Prices Steady for Products in 2013

23 Jan Prices Steady for Products in 2013

Allison Floyd, Growing Georgia Magazine, January 23, 2013

Farmers will see prices remain much the same as last year or rise a little, University of Georgia agricultural economists are expected to tell folks at a series of talks over the next two weeks.

The annual Georgia Ag Forecast seminars bring agricultural economists and local guest speakers to cities across Georgia to present the previous year’s outcome and the following year’s outlook to farmers. This year, the director of international trade for the state Department of Economic Development also will talk about marketing Georgia products abroad.

“It looks like input prices are going to be up, but prices may be up a little, too, so there’s a chance to make a little bit of profit this year,” said Kent Wolfe, the director of the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development at UGA.

Wolfe expects corn to go for $6.50 to $7 a bushel.

“There are still predictions for drought in the Midwest, at least during the early part of the year. The outlook on corn will depend a lot on that,” he said.

With record yields in peanuts during 2012, prices likely will fall, Wolfe said, and he expects they will hover around $400 a ton.

Seed prices will be up because of diminished production due to drought, but fuel and fertilizer also will increase slightly over last year.

Beef prices also are up, according to one of the experts who will speak at the Rome seminar. Maggie O’Quinn is an executive account manager with Certified Angus Beef.

“The beef market is high. 2013 will be another record year for cattle prices,” O’Quinn said. “What’s driving it is demand for higher quality beef. I am biased, but we have seen a huge demand.”

2012 brought record beef prices, but new customers are becoming fond of U.S. grown beef.

“It is a beautiful thing for beef providers,” O’Quinn said. “Input costs are a challenge right now, but this (increased demand) is a nice buffer.”

The drought eventually will break, and corn prices will drop, O’Quinn predicts. She’s also fairly certain about another aspect of the future for American farming.

“The future in agriculture is outside the United States; it is in exports,” she said.

O’Quinn is scheduled to speak Monday, Jan. 28 in Rome at the ECO Center. The seminar is from 10 a.m. to noon with lunch after.

Other sessions around the state include:

Friday, Jan. 25: Athens at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, check-in at 9:30 a.m., seminar from 10 to noon, and lunch following.

Tuesday, Jan. 29: Macon at the Georgia Farm Bureau headquarters, check-in at 9:30 a.m., seminar from 10 to noon, and lunch following.

Wednesday, Jan. 30: Tifton at the UGA Tifton Conference Center, check-in at 7 a.m. with breakfast, seminar from 8 to 10 a.m.

Thursday, Jan. 31: Bainbridge at the Cloud Livestock Facility, check-in at 9:30 a.m., seminar from 10 to noon, and lunch following.

Friday, Feb. 1: Lyons  at the Toombs County Agri-Center, check in at 9:30 a.m., seminar from 10 to noon, and lunch following.

Farmers that attend any of the meetings will receive a copy of the 2013 Ag Forecast, which provides a detailed analysis of how Georgia’s main products did in 2012 and the outlook for this year.

Ag economists also will be on hand to go over more detailed information.

UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture have sponsored the annual Ag Forecast seminar series for the last several years. The six, half-day programs bring together agricultural economists and economic development experts from around the state to give producers and business owners a preview of what they can expect from the market in the coming year.