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Idaho-Oregon onion crop smaller, but prices spike

Yields are down, but prices are up for this year’s onion crop in the Treasure Valley of Idaho and Oregon.

A harsh winter, wet spring and hot summer combined to make this a difficult year for farmers. Growers and shippers who spoke with the Capital Press say yields will be off by up to 30 percent this year.

But a shortage is generally good for prices. A 50-pound bag of jumbo yellow onions is selling for $10-11, up from $5.50 to $6 this time last year.

Kay Riley, the marketing order chairman for the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee, says buyers from Mexico are snapping up a lot of onions, and that’s also impacting the market.

Farmer Bruce Corn says 2017 is a complete turnaround from last year, when farmers had “incredible yields but low prices.”

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