The Texas onion season is about to begin, with harvest expected to commence within the next week. Volume will gradually build into April, at which point most growers will be shipping. "There will be some early product from next week, and as we get into the first week of April, more companies will be starting up," said Jeff Brechler of Little Bear Produce.
He added that acreage is down this year and the weather over winter has not presented ideal growing conditions. "The weather in Texas has not been conducive for growing onions. Last October, we experienced heavy rainfall and during the winter we saw some violent swings in temperature. One day it was 88 degrees, the next it went down to 38. As we get in to April, there is always the potential for volatile weather but we take it as it comes."
Prices are increasing
Overall, the crop is looking good considering the weather conditions during the growing season. Another bit of good news for Texas growers is that they will be entering a market hungry for onions. The US onion market has been tightening for several weeks now, providing a nice platform for Texas product.
"Demand is very strong at the moment," Brechler noted. "The market seems to be in short supply. Prices have risen into the mid-$20s and it looks set to strengthen further over the next few weeks."
HoneySweet onions year-round
While the Texas onion season is only just beginning, Little Bear Produce ships sweet onions year round under their HoneySweet label. Brechler said the company's 2018/19 Peruvian campaign has been completed and it is about to finish up the Mexican season as it transitions to Texas. From June to September, the company grows sweet onions in New Mexico before returning to Peru again for the late fall and winter months.
"Our sweet onion program is going very well," he shared. "The HoneySweet campaign focuses on the flavor and mildness of the sweet onion. We've experienced double digit growth each year for the past six to eight years and we foresee this continuing as long as the market doesn't become saturated and we maintain the integrity of the flavor."
For more information:
Little Bear Produce
Ph: +1 (956) 380-0353