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The Snake River Valley Is the Ideal Place for Onion Growers in the USA

Created by Federal Marketing Order 958, the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee is an instrumentality of the federal government representing more than 300 growers and 30 shippers in Southwestern Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon. With this responsibility, we:

  • Have made it our goal is to work with all segments of the produce industry to provide consistently sized onions and the best possible quality available.
  • Work to increase consumption of Idaho-Eastern Oregon onions through the use of promotional programs, education, advertising, and communications.
  • Partner with our growers and shippers to create programs to entice buyers, creating a demand for mandatory-inspected Idaho-Eastern Oregon onions.

We are the only storage onion region in the United States governed by a Federal Marketing Order (#958). Our onions are inspected daily by the Federal-State Inspection Service to certify that they are in accordance with grade, size, pack, and maturity requirements—another reason why our onions are some of the most popular onions grown anywhere in the world!

Growers in the sunny, fertile Snake River Valley of Idaho and Eastern Oregon produce more high-quality storage onions than any region in America, planting approximately 21,000 acres every year. The combination of the valley’s climate and soil creates favorable growing conditions for third and fourth generation farmers who harvest more than 24,000 carlots (40,000 lbs. per carlot) annually.

Like grapes grown for fine wine, onions also respond to soil qualities, sunlight, and the latitude and longitude of their growing area. The rich volcanic soils and dry climate that produce outstanding potatoes also produce some of the finest onions in the world, with a unique combination of mild flavor, large size, and tight, dry skins.

Our growers plant yellow, red, and white varieties of sweet Spanish seed. Sometimes these onions are also called “Spanish Onions” or “Spanish Sweets.” The crop is planted in March and April, and harvest begins in August and continues into October. Yellow onions accounting for approximately 90% of the acreage. With state-of-the-art storage facilities, premium Idaho-Eastern Oregon onions are available from August to March/April.