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EQUIPMENT American Wholesale & Refrigeration. Chinook Equipment, Inc. Clearwater Supply, Inc. Gearmore Inc. Greentronics IVI Lee Shuknecht & Sons, Inc

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MISCELLANEOUS National Onion Association Testing: Western Labs

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Table of Contents Magazines For Maximum Yield

ONION WORLD Volume 34, Number 2

February 2018 4 10

PO Box 333 Roberts, Idaho 83444 Telephone: (208) 520-6461

www.O n i o n W o r l d .n e t Onion World Contacts

NOA in Santa Fe

Publisher / Advertising Manager Dave Alexander [email protected]

Under Construction

Treasure Valley Onion Industry Continues to Rebuild One Year After Snowpocalypse 2017


Trade Trends


Crop Protection Essentials


Federal Crop Insurance Helps Diverse and Specialty Farms

Global Trade in Fresh Onions, Shallots: A Snapshot

Editor Denise Keller [email protected] Director of Operations Brian Feist [email protected]


Buyers' Guide

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insures All Farm Revenue Under Single Policy

Onion World is interested in newsworthy material related to onion production and marketing. Contributions from all segments of the industry are welcome. Submit news releases, new product submissions, stories and photos via email to: [email protected], or call (509) 697-9436.

ADVERTISING SALES For information on rates, mechanics, deadlines, list rental, direct mail, inserts or other information, call (208) 520-6461 or email: [email protected]

SUBSCRIPTIONS U.S. $24 per year Canada $40 per year Foreign $80 per year Payments may be made by check, Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

Owyhee Produce’s new bulk storage sheds replace structures that collapsed under the weight of heavy snow last winter. Photo courtesy Owyhee Produce See story on page 10.

On the Cover A fear of heights will keep one from seeing all of Bandelier National Monument, but history-lovers will find plenty to marvel at down low. The Monument is only 40 miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico. The city served as the venue for the National Onion Association Annual Convention. See story on page 4.


Onion World • February 2018


20 21 22

New Products Calendar From the NOA

Subscribe online at: www.OnionWorld.net or call (503) 724-3581. Email address changes/corrections to [email protected] or mail to: Onion World PO Box 333 Roberts, ID 83444 Onion World magazine (ISSN 1071-6653), is published eight times a year and mailed under a standard rate mailing permit at Idaho Falls, Idaho and at additional mailing offices. Produced by Columbia Media Group PO Box 333, Roberts, ID, 83444. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose without the express written permission of Columbia Media Group. For information on reprints call (208) 520-6461.


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Day 4

The convention wrapped up with a breakfast meeting and crop reports, concluding yet another well-organized, educational and fun-filled conference. The NOA will hold its 2018 Summer Convention July 18-21 in Bakersfield, California.

Randy Clark with Volm Companies won the raffle at the banquet and promptly donated back nearly half of it to the NOA Promotions Committee.

From left, panelists Jill Gould, senior manager of Blue Apron; Kate Winslow, cookbook author/editor/recipe developer; and Guy Ambrosino, food photographer; listen to a point made by Mac Johnson, president of Category Partners LLC.

Greg Bennett (left) with Northwest Onions in Ore. and Barry Vculek with Four Star Ag in N.D. enjoy lunch on day 2. Bobbie and Rob Woods with Appleton Produce Company made the trip to Santa Fe from Weiser, Idaho.

LLC Dependable. Proven.


Onion World • February 2018

Young Onions Need A Hero! Danger is lurking in your fields... Protect your start-ups from onion maggots and onion seed corn maggots. Get a hero.

Sepresto, Regard® SC or FarMore FI-500 (containing Spinosad), offer direct-seeded onion growers early season disease and insect protection for a healthy crop start. We apply these in a protective coating to the seeds themselves, through a safe, controlled and accurate delivery. The protectant works at the most critical time of plant development, in the place where it’s needed most—right on the germinating seed and emerging seedling - so your seeds can thrive and grow with a reduced threat of early damage. Young onions need a hero - count on Seed Dynamics, the seed protection pros. Call today for more information toll free 866-321-9747, visit our website seeddynamics.com or contact one of the seed heroes listed below.

