calibrated at 25 and 50 gallons/acre. Herbicide treatments were applied with a carbon dioxide-pressurized tractor-mounted plot sprayer using spray tips of differing sizes.

The other treatment factor in the trials was adjuvants used with clove oil. An OMRI-listed clove oil herbicide was evaluated and applied at 10% by volume spray solution. The adjuvants for clove oil evaluated were a petroleum oil adjuvant at 1.25% by volume, a commercial product containing 20% citric acid at a rate of 0.375% by volume, a commercial adjuvant containing 20% saponins extracted from Yucca schidigera at 0.03% by volume, an emulsified petroleum insecticide at a rate of 1% by volume, clove oil alone (no adjuvant), and a nontreated control.

“The field experiments showed that weed control was not consistently improved by applying clove oil (10% by volume) with a sprayer calibrated at 50 gallons/acre compared with sprayer calibrated at 25 gallons/acre,” Johnson said, adding that occasional improvements in weed control did not affect onion yield, and that adjuvants provided minimal improvement in weed control from clove oil and did not consistently improve onion yield. “All clove oil herbicide treatments, regardless of adjuvant, had difficulty in maintaining an emulsion in the spray tank and needed near-constant agitation. This tendency proved to be very problematic and suggests another disadvantage to using clove oil for weed control in certified organic crop production,” Johnson noted.

“Given the lack of weed response and onion yields to clove oil applied in higher sprayer output volumes and the corresponding increase in clove oil cost when increasing sprayer output volume, we cannot recommend clove oil in organic Vidalia® sweet onion production systems,” Johnson said. The full report of the experiments was published in HortTechnology.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Fresh Solutions Network takes fresh approach to potato and onion sales

Potatoes and onions are seen as classic commodity crops by many growers, who place too much emphasis on growing and harvesting their products as inexpensively as possible so that they can sell at lower prices.fsn-logo

While that approach may work for some, Fresh Solutions Network sees the equation differently. FSN feels that only focusing on squeezing down costs can actually cost retailers more, by short-changing them on quality, innovation and marketing support.

These areas — product quality, innovation and marketing support — are the three pillars that Fresh Solutions Network is using to help its retail customers to prosper. FSN believes the best breakthroughs — in products and in business — arrive at the intersection of insights and collaboration, so category data are analyzed and developed into insights to develop innovative products and strategic solutions.

“We think the value proposition for retailers has changed and that many of the ways potato and onion suppliers continue to try to capture market share may be a thing of the past,” Kathleen Triou, president and chief executive officer of FSN, said in a press release. “They fixate on driving out costs to win business, to the point that their packaging is ineffective and their marketing support is non-existent. Fresh Solutions Network’s approach gives retailers unprecedented access to competitive insights, to collaborative innovation, and ultimately to optimal assortments. For example, we recently collaborated with a regional retailer to strategize an optimized assortment that delivered a 7 percent sales increase and stole market share from their competition over a six-month pilot program.”

Fresh Solutions Network has reinvented the “supply-and-buy” model by focusing on a direct-supply “dream team,” an invitation-only network of potato and onion growers and shippers with superior products and trustworthy track records who personally own the land, work the soil and pack the product.

Many of the long-held ways of buying produce mean retailers may not know where their potatoes and onions are coming from, and that puts quality and accountability at risk. FSN customers always know exactly what product they’re buying and which grower they’re buying it from.

FSN members are accountable for quality and service — to each other and to their retail customers — because it is literally their own farms that are at stake.

Fresh Solutions Network Partners grow, pack, sell and deliver potatoes and onions directly to their retail and foodservice customers, providing seamless, transparent product supply and service. Fresh Solutions Network, LLC partners are Sterman Masser, Inc. (Masser Potato Farms and Keystone Potato Products in Sacramento and Hegins, PA), Michael Family Farms Inc. (Urbana, OH), Basin Gold Cooperative Inc. (Pasco, WA), Green Thumb Farms Inc. (Fryeburg, ME), Red Isle Potato Growers Ltd. (Prince Edward Island, Canada), NoKota Packers Inc. (Buxton, ND) and Sun-Glo of Idaho Inc. (Sugar City, ID).

