Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Pull out your favorite recipes and your list of ways to eat them. They’re coming! The official “Shipping Date” for the 2011 Vidalia® Onion Marketing Season is April 18, says Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black.
The shipping date is based on the recommendation of the Vidalia® Onion Advisory Panel under the authority of the law, rules and regulations applicable to Vidalia® onions.
Vidalia® onions may ONLY be shipped prior to April 18 if each and every load being shipped has a Federal-State Inspection Certificate stating the onions have met the established grade requirements and are under “Positive Lot Identification” as approved by the Federal-State Inspection Service.
“The Federal-State Inspection assures the quality of the onions and that they have matured to meet the marketing standards,” Commissioner Black said. “Onions that are harvested and shipped too early and do not meet the grade requirements can damage the reputation of this important crop.”
In 2010, Georgia farmers harvested 227 million pounds of Vidalia® onions from 12,095 acres. Value of production for last year’s crop exceeded $113 million.
Vidalia® onions are unique to Georgia. They may only be grown in parts of a 20-county area in the southeastern part of the state. The onions are prized for their sweetness and lack of heat and are used raw or cooked.