Nurturing the Land: The Evolution and Future of Agriculture in Georgia

February 28, 2024
3 mins read
Nurturing the Land: The Evolution and Future of Agriculture in Georgia

Agriculture is the foundation of Georgia’s economy for centuries. The state’s agricultural landscape is varied and abundant. The climate and soil favor the production of high-value crops like grapes, berries, nuts, citrus fruits, apples, peaches, and apricots.

Farmers in this country have a strong connection with their lands and strive for sustainability. Interest in implementing cutting-edge agricultural technologies, including crop yield prediction also indicates the innovative nature of this industry in the state. 

Main Characteristics of Farming in Georgia

Georgia is located in the southeastern United States. Georgia’s Inland Coastal Plain is the state’s agricultural center, known for producing peaches, peanuts, cotton, and Vidalia onions. It is divided into the Inner and Outer Coastal Plains. The Inner Coastal Plain includes Atlanta, the state’s largest city and agricultural hub. The Outer Coastal Plain is rural and has Augusta, the second-largest city in this state.

The region’s climate and fertile soil support numerous small family farms producing a variety of fruits and vegetables. These factors significantly contribute to the state’s economy and offer an excellent quality of life in many small towns and villages throughout the region.

The Blue Ridge Mountains have farms producing various goods like Christmas trees, trout, fruit, flowers, herbs, jams, jellies, and crafts made locally to support the area’s farmers and businesses.

Georgia is a top producer of tobacco, peanuts, blueberries, peaches and a range of other crops, accounting for 2% of total US agricultural sales. The Georgia Farm Bureau Federation represents almost 265,000 member families and advocates for farmers and rural communities. This organization also provides benefits and educational opportunities, agricultural supplies and insurance services.

Georgia Integrated Precision Agriculture

Implementing technological solutions and innovative approaches like precision farming leads to the significant transformation of the agricultural industry. Today, self-driving tractors and drones are commonly used in the industry. Such kind of assistance helps farmers reduce costs and improve yields.  

Precision agriculture tools have provided farmers with vital information that empowers them to make more informed decisions. Applying this innovative concept, growers can better the allocation of water, fertilizers and pesticides. 

Rational distribution of resources is a key component of saving costs and reducing the negative impact on the environment. In addition, precision agriculture solutions enable growers to tailor their farming practices to the individual needs of their plants, helping them achieve more yield and reduce risk. Farmers can achieve higher yields while conserving resources and minimizing environmental impact by harnessing the power of precision agriculture and crop yield forecasting.

AI technologies can help improve water efficiency in agriculture through precision farming. Growers can obtain data in real time to optimize practices like irrigation, fertilization, and pest management by integrating machine learning, computer vision, and remote sensing. It leads to sustainable farming practices and significant water savings.

The University of Georgia developed variable rate irrigation. Ongoing research involves robotics, sensors, and drones to improve crop conditions. The Center collaborates with industry leaders to bring Georgia’s growers to the most advanced technological front.

Impacts of Climate Change

Despite all the achievements of humanity, including yield prediction, we cannot control the weather and climate. Climate change can cause significant disruptions in food availability, access, and quality. For instance, the expected rise in temperatures, alterations in precipitation patterns, changes in extreme weather events, and reductions in water availability can all lead to a decline in agricultural productivity.

Georgia’s peach industry has been hit hard by the extreme weather conditions experienced in 2023, with more than 90% of the year’s harvest destroyed by late spring frosts and a summer heat wave. Berry Good Farms in Tifton has been growing fruits and vegetables for 12 years and has lost all the peaches. The state produces around 130 million pounds of peaches annually, but not in 2023.

The recent frost has impacted both farms and restaurants, leading to disappointment from out-of-state visitors who expect to have peaches. Although some regions have different peach varieties, they sell at triple the price due to extreme weather events. However, other fruits like berries have been doing well and have sustained the Berry Good Farms business. Farmers are preparing for the next harvest, hoping for better weather next season. 

Crop Yield Estimation Using Remote Sensing

Developing yield forecasting models using remote sensing allows for accurate, reliable, and timely assessments over large areas. This information is needed to ensure adequate food supplies in regions and assist policymakers and growers, that is especially crucial in conditions of climate change and unstable weather. 

Crop yield forecasting data from remote sensing helps make quicker harvesting, transportation, and storage decisions. It reduces costs and enables robust, data-driven plans. Growers can identify the profitability of specific areas based on yield assessment, making informed decisions about inventory management, imports and exports. 

EOS Data Analytics is a reliable provider of satellite data analytics for various industries, developing solutions to make farming more sustainable and precise. The company uses AI and machine learning technologies to estimate crop yields using geospatial analytics. 

EOSDA provides highly accurate yield forecasting services for a wide variety of crops. These forecasts can be up to 95% accurate, depending on the quality of statistical data available. The company’s team of experts can speedily produce these forecasts. It takes a week or less depending on the project’s complexity. The solution is based on the most comprehensive and up-to-date data from more than ten reliable sources to provide yield forecasts up to 3 months in advance. 

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