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

New Mexico kicks off an early onion season

Onion production is ramping up for New Mexico’s 17 shippers. “Many of those are also growers, while other growers broker their onions,” said Katie Goetz, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

Onion movement began early this year. “The shipping season started in mid-May this year and will run through late August for the most part, although some sheds will ship through mid-September,” she said.

Goetz said production is primarily concentrated in Doña Ana, Luna, and Sierra counties.onCropOverviewNew Mexico onion production is concentrated in Doña Ana, Luna, and Sierra counties. Good weather translated to an early start to the 2014 shipping season with initial supplies moving in mid-May. The season is expected to continue through mid-September. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Rojas/New Mexico State University)

“New Mexico onion growers produce mostly yellows, but there are some whites and some reds,” she said. “The major varieties of commercially grown New Mexico onions include Grano, Granex, Sweet Spanish and mid-summer hybrids such as the popular Nu-Mex variety.”

The majority of these onions are conventional.  

Weather conditions have been conducive to onion production. “We had mild temperatures in the fall and winter, and it’s been a warm spring — all good for yield and quality,” Goetz stated.

New Mexico onion producers primarily service the retail sector. “A few shippers also sell them through the foodservice and/or processing channels,” Goetz noted. Onions are sold throughout the United States and exported to Canada and Mexico.

Onions are among New Mexico’s top ten cash producing crops.

On June 13, the National Potato and Onion Report provided data about the 2014 New Mexico onion crop. Demand was described as moderate, and the market was reported as steady. Pricing for yellow Grano 50-pound sacks of super colossals was $ 11-12; colossals were $ 9-10; jumbos were $ 8-9; and mediums were $ 6-8.  Repack sizes were $ 5.50-7.

Fifty-pound sacks of jumbo white onions sold for $ 12-13, and mediums sold for $ 10-12. Twenty-five pound sacks of Red Globe jumbos sold for $ 7-8, and mediums sold for $ 5-7.

This past March, NASS issued its report, Vegetables 2013 Summary. According to the report, growers planted a total of 6,200 acres to summer non-storage onions in 2013, up 13 percent from 2012.

Growers harvested 6,100 acres in 2013, also up 13 percent from the previous crop year. The production level for 2013 was set at approximately 2.6 million hundredweight, down 8 percent from 2012. Yield per acre in 2013 was 430 hundredweight. The value of production in 2013 was $ 40.9 million.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

New Mexico kicks off an early onion season

Onion production is ramping up for New Mexico’s 17 shippers. “Many of those are also growers, while other growers broker their onions,” said Katie Goetz, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

Onion movement began early this year. “The shipping season started in mid-May this year and will run through late August for the most part, although some sheds will ship through mid-September,” she said.

Goetz said production is primarily concentrated in Doña Ana, Luna, and Sierra counties.onCropOverviewNew Mexico onion production is concentrated in Doña Ana, Luna, and Sierra counties. Good weather translated to an early start to the 2014 shipping season with initial supplies moving in mid-May. The season is expected to continue through mid-September. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Rojas/New Mexico State University)

“New Mexico onion growers produce mostly yellows, but there are some whites and some reds,” she said. “The major varieties of commercially grown New Mexico onions include Grano, Granex, Sweet Spanish and mid-summer hybrids such as the popular Nu-Mex variety.”

The majority of these onions are conventional.  

Weather conditions have been conducive to onion production. “We had mild temperatures in the fall and winter, and it’s been a warm spring — all good for yield and quality,” Goetz stated.

New Mexico onion producers primarily service the retail sector. “A few shippers also sell them through the foodservice and/or processing channels,” Goetz noted. Onions are sold throughout the United States and exported to Canada and Mexico.

Onions are among New Mexico’s top ten cash producing crops.

