South Texas Onion Shipments are Getting Underway

South Texas Onion Shipments are Getting Underway

South Texas onion yields have been reduced thanks to a mid-February freeze, as loadings are getting underway.

Various growers will start harvest mid- to late March. Texas 1015 sweet onions are available from the Rio Grande Valley from March through June, and from the Uvalde/Winter Garden area from May to July.

In recent years, 60% to 70% of Texas spring onions have been sweet and yellow onion varieties, with the remainder 30% to 40% white and red onion varieties.

The Texas International Produce Association of Mission, TX reports onions withstood the February cold much better than citrus and leafy greens.

Texas onions are traditionally harvested the first of March, but the cold weather very well could delay harvest until at least mid-March.

The Onion House LLC, Weslaco, TX expects to start harvesting around about March 25 and notes this year their crop is very late.

The company observes onion crop damage from the mid-February freeze could range from 25% to 40%. 

Onion acreage for The Onion House is down around 20%, with total south Texas onion acreage at less than 4,000 acres.

Shipments of Texas onions in 2020 totaled 6.05 million packages, up from 4.99 million packages in 2019 and also higher than the 5.71 million packaged shipped in 2018.

The South Texas Onion Committee of Mission, TX in February, reported onion acreage in the 35 counties making up the regulated marketing order area was about 5,000 acres, off from about 6,000 acres last year.

Industry leaders have estimated yield damage of 15% to 30% to south Texas onions due to the mid-February freeze.