For additional details, please see "Bland Farms begins packing Vidalia onions"
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black (left) and grower-shipper Delbert Bland (right) are at odds concerning when certified Vidalia onions can be shipped.A Georgia state judge is expected to rule April 15 or 16 on a case involving the start date for Vidalia onions.
Attorneys from the state’s attorney general’s office and a law firm representing Bland Farms LLC, Glennville, faced off before Judge D. Jay Stewart for an hour-long hearing April 15. Delbert Bland, owner of Bland Farms, wants the judge to block Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black from enforcing a new, later start date for the state’s trademarked onions.
A clerk in superior Court of Tattnall County said the judge did not issue a decision from the bench, but is expected to rule late April 15 or early April 16.
Bland said he started packing Vidalia onions for shipment April 14, with plans to actually send the first shipments out April 16, which is five days before the new start date.
A judge in Superior Court in Fulton County ruled in March that Black’s new rule is invalid. The new rule sets the start date as the Monday of the last full week of April every year. That is April 21 this year.
However, the attorney general’s office contends that the rule is in effect this year because it filed a notice of appeal on the Fulton County ruling.