The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Vidalia Onion Committee have set the official pack date for Vidalia onions.
Sweet onions packed on or after April 16 from a select group of farmers in south Georgia will be given the Vidalia onion name, a designation of the highest-quality onions grown from specific seeds and harvested according to exacting specifications for weather and soil quality.
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According to a GDA spokesperson, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is not expected to impact the Vidalia onion supply chain. The GDA is “keeping a close eye on what impact, if any, the COVID-19 response will have on the availability of H2A workers,” she said in an email to the AJC. “But the growers are optimistic and have not encountered any delays as of yet.”
The Vidalia onion is the official state vegetable of Georgia and a source of great regional pride, representing about 40% of the sweet onion market in the United States. In a statement, state agriculture commissioner Gary W. Black said, “As the keeper of the official trademark for our state vegetable, we are proud of the reputation Vidalia onions have earned around the world by both renowned chefs and home cooks.”
The farmers who produce Vidalia onions are optimistic about this year’s output, as well. More than 9,400 acres of Vidalia onions were planted this season. “We are going to have a strong harvest this year,” said Aries Haygood, the newly elected chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee, in a statement.
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