Texas onion grower-shippers see minimal freeze damage

02/28/2011 03:32:19 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

Bill Grasmick of Granada, Colo.-based William Grasmick Co. Inc., said some of the other areas should get cleared up before Texas starts shipping.

“Looks to me like if we can get this … we’re kind of clogged up with Mexico and the Northwest and Peru…if we can get these early Mexican onions out the market will slow down here in another 10 days or so,” he said.

Grasmick said his company’s South Texas acreage is down slightly this year.

“It looks like it will be a more average crop this year,” he said. “We’re not seeing as good of stands as you’d like.”

Lower temperatures hit the Winter Garden area west of San Antonio, but onions seemed to have fared well, said J Allen Carnes, president of Uvalde, Texas-based Winter Garden Produce.

“Onions have been hurt, but it’s not a total loss by any means,” Carnes said. “Most of the damage is in the young stuff. There’s a chance for them to not size up or for a few more seeders.”

Carnes said the harvest should get kicked off around May 1.

Acreage has rebounded significantly in the Winter Garden over the past few years.

In 2009-10, about 1,800 acres were planted, compared with 3,000 this season.

“We’re about right where we were last year at our operation,” Carnes said.

The Winter Garden typically produces a clean crop, he said, which could explain the bump in acreage.

“Once we get through the winters that can affect the stands, the quality we see in May and June is excellent,” he said. “We don’t see a lot of issues with seeders and double centers.”


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