On June 13, the National Potato and Onion Report provided data about the 2014 New Mexico onion crop. Demand was described as moderate, and the market was reported as steady. Pricing for yellow Grano 50-pound sacks of super colossals was $ 11-12; colossals were $ 9-10; jumbos were $ 8-9; and mediums were $ 6-8.  Repack sizes were $ 5.50-7.

Fifty-pound sacks of jumbo white onions sold for $ 12-13, and mediums sold for $ 10-12. Twenty-five pound sacks of Red Globe jumbos sold for $ 7-8, and mediums sold for $ 5-7.

This past March, NASS issued its report, Vegetables 2013 Summary. According to the report, growers planted a total of 6,200 acres to summer non-storage onions in 2013, up 13 percent from 2012.

Growers harvested 6,100 acres in 2013, also up 13 percent from the previous crop year. The production level for 2013 was set at approximately 2.6 million hundredweight, down 8 percent from 2012. Yield per acre in 2013 was 430 hundredweight. The value of production in 2013 was $ 40.9 million.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Onion harvest in state’s Imperial Valley expected to start late April

With favorable weather during the growing season, onion growers in California’s Imperial Valley are expecting good yields, good size and good quality this year. Anticipating start dates for harvest in truckload volumes range from April 21 to May 1, although some early harvesting had already begun as of the second week of April.

“As you drive through the valley right now, you can really smell the onions,” said Kay Pricola, executive director of the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association, April 11. “It smells wonderful.”

The Imperial Valley, one of California’s major onion growing districts and the earliest to harvest, is located at the southern tip of California, about 130 miles inland from San Diego. “This was a former sea,” said Pricola. “We are below sea level.” It is a desert area irrigated with water from the Colorado River “thanks to some brilliant pioneers.”

02-CalOnions-displayA retail display in a California supermarket. (Photo by Rand Green)When the current water contracts and agreements were made in the 1930s, “no one wanted the water, because at that point it was not considered great water. Now everyone wants it,” she said. “All things are relative.”

Although California is in its third year of a severe drought, onion growers in the Imperial Valley say they have sufficient water for this year’s crop. However, they are concerned about the water situation should the drought continue for another year.

From a soil perspective, the valley is well suited to onions. “Our soil is fairly unique, because it is an old ocean bed,” Pricola said. “There is high salinity to our soil, and there are a lot of soil types. Farmers around here have creatively figured out how to get high production on those varieties of soil” with crops that will tolerate the salt content of the soil, and onions are among the crops that do well in those soils.

“All types of onions” are grown in the valley, she said. That includes red, yellow and white storage onions, sweet onions and even green onions.

The total acreage planted to onions in the Imperial Valley in 2012, the most recent year for which final data are available, was around 8,500 acres. Roughly half of the production grown is for the fresh or fresh-cut market and a similar amount for processing. Seed onions are also an important crop.

Statewide in 2013, total bulb onion production in California was about 50,000 acres, a figure that normally doesn’t fluctuate much from year to year, according to Robert C. (Bob) Ehn, chief executive officer and technical manager of the California Garlic & Onion Research Advisory Board, which represents processed onion producers in the state.

According to a publication from the University of California Research & Information Center entitled “Fresh-Market Bulb Onion Production in California,” the main production areas for onions in California are “the low desert (Imperial and Riverside Counties), the San Joaquin Valley (Fresno, Kern and San Joaquin Counties), the Southern and Central Coast (Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara and Ventura counties) and the high desert (eastern Los Angeles County). Bulb onions are planted September through May. Harvest begins in April or May and is usually completed in September.”

Fresh market and fresh-cut onions make up about 45 percent of total bulb onion acreage in the state, according to the UC publication. California ranks among the top fresh-bulb-producing states in the United States.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Central California onion production now under way, will continue throughout summer

Fresh-market bulb onions are produced throughout California, with the main production areas being the low desert, the San Joaquin Valley and the southern and central coast. Planting takes place from September through May, and harvesting “begins in April or May and is usually completed in September,” according to “Fresh-Market Bulb Onion Production in California,” a publication on the subject published by the University of California Research & Information Center

onions-LA

A bag of yellow onions at a wholesale house in Los Angeles.

