(March 3) VIDALIA, Ga. — Sweet onion grower-shipper Georgia Sweets LLC has opted out of the sweet onion business this season, paving the way for a new Vidalia company.

Sweet Vidalias Sales and Storage, which also operates a storage facility in Glennville, took over Georgia Sweets’ warehouse in late 2003.

The majority of the facility’s controlled-atmosphere storage space will be leased to produce companies, while Sweet Vidalias will use about 15% to 20% of the warehouse, said Danny Bowen, manager of Sweet Vidalias.

Bowen said the company would have room for 240,000 bushels of sweet onions at its Vidalia facility and a 120,000-bushel capacity in Glennville.

Sweet Vidalias will grow about 125 acres of onions in Vidalia this season, and about 65 acres will be grown in Glennville, Bowen said. He said the company would ship three to four truckloads per day during harvests.

Bowen said Ronnie Smith, who owned Georgia Sweets, left the Vidalia scene this season to attend to personal business. The company’s lease on its Vidalia facility expired in 2003.

Smith could not be reached for comment.