Garlic and Onions will not be planted in Federal Water Districts

Central Valley Farmers Cannot Commit to Planting Garlic or Onions

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

Bob Ehn
Bob Ehn, CEO and Technical Manager for the Clovis-based California Garlic and Onion Research Advisor Board, noted that the 2013-2014 season is shaping up to be a major production challenge.

“As expected, growers on the West Side are not committing to planting garlic or onions this winter, and processors and handlers are scrambling trying to find growers who can contract with them on land not effected by a possible zero Federal water allocation,” said Ehn.

“We traditionally plant between 18,000 and 20,000 acres of garlic in the central valley usually in Fresno, Kings with a smaller amount of acreage in Kern,” said Ehn.

“Processed onions are planted on 25,000 acres in a wider geographic area from Parker, Arizona all the to Tule Lake in Northern California. Again, most of that crop is grown in the central valley,” Ehn noted.

“The industry is having to expand the growing areas outside the usual acreage in Fresno and Kings county,” said Ehn. “Those processors need growers.”

“It’s going to be a real tough year,” said Ehn. He noted that he has heard that
many of the vegetable operations in the Salinas valley are having a very difficult time finding growers willing to plant winter crops in the central valley.

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