Vidalia onions head to market

Vidalia onions head to market
Published: Apr. 22, 2015 at 10:31 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2015 at 10:44 PM EDT
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VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - Fields in Toombs and 19 surrounding counties boast onions ready for harvest each April.

Crews for M&T Farms have picked some already, and workers were packaging them on Wednesday to get them ready to ship. Farmers believe it's all about getting the onion out of the ground at just the right time.

"You can spend all year and grow a perfect crop. But the last ten days can change that. They're the most crucial,” explained M&T's Aries Haygood.

Also crucial is the way the certified onion farms work together. Only growers in those 20 counties can grow onions and sell them with the trademarked Vidalia name. This year marks 25 years since they entered into a federal marketing order that trademarked the name and gave authority to the Georgia Department of Agriculture to set the rules that set quality standards.

They pay into a co-op that handles marketing and promoting the trademark Vidalia brand.

"We do our research together. We do our selling together. We talk to customers and we're very concerned about the quality we put out there," said Bob Stafford, manager of the Vidalia Onion Growers Business Council.

The community celebrates the $108 million dollar crop with its biggest party of the year. The 38th annual Vidalia Onion Festival includes plenty of onions, arts and crafts, an air show and more.

For a schedule of events and locations, visit

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