November 2, 2016
Vol. 34 No. 34
GFB FILES AMICUS BRIEF IN SCOTUS WATER SUIT On Oct. 21, attorneys for Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) filed an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, brief in the water lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court. Florida filed the suit in 2013, claiming Georgia’s overconsumption has caused environmental and economic harm in the Apalachicola Bay. In filing the suit, Florida asked that Georgia’s water withdrawals from the Chattahoochee and Flint River Basins be rolled back Look for the to 1992 levels. next issue of The Supreme Court appointed Ralph Lancaster as special master in the GFB News case, which is classified as an equitable apportionment case. Lancaster will Alert on hear the case and make a recommendation to the Supreme Court. The trial November 16. portion of the suit began Oct. 31 in Portland, Maine. At Lancaster’s urging, the two states have also engaged in mediation talks. In its brief, GFB pointed out the economic ramifications of drastic reduction or elimination of irrigation in Southwest Georgia. It was noted that water use has a $2.5 billion impact on the economy of Southwest Georgia. Half the counties in the Flint River Basin are designated by the USDA as “persistently poor” counties that depend on farming. “If access to water for irrigation disappears, farming disappears, and the communities Southwest Georgia disappear,” the attorneys wrote in the brief, also pointing out that other Georgia industries, like higher education and agricultural lending, depend heavily on farming. The brief included a review of GFB’s activities relating to water access, noting that the organization has been engaged in the creation of all of the state’s regional water plans, has formed a Water Commodity Committee and is heavily engaged in the passage of state conservation legislation. The brief called the court’s attention to advances in irrigation and conservation, noting that the original high-pressure sprinkler systems are giving way to low-pressure systems that result in significant water and energy savings. The brief also noted that the costs associated with irrigation serve as incentives for farmers to refrain from using more water than is needed. To that end, technologies are being developed to help farmers know when to irrigate and how much water to apply, taking into account the crop needs and localized weather data. Georgia’s farmers have also participated in water metering programs to measure their water use. More than 13,000 water meters have been installed to monitor agricultural water use in Georgia. Data from those meters, the brief said, has shown Georgia farmers use less water than previously thought. The brief concluded that irrigation is the best risk management tool in southwest Georgia, and the attorneys urged the court to factor in the region’s way of life and economic foundation in considering court-ordered water-sharing arrangements.
GFB News Alert, page 2 of 13 GFB CELEBRATES AGRICULTURE AT GEORGIA SOUTHERN GAME The worlds of agriculture and college football came together Oct. 27 as Georgia Southern University (GSU) welcomed Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) and members of the local ag community to its campus in Statesboro for the first- ever Celebrate Georgia Agriculture Game. The event, which received national coverage as GSU played Appalachian State University, paid tribute to the state’s largest economic sector and the thousands of men and women who work in it. GFB, with help from Bulloch, Effingham and Toombs County Farm Bureaus, Blanchard Equipment Company and area 4-H and FFA students joined forces to host a Fan Fair outside GSU’s Paulson Stadium featuring a variety of ag-related activities. “The whole reason we decided to do this is because there are 25,000 kids who are now at Georgia Southern, and I guarantee you that not 10 percent of those kids realize where their food and fiber come from,” said GFB 7th District Field Representative Todd Faircloth. “We live right here in Statesboro and all around Statesboro and the surrounding counties there’s agriculture everywhere. People ride by tractors, ride by fields all the time and they really have no idea where it [food] comes from.” The event allowed GSU students to realize agriculture might provide a job for them when they graduate. “[This event allows] our students to understand that despite the fact that we don’t have an agriculture program per se, that students who are graduating in business, students who are graduating in communications studies, engineering, can have an impact in agribusiness and the agricultural workforce, said GSU President Jaime Herbert. “By having these opportunities to show those students that they can take what they’re learning in higher education and apply it in those agricultural fields and have impact back home in rural Georgia, I think it’s an extremely important connection that we can make between what we do in higher education and what exists for them back home.” In addition to