G&R Farms' Walt Dasher Discusses Sweet Onion Supply to Meet Growing Demand
GLENNVILLE, GA - A cold drop from previous years’ temperatures is delivering some of the sweetest spring onions. With the category already riding a larger-than-usual wave of demand, this is likely to be music to buyers’ ears, complemented by rings at the register.
“This winter has been consistently colder than the past three to four seasons for sure. The good thing is that this cooler weather actually works in our favor to produce the best Vidalia® onion quality. The onions grow slower and it makes the sugars build up in the bulb, which provides a better shelf-life as well,” Walt Dasher, Vice President of G&R Farms, shares. “Suppliers and retailers are both happy with sweet onion movement over the past year and consumers are getting excellent quality.”
Walt tells me that the team started to see demand pick up dramatically during the 2020 Vidalia season due to COVID-19, as consumers were stocking-up on onions as a staple item. That demand, he shares, has remained strong throughout the entire Peru season, setting expectations for the trend to continue through the 2021 Vidalia season.
As for pricing, the Vice President says the numbers have not seen too much volatility amid the pandemic.
“Pricing is good and demand has been so strong. Our retail partners have reported to us that both onions and potatoes have seen a huge increase in sales, and we’re happy to say our Peruvian sweet onion volume will remain steady over the next few weeks to meet that strong demand,” Walt explains.
In fact, due to optimal Peru conditions in late October and early November, G&R Farms expects to have good and steady volume through the end of March. Yields have continued to improve from the shortfall in the early season crop, and the upcoming Vidalia onion crop, which is typically harvested around the third week in April, is in midseason growth.
“So far, we are pleased. The growth is where we want it to be, and the plants have a healthy color signifying good quality,” Walt continues, explaining that the team is currently focused on fertilizing and monitoring the overall crop health. “We’re excited about the fields that we have rotated to this year and what potential they bring. Our organic Vidalia onion acreage was planted in early December and is due to harvest in May.”
With plenty on the horizon for the category, AndNowUKnow will ensure you are kept up on the latest.