By Clint Thompson
Georgia’s Vidalia onion producers are less than months away from transplanting this year’s crop. Growers are already thinking about and planning for this year’s production season.
Chris Tyson, University of Georgia Extension area onion agent at the Vidalia Onion & Vegetable Research Center in Lyons, Georgia, discussed what is on the minds of farmers on the heels of planting the seedbeds across Southeast Georgia.
“We haven’t forgotten about the things that have happened in prior years. That freeze from this past year is still fresh on a lot of people’s minds. We had a short crop this past year because of it,” Tyson said. “This year, looking down the road, I think what’s on their mind is they’ve got to make a lot of important decisions, starting with variety selection. We’ve got some newer varieties that have come out, and more people are trying them out. Usually, they’ll try something new on a small scale. They’ve started doing that. Then they’ll expand their acres. You’ve got new varieties to experiment with.
“Another thing that the growers have control over is their fertility. How do I want to approach my fertility plan for my crop? We’re always worried about disease. We have tools for that. Every year is a fresh start; kind of start over and put the past behind you and learn things you might want to do differently in the future. It’s just a chance to start over with all of that.”