Drying and testing. Onion storage 2021

Red onion storage Waterman Onions

“The skin quality of the onions is certainly good”. Quality manager Wilco Besuijen and buyer Remko Wilms discuss the onions in storage. It seems that the greener harvesting of onions is becoming more and more common. “But the onions in storage must continue to be closely monitored by the growers after a challenging growing season.” Remko continues. “Sprout testing! I keep repeating it but doing germination tests is extra important this year.”

As previously indicated by Wim Waterman and the buyers, the onion storage needs extra care this year to keep the quality high. Wilco suggests that “The tare is 2 to 3 per cent higher than last year. Bacteria mainly cause this year.” Remko does indicate that he sees a difference between the sowing onions from the south and other areas. “Weather conditions were more pleasant in the south.”

Storage strategy

Because bacterial formation was discovered early in the off-land period during the onion harvest, Wilco and Remko adjusted the storage strategy and decided to keep the starting temperature lower. “Normally,

the starting temperature would be between 26 and 30 degrees celsius, but this year we have chosen to start with a temperature of 22 degrees,” explains Wilco. The temperature will be lowered further by a maximum of 2 degrees per week in the coming weeks. “The slow drop in temperature should prevent condensation.”

At Waterman Onions, the storage is currently well-filled, right after the landing period. Remko indicates, “The cultivation is expanding at growers who do not have storage options, so we have partly taken on that care.” Both gentlemen see this trend among growers increasingly emerging, “It won’t be long until the next expansion for Waterman is necessary.” Wilco adds.

onion storage 2021 waterman uienFor the growers and external custodians who currently still have the onions in the shed for Waterman, Waterman’s purchasing team is working overtime. “Harmjan visits the growers weekly to biweekly to provide them with advice and support.” The quality man adds to his colleague, “We look for the best sales for each batch, to get the most suitable product to our customers and to sort it as efficiently as possible. We work closely together (purchasing and quality) to advise growers as well as possible.”

“Keep checking, keep cutting.”

The question of what advice is generally given to growers this year is quickly answered by Wilco “Keep checking, keep cutting.” By cutting, Wilco refers to cutting the onions in half to monitor the quality properly. Remko indicates one last time: “Make sure the onions are well dried because the chance of problems with insufficient drying is greater this year than in previous seasons.”