Georgia agriculture by the numbers

Fort Valley State University

Fort Valley State University. (Credit: Brandon Franklin)

Nov 03, 2023

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated Georgia farmers spent $7.1 billion to grow their crops. The average Georgia farm is 235 acres. In 2022, farmers saw a record increase in diesel fuel. Farmers need workers, seed, fertilizer and pesticide. There’s property and income taxes and sales tax on items used for the farm and production of the crops. Here’s a breakdown of top crops in Georgia and some of the costs. These are estimates.

(Design: Brittney Phan)


An acre: about $2,000*

Average Georgia farm (real estate investment): $470,000


Diesel fuel cost per acre: $10 

Gallons of diesel fuel per acre: 4-6

Cost per average Georgia farm before price hike: $2,350

Cost per average farm after price hike: $4,700


Tractor: $100,000

Module-making cotton combine: $500,000

* low estimate

Source: Ben Baker, South Georgia Ag Magazine, 2022

Georgia Agriculture: By The Numbers

State ranking in terms of industry:  1

Annual economic impact: $74 billion

Average age of a Georgia farmer: 58 years old

Average age of an American farmer: 57.5 years old, up from 50 years old in 1978

Workers: 350,000 or 1 in 7 Georgians

Total Farms: 42,439

Farms raising dairy cow or beef cow: 17,000

Average farm size: 235 acres

Acres of operating farmland: 9.9 million

Dollar value of agricultural products sold by Georgia farmers: $9.5 billion*

Percent of U.S. agricultural sales: 2

*In 2019.

Source: Georgia Department of Economic Development; Farm Bureau;; U.S. Department of Agriculture; New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Georgia’s population and where they live:

State population: 10.3 million

Rural: 2.3 million

Total counties: 159

Rural counties: 120

Source: Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center

Have questions, comments or tips? Contact Tammy Joyner on X @lvjoyner or at [email protected].

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Header image: Fort Valley State University. (Credit: Brandon Franklin)