Bulb Crops

Bulb crops (Crop Group 3) consist of garlic, leeks, dry-bulb, and green onions. These crops are particularly important in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and High Plains. Asterisks indicate representative crops for the Group.

garlic bulbGarlic (including leeks and shallot). Garlic is a high-value crop but high labor requirements and market uncertainties limit production. Mostly produced in East Texas from transplants. Texas garlic has a high pungency. In some years it may be grown under contract in Far West Texas for dehydrator processing. Leek is produced on 50 to 100 acres in small tracts for roadside and local grocery sales. Shallot is grown on 20 acres. Pests are similar to those of onion.

onion bulbOnions – dry bulb*. Onions are the leading vegetable crop with annual cash sales of $60 to $100 million and grown from both direct seed and transplants. Texas ranks fourth in U.S. production. The LRGV and WG produce early short-day, mild-flavored white and yellow granotype onions. Planted October to November for March to June market windows. Crop is hand harvested, field dried, and shipped throughout the U.S. and exported. Texas’ 1015 “super sweet” is the most common. Several large packing sheds in the Valley, High Plains, and Far West Texas handle intermediate day onions for fresh market. East Texas onions are mostly grown for local sales. Onion breeding in Texas focuses on quality, earliness, shipping ability, and host plant resistance. Insect
pests include onion thrips, spider mites, cutworm, wireworm, onion maggot, white grub, flea beetle, beet and fall armyworm. Weeds include broadleaf weeds, pigweed, purslane, nightshade, ragweed, sunflower, wild mustard, nutsedge, bermudagrass, and johnsongrass. Diseases include Botrytis, downy mildew, purple blotch, pink root, and nematodes. See onion crop profile or crop brief for more details.

Onions – green*. Grown in small plots for mixed load shipments with other crops for direct marketing from LRGV and WG to metro center wholesalers. Harvested by hand when tops are still green. Pests are similar to those of dry bulb onions.

Table 6. Bulb crops (Crop Group 3)
Crop Statewide Production Acreage by Production Region
Acres Dollar Value per Acre Total Value (dollars in thousands) Lower Valley Winter Garden Plains Region Far West Texas Eastern Areas
Garlic and leeks 500 $4,200 $2,100 150 20 20 250 60
Onion – dry bulb 16,700 $5,200 $86,840 10,500 2,000 600 3,000 600
Onion – green 500 $3,800 $1,900 200 30 40 30 200
Total 17,700 $5,132 $90,840 10,850 2,050 660 3,280 860

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