Gowan Seed Company

Chualar, California Mike Rainie, 831-679-1900 [email protected]


Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania Dean Cotton, 717-367-1075 [email protected]

Clifton Seeds

Moravia, New York Mark Upton, 315-604-1098 [email protected]


Quebec, Canada Cesar Chlela, 877-337-8423 [email protected]

And Now, for Something Completely Different By Dave Alexander, Publisher

The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, bills itself as “the City Different.” The National Onion Association Annual Convention in this historic city should have billed itself as “the Conference Different.” Sure, there were the usual renowned speakers, delicious meals and premium networking. But what made this conference different was a unique “dinearound,” that reminded some of a much classier bar crawl - one with gourmet food, but without the stumbling. As John Cleese of Monty Python used to say, “and now, for something completely different.”

Wayne Mininger, NOA executive vice president, deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the dine-around. When speaking with Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau folks about possible activities, they mentioned a dinearound and Mininger’s ears perked up. Afterward, he commented that “we try and do something unique at each meeting, and I'm glad it turned out so well.”

Attendees split into four groups on this walking tour, taking in the sights of downtown Santa Fe and learning the history of the town from knowledgeable tour guides.

The four groups each made four stops - each at a different restaurant to sample food and beverages. Here, chef Fernando Olea with Sazon talks about what he is serving. Conference attendees sampled several mole sauces, chased with a shot of mezcal.

Evan Doughty, executive chef at The Palace Restaurant and Saloon, served a terrific salad. Some NOA members also enjoyed a live band at The Palace later that evening.

The fun format of the dine-around was walk, eat, repeat.

A group from NOA listens attentively to a tour guide.


Onion World • February 2018

One of four tour guides employed by the NOA, Deborah Montoya (right) listens to chef James Campbell with La Boca describe the dish and wine being sampled at this stop on the dine-around.

Efficiency Yields Results Verdesian Life Sciences makes farming more efficient, more sustainable, and more prootable by developing nutrient use efficiency and management technologies to enhance crop uptake, reduce nutrient losses to the environment, and improve yields. As a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Partner, Verdesian is committed to researching and developing environmentally sustainable products. Visit www.vlsci.com to learn more.

The Nutrient Use Efficiency People

Important: Always read and follow label use directions. © 2018 Verdesian Life Sciences. All rights reserved

Under Construction

Treasure Valley Onion Industry Continues to Rebuild One Year After Snowpocalypse 2017 By Denise Keller, Editor


armers and others in agriculture have generally proven to be a resilient bunch. During the past year, resilience has been essential for onion growers, packers and shippers in the Treasure Valley. Last winter, more than 150 buildings in eastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho buckled under the weight of massive accumulations of snow and freezing rain that fell in December 2016 and January 2017. Onion storage sheds and packing facilities were among the losses. One year later, the Treasure Valley onion industry is rebounding and rebuilding. “Farmers are forever optimistic. The rule of thumb is it will be better next year,” says Paul Skeen, president of the Malheur County Onion Growers Association. The snow and rain delayed planting of the 2017 crop by a month for Skeen and many other growers in the area. Yield and bulb size were down slightly, but quality was fabulous, which helped boost prices, he says. Construction is ongoing in the valley, although it has been difficult to find electricians, plumbers and other tradesmen because so many people are trying to repair and rebuild at once. Owyhee Produce’s new location in Parma, Idaho, includes a packing facility, a bin storage facility and bulk storage sheds. Photo courtesy Owyhee Produce


