Vidalia Sweet Onions are grown in the heart of southeast Georgia and are one of the sweetest onions available due to their low sulfur soil. Back in the early 20th century, farmers had looked for a new crop that could make them money during the Great Depression. Georgia’s sandy soil created a unique money-making onion that wasn’t hot. Over the next 75 years, Vidalia onions continued their climb to national fame.By using technology, trusted farming practices, and by providing proper care, Georgian farmer’s created a uniquely sweet onion that consumers have grown to love. Harvesting of these delicate onions is still predominately done by hand to ensure consistent quality. Available from late April through August, Vidalia onions are great for summer cookouts on burgers or raw in salads.
Planting by the numbers *
- 20 yellow granex seed varieties
- 100 registered growers
- 80,000 seedlings planted per acre
- 12,000 acres planted each year
- Vidalia fields planted in 14-inch rows spaced 4.5 to 6 inches apart
- One person can plant one-half acre per work day. For 12,000 acres, that’s a lot of labor!
- Average winter temperatures – Mid 50s
- Average spring temperatures – Mid 70s
- Average rainfall – 3.5 inches
- Less than 2% of Vidalia onions are mechanically harvested.
- At harvest, four workers can clip and bag just one acre per day (600 bags, or 150 bags each).
- An average-sized packing shed will hire around 35 employees during peak season. About 15 people are required to pack out 2 loads per day (a load is 800 bushels or 1,000 40 lb. boxes).
- Around 5-million 40 lb. boxes are shipped out each season!
*numbers reflect averages | Source: Vidalia Onion Committee