It’ll Cost Farmers More The cost of fuel, fertilizer and borrowed money is expected tobe higher next year. Depending on the fuel prices, which showno signs of lowering, it will cost farmers 2 percent to 10 percentmore to produce their goods next year, Givan said.Cattle Outlook Stays Strong Georgia cattlemen, despite the drought, did well in 2000. It lookslike they will continue to do so for the next few years.”It was a very good year as far as prices for cattle farmers,”said John McKissick, a UGA economist who contributed to the report.”Cattle prices are going to be very favorable for the nextfew years, on into 2003.”Shoppers are demanding more beef. “We actually had a recordyear in beef production in the United States,” McKissicksaid, “and it sold at a higher price.”But Georgia cattlemen haven’t had a chance to fully enjoy thehigh prices. Because of the prolonged drought, they’ve had tospend more money to keep their herds fed and watered. This hascut into their profits.Next year, McKissick said, a reduction in the U.S. beef supplywill keep prices at higher levels.The same can’t be said for poultry, however.”For the first time in a long time,” McKissick said,”there is a softening in demand for poultry parts, particularlywith white meats domestically and dark meat with exports.”Today, about half of Georgia’s more than $6 billion farm incomeis from poultry production.To get a copy of the “2001 Georgia Farm Outlook and PlanningGuide,” contact your county UGA Extension Service office. With low prices and extreme drought, the past three years haven’tbeen kind to Georgia farmers. However, economists say better dayscould be ahead for the state’s agriculture.According to the “2001 Georgia Farm Outlook and PlanningGuide,” a report prepared by the University of Georgia Departmentof Agricultural and Applied Economics, Georgia’s slumping farmsector will stabilize in the coming year.Georgia consumers will continue to benefit, too. Because of anoversupply of many major farm commodities in the world, food priceswill likely increase at less than the rate of inflation.Row-crop Farming Still Tough … “Farmers still don’t have a lot of extra money,” saidBill Givan, a UGA economist who contributed to the report. “It’spretty much the same across the board. Farmers just didn’t getby (in 2000) on the crops they grew. They’re just sort of hangingon right now.”The report said personal farm income will continue to drop slightlynext year, mainly due to low commodity prices, higher costs anda decrease in government payments…. But Has Potential Due to expected trade growth, the report says, longer-term projectionslook good for agriculture. Net farm income is expected to climbin 2002 and continue to grow in the future.A tightening of world supplies coupled with an increase in demandwill encourage cotton prices to stabilize and possibly rise inthe coming year. The U.S. 2001 cotton acreage is expected to equalthat of 2000. If this holds true, near record exports will beneeded to avoid an oversupply.Peanuts are expected to remain at government support prices. Lastweek, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the 2001national poundage quota for peanuts will remain at the 2000 level:1.18 million tons.Foreign competition will continue to put pressure on the U.S.peanut industry. U.S. growers hope to offset this with higheryields and increased demand.