Mon., April 15, 2013 3:00am (EDT)

Vidalia Onions Head To Stores
By Orlando Montoya and John A. Young
Updated: 1 year ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Georgia's Vidalia onion is shipping to grocers nation wide. (Photo by Vidalia Onion Committee)
Georgia's Vidalia onion is shipping to grocers nation wide. (Photo by Vidalia Onion Committee)
Today is the first day Georgia's Vidalia onion growers can ship their product from this year's growing season.

Extreme temperatures and fungal disease destroyed over a third of last year's crop.

But farmers across the 20 county Vidalia growing region are hopeful about the 2013 harvest.

Vidalia Onion Committee Chairman Kevin Hendrix grows onions in Candler County.

He says the harvest should be much better than in previous years.

"Right now the crop looks pretty good," says Hendrix. "We had a cool winter and the spring has been kind of cool so it's kind of slowing them down a bit. But the onions look really good."

Vidalia onions are Georgia's third most profitable agricultural product just behind peanuts and pecans.

Hendrix says despite setbacks with cold weather this year's crop is on track for an average season.

"They had really taken off and started growing when it started warming up," says Hendrix. "And then we had two weeks where the lows were in the high 30's, low 40's and that just slowed them back down."

The industry brings in more than $90 million a year to the state.