South Texas onion shipments have been increasing since there should be strong volume by mid-April.
Favorable weather and temperatures during the growing season have only dipped into the 30s a couple of times with no reports of freeze damage.
Early season shipments from the Lower Rio Grande Valley have been lighter due to a lot of rain and some cooler weather. The first Texas onions are usually loaded around St. Patrick’s Day.
Last year, onion acreage in the lower Rio Grande and the Winter Garden-Uvalde region was a little over 7,500 acres.
During the past few years, acreage has been increasing in by about 100 acres or 200 acres annually, but there is some thought that attrition and cutbacks by onion growers could cut acreage by 20 to 30 percent this season.
About 70 percent of the acreage is located in the Rio Grande Valley and 30 percent in the Winter Garden-Uvalde area. Valley shipments should continue into late May or early June.
Winter Garden and Uvalde onions will start by the end of April and run through June.
The Onion House of Weslaco, TX has spoke of a strong, quality crop, aided by a nice winter and a good spring. Most of the Texas onion shipments will occur from April through mid-May.
During 2018, there were adequate onion supplies from Mexico and south Texas, in addition to late-running volume from Washington and Idaho-eastern Oregon, which tended to flood the market.
This year an onion shortage in Holland and an expected quicker end to the Peruvian onion season has American growers more optimistic, since Mexico and then Texas’ onion crop will be the only fresh new crop of sweet onions available.
Last season there was a significant increase in truck rates for onion shipments as demand outstripped the supply of equipment. This season growers are reporting better truck supplies, although rate increases are expected moving into spring.