J&D's Jimmy Bassetti and Frontera Produce's Dante Galeazzi Discuss a Hot Onion Market
- by Melissa De Leon
TEXAS - Onion season is swinging away, with strong volume still left in the next couple of weeks to meet equally, if not stronger, demand.
“Quality has been excellent, especially recently,” Dante Galeazzi of Frontera Produce tells me, explaining that right now the company is seeing really good demand, especially for the Texas 1015 Sweets. “As far as sizing we are seeing primarily larger onions, jumbos and such.”
Jimmy Bassetti, President of J&D Produce, agreed that the market is in good standing right now, with some extra volume following a surge from Mexico and overlap from Texas.
“The market has been very good and will remain strong for our Texas season. Volume has been steady, with a little glut last week with late onions coming from Mexico and early Texas yielding good.”
But Mexico will finish next week, Jimmy added, meaning J&D expects we’ll see less supplies with a strong demand.
As far as challenges of the season, the tides seem to be in the onions’ favor. Naturally though, Jimmy adds, there is always that x-factor of whether or not nature will continue to cooperate.
“We are always challenged as growers, with Mother Nature leading the way. Onions need dry weather to be harvested and cured and we know what April brings…”
Dante also commented on a shift in the few weeks as the season evolves. But while quantity might fluctuate, quality stands firm. “Quality has been excellent, especially in the last month with temps in the mid 80s to 90s. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, especially in comparison to the last two years.”
Because J&D uses one variety for its sweet program that matures approximately two weeks later than other varieties, it is currently about two weeks behind competitors, Jimmy explains. “We are finishing our Mexico HoneySweets this week and we are 15% into our Texas HoneySweets. We should finish harvesting our Texas Sweet Onion crop by May 7.”
Frontera should also see onions up to Memorial Day, Dante said, so long as Mother Nature continues to cooperate. “Thus far we are optimistic that things will stay steady. The weather should cooperate, and if that is the case we should extend through May.”
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