News and Stories

FROM THE FIELDS: San Joaquin Valley Onion Quality

June 18, 2015


Markon First Crop Red and Yellow Onions are available in the San Joaquin Valley, California growing region now through mid-August. Packer label white onion stocks are available also. With temperatures in the upper 90s and low 100s for the next 10 days, onions will cure quickly; stocks are expected to increase.


Onion size is increasing; the crop is dominated by jumbo supplies. Keep in mind, spring/summer onions are milder in flavor, lighter in color, softer in texture, and possess feathery skins (compared to storage onions from Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington shipped during the fall and winter months). 


Once onions are harvested from the field in warm temperatures, they are sorted in field sheds. Most stocks are then cooled by placing in cold storage rooms also located at the shed. Temperatures in cold storage rooms range from 42 to 45 degrees. Onions are then loaded onto refrigerated trucks at comparable temperatures. If cold storage is not available at the shed, onions are exposed to excessive ventilation/air flow generated by large, industrial-sized fans.


The purpose of cold storage and ventilation is to lower the internal temperature of the onions and dry outer skins. The goal is to minimize excessive moisture and create solid, shinier onions.


The New Mexico season is underway as well; most grower/suppliers will extend their shipments through mid-August. Similar to California onions, varieties are milder in flavor and lighter in color.  


Beginning next week, Markon inspectors will review California fields and work with sheds to select the best available lots.


Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


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