Farming officials discuss 2014 landscape

Published 9:48pm Friday, January 31, 2014

Farmers in Decatur and Seminole counties have a few things to look forward to in the agriculture business in 2014, mainly an increase in livestock prices for cattle farmers.
“Livestock prices are going to be up, so if you have cattle you’re going to make some money,” Kent Wolfe, Director of the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, said at the 2014 Georgia Ag Forecast meeting at the Cloud Livestock Facility Thursday morning.
Livestock has long been an important component of Georgia’s agricultural economy, with beef and dairy ranking among the top 10 commodities. In Decatur County in 2012, livestock and aquaculture was valued between $10-$15 million, contributing to the $5.5 billion the industry generated in Georgia that year, according to the Georgia Farm Gate value report.
Seminole County had similar numbers in 2012 with a value between $5-10 million.
Decatur County extension agent Justin Ballew said agriculture is the lifeblood of Decatur and Seminole counties, agreeing that they served as cornerstones to Georgia’s agriculture business.
“They are both counties that are agriculturally related, so it’s a huge industry here,” Ballew said. “The livelihood of a very good portion of the citizens depends on it.”
The 2014 Georgia Ag Forecast featured a variety of speakers, including agriculture and natural resources agent Rome Ethredge and keynote speaker Will Thompson, an associate of James, Bates, Brannan, Groover LLP.
The meeting gave farmers and others in the agriculture business insight into what they can expect during 2014, from estimated values on commodities to advice on running a business.
Despite livestock prices shooting up, Wolfe said row crops are going see a drop in value.
“Row crop prices are going to be down from what they were in the past, but hopefully with the right tools you can still make some money off peanuts and cotton.”

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