Fresh or fresh-cut (“lightly processed”) onions account for approximately 45 percent of bulb onion acreage in California, “which ranks among the top fresh-bulb-producing states in the United States,” according to the publication.

Acreage of fresh-market bulb onions in California in 2009, the most recent date listed in the undated publication, was 22,766 acres.

For 2013, total bulb onion production in California was about 50,000 acres, a figure that normally doesn’t fluctuate much from year to year, according to according to Robert C. (Bob) Ehn, chief executive officer and technical manager of the California Garlic & Onion Research Advisory Board, which represents processed onion producers in the state.

He did not have specific acreage or production data for fresh onions “because we don’t deal with that, we just deal with processed.” But there have been “no changes” in the processed market this year, which typically represents about half of the total, running at close to 25,000 acres “year-in and year-out.”

Ehn said that although he cannot verify it, he thinks the fresh acreage may be down some this year because the market price last fall “wasn’t really great.” In particular, “the white and the yellow onions, I think, are down” in terms of planted acreage, although “I don’t know how much. I wouldn’t want to guess.” But “we never see huge changes.”

The harvest in the Central Valley was already under way when The Produce News talked to Mike Smythe, a salesman at Telesis Onion Co. Inc. in Five Points, CA. The company, which grows reds, whites and yellows on the west side of the valley, is down about 5 percent in acreage overall but is up in acreage in red onions, Smythe said. Whether that is typical of the industry, “I really can’t say. I really don’t know what other people are doing.”

Yields are normal, and “size is mostly jumbo and larger, from what we’ve seen before,” which is a fairly normal size curve, he said.

Acreage is up in Central California for Saven Corp., which grows exclusively flat yellow Vidalia-type certified sweet onions marketed as “Oso Sweet.” Mark Breimeister, a shareholder in the company and national sales director said June 7 that the company was currently harvesting in Brawley in the southern desert and expected to begin in the Bakersfield area in the Central Valley mid-June.

The season so far “has been fantastic,” Breimeister said. “We are getting very good yields on the product. It tastes great, and the lab says it is sweet. We see the same thing happening in Bakersfield.”

There are “a lot of onions,” he said, but he expected prices to “remain somewhat steady in the mid-teens” for flat sweet onions. “The guys with the round sweet onions are offering their product out a couple of dollars cheaper than we can” because yields per acre are not as high on the flat onions.

Good news for onion producers has come this year in the form of a new tool for fighting onion thrips, a serious onion pest. The industry has been granted a Section 18 approval from the Environmental Protection Agency for a product called Movento, which is “just excellent,” according to Ehn.

A Section 18 allows an unregistered use of a pesticide for a limited time if EPA determines that an emergency condition exists and no suitable alternative is available. The material is available for use on fresh as well as processed onions.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Vidalia Onion Committee taps former assistant for top spot

NEW ORLEANS — Susan Waters, executive assistant to the Vidalia Onion Committee since 2009, has been named the organization’s new executive director after a six-month search.

Waters replaces Wendy Brannen, who held the post for eight years before departing to become director of consumer health and public relations for the U.S. Apple Association earlier this year.

The decision was made several days ago but, due to terms of the VOC watersSusan Waterscommittee’s U.S. Department of Agriculture marketing order, it could not be announced without that agency’s approval. With the government shutdown, news of Waters’ promotion could not be released until the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention, here.

Waters is a Vidalia native with ties to the industry going back to childhood. She spent a decade working with Farm Credit (now AgSouth) and another 16 years with the Georgia Board of Pardons & Paroles.

“It’s like a homecoming of sorts,” Waters said Oct. 23. “I actually knew a lot of the growers and their families when I was working for AgSouth. Some of our growers I graduated from high school with.”

Not only does Waters know the Vidalia onion committee, she has also become an increasingly familiar face throughout the industry, appearing at tradeshows and working side-by-side with Brannen on a string of highly successful marketing campaigns that have included pairings with Hollywood blockbusters and Nashville music stars.

