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Storage crop to last until mid-March

Seeded onions harvested in Colorado trending on medium-sized

Seeded onions just finished harvest late last week in Colorado, used for storage and include yellow, red and white with yellow making up the majority. Ryan Fagerberg of Fagerberg Produce Company says harvest was just a tad later than normal. His supply should last until the middle of March. “Yields this year have been about as well as we’ve done in the last three years,” he says. Growing conditions were good, except he says they were without the conditions that produce a larger size. “We have a quite a few mediums which I’m hearing is normal – everyone seems to have a lot of med onions. The quality has been really good. We’ve been fortunate in that regard.” Onions have the potential to store well and retain the same quality four months from now, according to Fagerberg. “I’m not concerned about having to move a particular field of onions out of storage quicker than another.”

Fagerberg’s onions are all grown within 60-mile radius, which has increased over the last five years. Prior he says land was only within a 15-mile radius. They expanded by seeking out landowners in other regions of the state and leased new ground. “We’re finding different areas have diff soil conditions, which is beneficial. Eastern Colorado has sandier soil so that allows us to get out a day or two earlier. Given us more flexibility in terms of what we can do on the farming side.”

The sizing has already changed pricing – Fagerberg notes there’s quite a difference in price between the medium and jumbo yellows. “I don’t foresee that will change a lot in the next couple of months because in both Idaho and Washington where most onions are sourced from in the winter I’m hearing they have the same size profile – weighted towards mediums.” That works out in their favor though. The vast majority of their packaging is three-pound consumer bags. “We do a lot of those for our retail customers.”

The farm adopted the H2A worker program for the first time this year and he’s been pleased, though it was a lengthy process of red tape to put in place. “It probably took several months to enroll. It’s pretty cumbersome to get set up initially.” They hired not to replace a lack of workforce but to supplement. “I felt we needed a boost so that we could harvest and plant quicker and weed our onions,” he explains. “We were spread a little bit too thin (prior to program).”

For more information:
Ryan Fagerberg
Fagerberg Produce Company
Ph 970-834-1353

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