Monthly Newsletter for Georgia Agribusiness Council Members
JUNE 2019
 Late Monday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives sent legislation to President Donald Trump that included over $19 billion for the victims of Hurricane Michael and other natural disasters across the country. While this disaster aid package may be too late for some South Georgia farmers this year, we applaud the efforts of our entire Georgia Congressional delegation as well as Governor Brian Kemp and Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black who have all fought tirelessly over the past 8 months to ensure this issue was not forgotten in Washington.

The bill includes $3 billion for farmers that were directly affected by Hurricane Michael as well as blueberry and other growers that were hit by a late freeze in 2017.
Lawmakers passed the legislation 354 to 58, following the Senate’s bipartisan vote last month. The measure now heads to the president, who said he will sign it.
We will continue to be engaged as the funding works its way through the USDA.
Join us for the 2019 Harvest Celebration on November 22 nd at the Cobb Galleria Centre, where country music star Jeff Carson will perform “ A Night of Country Greats ” featuring smash hits by artists such as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and more.

Carson, who has several top 10 hits of his own including “Butterfly Kisses”, “The Car”, and “Holdin’ on to Somethin’” and a number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Country Charts with “Not on Your Love”, will be sure to entertain the entire crowd as he and his band perform a tribute to the most iconic songs from many of the biggest legends in country music history. 

The GAC Harvest Celebration is key to the advocacy efforts of the Council, and we are very grateful for the support provided by our many members and industry friends. We hope to have you attend this first-class, engaging evening that you will want to share with friends, family and co-workers.

Early Bird tickets are now on sale! Take advantage of this promotion to be entered into a drawing for one of several great prizes!  These include: A one-night's stay on November 22 at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel or one of three field of Dreams ticket books that give you a chance to win wonderful items during the Harvest Celebration. Click the button below or call the GAC office at 706-336-6830 to secure your tickets today.
In an Op-ed that ran in many Georgia newspapers last week, Secretary Perdue pushed back against a UGA study that was released earlier this month regarding USMCA and potential harm to the state's fruit and vegetable industry. While the trade agreement has several positive impacts for some Georgia ag commodities, GAC and our partners continue to look for a solution to protect Georgia's produce growers from the harm caused by an uneven playing field with Mexican farms. Those solutions may require regulatory changes outside of the formal trade agreement. Read Secretary Perdue's response below.
"The University of Georgia recently published a study claiming the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement would cost some Georgia vegetable and fruit growers revenue and jobs. The sensational assertions are flat wrong. As a proud UGA alumnus, I’m here to tell you USMCA is good for Georgia’s farmers and All-American agriculture.
Chapter by chapter, verse by verse, USMCA improves virtually every component of NAFTA and Georgia’s agriculture industry stands to gain significantly. It’s important to note we didn’t get all the improvements we wanted for seasonal fruits and vegetables. While we were hopeful we could make progress in the renewed NAFTA, USMCA isn’t a step backward. The UGA study assumed we lost ground, but the facts are it wasn’t ground we had to begin with. Since the inception of NAFTA more than 20 years ago, agricultural trade between our three countries has boomed. U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico increased by about 300% and our imports increased by almost 500%, benefiting producers and consumers on both sides of our borders.
The premise for UGA’s study is USMCA will not protect Georgia farmers from cheap Mexican fruits and vegetables. Because of that, the researchers came up with imagined scenarios in which they say a set of fruit and vegetable farmers would be vulnerable to competition. They neglect to mention farmers already face such competition under NAFTA. And they overlook the ways the Administration is fighting for a level playing field in the seasonal fruit and vegetable market.

Let me give you some real data on Georgia’s agricultural output. Over the past 10 years under NAFTA, Georgia growers have seen vegetable sales increase by more than 23%, fruit and nut sales have gone up more than 100% and crop receipts have gone up more than 50%. Farm income in Georgia grew by more than 20% during that period. From USDA’s most recent Census of Agriculture: blueberry harvested acres increased by 37%, pepper acreage increased 157% and eggplant acreage increased by 45%. While fresh cucumber and tomato acreage decreased 8% for each crop, those changes are nowhere near the assumed damages by the UGA researchers. Furthermore, it is not unreasonable that my fellow Georgians would switch to crops that provide higher levels of profit. That is the beauty of our agricultural system – producers plant for the market, not for the program."
Governor Brian Kemp Hosts Tree Farm Field Day in Carlton, GA
On Thursday, May 16, Governor Brian Kemp hosted more than 100 forest landowners at his Tree Farm in Carlton, Georgia with representatives from the Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia Forestry Association. Attendees heard from a variety of forestry experts about forest management, wildlife management, markets for forest products and more. 
To view a video from the field day with Governor Kemp , click here.
Below, Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams presented Governor Kemp with a custom lamp made from a drip torch. The event highlighted the relationship and deep knowledge the Governor has with forestry and agribusiness across the state.
Please join us in welcoming Emily Dixon to GAC, as she will serve as our communications and office intern throughout the summer. Emily comes to us from the agriculture program at Emmanuel College where she is studying Diversified Agriculture and Early Childhood Education. Emily competed in the Agricultural Communications CDE with FFA all four years in high school and earned the state high scoring individual her senior year. She currently serves as the Emmanuel College Agricultural Program's Social Media Coordinator. Emily will be working with GAC throughout the summer so please be sure to say hello and welcome her to the family. Her email is
By GAC Intern Emily Dixon