educating GSU students about agriculture, the event also allowed GSU fans to gain an appreciation for the people who feed them. Besides GFB exhibits, the fan fair included booths from the Georgia Beef Board, and the Georgia Peanut Commission among others. Nicole Karstedt with the Georgia Milk Producers’ Mobile Dairy Classroom gave three milking demonstrations. The GFB tents featured giveaway items such as pom poms and fans and drawings for a Yeti cooler and a total of $350 in cash donated by the GFB 7th District counties. Blanchard Equipment displayed four large pieces of agricultural equipment, including a tractor that led GSU football players to the stadium during the “Eagle Walk” with Eagles mascot GUS riding on the tractor. During the pregame festivities, pedal-tractor races were held for smaller children. The winners of these races competed in a final race on the GSU field during a first quarter time-out. GFB President Gerald Long took place in the festivities and helped spread the word about farming. “It is very exciting to see this, to see Farm Bureau and agriculture being recognized by a major college in the state,” Long said. “I hope other colleges in the state will look at this because this is a great opportunity not only for Farm Bureau, but for agriculture to show themselves to the public. At halftime, the 23,474 fans attending the game saw a video played inside the stadium featuring GFB members and farmers Ben Boyd, Will and Wendy Boyd, Screven County; Tim
Garrett, Emanuel County; Kyle Gillooly, Jefferson County; Lannie Lee, Bulloch County; and GFB President Long, Decatur County. GFB News Alert page 3 of 13 GFB FOUNDATION FOR AGRICULTURE RECEIVES USDA GRANT The Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has been awarded a Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. According to GFB Foundation Executive Director Katie Gazda, the foundation will use the grant to promote specialty crops through GFB’s Ag in the Classroom program, including a Specialty Crops Ag Mag and a three-day tour for teachers, giving them a firsthand look at specialty crop farms in Georgia. The teachers who attend the tour will be tasked with developing lesson plans for specific specialty crops following the tour. These lesson plans, along with the Ag Mag, will be fieldtested as soon as they are complete and then shared at teacher workshops beginning in 2018. The GFB Foundation for Agriculture is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to advancing Georgia agriculture and creating healthy communities. Donations contributed to the Foundation are used to tell the story of agriculture through the Ag in the Classroom program, consumer awareness projects and adult learning opportunities. To learn more about the GFB Foundation for Agriculture or to make a donation, visit www.gfbfoundation.org. LFP GRAZING EXTENDED, MORE COUNTIES ELIGIBLE FOR USDA HELP The USDA has extended the end of the 2016 grazing period for the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) from Oct. 31 to Dec. 1, according to a release from Rep. Sanford Bishop, who discussed Georgia’s ongoing drought conditions with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Oct. 28. The grazing period helps determine eligibility for LFP assistance for those farmers impacted by drought. Meanwhile, the USDA issued two disaster declarations that made 20 Georgia counties eligible for USDA disaster assistance programs. In a disaster declaration issued on Oct. 21, Muscogee, Oglethorpe and Washington counties received designation from the USDA as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by a recent drought. Farmers and ranchers in Baldwin, Chattahoochee, Clarke, Elbert, Glascock, Greene, Hancock, Harris, Jefferson, Johnson, Madison, Oconee, Talbot, Taliaferro, Wilkes and Wilkinson counties qualified for USDA disaster assistance because they are contiguous to a county that is a primary disaster area. In a declaration issued on Oct. 27, Rabun County also received a contiguous declaration. Farmers in counties named either primary disaster areas or contiguous counties are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include the Emergency Conservation Program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for more information on eligibility requirements and
application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
