Thomasville Times Enterprise

Homepage

February 28, 2014

Mixed ag bag

TIFTON — Georgia’s livestock producers may see higher profits in 2014 due to lower feed prices and higher consumer demand. However, those lower feed prices, and flat demand for corn for ethanol, may hold down profit margins for Georgia row crop farmers.

 University of Georgia experts with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences shared their economic predictions for Georgia’s commodities during Georgia Ag Forecast seminars held across the state, including on Friday in Tifton at the Tifton Campus Conference Center. Other seminars were held in Macon, Athens, Lyons and Bainbridge. Each forecast event focused mostly on the commodities grown in that region of the state.

 “We have led these ag forecast events for the past seven years to provide farmers and other ag business leaders with the most up-to-date information, so they can prepare for the growing year,” said CAES Dean and Director Scott Angle. “I think it’s a mixed bag this year, depending on the commodity you are working with.”

 Despite a small dip in some prices, commodityprices are still reasonably high compared to a few years ago, Angle said.

“In agriculture, we are going to have ups and downs, but overall I feel really good about our industry,” he said. “We are becoming a world player in food production.”

 

Corn

Corn acres are expected to decrease after Georgia’s second best record yields of 175 bushels per acre in 2013. Georgia acres are expected to drop to below 400,000 in 2014 from last year’s 460,000 harvested acres.

 

U.S. and worldwide corn supplies are up, and UGA Extension ag economist Nathan Smith expects farmers in the major growing areas of the Midwest to switch some corn acreage to soybeans.

Corn grown for ethanol use has “leveled off,” and domestic use has increased, Smith said. “Overall ethanol profit margins are higher, but corn will need some growth in the fuel market besides feed use and export,” he said.

 

Peanuts

Peanut acreage will likely be up this year compared to last, but exports will be down.

 

“There was a 38 percent decline in Georgia peanut acreage in 2013 due to higher prices in cotton and corn. More farmers switched to these crops,” said Smith. “This year will be more representative of a normal cycle.”

 

Demand for peanut butter was hurt when retailprices were raised in 2012, but consumption should rebound. Candy and snackconsumption should lead growth in domestic peanut usage, Smith said.

 

Soybeans/Wheat

 

“Grain and soybean growers have enjoyed a good run of prices since 2007. However, the run appears to be over as U.S. and foreign producers have recovered from short production years,” Smith said. Soybean and wheat prices are expected to fall in 2014.

 

Soybean acres and exports are expected to increase, but exports will slow down once China begins buying soybeans fromBrazil, he said. “The U.S. and Brazil grow about the same size crop. South America is our big competitor for soybeans going to the export market,” Smith said. “We may grow a few more acres in the U.S. this year and maybe a few more in Georgia.”

 

Due to lower prices, wheat acreage in Georgiawill likely decrease to 270,000 acres - down from 420,000 in 2013.

 

Cotton

UGA Extension cotton economist Don Shurley says world demand for cotton is “improving slowly.” He expects production in Georgia to increase slightly in 2014.

 

“Cotton and peanuts are the two large crops in Georgia. The price of cotton may be down a little bit this year, compared to where we were this past year, so profit margins are going to be tighter,” Shurley said. “The good news is that fertilizer is going to be a little bit cheaper, but diesel fuel is still very expensive and farmers are still going to pay a lot for chemicals.”

 

Dairy

Georgia dairymen can expect to see a “slight improvement” in prices and an increase in exports to China and the Pacific Rim. Georgia farmers produce more milk now from fewer cows. Lower feed prices mean they should end the year with a profit for a change, said UGA Extension livestock economist Curt Lacy.

Some 240 Georgia dairies are collectively expected to produce about 1.55 billion pounds of milk this year. Since 2010, milk production per cow has increased nearly 10 percent through efficiency gains.

 

Beef

Beef producers are also expected to fare wellthis year, too, since herd sizes are smaller. A decline is expected in total red meat production, including veal and lamb.

 

Unfortunately for cattlemen, the economy directly impacts the demand for beef and other protein products, Lacy said. Consumers have more disposable income to spend on groceries than they did a few yearsago, but still not as much as they did before 2008.

 

“The reality is that most folks don’t have any more disposable income than they did six or seven years ago due to higher taxes, higher fuel prices and other expenses,” he said. “It’s really hard to push higher prices on to consumers at the retail level because they don’t have any more to spend.”

 

Pork

UGA experts expect pork producers to continue to struggle as they have the last several years. “Pork prices were high (last year), but feed costs were, too, and farmers couldn’t overcome that,” Lacy said.

 

Farmers are also battling porcine epidemic diarrhea virus – a highly contagious virus that is deadly to piglets. Confirmed in 22 states, but not in Georgia, the virus appeared last April and could reduce domestic pork production by 2 to 3 percent, Lacy said. It poses no threats to human health or food safety.

 

Poultry

Georgia poultry farmers are expected to produce more broilers this year. About 20 percent of those birds will go overseas. Georgia once sold most of its exported poultry to Russia, where a fledglingpoultry industry is now being developed. Georgia’s excess broilers will likely be headed to countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, said UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development Director Kent Wolfe.

 

With corn prices leveling off this year, poultry producers may see larger profits this year. The industry in general is on track to grow by about 3 percent, he added.

 

Miscellaneous

Honey prices are expected to rise this year and next, as the number of hives decline in Georgia.

 

Overall demand for timber should pick up as international demand increases. The popularity of wood pellets for burning also continues to increase.

 

Farmers may experience sticker shock on expenditures like farm tractors and self-propelled combines/harvesters, but UGA experts say the value of disposable inputs (seed, fuel, feed, fertilizer, chemicals and animal health products) will remain in check.

 

The forecast event for Cartersville has been rescheduled for Friday, March 7.

(Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

1
Text Only
Business Marquee
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Photos


Poll

Does it bother you that the Thomasville-Thomas County Central football game won't be played for at least the next two years?

Yes
No
     View Results
NDN Video
Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent