The University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development stated that overall , agriculture is a $72 billion industry in Georgia. This is possible because of Georgia’s varying landscapes and climate. The Georgia Farm Bureau statistics show that in 2012, there were 42,257 farms in Georgia totaling over 9 million acres with the average farm size being 228 acres. Georgia is the number one state in the production of peanuts, chickens, pecans, and blueberries. One out of every seven people in the state of Georgia is employed by agriculture, forestry, or a related field. Over the last few years, the number of farms in Georgia has decreased; the average farm size has increase.
Colquitt and Miller County have followed in these trends that are set by our state. The 2012 Agricultural Survey indicated from 2007-2012, in Miller County, the number of farms decreased from 213 farms to 183 but the average size of the farm increased from 478 acres to 523. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, among the 159 counties in Georgia, Miller County was second in corn production with 2,772,000 bushels, third in peanut production with 133,700,000 pounds, seventh in winter wheat production 341,000 bushels, and ninth in cotton production with 71,600 bales.
Agriculture, forestry, or a related field is the third employers for Miller County with 11.5% of our population being in this field. The largest is education, health, and social services, and second is manufacturing.
With many changes and an increase in technology in the agriculture and related fields we will probably continue to see improvements in the crop production that our area has. Your challenge is to take note of how you are daily impacted by agriculture, forestry, or a related field. Thank a farmer for their impact on our community.