Walla Walla Sweet Onions Pt 2

Walla Walla Sweet Onions Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Beating the heat is something all growers are dealing with this summer, including growers in the midst of harvest for Walla Walla Sweet Onions.

Michael Locati, grower and Chair of the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee, says when it comes to crop damaged by the record-breaking temps, they’ve been pretty lucky … so far …

LOCATI … “We’re just now starting to see what the heat has done to us. It’s really just starting to show its signs of the crops starting to dry out really fast, but so far not seeing a lot of sunburn yet. We have been applying, you know, some sun screen and stuff on them, but you know, time will tell.”

As for the workers topping the Sweet Onions, Locati says everyone is doing what they can to stay cool …

LOCATI … “They’re in there early and they’re out of there early. So, I mean, guys are leaving by, you know, 9:30 or whatever in the morning which, yeah, at 9:30 it’s sometimes it’s 90 degrees, but they’re headed home. They’re on their way. So, they’ve been okay. They’ve appreciated us trying to start earlier and work with them as they work with us. We appreciate, obviously, all the hard work they do for us.”

But, will the early start to harvest mean they’ll wrap up the season earlier than normal? …

LOCATI … “You know, actually, I’m not sure about that yet. We had a pretty good winter, so we didn’t lose a lot of onions. You know, we stagger our planting so that we can harvest throughout the summer. And so, I still think we’ll have onions in the middle of August.”

Locati says the aftermath of the heat wave is yet to be determined, but the good news for Walla Walla Sweet Onion lovers, they are headed to the stores now.

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