By Clint Thompson
Georgia’s Vidalia onion farmers are ahead of schedule in planting next year’s crop. The dry weather in the southeastern part of the state is a reason why, says Chris Tyson, University of Georgia Extension Area Onion Agent at the Vidalia Onion & Vegetable Research Center in Lyons, Georgia.
“In a typical year, we’ll usually start around the first of November. Most folks try to finish up planting by Christmas. We got started about our usual time that we always do but we always have to factor in rain delays in getting finished. But it’s been dry,” Tyson said.
“We really haven’t had any rain. It’s almost like we’ve been able to keep going and keep planting and not have any delays. A lot of growers are a little bit ahead of schedule right now; a week or two ahead of schedule. I’ve had several growers tell me they’re due to finish planting in the next seven to 10 days, which is a little bit earlier than normal.”
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, various parts of Georgia are listed as abnormally dry, including a huge section of counties in Southeast Georgia where some onions are produced. But the dry weather this time of year is just what the farmers prefer.
“It’s just been beautiful weather. It’s been dry. We can do everything we need to when it stays dry. We don’t have to wait for land to dry out or wait to get in the field for anything,” Tyson said.