Low prices take toll on south Texas onion acreage

11/14/2011 10:33:00 AM
By The Grower Staff

Onion growers in the Texas lower Rio Grande Valley have responded to a weak market and are planting fewer acres for the upcoming season.

In fact, acreage could be as much as 20 percent lower, according to a news release.

“Low market prices last year left a bad taste in their mouths, plus storage onions in the northwest U.S. are fetching lower prices now than they were last year at this time,” Juan Anciso, Texas AgriLife Extension vegetable specialist in Weslaco, said in the release.

Last season, growers received $5 to $7 per 50-pound bag, which didn't even cover production cost.

That compares to $25 to $40 per bag during the 2009-2010 season.

In the four-county Rio Grande production area, growers are estimated to plant 8,200 to 8,500 acres this season, down from the 10,000 acres of the 2010-11 season.

The onions being planted in the valley right now will be harvested from late March through May.

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