ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The total value of field crops produced in Georgia rose more than 20% in 2021, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The state’s farmers produced $2.61 billion in crops last year, not counting the value of poultry, livestock or trees, driven by record yields per acre in cotton, corn and soybeans. That’s up from $2.17 billion in crops in 2020.

The value of all crops grown nationwide rose to $201 billion, up 23% from $163 billion in 2020.

Cotton expanded its lead as the state’s most valuable row crop, with farmers growing $937 million worth of the fiber, a value that rose 23% from the previous year. Georgia produced about 13% of the value of upland cotton grown nationwide.

Peanuts were the state’s second-most valuable crop, bringing in $744 million for farmers, up 10% from 2020. Georgia produced just under half of the $1.5 billion value of peanuts grown nationwide.

Corn, which had been a minor crop in Georgia but has grown in acreage and value, was worth $470 million. That’s up 32% from 2020.

Hay at $181 million and cottonseed at $122 million were the next most valuable crops statewide.

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...