By Clint Thompson
Good harvest weather contributed to a solid Vidalia onion crop for producers this year. It should set up a steady supply of produce throughout this summer, according to Chris Tyson, University of Georgia Extension Area Onion Agent at the Vidalia Onion & Vegetable Research Center in Lyons, Georgia.
“I feel like we’re set up really good for the coming summer to be able to have a good quality supply of onions throughout the summer, which is what we try to gear the Vidalia market for,” Tyson said. “With the way we do with Vidalias and Perus, we like to have Vidalias on through the summer, and then in the early fall, we start with the Peru onions. I feel like we’re set up to do that and do it well right now.
“We had a pretty good, quality crop going into harvest, and we had great harvest weather. It just helped the crop come out as a good, quality crop. We were able to put up the crop in storage. The weather cooperated with us and helped us out all across the board, in general.”
Ideal Harvest Conditions
Ironically, Georgia’s Vidalia onion producers encountered a wet production season, especially in February when torrential rains flooded Southeast Georgia. That all changed once harvest season arrived, however. Field conditions dried up. It stopped raining and never really got hot; just ideal harvest conditions.
“It was about as good of a year as you could ask for, I think as far as the harvest weather goes,” Tyson said.
“We’ve already avoided a lot of (those diseases like sour skin, botrytis neck rot and center rot) or gotten past a lot of that with some of the good weather that we had during harvest. The next step is to make sure growers are trying to dry their onions and cure them properly and put them into storage at correct storage conditions to sort of hold them through the next 60 to 90 days.”