UPDATE: New Vidalia onion ship date in effect, despite ruling

03/31/2014 01:14:00 PM
Coral Beach

Bob Stafford, general manager of the Vidalia Onion Business Council, said the vast majority of Vidalia onion growers are in favor of the commissioner’s rule change, saying they have been concerned about the quality of early Vidalia onions shipped in recent years.

“We asked him to take action to help us protect the reputation and value of the crop,” Stafford said March 31.

Among those growers was Bo Herndon, chairman of the Vidalia onion advisory panel that was charged under the previous start rule with annually recommending to the commissioner when the crop overall was ready to head to retailers.

Herndon has repeatedly said he is behind the commissioner 100% regarding the new, later start date.


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George Boyhan    
Athens, GA  |  April, 01, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Setting a start date so late in the season will be counterproductive. This will dramatically shorten the season since the onions only have a very short harvest window. Early onions will be left in the field too long resulting in oversized onions with poor quality. Late varieties have continued to be plagued by warm season bacterial diseases particularly if they are harvested later then expected. Such diseases can drastically reduce the percentage of marketable onions. Each season is different and setting such an arbitrary date will not work.

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