UGA Extension Ag Forecast to be Held Across Georgia Jan. 24-31

By Merrit Melancon from Growing Georgia

Agricultural topics from the price of peanut butter to how Europe’s demand for wood pellets will impact Georgia’s lumber supply will be discussed at the 2014 Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series. Seminars will be held Jan. 24-31 in Macon, Athens, Lyons, Tifton, Bainbridge and Cartersville.

The complicated web of policies, climatic conditions and international consumer trends that impact Georgia’s agricultural industry affect Georgians whether they work in a peanut field or an office tower.

Each January as part of the Ag Forecast seminar series, UGA economists explain the factors that will influence the state’s largest industry in the coming growing season. In addition to information about commodity markets and yields, these economist link agricultural trends to the state’s economic health as a whole.

The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Department of Agriculture sponsor the annual seminar series, and its attendance grows every year. Last year, almost 1,000 business people, farmers and community leaders attended their local events.

“The main objective of the Ag Forecast is to provide Georgia’s producers and agribusiness leaders with information on where we think the industry is headed in the upcoming year,” said Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.

“It helps farmers plan what they’re going to plant in the next year, but it’s also good for bankers and other businesspeople who do business with farmers or who will be impacted by the farm economy.”

Topics will vary by location, with UGA economists focusing on commodities that are most important to that region of the state.

However, some prominent topics that may be addressed include:

Farm succession planning will be addressed at every location this year. Macon attorney Will Thompson will serve as guest speaker for this segment and will offer advice for farmers and landowners on how to best pass land and businesses to the next generation.

The 2014 Ag Forecast sessions will be held Jan. 24 in Macon, Jan. 27 in Athens, Jan. 28 in Lyons, Jan. 29 in Tifton, Jan. 30 in Bainbridge and Jan. 31 in Cartersville.

Registration for the series is open at

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