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Sweet Clover Produce of Walla Walla, WA, is expecting to start shipping Washington’s State Vegetable, the Walla Walla Sweet onion, in mid-June, with irrigation in place and stands looking healthy and strong.

Sales Manager Bill (Sweet Willie) Brownfield told The Produce News that the company’s primary Walla Walla Sweet growers are the father/son team of Fernando Enriquez Sr. and Jr. again in 2013.

“We will be working with other Walla Walla growers as well,” Mr. Brownfield said. “We are on track for mid-June, and the stands look very good right now. Quality is coming along nicely.”

bill-and-two-fernandosOnion growers Fernando Enriquez Jr. and Sr. visit Walla Walla Sweet onion fields with Sweet Clover Sales Manager Bill Brownfield. Season generally kicks off mid-June, and this year’s crop is coming along well, according to Mr. Brownfield. (Photo courtesy of Sweet Clover Produce)Northwest organic sweet yellows will start in mid-July. Storage Red Wing single-center reds grown in Quincy, WA, were cleaning up, and new crop will come in mid-July, he said.

As a vertically-integrated grower, shipper and marketer of organics, sweets and hybrids, Sweet Clover has a year-round sweet onion program that includes product sourced from other growing areas.

In April, new crop whites, yellows, sweets and organics were available.

Over the past few years, Sweet Clover has significantly increased its production of Northwest organic yellows, organic sweet yellows and organic reds, complementing both the year-round sweet and red programs. Shipments of certified direct-seeded onions from the Northwest begin in mid-July and runs through the following spring.

In addition to its organic certification, Sweet Clover is also certified for export to the European Union through an agreement struck by the United States and the EU in 2012.

GSI Bar codes are on every onion sticker, and Sweet Clover provides complete traceability. Sheds are GAP-certified and are in compliance with state and federal food-safety protocol.