GFB News Alert page 4 of 13 BAYER OPENS COTTON RESEARCH CENTER IN DAWSON Bayer has invested $4.4 million in its new Southeast Cotton Breeding Station located in Dawson, Ga., with the goal of improving the performance of its cotton varieties for Southeastern farmers. Bayer officials, cotton growers, crop consultants and other members of the Southeast cotton community attended the grand opening Bayer held for the station Oct. 20. The 150-acre station has enough field space to evaluate 12,000 nursery rows of cotton. The station also includes two buildings with more than 13,440 square feet of research space to evaluate the cotton. The research fields surrounding the buildings were bursting with picture-perfect cotton waiting to be harvested the day of the grand opening. According to Bayer, each nursery row is a potential variety line that will be evaluated for yield and agronomic traits. Lines that show promise will be studied further in a multi-location, multi-year yield trial program. “We think this is going to be real influential to Southeast cotton breeding,” Dr. Margaret Shields, manager of the Bayer U.S. Cotton Breeding team, said in her welcoming remarks. Shields told the audience Bayer began its Southeast research program in 2008 after buying the Stoneville cottonseed brand. The program was previously located just south of Albany. Why Dawson, Ga.? Any question as to why Bayer located its new research station in Georgia was made clear when Monty Christian, vice president of Bayer Cotton Business, took the stage and placed two miniature cotton bales wrapped in UGA fabric on the podium. “Georgia is known for producing two and a half million bales of cotton annually that generate over 50,000 jobs in Georgia,” Christian said. “Each of these UGA bales represent one pound of cotton. If you take 500 of these it represents a 500-pound cotton bale. Picture two and a half million bales of cotton produced in Georgia. If you lined them up end to end they would wrap around the world twice.” The station, which will employ 10 to 15 people when fully staffed, is lead by cotton breeder Dario Mesquita. Nino Brown, a graduate of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) doctorate program, serves as assistant cotton breeder for the station. Jody Butler is the station testing manager. “I expect big things from this group. We’re going to be focused on bringing you new trait varieties developed specifically for this region,” Christian said. “This facility is going to strengthen the job economy here, but in the long-term it’s going to advance the Southeastern cotton industry. Bayer is the type of company that believes in research. Nearly ten percent of every dollar we earn goes back into research.” -continued
GFB News Alert page 5 of 13 Continued from previous page Ga. cotton rebounded from boll weevil Dr. Robert Shulstad, UGA CAES assistant dean of research, recalled how Georgia farmers rebuilt the cotton sector in the 1990s after the boll weevil made it a minor crop in Georgia for many years. “We have about 1.6 million acres of cotton in Georgia now, but in the 1980s when I got to Georgia there were only about 250,000 acres,” Shulstad said. “But Georgia farmers invested in eradicating the boll weevil and building the industry back up. We are very pleased that Bayer will have this commitment [to the cotton industry],” Shulstad said. After the ribbon cutting event, attendees toured the facility where they saw the equipment researchers will use to plant the research plots, gin the research cotton, evaluate the fiber, process and store seeds. What do growers think? “The Southeast has evolved into one of the main cotton producing areas, but the South has always struggled to make the yields that the Midwest, Arizona and Texas have due to their arid environment,” said crop consultant Bubba Lamberth of Camilla. “We have growers here that could do it, but our humid environment and rain from the Gulf of Mexico and the hurricanes we deal with make it difficult. We’ve got to have varieties that are humidity and storm resistant.” Lamberth, who advises cotton growers on the production of more than 30,000 acres in Southwest Georgia, estimates 60 percent of his growers plant Bayer cotton varieties, but he said his growers currently only plant Bayer varieties on about10 percent of their acreage because other varieties have better yields. “There were some [Bayer] varieties being bred for the Southeast but not in terms of acreage. This will be a game changer for Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina. There is huge potential for Bayer to garner a piece of the pie,” Lamberth said. Ronnie Lee, a cotton grower from Terrell County who grows about 5,000 acres, echoed Lamberth’s excitement about the new breeding station. “This facility can only help me and the Southeast United States because they’ve got the best of both worlds,” Lee said referencing the proposal Bayer made to buy Monsanto earlier this fall. “If they design for us I think it’s going to result in better varieties.” Lee, who has planted Bayer’s Stoneville and FiberMax varieties, said the FiberMax varieties typically produce a good quality fiber. “If we could combine the quality traits of the Bayer varieties with the high yield traits of the Monsanto varieties, that would be ideal,” Lee said. In her welcoming remarks, Shields acknowledged Bayer’s proposal to purchase Monsanto but made it clear the event was for celebrating the Bayer’s current cotton success, not the proposed merger. “Bayer has signed an agreement to buy Monsanto, however, today we want to celebrate this milestone. Maybe in a year we’ll celebrate that milestone.” To view photos from the Bayer research center visit http://tinyurl.com/BayerSECottonStation.
