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‘Great quality and great yields’ sums it up for Fagerberg onions

Although weather has been the talk of the nation in 2011, Mother Nature has been kind to onion producer Fagerberg Produce. “The crop looks really good,” Sales Manager Alan Kinoshita told The Produce News June 24. “We’re expecting great quality and great yields.”

The company, located in Eaton, CO, works with a grower network producing reds, yellows and whites. A total of 1,400 acres was planted to onions this season, up slightly from 2010. Weather was cooler than normal during the growing season, but Mr. Kinoshita said that the heat units are catching up at just the right time.

“We are growing now with warm temperatures,” he said. “The stands look great.”

Fagerberg Produce will begin clipping transplants the last week of July, finishing them at the end of August. The harvest then moves to direct-seeded onions, concluding at the end of September. The company said that it has not experienced any labor problems in 2011.

Onions are marketed by Fagerberg Produce under the “Mile High Legacy” and “Mountain Pride” labels, and marketing occurs throughout the year. The company also markets sweet onions imported from Peru under the “Colorado Sweet” label. In addition to its own labels, Fagerberg Produce does four private labels.

Because 70 percent of product is sold to retailers, Mr. Kinoshita said that 50 percent of onion volume typically sizes to mediums to be sold in consumer bags. Three-pound bags have been good sellers for yellows, and consumers have favored both two- and three-pound bags for whites. Reds are sold as a bulk item.

Approximately 15 percent of Fagerberg Produce’s onions stay in Colorado, with the lion’s share outbound for markets in the Southeast and Northeast.