Tue., March 20, 2012 2:47pm (EDT)

Vidalia Onions Coming Early
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 2 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Vidalia onions growing in the field (photo courtesy Vidalia Onion Festival)
Vidalia onions growing in the field (photo courtesy Vidalia Onion Festival)
Georgia’s Vidalia onion crop is coming early. But farmers still don’t know how sweet the onions will taste after a warm, dry winter.

The onions will ship April 12th, a week ahead of last year. The crop is grown in a 20-county region of South Georgia and last year brought in $92 million.

Wendy Brannen is the Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion Committee. She says warm weather makes them grow faster and rain impacts sweetness.

“Right now the crop looks really good, but we are still kind of anxiously waiting to make sure they have those unique Vidalia flavor profiles and are as sweet as we’d like.”

Right now anyone wanting to use the trademarked term “Vidalia Onion” pays a marketing fee to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Lawmakers are considering removing limits on those fees.