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UGA, FSA to jointly hold producer meetings in October

By for CAES News

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agricultural economists and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) will jointly hold producer meetings throughout Georgia from Oct. 8-11. The meetings will address three major government support programs including disaster assistance, trade assistance and farm safety-net programs.

FSA representatives and UGA economist Adam Rabinowitz will discuss implications, the producer decision process and related issues for each of the programs.

“This is an important meeting for all farmers across Georgia. These programs are essential to the livelihood of our growers, and producers need to understand the impact these issues have on their individual farming operations,” Rabinowitz said. “Hosting these programs all over the state provides farmers in all regions of Georgia the opportunity to come and participate.”

Below are the meeting dates, times and locations:

  • Oct. 8, 10-11:30 a.m., Decatur County Extension Office, Livestock Pavilion Classroom, 1300 East River Road, Bainbridge, Georgia (no RSVP required).
  • Oct. 8, 3-4:30 p.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Room 19, 15 RDC Road, Tifton, Georgia (no RSVP required).
  • Oct. 9, 9-10:30 a.m., Weir Center, 307 East Bryan Street, Douglas, Georgia (no RSVP required).
  • Oct. 9, 3-4:30 p.m., Flint Energies, 3 South Macon Street, Reynolds, Georgia (no RSVP required).
  • Oct. 10, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Burke County Extension Office, 715 West 6th Street, Waynesboro, Georgia (RSVP required, lunch provided. Contact 706-554-2119).
  • Oct. 11, 8-9:30 am., Athens-Clarke County Extension Office, 275 Cleveland Road, Bogart, Georgia (RSVP required. Contact 706-546-2266 or Jackie.clark@usda.gov).
  • Oct. 11, 1-2:30 p.m., Bartow County Extension Office, Olin Tatum Agricultural Building, 320 West Cherokee Ave., Cartersville, Georgia (RSVP required. Contact 706-546-2266 or Jackie.clark@usda.gov).

The USDA started sign-up for the disaster assistance program for farmers impacted by Hurricane Michael in October 2018, said Rabinowitz. Producers can attend a meeting to learn about program specifics for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) and how the program relates to crop insurance. Information on new program eligibility for blueberry and peach producers impacted by the freeze in 2017 will also be available.

The USDA also has started sign-ups for the second year of trade assistance in response to retaliatory tariffs. Impacted producers are encouraged to attend a meeting to learn about program specifics for the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP), the current trade situation and future payment options. This program is especially important for producers of row crops, milk, pecans or hogs.

Finally, last December the 2018 farm bill was signed into law and row crop producers and landowners have a variety of decisions to make. The USDA recently started  elections for the 2019 marketing year Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. These programs are designed for farmers of row crops on base acres and landowners with base acres. The scheduled meeting will also include information on these programs, decision tools, and how to make a decision on program elections and yield updates. 

For more information, contact Renae Woods at 229-386-3512.

Clint Thompson is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences based in Tifton.
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