Harvesting peanut crop, Sylvester, Georgia (file photo)
ASHBURN, Ga. -- Georgia farmers say they're expecting to export at least 80,000 tons of peanuts to China in the near future.
More than 100 farmers visited a conference at the University of Georgia Tuesday and agriculture officials say the state is poised to ramp up exports to China in the next few weeks.
Georgia exported about 300,000 tons of peanuts last year and agriculture officials expect the figure to triple in 2013 because of rising Chinese demand.
University of Georgia economist Nathan Smith said the investment will likely help the state address a peanut surplus and boost Georgia's economy.
Georgia is the leading peanut producer in the United States and provides more than 45 percent of the total American peanut crop per year, according to the University of Georgia.