The official start date for the Vidalia onion season has been set for 8 a.m. April 20.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture and Vidalia Onion Committee announced the start date on March 26. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black has been involved with determining the start date — with an industry advisory group and state agricultural scientists — in recent years, after some shippers expressed concern about immature or low-quality onions hitting the market early in the season.
In 2017, April 12 was the start date, and in 2016 it was April 25. The pack date is based on soil and weather conditions in the 20-county area approved to market onions as Vidalias.
“With great consideration after consultation with the Vidalia Onion Advisory Panel, experts from the University of Georgia and crop assessments from the Georgia Federal State Inspection Service, I am pleased to announce April 20 as this year’s pack date for the official state vegetable of Georgia, the Vidalia onion,” state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said in a news release.
Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the Vidalia onion trademark, Black said, and the industry is “looking forward to another bountiful crop.”
Troy Bland chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee, said Vidalia onions were grown on more than 11,000 acres in 2017, for a crop valued at more than $120 million.