September 17, 2014
ATLANTA (AP) - What is the most valuable fruit crop produced in the Peach State?
This is not a trick question, but you may want to pause a second before answering.
Ready? It's the blueberry.
Georgia is famous as a major producer of the peach, the fuzzy succulent orange fruit whose image appears on state license plates, "welcome to Georgia" billboards and on road signs. There's just one problem: Blueberries are Georgia's most lucrative fruit crop, by far.
Federal estimates show the value of blueberry production in Georgia beat the peach crop in 2005 - and the gap has grown even bigger since then.
Farmers say research on the blueberry's health benefits expanded the public appetite for the crop. And that's helped farmers looking to replace tobacco and timber crops.
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