The South Texas Onion Committee is asking for a higher assessment to compensate for lower production in 2012-13.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued a proposed rule that would raise the assessment on handlers of South Texas onions from $.025 to $.03 per 50-pound equivalent for the 2012-13 season.

Comments on the proposed rule will be received through Feb. 15.

In June, the South Texas Onion Committee unanimously recommended raising the assessment because of an expected production decline.

The committee estimates that 5 million 50-pound equivalents will be produced in 2012-13, down from 6 million in 2011-12.

At the current assessment rate, the committee said it could not raise enough income to cover 2012-13 budget expenses.

The committee has approved a 2012-13 budget of $145,467, down from $190,467 in 2011-12.