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Onion World • February 2018

Golden West Produce

Of the packer-shippers that sustained significant structural loss, Golden West Produce is one of the few back in full operation, says owner Troy Seward. During the second week of January 2017, the company lost six buildings in Nyssa, Oregon, including its production facility and multiple onion storages. The Golden West team either had to quit or rebuild, and quitting wasn’t an option, Seward recalls. Company leaders quickly began the demolition process, secured an alternate packing facility to handle the remainder of the 2016 onion crop and immediately launched plans to rebuild. It helped that the company already had been planning to build additional storage buildings and a new production facility across the river in Idaho in the next three to five years. “The storm became the impetus for us moving forward more quickly than what we had initially planned,” Seward says. Golden West completed construction of three onion storages and a production facility in Parma, Idaho, in mid-November 2017. The production facility features a state-of-the-art packing line with an optical onion sorter/grader, an eight-lane cup sizer, automated baggers, robotic palletizers, and a hopper buffering system for increased packing flexibility and greater efficiency. Although Seward feels that Golden West is poised to be stronger than ever with its new facility, the year following the collapse of the buildings has been the most stressful of his life. Making changes quickly and efficiently while trying to minimize the effects on the business and its customers was an unforeseen challenge. “How we handle these moments is what we feel defines us and our attitude in business, and the lesson I feel like we’ve learned is that we have to persevere and move forward no matter what the consequences and the damages are,” Seward says. “Someone once told me that God never gives you more than you can handle, but He certainly put a lot on our plate at once to try to handle. And we feel like we’ve done a good job of trying to make it through a tough situation.”

Golden West Produce’s new Parma, Idaho, production facility includes a 65,000-square-foot packing facility and a 7,500-square-foot detached bin dumping/onion topper room. Photo courtesy Golden West Produce

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Under Construction Owyhee Produce

Owyhee Produce is also moving from Nyssa to Parma after losing three binstorage facilities, one bulk-storage shed and 25 million pounds of onions last winter. Shay Myers, Owyhee Produce general manager, says “regulatory challenges made it hard to want to stay in Oregon.” Idaho seemed like a better fit and will allow the company to grow. Construction of storage sheds to replace the collapsed structures was completed in mid-September. A new packing facility at the Parma site, which is one mile from the current location, is a few months from completion. In the rebuild, Owyhee changed from bin storage to bulk storage in order to reduce labor requirements. The change allowed the company to increase the speed of operations during harvest with about one-quarter of the number of employees, according to Myers. The company also increased its storage refrigerated capacity from 25 percent to 60 percent in hopes that additional airflow and refrigeration in the bulk storage sheds will help maintain bulb quality later in the season. “What has stood out this past year is the ability of our operation with our employees and our family to work together when it counts. We work together every day doing the status quo, but when it really counted and everyone had to give everything they had, everyone did,” Myers says.

The production facility at Golden West Produce features a packing line designed and coordinated by Tolsma USA, utilizing Grisnich, Eqraft, PIM, Volm and Symach components. Photo courtesy Golden West Produce

“Rebuilding is a slow process, as you can imagine.”

Crews begin filling one of Owyhee Produce’s newly constructed storage facilities with onions. Photo courtesy Owyhee Produce

Champion Produce

Champion Produce in Parma, Idaho, is in the thick of the rebuilding process. The company lost three facilities last winter. Construction of one storage building is complete, and work continues on two more. “Rebuilding is a slow process, as you can imagine,” says Dallas Jensen, Champion Produce grower and industry relations manager. The smaller crop in 2017 made the lack of storage buildings a non-issue for Champion Produce, according to Jensen. The company is not increasing its storage capacity as part of its new construction, but it has relocated the new buildings to make the flow of the facilities more efficient. Crews have also worked to reinforce and stabilize buildings that didn’t collapse in an effort to prevent additional collapses due to weakened structures. Overall, the company has attempted to make the best of a bad situation. “I think that’s all you can do in any situation. It doesn't do anybody any good to sit and sulk. Just move forward the best you can,” Jensen says.



