Posts Tagged “Texas sweet onions”

Updates on Grape and Onion Shipments; Calif has Diesel Tax Increase Coming

By |

DSCN9014Imported Chilean grapes enter their traditional seasonal decline this month.  Entering April, red grapes and green Thompson grapes were dominating Chilean shipments to the United States, although many black grapes seemed to have better quality.  Meanwhile, come this fall a big diesel tax increase is coming from California.

California’s Coachella Valley red grapes should get underway about May 10th, two weeks later than a year ago.  Imported Mexican grapes typically start several days before Coachella, but Mexico also is behind last year and is not expected to have any shipments until the first week of May.

High prices on Chilean grapes due to light supplies may encourage some growers to “clean up their vineyards” and put everything in the box that they can get their hands on.  In other words, if you’re planning to haul late season imported Chilean grapes, use caution when loading and make sure your receiver knows what kind of quality is being put in the truck.

Onion Shipments

Vidalia onions shippers have been loading trucks for weeks, but under Georgia regulations they cannot legally pack and ship those onions as Vidalia onions.  This is an attempt to protect the Vidalia name as a sweet onion and early shipments have bigger chances of having onions with high pungency levels – in other words – hot onions.   That changed today because April 12th is the official start of the Vidalia sweet onion shipping season……Meanwhile, Texas sweet onions apparently are having some quality issues due to rain.  An already short crop is expected to end shipments early, probably by the end of April.

California Passes Fuel Tax Hike

California just gave truckers another reason not to truck there.   The California legislature passed a bill last week increasing the excise tax on diesel fuel by 20 cents per gallon to help fund a $52 billion infrastructure plan.   Gov. Jerry Brown s expected to sign it into law this week. which becomes effective November 1st.

The increase in the tax rate will bring the state’s excise tax on diesel fuel from 16 cents to 36 cents per gallon over 10 years.  It also increases the state sales tax on diesel from 9 percent to 13 percent. The state’s gasoline tax will also increase from 28 cents to 40 cents per gallon during the same time period…..Several other state also are considering increase taxes on fuel.


Read more »

Mexican Sweet Onions are Crossing Border; South Texas Onions are Underway

By |

DSCN9041While everyone seems to be talking about Vidalia sweet onions, which won’t even start shipping for another month, there’s plenty of Mexican sweet onions crossing the border in South Texas, while an excellent crop of Texas 1015 variety sweet onions are now underway.

Onions from Peru are done, which is helping to bolster loadings out of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

As of March 2nd shipments year to date out of Mexico a year ago were 2,667 truck loads in 2016.  This year 4,523 truck loads have crossed the border into Texas by that same date.  Mexican onion shipments got underway this year a month earlier than normal, which will result in loadings from Mexico ending earlier than usual. (A similar situation exists in South Texas and with Vidalia onions).

Mexican onion quality overall has been reported very good and is averaging over 700 truck loads crossing the border each week.

As Mexican onion shipments have entered the last half of its season, sweet onions out of the Lower Rio Grande Valley have just recently got underway.  While no official acreage report has been issued, some believe there are fewer acres planted in the Rio Grande Valley than a year ago.  Less than 75 truck loads of Texas sweet onions were shipped from the valley last week, but volume is increasing.

Imported Mexican tropical fruits and vegetables – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.

1015 Sweet Onion History

The sweet onions from Texas started when the Bermuda onion was introduced into South Texas in 1898 when a packet of onion seed was planted near Cotulla. The onions were shipped in 1899 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they were so enthusiastically received that a larger acreage was planted.

By 1904, approximately 500 acres of Bermuda onions were planted in South Texas. In spring, 1907, 1,011 carloads (rail) of onions were shipped from South and Southwest Texas; in 1908, production had more than doubled, and in 1909, 12 counties shipped 2,920 carloads. Shipments reached 6,735 carloads in 1917; this figure was not exceeded until 1928 and 1929 when the total movements were 7,055 and 7,232 carloads, respectively. The largest movement in 50 years for a single season was 10,164 carloads in 1946.

The Canary Islands, principally Teneriffe Island, produced most of the onion seed planted in Texas until about 1946. The two types of Bermuda onions generally grown in Texas were the Yellow Bermuda and White Bermuda and Crystal Wax.


Read more »