Vidalia onion farmer back in court over shipping date

Delbert Bland, who grows Vidalia onions on 3,000 acres in southeast Georgia, won a court victory in Fulton County last month when a judge ruled Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black overstepped his bounds by ordering that no onions could be packed for shipping before April 21.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A Vidalia onion farmer is going back to court in an effort to stop Georgia’s agriculture commissioner from fining growers who ship onions before a certain date.

Delbert Bland, who grows Vidalia onions on 3,000 acres in southeast Georgia, won a court victory in Fulton County last month when a judge ruled Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black overstepped his bounds by ordering that no onions could be packed for shipping before April 21. Black is telling farmers he still plans to enforce the restriction while the state appeals.

Bland’s attorney is scheduled to ask a Tattnall County judge Tuesday for an injunction stopping Black.

Many growers supported giving Black power to enforce a packing date after hearing complaints that the quality of their famous, sweet onions had suffered from early harvesting.



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