For most rural Georgians, fast Internet services are greatly lacking. About 1.6 million people or 15-16% of Georgia’s population lack access to vital high-speed Internet services that Gov. Brian Kemp says is a barrier to economic growth within a digital economy.
Gov. Kemp recently signed several legislative pieces that would help extend these services to rural Georgia. Senate Bill (SB) 17 authorized telephone cooperatives and their broadband affiliates to provide Internet services while SB 66 enacted the Streaming Wireless Facilities and Antennas Act as well as allowing these companies to set up their equipment on public land. While the plan seems to be making great strides moving forward, there have been some setbacks that have hurt the progression of the project.

As agricultural technology continues to advance, the need for reliable and quick Internet services becomes more of a necessity. Farmers are embracing this new technology as a way to make farming more efficient, connect and communicate with customers, as well as creating new markets that they otherwise would not be able to do. Unfortunately, right now farmers will pay a lot of money to the only available Internet carrier who provides slow megabytes per second (Mbps) speeds but also are not forthcoming about upgrade services. With SB 17 and 66 signed and the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative underway, farmers should soon have access to a minimum broadband speed of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.

While some of this plan will benefit larger cities before affecting rural communities, the ultimate goal is to provide all Georgians with sufficient Internet services to allow them more chances to be successful and better connect them with the rest of the world.
Georgia: Dicamba – Layby Directed, Hooded Row Middle Applications Approved

UGA and the Georgia Department of Agriculture led the way on a much-needed label approval. A state Section 24(c) Special Local Need Label was recently approved by the U.S. EPA and Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) allowing directed and hooded applications for Engenia, FeXapan, and XtendiMax. The following is from their blog .
Label Information:
  1. Applicators must have attended (and registered) a 2019 Using Pesticide Wisely training and must be a certified applicator.
  2. Each applicator must have the label of the product they decide to use in their possession during the application. Labels can be obtained at the GDA website. Once on the website, click “go to dicamba page”; then select the “24C label” for the product of choice. These labels will provide detailed information needed to make a proper application.
  3. Hooded applications: May use any standard spray tip as long as droplets are coarse or larger in size (>341 microns VMD50). Hoods must remain in contact with soil while making the application. A maximum of 6 mph sprayer speed. Tolerant cotton or soybeans must be at least 15 inches in height at time of application.
  4. Directed Layby applications: May use any standard spray tip as long as droplets are coarse or larger in size (>341 microns VMD50). Spray release point must not be more than 10 inches from the soil and the cotton or soybean must be at least 20 inches in height. Spray tip must be angled downward toward the soil making sure no spray droplets remain in the air. A maximum of 6 mph sprayer speed is required.
  5. Engenia, FeXapan, and XtendiMax can be mixed with any other labeled cotton or soybean herbicides approved on the manufactures websites (EngeniaXtendiMaxFexapan).
Do not tank-mix with AMS or glufosinate products (Liberty, etc.)
A few questions and answers:
  1. Do hood or layby applications reduce the buffer requirements currently required for topical applications? NO!
  2. Do hood or layby applications increase the application window for these dicamba formulations? Yes. Hooded or directed applications can be made in-crop up until 7 days pre-harvest for cotton and up to beginning bloom in soybean.
Many thanks to those who have already signed up this year , but it is not too late to join us. This program helps with events during the legislative session along with building support for a variety of projects and initiatives that cannot take place without the added participation. Star Sponsors are reflected in each of our newsletters, as posted on this page, along with the weekly legislative reports throughout each session of the Georgia General Assembly, monthly newsletters, and more.   Click here   for 2019 Star Sponsor registration information, email Jill Hansard or call the GAC office at 706-336-6830. Thank you!
In a political environment that is rapidly changing, supporting leaders that understand and support Agribusiness has never been more important than it is today.
The Georgia Agribusiness Council was created for the purpose of advocating for agribusiness interests in the legislative and regulatory arenas. This lofty initiative continues to get harder and harder. In our efforts to advance these activities, the Council formed the Georgia AgPAC several years ago that has several functions, including:
* Financially supporting the campaigns of political candidates friendly to our initiatives;
* Educating elected officials and key decision makers on issues important to agribusiness;
* Advocacy of issues that advance our industry and communities

