Take a drive through South Georgia and adjacent areas of North Florida. You will notice a succession of productive agricultural communities with mile after mile of row crops and planted pine forests, all interspersed with livestock operations, and quaint rural towns.
Here lies the heart of the old south’s cotton plantation country. The fertile sandy loam soils, gently rolling countryside, and excellent water resources that attracted cotton planters still sustain a vibrant agricultural economy. The dreaded boll weevil, now all but eradicated, forced farmers to add other crops, particularly peanuts. Today the region supports a variety of crops that have helped lower the risk and maintain the profitability of the farming sector.
This section of the country has numerous advantages that contribute to its agricultural productivity. The highly farmable sandy loam soils are located on top of one of the world’s richest aquifers. The exceedingly productive Floridan aquifer is a major source of irrigation water. There’s also plentiful rainfall, 55 to 60 inches annually. A long growing season associated with the nearly semi-tropical environment often allows harvesting of two crops per year. The region has a well developed infrastructure to support agriculture and is convenient to ports for exporting its products.
Lands not used for farming are frequently planted in pine forests. South Georgia, especially Southeast Georgia, is one of the world’s major producers of southern yellow pine.