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Telesis expects normal onion crop, foresees late start to season

Except for a late start due to cool, wet weather and somewhat smaller-than-normal sizing for the early part of the onion harvest, Telesis Onion Co. Inc. in Five Points, CA, foresees a normal season for the company, which specializes in onions grown on the west side of California’s San Joaquin Valley, according to Mike Smythe, who handles sales for the company.

There is “nothing different” in the company’s program this year, he said. “It is pretty much the same deal. We just keep packing our labels, shipping to the same customer base,” which consists primarily but not exclusively of foodservice customers.

Telesis is “owned by the Britz Fertilizer Co., which also owns SunWest in Parlier [CA],” said Mr. Smythe. SunWest Fruit Co. Inc. is a major packer and shipper of California citrus and stone fruit.

At Telesis, “we basically pack reds, whites and yellows,” with yellows being the largest volume. “We pack June, July and August,” he said. All of the onions are produced by “one grower, the same family who owns all the ranches.” All the onions are grown in the San Joaquin Valley, and the company’s acreage is the same this year as last year,” said Mr. Smythe.

“We pack all consumer bags, all cartons and the regular 25- and 50-pound bags,” Mr. Smythe said.

Among the labels packed by Telesis are “Silver Creek,” “Gold Creek,” “Panoche Creek,” “Telesis” and “Big “Telesis.”

“We also pack here for the ‘Green Giant’ label and also the ‘Dole’ label,” Mr. Smythe said. “We pack 25s, 50s and consumer bags for both of those companies.”

Typically, the onion harvest for Telesis would start around June 2, he said June 8. This year, however, “with the rain that we had, we won’t get started until Monday of next week [June 13], so the weather has put us behind.”

The onions in the earliest fields to be harvested appear to be “a little small in size,” although “yields are fine, average,” he said. “As we move into the other [fields] after the first ones, the size structure will be average, as it is every year.”