Trade Trends Global Trade in Fresh Onions, Shallots: A Snapshot

By Mark Wocial, Certified Global Business Professional, Wocial & Associates LLC In 2016, global trade in fresh onions and shallots involved approximately 7.9 million metric tons (MT) and was valued at about $3.2 billion. Asia and Europe accounted for about 70 percent of onion exports and 60 percent of imports by volume. Countries in Asia exported 3 million tons of onions and imported 2.4 million tons. India and China were the largest exporting countries in Asia, while Malaysia, Bangladesh, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines were the largest importers. The European countries exported 2.7 million tons and imported 2 million tons. The Netherlands was by far the largest exporter of onions in Europe, followed by Spain, France, Turkey and Poland. The Netherlands was also the third largest importer, behind the United Kingdom and Germany. North America exported 800,000 tons of onions and imported 780,000 tons, with the U.S. accounting for 40 percent of exports and 67 percent of imports. The Middle East exported 526,000 tons

and imported around 1.2 million tons of onions. The largest importing countries in the region were the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, while Egypt was the dominant exporter.

the largest onion exporter and Brazil the largest importer in the region. Exports from Oceania were estimated at 230,000 tons. New Zealand accounted for over 80 percent of exports. The region imported 32,000 tons, and Fiji was the largest importer. Central America exported 38,000 tons and imported 132,000 tons. Guatemala accounted for most exports, while El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua were the largest importers. The Caribbean region imported 36,000 tons of onions, and Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica were the largest importers. Author’s note: This information is based on the author’s analysis of the United Nations International Trade Statistics Database. The U.N. Statistics Division gathers import and export statistics from 160 reporting countries which account for almost all trade worldwide. The export and import numbers presented for each geographic region include both cross-border trade within and outside of a given region.

Countries on the African continent exported 360,000 tons of onions, with South Africa, Sudan, Niger and Yemen as the largest exporters. Africa imported 750,000 tons of onions. Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire Ethiopia and Ghana were among the largest importers. South America exported 330,000 tons and imported 310,000 tons. Peru was

Global imports of fresh onion and shollots by

Global exports of fresh onion and shollots by Global exports of fresh onions and shallots by geographic region in 2016 geographic (MTregion x 1,000) in 2016 (MT x 1,000)

Global imports of fresh onions and shallots by geographic region in 2016 (MT geographicxregion in 2016 1,000)

(MT x 1,000)

2,965 2,395

2,699 2,054

1,197 778


801 526

311 132 Asia



Middle East

North America


South America

Central America

Onion World • February 2018







North Middle East America




South America





Central America


of our crew and the relationships with our customers are far more valuable than any shed.”

three Champion Produce onion storage facilities to collapse under the weight of heavy snow in January. Photo courtesy Champion Produce

in this Champion Produce storage facility when the roof caved in. Photo courtesy Champion Produce

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This model now has the ability to do bags as well as cartons with the new touch screen controls. It also comes with pneumatic bag clamps as standard equipment

For information contact: Gary Loewe: 800-219-2245 or (208) 331-1126 Fax: (208) 331-1264 [email protected] www.chinookequipment.com


Onion World • March/April 2017

RiteYield No One Tracks Root Crop Yields Like We Do The RiteYield system adds convenience And accuracy by automatically collecting data for all the various fields, varieties and test plots.

RiteTrace Advanced Track & Trace System Tracks from know locations in the field to precise layers and areas in storage. Bin Map - by load

Field Map - by load

• Measures yields once per second • Fits most harvesters • Optional Tilt Sensor • GPS receiver connectivity • Real-time map display available for JD2630 and Trimble terminals

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• View/Print Maps by Load, Field, Date. • Provides clear links between field and storage.

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Contact us for a free RiteTrace demo OnionWorld.net


Crop Protection Essentials Buyers’ Guide Marrone Bio Innovations • www.marronebio.com Amplitude Bio-fungicide

Amplitude bio-fungicide controls Rhizoctonia and Pythium on onions, as well as white mold on potatoes. Amplitude is an advanced bio-fungicide offering growers a sustainable mode of action to control white mold and a broad range of other fungal and bacterial diseases in many crops including onions and potatoes.