“Susan is a sweet and sincere person who truly cares about the industry,” Brannen said. “That will help her do well in continuing with the VOC in this new role. I am happy to see her grow.”

Waters is grateful for the opportunity and excited about her expanded role with the committee.

“I enjoy what I do and I enjoy working with the farmers, they’re just a good group of people,” she said. “It’s a good situation.”

If Waters had any doubts about the position, they were erased as she has performed the duties of the office over the last six months on her own.

“I didn’t have time to think about it — I just did it,” Waters laughed. “I have had help — the committee members have all pitched in and been just great. They’ve offered to come answer phones, file, anything I need.”

Waters’ first major official challenge was preparing to represent the committee at PMA on short notice.

“I had a week-and-a-half to really prepare for PMA, it was quick, it was hard, but we made it through it and we’re doing pretty good,” Waters said. “I’m so fortunate to already know familiar faces — when I was at PMA it wasn’t like being thrown into a group of total strangers.”

While the focus for this year’s Vidalia marketing campaign is still taking shape, Waters suggests it will focus on the history and legacy of the world’s most famous onion.

“One thing we all want to do is make sure the public and especially the younger demographic are educated about what the Vidalia name was built on,” she said. “We want to get back to our roots and educate people even more about what exactly a Vidalia is. There was a visitor in our museum the other day who didn’t realize Vidalias are only grown in Georgia. Education is always going to be key to our success. There is always a new crop of consumers coming along and we want to make sure we reach them.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Delays in India creates opportunities for Pakistani onion exporters

Delays in India creates opportunities for Pakistani onion exporters

A prolonged monsoon season has caused problems for India’s onion growers. The complications have made for a delayed onion season in India, which could mean big opportunities for onion suppliers in Pakistan.


Aslam Pakhali, director of F.A. International

“We’ve had a healthy crop, both in terms of quality and quantity,” said Aslam Pakhali, director of F.A. International, an exporter of Pakistani onions. “Because of expanded growing areas and a favorable climate, we expect to ship about 15 percent more onions than we did last year.” F.A. International sources their onions from the Sindh province, which is one of the leading producers of onions in Pakistan. That, combined with easy access to the port city of Karachi, makes it easy for Pakhali to take advantage of the demand that’s sure to emerge in the wake of a delayed Indian season.

“Indian onions are usually available in October, but this year they will be available in December,” said Pakhali. “Because that crop will be delayed, we’ll have the market to ourselves for about 40 days.” From October 20 through the beginning of December, Pakhali estimates that Pakistani exporters could ship up to 80,000 tons of onions. F.A. International, which ships to Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the Middle East, will be able to take advantage of that open market, and Pakhali expects prices to remain strong on the back of robust demand.

“This is similar to what happened in 2010,” explained Pakhali. “There were onion shortages in India, so even with big quantities from Pakistan, prices didn’t go down because of the demand.”

For more information:
Aslam Pakhali
F.A. International
Tel: (+92-21) 32443200 or 32435289
Fax: (+92-21) 32439025
Email: [email protected]
www.fafruits.com
 

Publication date: 10/22/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Curry & Co. names Pazderski director of onion sales

Curry & Co., a year-round supplier of yellow, white, red and sweet onions from growing regions and packing facilities in Oregon, Washington, California, Georgia, Texas, Mexico and Peru, has added industry veteran Richard Pazderski as director of onion sales.

Pazderski was previously the director of business development for Utah Onions and prior to that worked in sales, marketing, strategic development and sales management PazderskiRichard Pazderskifor eight years at Bland Farms.

While at Utah Onions, Pazderski helped develop sales and strategy for its sweet and hybrid onion programs. He will be based out of his office in Glennville, GA.

“Curry & Company is giving me the opportunity to grow professionally by helping me further develop a strategic skill set and to apply it to their growing business model,” he said in a press release. “It’s an exciting time in the onion industry and I feel Curry & Company is poised for continued growth and success, I’m excited to be a part of their team and I appreciate the opportunity to influence a dynamic and progressive operation.”

