Although the state had been tops in blueberry acreage for some time, it was uncertain when it would come into bearing and push Georgia to tops in volume, according to a news release.
"We've been gaining a lot of potential over the last five years, and I think we just reached that potential a little earlier than we thought," University of Georgia blueberry breeder Scott NeSmith said in the release. "Other states have held onto their positions as far as production goes, but we've just gotten much higher numbers."
The North American Blueberry Council issued its 2014 season report in October showing that Georgia produced 96 million pounds. Michigan, traditionally regarded as the blueberry capital of the country, produced 91.5 million pounds.
About three decades ago, Georgia only had about 3,500 acres of blueberries. Today, it has about 20,000 acres and production has grown tenfold.
Much of the growth is due to NeSmith developing new varieties for the Southeast. He is credited with 15 new varieties over the past decade that include Rebel, Vernon and Ochlockonee.