Jet Harvest Solutions • www.jetharvest.com Jet-Ag

Jet-Ag is a peroxyacetic acid (PAA) broad-spectrum fungicide, bactericide and algaecide. Jet-Ag works great for broad-spectrum activity and is an indiscriminate killer on contact against Erwinia, Botrytis, anthracnose, Pythium, Fusarium, Colletotrichum, Penicillium, powdery and downy mildew, bacterial soft rot, Xanthomonas leaf blight and much more. Jet-Ag is also a very effective thermal fog post-harvest tool against storage rots. The versatile product offers a zero-hour restricted-entry interval (REI) and zero days to harvest. It is exempt from pesticide residue tolerance requirements and has no mutational resistance. Jet-Ag is OMRI certified and can be applied through chemigation, by ground rig or aerially.

Verdesian Life Sciences • www.vlsci.com Verdesian Life Sciences makes farming more efficient, more sustainable and more profitable by developing nutrient use efficiency and management technologies to enhance crop uptake, reduce nutrient losses to the environment and improve yields. As a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Partner, Verdesian is committed to researching and developing environmentally sustainable products.

Gowan Company • www.gowanco.com Zing! Fungicide

Zing! Fungicide is a premix protectant fungicide combining zoxamide and chlorothalonil in an easy-to-use liquid SC formulation. The combination of zoxamide and chlorothalonil works to enhance the performance beyond each individual product. These products have been successfully controlling diseases for several years in the labelled crops with no documented resistance in the field. Zing! Fungicide provides excellent control of key diseases like early blight, late blight, downy mildew, anthracnose and more. Registered for use on onions, potatoes, cucurbits and tomatoes, Zing! is an excellent choice, adding multisite, multi-mode of action to your resistance management program.


Onion World • February 2018

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Our proven accurate seed placement is why growers have continued to purchase our planters over these many years. Special inner and outer singulators removes doubles to insure placement of individual seeds. All planters are assembled and tested at our plant in Chino, California, to insure accuracy.

Tucannon is a Spanish onion from Seminis that features dark scale color, deep globe shape and long term storage potential. • Low incidence of internal dry leaf and bacterial issues • Long storability and high percentage of single centers • 114 to 116 day maturity

13477 Benson Ave. • Chino, CA 91710 Ph: 909.548.4848 • Fax: 909.548.4747 www.gearmore.com Onion World Ad 1/3 page square - 4.875” x 4.875”

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Contact Your Local Representative Brian Haddon

Casey Crookham

Steve Graton

Larry Chambers

Todd Clark

Larry Duell

Jimmy Graton

Norm Haak

971-282-2884 Western OR & WA

509-531-7254 Columbia Basin

509-832-2620 Columbia Basin

208-841-9702 Treasure Valley

435-230-4667 Utah

970-397-8566 Colorado

805-305-5447 Product Development

701-710-0099 North Dakota

P.O. Box 190 Chualar, CA 93925

831-679-1900 OnionWorld.net


Federal Crop Insurance Helps Diverse and Specialty Farms Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insures All Farm Revenue Under Single Policy


armers with highly diverse farms, who grow specialty commodities and sell to direct or specialty markets now have access to a crop insurance policy to meet their needs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) offers the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy, which is a revenue-based policy that provides coverage for all commodities on the farm grouped together. “The Whole-Farm Revenue Protection policy is unique in that it encourages and supports farm diversification,” said RMA acting administrator Heather Manzano. “As part of this policy, individual commodity losses are not considered; it is the overall farm revenue that determines losses.” WFRP is available for farms with specialty or organic commodities (crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identify preserved, specialty or direct markets. The policy requires two or more commodities to meet the diversification requirements. RMA has an estimated liability of more than $78 million for onions covered under the WFRP policy in 2017.

“In 2017, there were nearly $2.6 billion in Whole-Farm Revenue Protection liabilities nationwide. That means producers are becoming more familiar with the policy and are using it,” Manzano said.

The WFRP policy, available in all 50 states, covers organically-grown insurable crops, as well as revenue from all commodities produced on the farm, including animals, animal products and commodities purchased for resale. Producers can purchase coverage from 50 to 85 percent, and the policy can be tailored to fit different operations up to $8.5 million in liability.

