Blueberries Overtake Peaches as Georgia's Largest Fruit Crop

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-- Valdosta, Ga. -- June 25, 2012 --

The Georgia peach has been bumped from the top spot when it comes to fruit production in the state. The new leader of the pack: Blueberries, which are now the number one selling fruit crop in Georgia.

Georgia has more than 19,000 acres of blueberries. And about 12,000 acres of peaches. The Mallory's operate a blueberry farm in Valdosta. So far this year they've sold about 1,200 gallons of blueberries worth more than $9,000 dollars.

Mallory's Farm owner Shirley Mallory said "in the long run I think they're just easier to grow. They're very good for you and that's what, you know, makes people excited about blueberries because they do have so many antioxidants in them."

Mallory's Farm owner Tony Mallory went on to say "I've sold the berries off of this farm to go exclusively to Japan for two years."

The Mallory's no longer sell to Japan. Because of current labor laws, they've converted their farm into a "you pick" meaning people can come and pick their own berries which they're more than happy to do.

Blueberry customer Lisa Ruse said "I love to take advantage of fresh produce and no pesticides. My family loves it."

Another blueberry customer, Lynda Freeman, said "I think with time, we've realized that the blueberry is a very versatile fruit. And, you know, very tasty so it actually compliments many dishes. In the past I think it was just reserved for a syrup or a sweater dish."

In 2010, blueberries like these brought in more than $130 million dollars in Georgia while Peaches brought in less than $50 million.