Georgia Ag Forecast, Online, Jan. 29

Irrigated peanut field. Photo: Ethan Carter, University of Florida

Economists from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) will discuss the effects of COVID-19 on farming, highlight agritourism impacts in the state, and give a forecast of top commodities for the next year during the annual Georgia Ag Forecast.

The live seminar will take place via Zoom webinar Friday, Jan. 29, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Registration is free and required to receive a link to the online event.

Two keynote sessions by CAES Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics faculty will be broadcast prior to concurrent sessions of commodity outlooks. John Salazar, associate professor and coordinator of the college’s Hospitality and Food Industry Management program, will give an overview of agritourism’s impact in the state and discuss the important linkages between local, county and state tourism efforts.

Sharon Kane, senior public service associate, will present the results of surveys conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development about the impact of COVID-19 on agriculture around the state.

CAES is offering the 2021 Ag Forecast event free of charge as a service to farmers, agribusinesses and elected officials across the state. Normally held at various Georgia locations each January, the event provides timely updates for the state’s largest economic sector — an estimated $76 billion in output according to the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. Insights from university economists help farmers and agribusinesses make planting and logistical decisions for the coming year.

Following the keynote presentations, there will be four breakout sessions covering livestock and poultry; row crops including cotton, peanuts, grains and oilseed; green industry and horticultural crops including fruits, vegetables and tree nuts; and forestry and land taxation by faculty from UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. The full written report from UGA faculty authors will be available on the event website the day of the event.

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“It’s a nice combination of a recap of 2020 into an outlook for the next year. It’ll be the first time we share the in-depth information for both years,” said Mark McCann, assistant dean for UGA Cooperative Extension. “The breakout sessions will also allow for more in-depth discussions on commodities than in previous years.”

The pandemic presented many challenges on top of issues farmers already face including weather, disease and labor, but there were some industries that rebounded or turned markets around.

“Even with the pandemic and supply chain issues, there are some industries that have had some really bright moments, such as the horticulture industry,” McCann said.

The event will also include remarks from incoming CAES Dean and Director Nick Place, who will begin his appointment Jan. 1.

Georgia Ag Forecast is sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Georgia, Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Grown.

To register for the seminar and see a detailed agenda, including the list of speakers, visit here.




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