Federal crop insurance is critical to the farm safety net. It helps producers and owners manage revenue risks and strengthens the rural economy. The Risk Management Agency consistently looks for ways to make crop insurance more effective and accessible for producers. The availability of WFRP is a reflection of this effort. “Here at the Risk Management Agency, everything we do is for producers and to ensure the sustainment and growth of the agriculture industry,” Manzano said. “As the industry expands and diversifies, we need to be creating crop insurance products alongside them.” For more information about WholeFarm Revenue Protection, visit www.rma. usda.gov/policies/wfrp.html. For more information about the Risk Management Agency, visit www.rma.usda.gov. Producers interested in learning more about Whole-Farm Revenue Protection should visit their crop insurance agent. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Growers can use the RMA Cost Estimator to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online.

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Onion World • February 2018

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New Products

Box Filler Fills Need for Efficiency

The new Miedema MB 111 box filler promises both efficiency and gentle product handling. The machine boasts a filling capacity of approximately 100 tons per hour. The MB 111 achieves its high capacity by maintaining a continuous supply of product to the boxes with minimal forklift movements. The machine fills boxes in three layers by lowering the box and shifting the wide buffer belt back and forth to eliminate product separation in the box. A stopper flap closes automatically when the box is full, and the box is transported to the stacking unit. Meanwhile, the buffer conveyer is refilled, and a new box is moved to the filling position. This setup allows an operator to fill 80 boxes per hour. Visit www.tipinc.net.

Seminis Launches Long-Day Onion The singulaire metering unit in an all new chassis. No knee joint, no tension rod, no spring. NO LOCKUPS. Planting depth is easily adjusted with rear wheel quadrant. One, two, three, or four lines planted per metering unit when planting small seeds.


Tools For Agriculture 20

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Onion World • February 2018

Saddleback is a new long-day storage onion from Seminis. Its bulbs are described as very round and uniform in shape with good skin retention. According to Seminis, the root system is incredibly strong for such an early variety (100-day maturity). Saddleback may be grown on marginal mucks and possibly mineral soils, direct-seeded or grown from transplants. Initial trials indicate medium-term storage potential. Visit www.seminis-us.com.

Calendar Feb. 6

Key Technology Debuts Digital Sorter

Key Technology has introduced the VERYXB210, a highcapacity digital sorter. The machine can be used to sort onion rings and slices, as well as diced and cubed onions. With an inspection area over 80 inches wide, the belt-fed sorter maximizes throughput on highcapacity lines. The sorter offers a production capacity in excess of 50,000 pounds of product per hour, depending on the application. It features advanced detection technology and an innovative system architecture that improve sorting accuracy. Recognizing objects’ color, size, shape and/ or structural properties, VERYX sorters remove foreign material and product defects to improve product quality while virtually eliminating false rejects to increase yields, according to the company. Visit www.key.net/products/veryx.

Nematodes: Old problem. New solution.

Idaho-Malheur County Onion Growers Association Annual Meeting Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario, Ore. Rick Waitley, (208) 888-0988 [email protected]

Feb. 7

Onion School

Western Laboratories, Parma, Idaho [email protected]

Feb. 13

Utah Onion Association Winter Meeting

Bridgerland Applied Technology College Brigham City, Utah Mike Pace, (435) 695-2541 [email protected]

June 25-27

United Fresh 2018

McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, Ill. www.unitedfresh.org Editor’s note: To have your event listed, please email Denise Keller [email protected]

MeloCon nematicide effectively controls plant-infecting nematodes, including root knot, burrowing, cyst, root lesion, false root knot and sting nematodes. Can be applied through any irrigation system. ➤ In-season applications ➤ No fumigant management plan required ➤ Application flexibility ➤ Broad spectrum nematicide

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From the NOA

National Onion Association Monitors Menu Trends By Kim Reddin, National Onion Association Director of Public and Industry Relations


he National Onion Association monitors natural menu trends as well as how onions are being menued to focus its promotional work.

