The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced suspension of the South Texas Onion marketing order provisions. This action is a result of a referendum held by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) concerning continuance of the marketing order.
In the referendum, held Sept. 21 through Oct. 13, 2020, 57% of south Texas onion producers, representing 53% of the volume produced by those voting, favored continuing the marketing order. For the marketing order to continue, two-thirds or more of producers voting, or producers representing the production of two-thirds or more of the volume produced, needed to vote in favor of continuance.
USDA will work with the South Texas Onion Committee to begin the process of terminating program operations. Assessment collection and all other provisions will cease immediately. Rulemaking and comment proceedings will take place in the coming months to remove the marketing order from the Code of Federal Regulations.
The Onions Grown in South Texas Marketing Order requires USDA to conduct a continuance referendum every six years. More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of south Texas onions is available on the 959 South Texas Onion webpage. More information about federal marketing orders is available on the Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.
Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. AMS provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing orders, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.