Storms hammer Malheur County onion industry

This onion shed on Railroad Avenue outside Ontario collapsed from the weight of snow and ice in the wake of a series of storms. (Malheur Enterprise/Les Zaitz)

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

ONTARIO – One of the most destructive winters storms in recent history has severely disrupted Malheur County’s onion industry. Sheds and packing plants are damaged and tons of onions have been lost to the usual market.

Approximately 20 onion storage and packing centers across the region endured serious damage, destroying one fourth of the area’s onion infrastructure.

Payette Produce suffered damage to two buildings from heavy snow, including the roof over its critical packing line.

“It fell right on top of our fresh packing line,” said Eddie Rodriguez, Payette Produce’s fresh pack sales director.

Rodriguez said the . . .