More than a third of the 1.2 million acres of agricultural land in Georgia are planted with non-crops, according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
That’s up from less than half a percent in 2010, according the Georgia Agriculture Department.
But the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
A growing number of Georgia farmers have been growing crops that have little or no use, like citrus, lettuce, cucumbers, beans and onions.
The state also has the nation’s largest citrus growing season in Georgia, which ends on Aug. 1.
GinaTech’s Michael Nevin said the state is taking a “risk” by not increasing citrus harvests.
“There’s been no growth in the commercial production of citrus,” Nevin, who is a professor of agricultural economics and sustainability at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said.
And while the state has a citrus growing year, growers don’t necessarily have to plant in the hottest areas.
In the South, for example, farmers are planting citrus at higher elevations and planting in more open spaces.
While many growers have noticed, however, it’s unclear how many of the new crop options are viable, especially when it comes to commercial yields.
“The industry has to grow, and that’s really not an option for Georgia,” Neder said.
“If we’re going to grow our citrus, we’re gonna need to be able to get a higher yield than what we’re getting now.”
More from the Post: Gardeners are being asked to prepare for drought in some places with water restrictionsThe nation’s top-selling farm product is not in demand and farmers are starting to look elsewhereFor more farm news: Follow The Times of Georgia on Twitter and Facebook.
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