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Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 9:21am

Vidalia onion harvest down 30%

Updated: 5 years ago.
Vidalia onions are a seasonal vegetable grown only in 13 counties in Southeast Georgia. (photo Lori Grice/Vidalia Onion Committee)

There's more news on the impact of spring's heavy rains on Georgia crops. This year's Vidalia onion harvest is off about 30%.

That's serious money in a $150 million vegetable industry in a 13-county Southeast Georgia region that grows Vidalias. Individual farmers might have lost as much as 40% of their crops in the field.

Vidalia onion committee director Wendy Brannen says, this year's wet spring gave farmers a double-whammy. "We had so much rain back in April during the first harvest," Brannen says. "Then a few weeks later during the second harvest, we just got bombarded with rain storms for about two-weeks straight."

Some Vidalia onions are still in controlled storage, so final sales figures aren't available. But right now, it looks like this year Georgia will be 60 million pounds shy of what's normally a 200 million pound harvest.

Click here to listen to Wendy Brannen of the Vidalia Onion Committe talking about the rains,
the TV Food Network, the local food movement and other factors affecting Vidalia onion farmers:

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