“We continue to look for produce people with a passion for the industry, and Richard certainly fits that category,” Curry & Co, President Matt Curry added in the press release. “My work with PMA’s Foundation for Industry Talent has helped me identify the type of people that will propel Curry & Company to the next level. Richard is well respected within the produce industry by both his peers and customer base and his goals and visions match perfectly with what we want to achieve.”

Pazderski, who earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, will be on hand at the PMA Fresh Summit in Curry & Co.’s Booth No. 713.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Search is on for Vidalia Onion Committee’s new marketing order manager

After scoring major marketing successes that have paired the world’s most-famous onion with Hollywood and Nashville, the Vidalia Onion Committee is seeking a marketing order manager who is sweet on Georgia’s official state vegetable.

Previous VOC campaigns have paired Vidalia onions with the Hollywood blockbuster “Shrek Forever After” and with Nashville stars from the Universal Music Group.

Now the committee is seeking a new marketing manager to take Vidalia onions to the next level.

Based in Vidalia, GA, the marketing order manager is responsible for developing, implementing and supporting marketing and promotional efforts of the VOC through effective, results-focused marketing and promotional activities.

The VOC is looking for someone with a minimum two years experience in marketing and promotion or corresponding college course work; preference will be given to applicants with experience in agriculture, produce, retail and/or foodservice industry.

To apply, submit a one-page cover letter, current resume, a one-page essay briefly describing relevant marketing and promotional experience, and three professional references to: Selection Committee, PO Box 1609, 100 Vidalia Sweet Onion Drive, Vidalia, GA 30475. Materials must be received by 5 p.m. EST on Sept. 13.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Peruvian onion volume up 10 percent this season

Officials from Peru estimate that the country’s 2013 Peruvian onion crop will increase by 10 percent when compared to 2012. The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics of the Regional Management of Agriculture of La Libertad announced on April 16 that volume is anticipated to be 40,000 tons of onions grown on more than 1,000 hectares of land.

According to Luis Díaz Vergara, this compares to a total volume in 2012 of 34,913 tons. The lion’s share of volume came from Viru, Ascope and Chepen, production provinces located in the country’s coastal region.

CropOVPeru anticipates is overall onion production for the 2013-2014 crop year will increase 10 percent when compared to last season. (Photo courtesy of Curry & Co.)The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the 2009 implementation of the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement has had a positive effect on international trade, facilitating relationships between exporters and importers while protecting “U.S. investors and U.S. copyrights, trademarks and patents registered in Peru.”

In 2013, the CIA World Factbook stated, “The Peruvian economy has been growing by an average of 6.4 percent per year since 2002 with a stable/slightly appreciating exchange rate and low inflation, which in 2013 is expected to be below the upper limit of the Central Bank target range of 1 to 3 percent.”

This past January, Miguel Ognio, chief executive officer for Keyperú S.A., said a total of 125,112 tons of sweet onions were produced in Peru during the 2012-13 season. The United States was the receiver of 95 percent of this volume.

On Aug. 8, the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the price on Feb. 21 for both jumbos and colossals ranged from $ 22-25 per 40-pound carton for Peruvian yellow granex onions marked as sweet.

According to the news service Andina, “The Foreign Trade Society of Peru (ComexPerú), reported that the United States buys 57 percent of the Peruvian exports of onions, with $ 11 million in the first eight months of 2012, 81 percent more than what was acquired in the same period of last year.”

Last season, exports for fresh and chilled onions and shallots increased 10 percent, showing high demand from January to August.

USDA’s Economic Research Service released its report, Vegetables and Pulses Yearbook Data/#89011, on May 31. According to the report, the value of Peruvian onions imported by the United States in 2012 was $ 36.2 million.

The United States typically receives its first shipments of Peruvian onions in mid-August.

