To the north, growers in the Winter Garden district rely on ground water, rather than the river, for irrigation.
But J Allen Carnes, owner of Winter Garden Produce, Uvalde, Texas, said onion acreage is down in his area as well.
“The main factor has been drought,” he said. “A lot of growers aren’t big acreage veg guys. When they look at the water they have available and the price of the commodity markets, it’s an easy choice for them to plant another block of corn or cotton instead of onions. If they can lock in a price and get something back, they chose to go the safe route and grow on a contract basis.”
Carnes, however, said Winter Garden expects a good crop.
“Everything looks great now,” he said. “The onions are very healthy. We’ve had above-average temperatures.”