Hail peppers South Texas crops

03/30/2012 12:30:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

Courtesy Bagley ProduceYoung watermelon vines in the Lower Rio Grande Valley were damaged March 29 by hail. Growers of various crops, including citrus and onions, are assessing the damage.Grower-shippers are evaluating damage from heavy rains and hail that swept through Hidalgo County, Texas, on March 29.

The storm, according to local news reports, also caused flooding and property damage in McAllen, Edinburg and Pharr, Texas.

“Our onion acreage escaped the hail, but I don’t know about the industry,” said Mike Martin, president of Rio Queen Citrus Inc., Mission. “We did have citrus acreage that was peppered. There’s no way to quantify the damage, but I’m sure there will be some.”

Jeff Fawcett, salesman for Edinburg, Texas-based Bagley Produce Inc., said the company still is assessing damage to its watermelon plants, which aren’t due to harvest until mid-May.

The storm’s path wasn’t a direct hit on the entire valley.

“We got rain but no hail, and little to no damage,” said Curtis DeBerry, president and owner of Boerne, Texas-based Progreso Produce. “I heard some others were not as lucky.”



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