Although the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture did not have any volume data for shipments on Aug. 6, the agency reported that a total of 1,385 units, each 100,000 pounds in weight, were imported from Peru last season. Of this total, 16 units moved into the United States during the period July 29-Aug. 4, 2012.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

India: Onion the national bellwether

India: Onion the national bellwether

India’s perennial battle with inflation is enshrined in a humble staple: the onion. On July 15, the nation’s commerce ministry reported that the price of onions had shot up 114 percent since June 2012. Consumer price inflation rose 9.9 percent in the 12 months through June—the biggest jump among the BRIC nations. It was 6.7 percent in Brazil, 6.9 percent in Russia, and just 2.7 percent in China.

Rising prices for food—which makes up slightly more than half of the consumer index—are the main culprit. Other staples, tomatoes for instance, have also registered large price jumps. But it’s the onion that’s the national bellwether. The vegetable is a key ingredient in the Mughal cuisine of much of the country. Annual per-capita consumption stood at 18.1 lb. in 2009, a bit under the 20 lb. per year in the US, according to figures supplied by the National Onion Association, a Colorado-based trade group. India is the world’s No. 2 producer of the vegetable after China.

Onions have played an outsized role in Indian politics, too. The Congress Party won national elections in 1980 after turning the high price of onions into a campaign issue. In 1998, the rival Bharatiya Janata Party lost control of the capital, New Delhi, when a shortage of onions sent prices soaring. “Higher onion prices create a huge negative sentiment, especially for the poor, as they are a significant part of the consumption basket,” says N.R. Bhanumurthy, a professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy in New Delhi.

Inflation “is a regressive tax, and it hurts the poor the most,” said Duvvuri Subbarao, who heads the Reserve Bank of India, during a speech in London on July 17. Unfortunately for India’s poor, there’s little Subbarao can do to tame the price of onions—or any other foodstuff. Between 2010 and 2012, India’s central bank raised interest rates by almost four percentage points, and has lowered them only slightly since the beginning of this year.

There are several reasons food inflation in India has proven resistant to traditional macroeconomic fixes. As people become richer in India, they’re starting to consume fewer cereals, like wheat, and more vitamin- and protein-rich foods, like onions and chicken. That’s why prices for nongrains have been rising faster than those of grains for several years now. Yet even though demand for perishables is growing, there remains no way for the government to stockpile reserves for lean years, as it does with grains.

Indians’ tastes may be changing, but the way they grow their food is not. Small plots and outdated farming practices have kept onion production static for years. Yields average 14.2 metric tons per hectare, compared with 22 metric tons per hectare in China, according to India’s National Horticulture Board. Unable to afford irrigation systems, Indian peasants entrust their livelihoods to the monsoons. Too much rain, rather than too little, has been the problem in recent years. In 2010 output of onions in the top producing states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka dropped by 20 percent after two wet years, creating what economists came to call the onion crisis.

Infrastructure is another problem. India has proven adept, over the last two decades, at moving people to its cities. It’s not nearly as good at getting vegetables to urban markets. According to a 2011 paper by the Reserve Bank, about 40 percent of India’s fruit and vegetables rot before they’re sold.

While heavy rains are a factor in this year’s onion price spike, Ramdev, a vegetable vendor in Vashi who would only give his first name, suspects the many middlemen are taking advantage of the shortage by jacking up prices. “It’s beyond my understanding why onion prices have gone up so much,” he says. “This is something unusual.” Following in the footsteps of previous administrations, the government is considering a temporary ban on onion exports. That would be a quick fix – and much cheaper than having to improve roads, shorten supply chains, or build climate-controlled warehouses. For that, India’s housewives will have to wait.

Source: www.businessweek.com

Publication date: 7/31/2013


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Pacific Northwest moves significant onion volumes into national pipeline

Onion production continues to be a thriving industry in the Pacific Northwest. Several publications issued by the states of Oregon and Washington provided a snapshot of regional production for the 2011 crop year.

