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The Wall is a real concern for Rio Fresh

SAN JUAN, TX— High freight rates and cool weather have concerned Tyler Schuster of Rio Fresh this year. But topping his list of concerns is the potential building of a wall along the Rio Grande River.

Kale-lady-Rio-FreshA field worker stacks cartons of Lone Star Fresh brand kale, shipped by San Juan, TX-based Rio Fresh Inc.If that wall is built, “it would have a direct impact on our land,” added Schuster, who works in sales for his family business, Rio Fresh Inc.

“We feel that the river is a natural barrier, so the wall is not needed” to stop illegal immigrants from entering south Texas.

“If it does happen, it will have a negative impact for the land we are able to farm,” he said.

But, at least for now, Rio Fresh is flourishing this spring with a strong onion crop.

In addition to the onion deal, Rio Fresh Inc. will be shipping greens into May, according to Schuster. The greens include plain and curly parsley and cilantro.

When The Produce News called on Rio Fresh on Feb. 2, the firm was underway on turnips, beets and cabbage.

“It has been a good year” for those products, Schuster said. “It froze here two or three times, but the crops acclimated. We had minimal damage.”

Schuster said demand has been strong for those items. “The biggest challenge has been freight,” which early this year was double the normal rate.”