California onions are transitioning to the Nevada growing region.
“Our transition is happening earlier than usual,” says Jessica Peri, retail sales manager at Peri & Sons Farms in Yerington, NV. “We’ll be out of California and into Nevada earlier this year because we intentionally planted some varieties to harvest earlier, so we’d have them available. It was perfect timing for us.” Peri notes its transition to Nevada will be complete by next week.
Amongst its varieties offered is Peri & Sons Farms’ Sunions, a tearless mild sweet onion. “We start with our Sweetie Sweet® onions and we continue to gain more market share on domestically-grown sweet onions compared to the Peruvian imports,” says Peri. “We’ve been diligently working on this strategy for years because we knew there was an opportunity offer our customers a domestically-grown onion in that growing period.” She adds that Peri & Sons had anticipated increased demand on its organic and conventional Sweetie Sweets. “We’re glad we did because we’ve had more demand and have been able to break into some markets,” says Peri.
On top of that, this year, Peri has also introduced organic shallots along with its conventional crop and organic red and white pearl onions and cipollinis.
David Peri of Peri & Sons Farms.
Average yield projected
Overall, Peri notes that the Nevada crop will likely have an average yield this year. “We’ve hit the projected numbers and have a healthy crop,” she says. “Some years you just get higher yields than others and this is an average year.”
As for demand, Peri notes it has been good. “August is a month that’s usually a bit slower so we’re feeling that lag right now. But as the weather turns cooler and fall hits, demand picks back up again,” she says.
Helping that demand is the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program. “I wasn’t sure if it was going to hurt more than help but overall, but it has helped,” she says. “We participated this summer with a company awarded the contract and were paid a good price for the onions. I was happy we were offered a good return instead of being squeezed for the lowest cost.” The program, she notes, is also a chance for growers to offer “Shipper’s Choice” of product which offers flexibility on what size profiles and shapes go into the boxes.