Farmers are never far from money thoughts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Farmers are never far from money thoughts

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  The 32nd Sunbelt Ag Expo is underway in Moultrie. Thousands of people showed up at Spence Field for the first day of the three day event. The annual farm show makes a $16 million impact on this area and with good weather predicted this weeks, that dollar figure could climb.

Farmers are looking to cut their costs without cutting the quality of what they're producing.

Cattle farmers from Bainbridge to North Georgia are feeling the same economic pinch many businesses have felt.

"It gets tougher and tougher each year, all our input costs are increasing,"  said Bainbridge Cattle Farmer Stuart Griffin.

"Most of the farms in our area are family farms a big majority of us have had to go off farming to survive,"  said Chattooga County Farmer David Ward. 

Finding ways to cut costs are a necessity.

"We started selling cattle on video auctions now instead of carrying them to the local market we a group together and video sell cattle," Griffin said.

It's not just cattle farmers. Those in the industry say high prices for fertilizer and low commodity prices have farmers turning to technology to get the job done more efficiently.

"They're allowing automatic rate control so that way the farmer is using less fertilizer, less pesticides to go in and across the field," said Trent Deleon of Raven Industries.  

For the first time the Expo's added new technology, innovation & solution seminars throughout the three days hoping farmers may find a solution.

"You never want to get out, but you may be forced to. When times get thought the tough get going, but some times enough is enough also," Griffin said.

Allowing them to keep the family business.

Many farmers say it comes down to a matter of dollar and cents and the future generation is finding they can make more money leaving the family farm.

The Expo's biggest attendance day is Wednesday when students from all over southwest Georgia will learn what expo has to offer. Gates open Wednesday at 8:30 and close at 5:00 PM.


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