GFB News Alert page 6 of 13 GEORGIA FFA WINS 20 NATIONAL AWARDS The Georgia FFA Association’s trip to the 89th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis was highlighted by 20 national winners and the retirement of Athens Christian FFA member Abbey Gretsch as National FFA Vice President. Among Georgia’s national winners were three Career Development (CDE) winners, a national 1st place CDE individual, seven national proficiency award winners, seven national Agriscience Fair winners, the nation’s Outstanding Middle School chapter and the national winner in the Hall of States. Career Development Events (CDEs) are team and individual competitive events designed to test students’ technical knowledge and ability in a variety of agricultural and leadership areas. Georgia’s national CDE champions include the Perry FFA (Nursery/Landscape; team members were Steven Dickerson, Dustin Pitzer, Dawson Dooley and Joshua Lee, who was also named the first-place individual in the category), Cambridge FFA (Agricultural Communications; team members Katie Fishman, Makayla Crenshaw and Rebecca Wallace) and Elizabeth Beacham of the Colquitt County FFA (Job Interview). The Madison County Middle School FFA chapter was named the nation’s Outstanding Middle School chapter as part of the National Chapter Award program. Madison County Middle was one of five national finalists for the award, along withJefferson Middle, Pelham Middle and West Jackson Middle from Georgia. National FFA proficiency award winners in Supevised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs were Mary Kaitlyn Wheeler of the East Laurens FFA (Agricultural Processing); Hunter Corbett of Lowndes County (Agriscience Research – Integrated Systems); Callie Warren (Fruit Production); Daniel Dobbs of Franklin County (Poultry Production); Landon Herring of Lowndes County (Specialty Crop Production); Murdock Wynn of Colquitt County (Swine Production) and Garrett Harrell of Colquitt County (Vegetable Production). A total of 102 Georgia FFA members received the prestigious American FFA Degree, the highest degree offered to an active FFA member. These students spent years developing their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs to reach this honor. Georgia FFA’s seven winners in the national Agriscience Fair included Tamara English of Dutchtown FFA (Food Products & Processing – Division 1); as well as Charity Brown (Environmental/Natural Resources – Division 2); Zachary Gay and Cedrick Montgomery (Environmental/Natural Resources – Division 3); Levi Herring and Conway McNeil (Food Products & Processing – Division 4); Courtney Cameron (Plant Systems – Division 2); Chandler Kudyk & Hunter Corbett (Plant Systems – Division 4); and Frankie Balmer and Jackson Sumner (Power, Structure & Technology – Division 4) all of Lowndes County. The Winder-Barrow FFA chapter represented Georgia in the National Hall of States display and bested 25 other entries to be named the national winner. Nineteen Georgia FFA chapters received a national 3-Star ranking, the highest ranking offered in the National Chapter Award program. The Georgia FFA Association was recognized as a membership growth state. This marks the 18th consecutive year the Georgia FFA has increased its membership. Georgia was represented in Indianapolis by 25 official voting delegates and more than 1,500 local FFA members, advisors
and alumni from across the state. The Georgia association has more than 41,000 members, making it the third-largest association in the nation.