We ask for your support so that we can continue to fight on behalf of Georgia agribusiness interests. Campaign contributions from Georgia AgPAC is restricted to non-federal candidates in races for legislative and statewide offices.  Georgia AgPAC needs your contribution to advance this initiative. 

Your corporate or personal commitment will help us prepare today. All donations are welcome. Please call our office at 706-336-6830 or  click here to download the donation form  to be a partner in this effort. 
The Georgia Agribusiness Council Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) organization that was created to help grow funding initiatives to help support agriculture education. 

GAC is a proud sponsor of agribusiness awards and programs for FFA and 4-H, in addition to many other education projects. The Council created the Dr. Joe Crane Memorial Classroom Grant program for Georgia teachers interested in promoting agricultural literacy; provides William C. “Bill” Baisley “Sumpin Big” Scholarships to Georgia college students demonstrating a need for financial assistance while seeking an agricultural degree; and sponsors the UGA CAES Congressional Fellowship Program. 

Through generous support to the GAC Foundation, the Council will continue to invest in these programs and others to expand opportunities available to young people. Please click here for donation information.
Barrington Dairy, LLC
Berrien Peanut Co.
Bill Hembree & Associates / Nationwide
Boddiford Farm Services Inc.
Coffee County Gin Co. Inc.
Coley Gin & Fertilizer Co. Inc.
CSA Farms, Inc.
Curry Farm Supply Inc.
Docia Farms Ptn.
Emanuel Peanut & Grain
Embry Farm Services
GA Agricultural Commodity for Tobacco
Georgia Christmas Tree Association
Georgia Seed Association Inc.
Holder Ag Consulting
Israel Farm Supply, Inc.
J & B Irrigation Inc.
Leatherbrook Holsteins LLC
Nut Tree Pecan Nursery
Patrick Family Farms, LLC
Pineland Plantation
Quality Feedstuffs, Inc.
Quality Gin, Inc.
Redmond's Shiloh Farms, Inc.
Sconyers Gin & Warehouse Co.
Shiloh Farms, Inc.
South Georgia Produce Inc.
Southern Seed Co.
Swainsboro Stockyard
The Dairy Alliance, Inc.
Turner County Stockyard, Inc.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
Vidalia Onion Business Council
Walter J. Turner Farms
West Georgia Processing, Inc.
Wilkes County Stockyard
Special thanks to all of our Star Sponsors. Please call our office at 706-336-6830 for details. Thank you!

ASMARK INSTITUTE - 2019 Applicator Manual
These manuals have become the industry standard in helping comply with EPA's requirements to have label information available for your applicators while handling or applying pesticides. Great for crop consultants!
  • 1,880 pages of information
  • Handy 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" size
  • Contains the most popular custom-applied products
  • Revised just in time for the 2019 season
  • 42% of the labels revised for 2019
For More Information or to place an order Click Here .
*The Georgia Seed Association's Annual Convention will be held on July 14-15, 2019 at the Lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This year's meeting is hosted my the Alabama Seed Association .
*The 2019 Georgia Forestry Association Annual Conference will be held July 26 - 28 on Jekyll Island, GA. For more information or to register, click here
*The Georgia Plant Food Educational Society Summer Meeting is again scheduled at the Ritz-Carlton Resort Hotel in Amelia Island, Fl. The meeting will be held on July 15 - 17, 2019 , for more information please click here .
*The 21st Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference will be held  July 18-20, 2019  at the  Edgewater Beach Resort , Panama City Beach, Florida. The three-day event provides farmers with information about peanut production, legislative issues, marketing and promotions. For more information and registration click here .
*Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day will be July 25, 2019 at Spence Field in Moultrie. Please go to for more information.
*The Georgia Cattleman’s Association 9 th Annual Summer Conference will be held at Ridges Resort & Marina, Hiawassee, GA on July 25-27, 2019.  For more information on the conference and registration click here.
This information is intended for members of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Inc. No part of this document shall be copied, edited, or redistributed in any form without express written consent from the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Inc.
Georgia Agribusiness Council | 706-336-6830 | WWW.GA-AGRIBUSINESS.ORG