In Wisconsin, new crop onion supply is steady and will ramp up next month when growers get into full swing with harvest. “Supply this September is softer than last September due to lack of rainfall in the early summer months,” says Christine Lindner, Alsum Farms & Produce Marketing Manager.
That rainfall is also partly why the season for Wisconsin is starting later this year. Historically, Wisconsin's new crop yellow onions starts the first week in September around Labor Day. The mid-September start means that this is the first full week of running new crop Wisconsin onions.
The state is adding to a good crop coming out of regions such as the Northwest which also has great yields and good volume on all sizes. “I think the overall national crop will look great quality-wise. Everything is sizing up better than expected,” says Lindner. “Even with the lack of rain in the Midwest and unexpected harsh weather in the Northwest, everything is going better than expected.”
As for demand, it continues to be steady. “Consumers steadily consume onions throughout the year. Whether one chooses a sweet, white, red, or the ever-favorite yellow, onions enhance the flavor of almost any savory recipe. Onions pair well with meats and salads, making the versatile onion a cooking powerhouse,” says Lindner. At the same time, customer demand for local crop onions coupled with the holidays, a time when consumers often use more onions, will also add to that demand.
All of this leaves pricing as fair. “Wisconsin always competes with Washington pricing, but with the freight advantage of running product that is only miles away, it all evens out,” says Lindner. She notes that prices are a little higher than last year at this time, but that’s expected to come down in a month or so.