In this recurring column, we’ll hear from Wim Waterman. Familiar with all the ins and outs of the onion market, Wim is an excellent candidate to update us about the market. This week Wim’s talking about the harvest of the seed onions in the Netherlands.
The seed onion season is in full swing, and most of the Netherlands’ onions have already been harvested. But Wim sees a few challenges regarding the quality of the onions. “The plant onions specifically had many problems. Therefore, we switched to the seed onions as soon as possible, but we’ve noticed a higher-than-average percentage of losses even there. Bacteria rot is especially bad, often due to hail, extreme rainfall, or mildew because the bacteria need to get through the outer skin. The rot is still in the outer layer of the seed onions, but it will eventually spread into the core while in storage. Unfortunately, they require extra work, but eventually, we’ll be able to offer our customers good quality onions. And it’s a relief to see how the harvest is coming in. If the ground isn’t too hard, the growers can choose the best moment to harvest.”
Wim mentions the need to keep a close eye on the storage. “It’s going to be a long and difficult storage season, and we’ll have to monitor the quality constantly.” Fortunately for Wim, the Waterman purchasing team has recently received reinforcements. “Our buyers can offer growers good advice about storage,” Wim adds that the growers are free to do what they will with the advice. “They also have to start thinking about next seed onion season; which strains do they want to sow, and for what goal?” For advice, growers can contact our buyers personally or online via uienzaadonline.nl.
Wim expects that the export weeks for 2021 won’t beat the 40,000+ tones of 2020. “We could export much more if we had the transportation,” Wim explains that it’s not because of lack of demand. “Africa leads the way, but Asia and Central America are also buying many onions, and those are the main destinations for onion exports. That’s good news too because we had to wait a long time since the second half of last season.”
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