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Sweet Clover ships direct-seeded organics, sweet yellows

Organic and sweet yellow onions direct-seeded in February and March are now being shipped by Sweet Clover Produce of Walla Walla, WA.

“We transitioned into our direct-seeded crop in late July,” said Bill (Sweet Willie) Brownfield, sales manager for Sweet Clover. Mr. Brownfield said July 27 that the new crop volume looks good, and supplies will run through April 2012.

“We’re shipping whites, reds, sweet yellows, sweet organics and yellow organics,” he said, adding that the organic volume is up significantly over last year.

“Quality looks good on the early onions, and we’re seeing them run heavy to mediums and jumbos,” he said.

“Growing conditions lately have been ideal. The summer crop is a couple of weeks behind because we had a cool spring going into summer, and that later harvest trend will likely carry through to our long-day onions that start in September and October,” he said.

“Now, however, the temperatures are in the mid-80s and low 90s, and that’s in the forecast for the next 10 days,” Mr. Brownfield said. “We have not had extreme heat to stress the crop, and our recent weather has been very, very good for the onions. Quality should be outstanding as we go on.”

The short-day reds are shipping now, and long-day Red Wing reds will start shipping in September and October, Mr. Brownfield noted.

All Sweet Clover reds, whites, hybrid yellows, sweet yellows and organics are available in two-, three- and five-pound Carry Fresh bags this season, and Sweet Clover also offers a 25-pound specialty pack carton.

Each variety and all growers represented by Sweet Clover are third-party audited. Sheds are GAP-certified and are in compliance with state and federal food-safety protocol.

Sweet Clover’s labels are “Sweet Clover,” “Columbia Pride,” “White Tiger,” “Basin Best” and “Quincy Queen,” and the company is looking at other labels as it expands.