GFB News Alert page 7 of 13 22 CENTENNIAL FARMS HONORED The Georgia Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Natural Resources honored 22 farm families during the 24th Annual Georgia Centennial Farm Awards Ceremony in Perry. Farm owners and their historic properties were recognized in an event hosted by the Georgia Historic Preservation Division, Georgia Farm Bureau Federation, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Forestry Commission, and Georgia National Fair and Agricenter, with support from Georgia EMC and the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee, on the inaugural day of the 2016 Georgia National Fair. Farms hold a central role in the heritage of our state, having formed the economic, cultural, and family foundation for generations of Georgians. All farms earning recognition have continuously operated for 100 years or more. Recognition is given to farm owners through one of three distinguished awards: the Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The Centennial Farm Award does not require continual family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the NRHP. The Centennial Family Farm Award recognizes farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are not listed in the NRHP. The following farms are recipients of the 2016 Georgia Centennial Family Farm Award: Avera-Roberts Family Farm, Berrien County; Hogan Orchards, Berrien County; Rowe McClellan “Romac” Farm, Berrien County; Sikes Farm, Berrien County; J&W Farms, Bleckley County; William E. Harrell Farm, Colquitt County; Honey Oak Farms, Columbia County; Davis Family Farm, Crisp County; Foster Farms, Early County; B. Ryal Morgan Homeplace, Effingham County; Cowart Farms, Emanuel County; Johnson Hill Farm, Evans County; Johns Cattle Farm, Gordon County; Maxwell Heritage Farms LLC, Grady County; Taylor Farm, Grady County; W.M. Prince, Grady County; The Dr. Samuel Locklin and Alice Stanley Hinton Farm, Gwinnett County; McCorkle Farm, Marion County; Broach Family Farm, LLC, Morgan County; Beckham Family Farm, Pike County; Swann Family Farm, Randolph County and Wauhu Springs, Randolph County. To nominate a farm for recognition visit www.georgiacentennialfarms.org to download an application, or contact Allison Asbrock, Centennial Farm Awards committee, at 770-389-7868 or email@example.com. The postmark deadline for applications is May 1 of each year.
2016 Georgia Centennial Farms Honorees
GFB News Alert page 8 of 13 MITCHELL NEW SUNBELT EXPO RESEARCH FARM MANAGER There are new hands guiding the management of the Sunbelt Exposition’s research farm in Moultrie. Cody Mitchell, a native of Tifton, Ga., who has worked at the farm since March 2015 as assistant farm manager, is now making the plowing, planting and picking decisions at the Expo Farm. Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock announced Mitchell’s promotion at the Sunbelt Farmer of the Year Lunch on Oct. 18. “In the short time that Cody was tasked with being our interim farm manager, he took the bull by the horns and demonstrated great leadership and people skills that made it easy to name him farm manager of the Expo Research Farm,” Blalock told Georgia Farm Bureau Media. “These skills combined with Cody’s agronomic knowledge, coupled with the farming and people skills of Farm Crew team members Cali Mendoza and Eric Bryant Cody Mitchell make for an excellent team as we move into the 2017 growing season.” Mitchell, who grew up on a farm, graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with a degree in turf grass management. While in college, Mitchell worked for UGA’s Dr. Stanley Culpepper as a student worker planting the vegetable, cotton and watermelon crops Culpepper used for his weed research. “I’ve been around farming my whole life. I really got my feet wet when I started out here, but I planted crops, did spraying and fertilizing for Dr. Culpepper’s research plots while I was in college,” Mitchell said. During the year and a half he’s worked at the Expo Farm, Mitchell has gotten a handle on the seasonal rhythm of his job. “Once Expo is over more than ninety percent of our crops are out of the field. Then it’s time to get our soil samples, plant cover crops and get ready to have a good winter. In the winter we work on equipment and do maintenance chores like making sure harrows are in tip-top shape,” Mitchell explained. “From March to the beginning of May we plant our row crops. By the end of July we start picking corn. Then we’re getting the farm cleaned up for Expo.” Mitchell credits Mendoza and Bryant for the contributions they make to the farm.
“The guys I work with out here on the farm are outstanding and very dedicated to what they do,” Mitchell said. “They are a vital part of the farm’s success.” Mitchell said the biggest perk of his job are the people he meets through his job as the farm works with numerous ag companies researching new crop varieties and farm equipment. “I deal with multiple ag companies in this job. I have a work relationship [with company representatives], but some grow into friendships,” Mitchell said. “I love having the opportunity to meet new people.” Mitchell, who attends the First Baptist Church of Chula, is the son of Jeff Mitchell and April Markham.