What’s Hot Culinary Forecast

The National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot” annual survey predicted top culinary trends for 2018, including natural ingredients, vegetable-focused cuisine and locally sourced produce. The annual “What’s Hot” list gives a peek into which foods, beverages and culinary concepts will be the new items on restaurant menus that everyone’s talking about in 2018. The National Restaurant Association surveyed 700 American Culinary Federation members in October and November 2017, asking them to rate 161 items as a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news” or “perennial favorite” on menus in 2018. According to the survey, menu trends that will be heating up in 2018 include doughnuts with non-traditional filling, ethnic-inspired kids’ dishes, farm/estatebranded items and heritage-breed meats. NOA member Joe Petrocco with Petrocco Farms in Brighton, Colo., spotted this Allium Salad on the menu at Bistro Barbés in Denver.

2018 Top 10 Food Trends

1. New cuts of meat (e.g. shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak, Merlot cut) 2. House-made condiments 3. Street food-inspired dishes (e.g. tempura, kabobs, dumplings, pupusas) 4. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes) 5. Sustainable seafood 6. Healthful kids’ meals 7. Vegetable carb substitutes (e.g. cauliflower rice, zucchini spaghetti) 8. Uncommon herbs (e.g. chervil, lovage, lemon balm, papalo) 9. Authentic ethnic cuisine 10. Ethnic spices (e.g. harissa, curry, peri peri, ras el hanout, shichimi)

2018 Top 10 Concept Trends 1.

Hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, onsite beer brewing, house-made items) 2. Chef-driven fast casual concepts 3. Natural ingredients/clean menus 4. Food waste reduction 5. Veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine (i.e. fresh produce is star of the dish) 6. Environmental sustainability 7. Locally sourced meat and seafood 8. Locally sourced produce 9. Simplicity/back to basics 10. Farm/estate-branded items

From commercial fine dining to non-commercial foodservice campus dining, NOA works with a variety of chefs to inspire and influence consumers with dishes such as this Sweet and Red Onion Soup.

“Local, vegetable-forward and ethnicinspired menu items will reign supreme in the upcoming year. Guests are implementing these trends in their own lifestyles and want to see them reflected on restaurant menus. In response, chefs are creating more items in-house and turning to global flavors,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research at the National Restaurant Association. On behalf of the industry, the National Onion Association (NOA) monitors trends to determine innovative uses for onions on restaurant menus. In 2018, we will explore onions’ role in authentic ethnic cuisines as well as in retro favorites and focus on more vegetable-based entrees in our promotion efforts.

Onions on the Menu

In review, NOA purchased a study on how onions appear on menus in 2017. According to the quantitative research study from Datassential Menu Trends, onions are the most commonly menued vegetable, with 93 percent of foodservice operations including onions on their menus. Based on data from 4,800 restaurants including national chains, regional chains and independent restaurants, onions appear in 12 percent of menu items, a 26 percent increase from 2005. Pickled onions are being menued more and more, up 168 percent in the last four years. Caramelized onions are also showing up on more menus, with a 24 percent increase in the last four years. Red onions and sweet onions are also frequently highlighted on menus. Pickling and caramelizing are easy techniques that add value to menus. When a menu item calls for pickled onions, it sells for almost 30 percent more than a menu item that calls for onions without a preparation method noted. Likewise, a menu item with caramelized onions in the description sells for 19 percent more. Onions have also shown steady growth on appetizer, entrée and side dish menus since 2005, the study reported. In entrée menus, onions are most commonly

featured as an ingredient on pizzas (eight out of 10 pizza menus feature onions as a topping), hot sandwiches and burgers as well as on entrée salads and Mexican entrees. Sandwich trends are particularly interesting. Grilled chicken is the most popular sandwich variety featuring onions. Vegetarian sandwiches with onions have grown nearly 30 percent since 2012. Other sandwiches with onions showing strong growth include tortas, grilled cheese and reubens. Sandwiches often call for grilled, caramelized or sautéed onions. Pickled onions on sandwiches have grown nearly 200 percent on menus during the last four years.

NOA Welcomes Industry Leads

We welcome onion industry members to send us information on interesting onion dishes they see on menus. Leads like these help us find chefs from across the country to feature in our foodservice publicity program.

This chef at Penn State shows off the Sweet Onion, Olive and Anchovy Pissaladiere created during an onion promotion day NOA organized on campus last spring.