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ATLANTA (AP) - Farmers are taking sides in a battle over the quality of Vidalia onions, the iconic brand grown in south Georgia that's known around the world.

In response to concerns in recent years about inferior onions on the market, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black has imposed new regulations on when the vegetables can be packed. The reason: Black has said that onions harvested too early have resulted in inferior Vidalia onions with shorter shelf lives.

However, some farmers argue weather conditions and other factors determine when an onion crop is ready to harvest. They say they're in the best position to know from year to year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that one prominent Vidalia farmer has hired former Attorney General Mike Bowers to fight the new regulations in court.

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