GFB News Alert page 9 of 13 GOHS, GDA STRESS ROAD SAFETY DURING HARVEST SEASON Decatur County farmer Andy Bell admits he is always apprehensive whenever he has to drive a tractor, cotton picker or tow a peanut wagon on the roads around his farm located near the Grady County line. It is easy to understand Bell’s anxiety because he has been hit on three separate occasions while operating farm vehicles on the highway. “Once you have been involved in a crash, you are looking both ways, behind you and ahead, wondering if cars are going to stop,” Andy Bell said. “Drivers need to slow down when they are approaching farm vehicles that are traveling at speeds around 20 miles per hour.” Bell, a Decatur County Farm Bureau director, has been growing row crops and raising livestock for almost 35 years on his family farm located near the town of Climax, which is less than 20 miles from the Florida line. He credits a seat belt for saving his life when the tractor he was driving to tow a sprayer was hit from behind by a large truck transporting a load of lumber on U.S. Highway 84 in 1993. Bell now makes sure he is buckled up when he is behind the wheel of his pickup or his favorite tractor. “We are not trying to create rules,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood said. “We are simply trying to save lives, and wearing a seat belt in a car or on a tractor can save your life.” Bell joined Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and Director Blackwood at the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie on Oct. 19 to remind motorists to look for farm vehicles when driving on Georgia's rural roads during the fall harvest season. Bell’s safety message rings true this year with the number of people who have died in farm and construction vehicle crashes in the first nine months is already three times more than were killed in similar crashes in all of 2015. Through Sept. 30 there were 13 people killed and 151 injured in 414 farm and construction vehicle crashes compared to 4 deaths and 101 injuries in 269 crashes last year. “These accidents are 100 percent avoidable,” Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said. “But it takes the farming community and the driving public working together to ensure our farm workers can do their jobs of getting food on our tables safely. We must all pay attention and contribute for a safe and prosperous harvest season in Georgia.” Motorists should be ready to slow down quickly when approaching slower moving farm
vehicles on the road. Farmers like Bell are constantly looking out for other vehicles on the road and are simply asking other drivers to show the same courtesy to them. GAEA DEDICATES FOSTER RHODES BEEF & DAIRY ARENA On Oct. 9, the Georgia Agriculture Exposition Authority (GAEA) dedicated the Foster Rhodes Beef & Dairy Arena at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter (GNFA) in honor of Rhodes, a long-time authority member and current vice-chairman. Rhodes has been an integral part of the GNFA decision-making process since 1985. He sat on the first Board of Directors since inception in July 1, 1985 and helped create the mission of the fairgrounds. “He has given over three decades of his life to this project and his dedication and leadership have helped create one of the finest facilities in this country,” said Chairman James Sutherland. The board voted during its September meeting to dedicate the building to Rhodes. “I feel honored to be a part of one of the greatest organizations, facilities and Authorities in the state of Georgia,” Rhodes said. “The Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter is a wonderful asset to the state, community and agricultural industry, and I am humbled to be able to serve in a capacity to help promote such as outstanding facility and staff.”
