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Weiser Onion Produce kicks off first season with strong demand

By
Kathleen Thomas Gaspar

Noting the 2022 early crop had been moving well, Weiser Onion Produce Sales/Management Consultant Herb Haun said harvest crews were well into the season’s storage crop.

Haun said the Weiser, ID-based operation’s fresh crop started shipping mid-August, when the new company was launched by David Navarrete and his wife, Angie, along with his brothers, Christian and Paul Navarrete. Haun, who had been one of the owners of Haun Packing that operated out of the Weiser shed, stayed on as sales manager and was working with many of the same crew and office staff as before.

At the Weiser facility, Navarrete noted in August, Haun Packing Shed Manager Ivan Flores holds that same position for Weiser Onion Produce. In the office, Laura Molina remains as office clerk and Randi Davies as payroll clerk. Suzanne Hust handles the food-safety program.

Noting that he had seen strong demand on all three colors, with bigger sizes predictably leading the charge, Haun said, “That’s the best demand for all colors, although medium reds have been hanging in there.” Haun also said the area was expected to be down in volume again this year due to erratic weather during planting and excessive heat during the growing season.

“We still think we could be down as much as 20 percent this year across the board," he said. "It was a tough growing year again. We have fewer colossals and more mediums than normal, but the majority of our onions are still jumbos. And we’re having some really nice harvest weather.”

The market, he said, was holding steady, with pricing that had been strong at the opening of the season remaining good.

One hundred percent of the company’s onion volume is grown by the Navarrete family, and the yellows, whites and reds will be packed in cartons and consumer packs for both retail and foodservice.

Haun said he expects the season to run into early March, possibly wrapping up slightly earlier than normal, but he also commented, “If transportation tightens up and we slow down, we could go into mid-March.”

Weiser, ID-based Weiser Onion Produce, shipping for Navarrete Farms in Ontario, OR, got off to strong start in its first season. Harvest of early crop onions got underway in mid-August, with storage onion harvest expected to run into October. Photo courtesy of Weiser Onion Produce.

Kathleen Thomas Gaspar

About Kathleen Thomas Gaspar  |  email

Kathleen is a Colorado native and has been writing about produce for more than three decades and has been a professional journalist for more than four decades. Over the years she’s covered a cornucopia of crops grown both in the United States and abroad, and she’s visited dozens of states – traveling by car from her home base in Colorado to the Northwest and Southeast, as far as Vancouver, BC, and Homestead, FL. Now semi-retired, Kathleen continues to write about produce and is also penning an ongoing series of fiction novels. She’s a wife, mother of two grown sons and grandmother of six, and she and her fly fisherman husband Abe reside in the Banana Belt town of Cañon City.

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