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Growing Rice in Georgia

By: Adam Vasallo
By: Adam Vasallo

When you think of Peach State farming, you may think of peanuts or corn, but that list could soon include rice.

Darrell Williams, Farm Manager, says, "With local farmers, it's always been sort of a joke for a good number of years, that it rains so much that we could actually plant rice. Well, we actually did that this year. We planted a plot of rice."

Williams and retired University of Georgia professor John Woodruff are going where few Georgia farmers have gone before. They've planted two acres of upland rice on the Sunbelt Ag Expo's field.

John Woodruff says, "We are just curious, more than anything else, what we want to see if we can make a yield and a quality grain that's acceptable to the farmer and the consumer. We don't know until we try, and that's what we're doing in this case."

The rice was planted back in May. Two months later, the growers say everything is looking good, but they say the true test will come in September when they say they hope they'll be harvesting a successful crop.

Williams adds, "When I tell people that we're growing rice, they just laugh right off the bat."

But all laughing aside, Woodruff and Williams say that if the harvest is a success, rice may one day be another successful Georgia crop.

Woodruff and Williams say that even if their experiment is a success, it would be many years before Georgia farmers start growing rice.


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