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Onion production: by the numbers

Onions grow in or near many of the same regions as potatoes.

The United States harvests about 125,000 acres, producing 6.75 billion pounds each year. The four largest production regions are Washington, Idaho-Eastern Oregon, California, and West-Central Oregon.

And then there’s Georgia, but it is known for sweet onions.

Washington dry onion production is focused in the fertile Columbia Basin, from the Tri-Cities north. The Snake River Valley, from western Idaho into eastern Oregon, is the most concentrated dry onion acreage in the United States, shipping from August until March or April.

California onions, and those in the Southwest, are fall planted to ship from April through August.

The National Onion Association reports another five states each shipping more than 100 million pounds: New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, and Colorado.

Nevada reports some of the highest yields per acre of any state.

“The sands over in Nevada produce a very pretty, white, bright onion,” says Art Miller, president of Epic Produce Sales, LLC, an exporter in Phoenix, AZ.

Onions are a far smaller part of Canadian production than potatoes. Fresh onion shipments occupy only about 3 percent of Canada’s fresh vegetable export value. About half of the country’s dry onion production is in Ontario, which digs about 6,000 acres.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.