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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 11:11am

2011: Mixed Year For Farmers

While agriculture profits are up 28 percent nationally this year to just over 100 billion dollars, Georgia farmers are experiencing more mixed results.

Gary Black is Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

“It’s all according to the mix of the individual farmer but certainly from an irrigated agriculture standpoint we saw what we believe are going to be some record yields and certainly some attractive prices in the marketplace.”

Georgia’s extended drought has challenged key crops this year. In 2010, Georgia led the nation with 44 percent of peanut crop yields. But according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Georgia peanut production slid by 18 percent this year. Soybean yields have fallen by 50 percent.

Still, cotton and corn-for-feed profits are up nearly 20 percent.

Labor shortages have could have had an impact, according to survey conducted the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. A preliminary study of the data by UGA shows a loss of more than 11,000 harvester labor jobs this spring, resulting in potential losses of $140 million.