GFB News Alert page 10 of 13 DNR CAUTIONS DRIVERS TO BE AWARE OF DEER ACTIVITY The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Division is cautioning the state’s drivers to take extra care during the fall season, a time of peak deer activity, according to a DNR press release. “Motorists should be alert and pay close attention to the roadsides as we are nearing the annual peak time of the year for deer-car collisions,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist with the Wildlife Resources Division. “The rise in deer activity around roads can be especially dangerous to drivers when coupled with other risks or distractions, such as texting or operating electronics while driving.” There are two main reasons why drivers may see more deer along roads in the fall: Mating season and time changes. Deer mating season occurs between October and late December, depending on location. Male deer begin rutting and begin actively searching for mates. This behavior results in an increase in deer movement, bringing them across roadways. With the time change to daylight savings time, days become shorter and nights become longer. Rush hour for most commuters tends to fall during the same hours in which white-tailed deer are most active, at dawn and dusk, the release said. The DNR offered tips and information to help avoid potential collisions. First, always remember deer are wild and therefore can be unpredictable. A deer calmly standing on the side of a road may bolt into or across the road rather than away from it when startled by a vehicle. Also, one deer usually means more. Always take caution and slow down when a deer crosses the road in front of you. Deer usually travel in groups, so it is likely that others will follow. Georgia’s new deer rut map, which can be viewed at www.georgiawildlife.com/rut-map is an excellent tool for motorists to determine local peaks in deer movement. CULPEPPER APPOINTED TO EPA SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD
University of Georgia Extension Weed Scientist Dr. Stanley Culpepper has been appointed to a three-year term on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) beginning in October. Culpepper, an associate professor in UGA’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences’ Crop and Soil Science Department, has more than 20 years of service to agriculture, with expertise in advancement of farming practices and agricultural sustainability. He has served as an advisor for the Georgia Cotton Commission, Georgia Department of Agriculture, a USDA research project on crop pest management, the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Vegetables and the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. He has given presentations at hundreds of domestic and international events, county extension meetings and training sessions. Then-GFB President Zippy Duvall wrote to the EPA in September 2015 recommending Culpepper’s appointment. The SAB gives the EPA a mechanism to receive peer review and other advice designed to enhance the agency’s production and use of science. It reviews the quality and relevance of scientific and technical information used by the EPA or proposed as the basis for agency regulations. GFB News Alert page 11 of 13 UGA GRAZING MANAGEMENT FIELD DAY Nov. 16 Chantilly Farm, 451 Collier Church Rd. 8:30 a.m. Comer Discussions will include grazing management in the Georgia piedmont and participants can get a firsthand look at a grazing system that has been in operation for 40 years. Topics include grazing soil health, white clover establishment and management, stockpiling tall fescue for fall and winter grazing, planning for drought conditions and pasture weed management. The event is sponsored by the Georgia Forage & Grassland Council, Georgia Grazing Lands Conservation Coalition, Broad River Soil and Water Conservation District and Two Rivers RC&D. Register by contacting the Oglethorpe County Extension Office at 706-743-8341. The registration deadline is Nov. 11 and there is a $5 registration fee, which includes lunch. PRF, APICULTURE CROP INSURANCE Nov. 15 deadline to apply, make changes Georgia forage, livestock, and honey producers the final date to apply for crop insurance coverage is November 15. Current policyholders who wish to make changes to their existing coverage also have until the November 15 sales closing date to do so. Acreage intended for grazing and haying is insurable under the Pasture, Rangeland and Forage (PRF) program, and colonies of bees are insurable under the Apiculture program. The PRF and Apiculture programs for 2017 are under the Rainfall Index insurance plan. Crop insurance provides protection against a loss in production due to a natural peril such as drought. Coverage is available for PRF and apiculture in numerous Georgia counties. Producers are encouraged to visit their crop insurance agent soon to learn specific details for the 2017 crop year. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html. Producers can use the RMA Cost Estimator (https://ewebapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/costestimator/) to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at www.rma.usda.gov. NRCS IN GEORGIA ANNOUNCES EQIP SIGN-UP
Sign-up for fiscal year 2017 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is underway and all Georgia producers who wish to be considered for financial assistance should apply by Nov. 18, 2016. While producers can apply year round, this application cutoff announcement is for all general EQIP, as well as some special initiatives such as the Longleaf Pine, On-Farm Energy, Organic, Seasonal High Tunnel, StrikeForce, Working Lands for Wildlife and the North Georgia Irrigation Pilot Project. They can do so by visiting their local USDA Service Center and submitting a Conservation Program Application (NRCS-CPA-1200). 2016 GEORGIA FARM BUREAU ANNUAL CONVENTION Dec. 4-6 Jekyll Island Convention Center Jekyll Island Gov. Nathan Deal is slated to speak on Dec. 5 and GFB President Gerald Long will give his annual address. Other events at the GFB Convention will include commodity conferences for Georgia’s 20 major commodities on Dec. 5, announcements of the 2016 state award winners on Dec. 4 and the annual trade show Dec. 4-5. Voting delegates will adopt the organization’s policy for 2017 on Dec. 6 and elect the 2017 GFB Board. For more information contact your county Farm Bureau office.
