The sales and service team members at Industrial Ventilation, Inc. (IVI) have a long-running history of partnering with onion growers to facilitate the most optimal storage possible. Many factors come into play, including the onion variety, the maturity
What IVI offers growers sets us apart. Namely, the products that control the storage environments, from ventilation and temperature control devices and systems, to the service that continues after the grower purchases the products. We know growers take great care in considering all factors in the growing process. When it’s harvest time, storage preparation and planning is the final, critical stage of maximizing profit. Timing really is everything!
Growers know that careful harvest ensures ideal conditions of the onions going into storage. When it’s harvest time for the bulbs, the least expensive manner of drying the bulbs comes from Mother Nature. Onions left in the field to dry prior to storage benefit from dry air for a fast cure. In some regions, like the southwestern U.S., this can be as quick as three to five days. In Nevada, onions drying in the field benefit from the dry climate and the wind. In other areas, multiple weeks are required. Steady weather conditions are obviously necessary during this time period. Growers will look to speed maturity with this drying phase. Surface drying aids the condition of the onions going into storage. In the Treasure Valley of Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon, in the Snake River Valley, fields can sometimes experience the effect of
When it’s time to move indoors, Anthony Molitor, Western U.S. Sales for IVI, explains that wood continues to be the most common type of building material for onion storage. Because of the low humidity with storage, the wood holds up well. “We’re seeing some movement to metal buildings,” says Molitor, “but largely, growers still use wood in the form of mostly straight-wall buildings and bin storage.”
Careful machine operations at harvest help avoid injury to the onion. Cautious transport is also key to avoiding issues like bruising. Upon arrival to storage, scrutiny helps improve the odds of minimal storage problems that can stem from entry of injured or diseased onions. Sifting dirt and rock from the onions is also important. Planning in load placement within the storage facility also helps protect the integrity of the onions.
The chopped stem can be an entry point for moisture and disease. Drying the stem helps protect the bulb. The stem is considered the lifeline to the heart of the onion. The onion’s outer layers, once sufficiently dried, also protect the bulb. Moisture really is the enemy in storage. Curing at initial storage is needed in varying degrees, depending upon the growing region, the ambient conditions that occur, and how dry the onions are coming into storage from the field. IVI offers a heater that is called upon as the tool to speed the curing time period, allowing for a full 24 hours of curing run time.
Relative humidity in storage is dependent upon the growing region, and low humidity is always in order. The temperature is also key. With the IVI Imperium control panel, conditions can be set, monitored, and adjusted on demand. Many growers love the ease of using the app, allowing for convenient control from wherever they are. Growers want to see weight loss in the onion kept to a minimum, ideally at less than 5%.
Air helps dry. Air volume and flow, or CFM, is critical at all stages of storage. Compared to other root crops like potatoes, onions require five to ten times the amount of CFM. The ventilation tools and methods can be under continuous control with our control panel.
Layers of control, monitored by our control panel include all the important factors that come together to create optimal storage conditions. Along with air flow and volume, factors include dehumidification, refrigeration/cooling, heat, and more. Sensors within the storage buildings monitor conditions like temperature and humidity.
Your IVI sales and service team members can help demonstrate how
Ultimately, growers want to present the absolute best product they can to market. They also want the option to hold their stored crop longer as needed, responding to demands in the market. This added control can help growers get the best return on their hard work. Gaining a higher price point with healthy onions is any grower’s goal. We want to help get you there. Our success is the ongoing relationships we have with growers, year after year.
“We really focus on helping growers get the best possible product to market,” says IVI’s Molitor, “at the very time they want to do that out of storage.”
Our sales and service team knows the products and systems to store onions successfully, adapted for the variables of regions and onion varieties. Our branches and dealers offer sound advice and well-made, quality-engineered products. Our Service Technicians step in and set us apart.
Our technicians are able to mobilize quickly as needed, due to the number of technicians we have on our team. We’re available in a true, 365-days-a-year, 24-7 fashion. We are set up to respond. Why we are is simple: there’s so much on the line for growers when help is needed. Problems in storage, such as the sign of disease or mechanical issues, require a quick, appropriate, and effective response, with no delay. We see ourselves as partners in your success, in both planning, implementing, and responding. Let us help build all the elements of your storage success, with service always at the heart of the matter.
Contact Anthony Molitor to learn more about IVI’s capabilities in onion storage.
Nampa, ID | AnthonyM@ivi.us.com
– July 31, 2019