Today is the pack date for Georgia Vidalia onions. An advisory panel comprised of industry leaders determined that April 19 be the first day of the year consumers could buy Vidalia onions.
“A lot of growers were getting ramped up with harvest end of (two weeks ago) to really have onions that would be ready to sell for the pack date,” said Chris Tyson, University of Georgia Extension Area Onion Agent at the Vidalia Onion & Vegetable Research Center in Lyons, Georgia. “We’re still digging onions, clipping and grading. We’ve got a little bit of everything going on now. We’re starting to get into full swing of things.”
Growers in Southeast Georgia also could not have asked for better weather conditions to harvest their crop.
“It’s been clear and sunny. It hasn’t been too hot, yet We’ve had highs in the 80s, that’s almost perfect weather conditions for field curing onions,” Tyson said. “We start to get a little concerned when temperatures get hot. When it gets into the 90s, it’s harder on the onions. When it’s wet too, it’s the same thing. But it’s been mild and dry. It’s been really nice for them.”
Growers first dig onions and let them field cure. Then they’ll clip the onions and send to the grading house to be packaged and boxed up.
“I think we have a good, quality crop out there for the most part. This weather we’ve had up until now has really helped that,” Tyson said. “The weather can make us or break us. It’s been on our side so far. We’ve got a good-looking crop out there. I think the quality’s going to be really good.”