After record production in several crops in 2012, Georgia agriculture experts say the future looks bright for even more growth in the state's number one industry.
Agriculture educators say research and advances in cultivation in the last decade have helped Georgia crop production grow to record levels, especially in peanut and cotton yields and quality.
But Ag researchers say they see more advances ahead. University of Georgia Peanut Agronomist Dr. John Beasley said, "We've got to continue our vigilance in Georgia and at the University of Georgia to make sure we continue to increase the efficiency in production. So our growers maintain their profitability and those we can also feed the world."
Feeding the world is what will drive growth in Georgia agriculture. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black said by 2050 it will take more food to feed the fast growing world's population for that one year, than has ever been produced in history.
A daunting goal, but an opportunity Georgia growers are preparing for. "The industry has stepped up on the production side. Research continues to step up. All the work we are doing here and other places around the country."
Georgia growers are improving the agriculture infrastructure with more efficient irrigation, planting, and harvesting equipment, as well as shipping and food production. Those investments along with future research in genetics and disease control is expected to smooth out crop losses.
"And if we do I think we have the genetics and the management tools and with more growers investing in irrigation we can prevent those disaster years like 1980 and 1990," Beasley said.
And these experts feel a diversified agriculture market could make the state's number one industry push the economic development for Georgia.
Peanuts are already being marketed around the world to nation's suffering from hunger, because it requires no refrigeration and provides good nutrition.