GFB News Alert page 12 of 13 GFB FOUNDATION BREAKFAST Dec. 5 Jekyll Island Convention Center 7 a.m. Jekyll Island The Foundation Breakfast, which will be held during the 2016 GFB Convention, supports the GFB Foundation for Agriculture, which provides postsecondary scholarships, Ag in the Classroom programs, consumer awareness and adult learning opportunities, all aimed at advancing Georgia agriculture. Tickets are $25 per person. To reserve your seats contact Marilyn Akers at 478-474-0679, ext. 5231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. 2017 SE REGIONAL FRUIT & VEGETABLE CONFERENCE Jan. 5-8, 2017 Savannah International Trade Center Savannah The Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference is the largest educational conference and trade show in the Southeastern United States that brings growers, vendors and suppliers together. Anyone with an interest in specialty crop agriculture is invited to attend this event. The conference offers more than 80 hours of educational sessions and will address food safety concerns, specific commodity issues on production practices and increased yields and marketing strategies. The trade show features more than 85,000 square feet of space filled with key suppliers and growers. Full four-day registration is $155, and single-day registration rates are available. To register, visit http://bit.ly/2ek9yEF. 41ST ANNUAL GEORGIA PEANUT FARM SHOW AND CONFERENCE Jan. 19, 2017 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Tifton The one-day show is free and open to all farmers and industry representatives to attend. !Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with more than 100 agribusinesses and organizations in the peanut and agricultural industry. Farmers will be able to earn private and commercial pesticide applicators' certification, as well as learn about cutting-edge research and developments during the University of Georgia Peanut Production Seminar and industry-wide sponsored Peanut Seed Seminar. ! The Georgia Peanut Commission, in cooperation with OneBlood, will host a blood drive from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. during the show. At the close of the day, there will be
nearly $10,000 in door prizes presented to farmers, as well as a grand door prize, vendor products, certificates and equipment. !For more information on the show, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission office at 229-386-3470. Information is also available online at www.gapeanuts.com. GA COTTON COMMISSION ANNUAL MEETING & UGA COTTON WORKSHOP
Jan. 25, 2017 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton This event begins at 8 a.m. and features presentations from key industry stakeholders as well as the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards. For more information call 478-988-4235 or visit http://www.georgiacottoncommission.org. ONGOING FARM BUREAU-SPONSORED FARMERS MARKETS DODGE COUNTY FARMERS MARKET Saturdays Dodge County Courthouse 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastman This open-air market, sponsored in part by Dodge County Farm Bureau, features locally produced meats, vegetables, eggs and artisanal crafts. For more information contact market manager T.I. Papel at 478-374-5895 or email@example.com, or visit www.facebook.com/dodgecountyfarmersmarket. GFB News Alert page 13 of 13 SHIELDS-ETHRIDGE HERITAGE FARM CULTIVATORS’ MARKET Nov. 19 Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm, 2355 Ethridge Rd. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Jefferson Jackson County Farm Bureau (JCFB) is sponsoring this open-air market that will allow local farmers and entrepreneurs to sell products they make or grow in a festival atmosphere. Market will be held rain or shine. The Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm is an outdoor ag museum that functions as an educational and interpretative facility. Proceeds from the market will be used for restoration projects at the farm. If you are interested in having a booth at the market, contact JCFB Office Manager Denise Temple at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-367-8877 or visit www.shieldsethridgefarminc.com to complete an application online.
Published on Nov 2, 2016
This week in the GFB News Alert... Georgia Farm Bureau files a friend of the court brief in the water lawsuit between Georgia and Florida,...