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Oregon, Idaho Onion Industry Rebuilds Following Winter Damage


An excavator clears debris from an onion shed in Nyssa, Oregon, that collapsed this winter under the weight of snow and ice.

An excavator clears debris from an onion shed in Nyssa, Oregon, that collapsed this winter under the weight of snow and ice.

Sean Ellis/Capital Press

The snow is gone, but much of the devastation remains.

Many members of the region’s vibrant onion industry are rushing to rebuild their storage and packing facilities after 4 feet of snow and ice crushed the buildings and destroyed the onions and equipment inside.

The damage is extensive — most estimates place the total at $50 million to $100 million. That includes about 100 million pounds of onions — about 7 percent of the year’s crop — that were lost.

The industry must rebuild in time for this fall’s 1 billion-pound-plus harvest. Most of the Spanish big bulb onions grown along the border between southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon are stored to be marketed later in the year.

Read more at Capital Press.

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