Oregon Agriculture: Facts and Figures was released by the Oregon Department of Agriculture in July, 2012. Looking at the 2011 crop year, onions ranked 11th in the state’s top 40 commodities list at a value of approximately $ 92 million. Oregon was ranked first nationally for storage onion production, accounting for 27 percent of total supplies. CropOverviewThe Pacific Northwest provides the nation with strong volumes of storage and non-storage onions. Oregon ranked first and Washington ranked second nationally for onion production during 2011 according to the states’ respective departments of Agriculture. (Photo by Lora Abcarian)A total of 174.5 million hundredweight of storage onions were produced in 2011.

Onions produced in Malheur County are part of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion growing region and represent significant volume for the state. According to the 2012 Agripedia, published by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Malheur County accounted for 56 percent of Oregon’s total production.

The Pride of Washington State was released this past October. Washington ranked number two nationally for its production of all summer onions in 2011, accounting for 21.2 percent of national supplies. The commodity ranked number 16 among the state’s top 40 commodities during 2011, with an approximate value of production of $ 121.6 million.

The report set per-acre production for non-storage onions at 33,000 pounds per acre in 2011, with a value of $ 7,980 per acre. The per-acre production for storage onions was 65,000 pounds per acre, with a value of $ 5,206 per acre.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided detailed data for both Washington and Oregon in its Vegetables 2012 Summary, issued this past January. According to NASS, a total of 23,500 acres of summer storage onions were harvested in Washington in 2012. Yield per acre were set at 590 hundredweight, and production was set at 13.8 million hundredweight. The value of production in 2012 was $ 147.6 million.

In 2012, Washington harvested a total of 3,100 acres of summer non-storage onions, which includes Walla Walla sweets and other non-storage varieties. Per-acre yield was 370,000 hundredweight, and production was set at 1.147 million hundredweight. The value of production was $ 36.4 million.

NASS also provided data on Oregon onions outside Malheur County during 2012. According to the report, a total of 8,700 acres of summer storage onions were harvested. Yield per acre were set at 590,000 hundredweight, and production was set at 5.1 million hundredweight. The value production was $ 43.7 million.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

UK: M&P Engineering re-launches onion peeling machines

UK: M&P Engineering re-launches onion peeling machinesM&P Engineering have begun production of an updated version of an onion peeling system using a technique which was developed by them in Manchester over forty years ago. The company hopes that the mk3 onion peeler will match the success of the previous machines and has been updated to take advantage of current manufacturing techniques and to comply with the latest electrical and safety requirements.

World production of onions was over 74 million tonnes in 2012. Arguably the world’s most popular ingredient, whether pickled whole, cut into rings, slivers or diced, it first must be peeled. The large onion peeler from M&P Engineering tops, tails and peels onions of 45mm to 115mm diameter using a unique method developed by the company in the 1970′s. The compact unit can peel up to 110 onions per minute without water, producing a finished product indistinguishable from hand peeled.

The machine uses a compact, simple mechanism which means it is reliable and can be installed and maintained with no specialist knowledge worldwide. The dry peeling process allows companies to lower water usage and the waste can be composted or burnt to generate power. It can peel a wide range of sizes and shapes of onions without the need for change parts. The machine does not damage the product, meaning the onion can be used directly for pickling or will give maximum yield from further processes like slicing or dicing.

The heart of the M&P Engineering onion peeling system is the skinning process. “Unlike other manufacturers, our machine doesn’t grab or skewer the onion to peel it. Instead we use an air vortex chamber which was designed in the 1970′s here in Manchester. Thousands of man-hours went into the development of the system which has yet to be bettered,” explains Pamela Nugent, MD at M&P Engineering.
The actual skinning process has been captured for the first time using a high speed video camera.

Emerging markets, pollution restrictions and the growing interest in good food ingredients means increasing demand for this type of machine. M&P have recently expanded into a new factory unit to accommodate production of this and other food processing machinery.

For more information:
Pamela Nugent
Tel: + 44 161 872 8378
Email : [email protected]
www.mp-engineering.co.uk
Publication date: 4/4/2013

 

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