Texas spinach growers have reported fewer acres planted due to the current pandemic. However, quality is excellent and so are this season’s growing conditions, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Larry Stein, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Uvalde, said the spinach harvest has been in high gear for several weeks. Quality has been exceptional due to favorable weather conditions and very few disease issues. The lone challenge has been market demand as COVID-19 continues to affect restaurants, cutting the demand for some spinach products. Growers reduced planted spinach acres 10% this season due to the market uncertainty.
“The big buyers are buying, but spinach is not in super high demand like it could be,” Stein said.
Dry weather with low humidity and cool nights were the major contributor to excellent quality this season, he said. Low humidity means lower disease potential, and cool temperatures make spinach develop a full body and adds thickness to the leaves.
The spinach harvest started in November and goes to April, he said. Texas producers grow three kinds of spinach – baby leaf, larger leaf, and savoy, or curly spinach.
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