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Monday, January 28, 2013 - 9:50am

2013 Ag Forecast Predicts Strong Crop Growth

It’ll be a good year for Georgia crop farmers. That's according to the University of Georgia’s 2013 Ag Forecast released Monday.

Kent Wolfe, Director for UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, says the forecasts calls for growth in crops in 2013.

“We’re predicting increases in cotton production, soybean production and corn production. We’re looking at decreased acreage in peanuts this year, due largely to the bumper yield we had last year.”he says.

But Wolfe says farmers may not see the high prices they got last year.

“2012 is going to be hard to beat, just because prices of soybeans shot up to 15 dollars and corn was 7 dollars. We probably won’t see that this year. Unless the drought persists in the Midwest and there’s some production glitches in South America. If those things happen, then prices will be way up again.” he says.

Demand for Georgia crops is growing. Georgia’s ag exports have been going up since 2002. Sheazin Jafar is an international trade manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

She says “Canada, China, Mexico, Hong Kong, those are where exports have been going and growing.”

Jafar says Georgia exports with the biggest potential are fruits, vegetables, nuts, poultry and beef.

Wolfe says drought in the Midwest is expected to persist in 2013 and that will impact Georgia’s beef and poultry producers.

He says cattle farmers have been selling off portions of their herds due to the skyrocketing cost of feed. And poultry farmers have been hit hard as well.

“We’re looking for the beef industry to contract a little bit overall in the United States. And hopefully prices will go up. Broiler production will probably decrease about 1 percent on tight feed margins.” says Wolfe.

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