The challenging farm economy affects not only our country’s wheat and cattle producers, but also producers of the most globally traded fresh vegetable: onions.
Shay Myers is an onion producer with Owyhee Produce in the Treasure Valley along the Oregon/Idaho state line.
Myers… “A jumble yellow, which is kind of a basis by which onions are measured. Currently is trading for between six and seven and a half dollars. Cost of production is probably in the $7 range.”
That’s dollars per 50 lb bag. The market has been hurt by a strong U.S. dollar and early harvest from Mexico and South Texas. Also U.S. legislators recently announced they are looking into the potential dumping of Canadian onions into the eastern U.S.
Myers… “They've been dumping onions into the New York and East coast markets at well below cost of production. And that's also going to be a factor that plays into what happens is are the Canadians going to be able to continue to deliver onions into the largest terminal market in the United States, which is the Hunts Point market in New York at $6 and $7. And that has devastating impacts on our market. So that investigation is going to have some consequences. What it is, is we don't know yet.”
Myers’ thinks the market has room to improve if we see rallies for other commodities, the stabilization of the China market, and a potential for an early end to the harvest in Mexico after its early start.