Vidalia sweet onion shipments should be good as the season gets officially underway April 16.
The official pack date is determined each year by The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Vidalia Onion Committee.
Vidalia onions represent about 40 percent of the U.S. sweet onion market and are shipped to every state.
The determined pack date is when growers, packers and shippers are allowed to start selling and moving their Vidalia onions, according to a news release.
“As the keeper of the official trademark for our state vegetable, we are proud of the reputation Vidalia onions have earned around the world by both renowned chefs and home cooks,” state agriculture commissioner Gary W. Black said in the release.
The mild, juicy onion is hand-cultivated by 60 registered growers in 20 southeastern Georgia counties. It’s available for a short period of time each year, mainly spring and summer.
The pack date is determined by soil and weather conditions during the growing season. The committee voted unanimously for the April 16 date, according to the release.
“We are going to have a strong harvest this year,” Aries Haygood, newly elected committee chairman, said in the release. He said 9,400 acres of Vidalia onions were planted for the season.
The committee will continue its Sweet Life marketing campaign launched in 2019 to reach home cooks across the country who enjoy cooking and entertaining.
The Vidalia trademark is owned by the state of Georgia because of the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986.
To be considered a Vidalia onion, the vegetables must be cultivated in the South Georgia soil from a Granex seed and packed and sold on or after the official pack date each year.