Looking ahead to 2021 (and at this point, who isn’t?), onion growers in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas are busy planting the 2020-21 crop for spring harvest.
Our friend Dante L Galeazzi, CEO/President of the Mission, TX-based Texas International Produce Association, told us on Sept. 29, “Texas onion plantings are underway and should continue for the next three to four weeks. We have had a few weather events over the summer, such as Hurricane Hanna in July, that unfortunately hit the row crops in Texas pretty hard. Thankfully though, all the events have come and gone before the onion plantings had begun.”
He continued, “The silver lining is these events provided much-needed moisture for the fields, especially in South Texas. Other vegetable items that have been planted recently are already growing very well, so it looks like we have ideal conditions for planting Texas onions, which is some of the best news of 2020 for our growers.”
Dante said the new season has a few unknowns, including how much ground is being planted.
“Regarding acreage, I would say it will be a big question mark this year,” he explained. “Hopefully, we will see similar plantings to last year but the long lasting COVID-19 impacts and the ‘next normal’ are hard to gauge for a commodity that won’t reach markets until spring 2021.”
Although marketplace sectors have pivoted, and Dante was optimistic and said, “The biggest shake-up for the Texas onion industry (and likely all of the fresh produce industry) has been the tremendous impact of the pandemic on foodservice distributors. Although it is hard to gauge what that will mean for onions, the signs are promising as the country starts the long road to recovery. With that, the Texas industry will hope to see favorable market conditions by next spring with, fingers crossed, many foodservice businesses having many more consumers by that time.”