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Optimistic Forecast

Amanda Huber, Editor

Amanda Huber, Editor

Each spring, economists from the University of Georgia Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics offer a forecast for the coming crop season with an emphasis on the major commodities within the state.

UGA agricultural economist Adam Rabinowitz was a speaker on the 2020 Ag Forecast program. In anticipation of the event, Rabinowitz said predicting markets and providing an accurate account of the future is not an exact science; however, there are clues stakeholders can use to make the best possible decisions.

“We are in a period of great uncertainty in agriculture with lasting depressed commodity prices, ongoing trade disputes and a continued recovery from natural disasters,” Rabinowitz said. “As a result of these challenges, it is of great importance that agricultural producers and agribusinesses plan for the upcoming growing season.”

Another speaker, Georgia state economist Jeff Dorfman, said it is hard to improve on the historically low unemployment.

However, the agricultural economy is heavily dependent on trade, which is affected by the economies in other countries.

Several of the top U.S. trading partners are currently in recession.

“We do a lot of international trade,” Dorfman said. “If the rest of the world is doing badly, that tends to slow the Georgia economy more than it does most other states.”

For corn, Rabinowitz says prices are expected to increase, and growers could expect between $4.48 and $4.52 per bushel. The trend of growing more corn, less wheat and less soybeans is expected to continue in 2020. Georgia corn production for grain in 2019 totaled 56 million bushels, an increase of 5.48 million bushels (11.6%) over
2018.