Ag News

UPDATED APRIL 3 - COVID-19 prompts postponements of ag events

 

The GFB Public Relations staff has compiled a list of ag-related events that have altered their schedules in response to the developing crisis associated with COVID-19. Many of the events listed here are events whose organizers asked GFB to promote them. Other events with schedule changes will be added as we become aware of them.

 

AG AGENCIES/FACILITIES/SERVICES

USDA SERVICE CENTERS HELPING FARMERS VIA PHONE

Georgia USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only and field work continues with appropriate social distancing. USDA staff continues to come into the offices. USDA staff are working with farmers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. Anyone who wants to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency must call their service center to schedule a phone appointment. In the event a service center is closed, producers can receive assistance from the closest alternate service center by phone.

Producers can find USDA Service Center phone numbers at www.farmers.gov/service-center-locator  . Farmers may visit  www.gfb.ag/usdaservicecenters to access the latest information on how USDA is serving producers during the COVID-19 response.

Online services are available to customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the farmers.gov portal where producers can view USDA farm loan information and payments and view and track certain USDA program applications and payments. Online NRCS services are available to customers through the Conservation Client Gateway. Producers can track payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign documents. Farmers who do not already have an eAuth account can enroll at farmers.gov/sign-in.

 

UGA EXTENSION COUNTY OFFICES

Local county Extension offices are closed to the public but local staff ARE STILL AVAILABLE to help farmers & their communities with their needs. Visit www.gfb.ag/UGACountyExtensionOffices to find contact info for your county office & learn how your local office is serving its community. You may also call 1-800-ASK-UGA1 (1-800-275-8421) to call your local office.  All 4-H and Family & Consumer Sciences programming is being conducted online/virtually. Visit the UGA Extension website https://extension.uga.edu for information on hundreds of topics. Fact sheets and tips for staying healthy during COVID-19 are available www.gfb.ag/ExtensionCovidresources

“If you have an urgent need for an onsite visit to diagnose a disease or pest or troubleshoot a problem, we are here to help. Our Agricultural & Natural Resources (ANR)Agents and Extension Specialists will work out a safe way to look at the issue and get an answer for you,” UGA Associate Dean for Extension Laura Perry Johnson wrote in a letter published March 30. “Many of our clients are already very accustomed to contacting your agents directly and we encourage you to continue doing this.”

 

GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIRGROUNDS & AGRICENTER

The Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter (GNFA) will be closed through April 13. GNFA is planning to reopen on  April 13 to employees only. All events have been canceled or rescheduled through the end of April. GNFA  will continue to update its calendar and social media as information becomes available. The GNFA events calendar may be accessed at www.gnfa.com/events

GEORGIA FORESTRY COMMISSION OPERATIONS

The Georgia Forestry Commission office continues will accept visitors/customers by appointment only. While many GFC offices remain staffed and GFC employees are working, doors will be locked and will only be opened for scheduled appointments. GFC customers are asked to call, email GFC or utilize its online services for now, rather than initiate face-to-face contact. Visit www.gfb.ag/GFCoffices to access contact info for GFC offices.

The GFC stands ready to respond to wildfires during this outbreak, however, plowing and prescribed burning assistance services are suspended in an effort to minimize personal interactions between GFC staff and customers. The GFC will evaluate the situation on an ongoing basis and will notify the public when these services will be reinstated. Please note that normal burn permitting system and all burns that do not require GFC assistance are not impacted by this service suspension. Individuals may still request burn permits for hand-piled natural vegetation through the GFC’s online system at www.gatrees.org or by calling 877-OK2-BURN. Acreage permits can be requested by calling a local county office.

 

EVENTS POSTPONED WITH NEW DATES SCHEDULED

 

10th ANNUAL GEORGIA DAIRY YOUTH FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT

Originally scheduled for March 27 at the Lane Creek Golf Club in Bishop, the Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation Golf Tournament has been rescheduled to May 8 due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the need to minimize further exposure, The tournament will still be located at the Lane Creek Golf Club in Bishop, with tee time starting at noon. Lunch will be served at 11 a.m. Registration deadline is May 1. Visit www.gfb.ag/20GDYFgolf for more information or to register. All proceeds benefit the Georgia 4-H & FFA dairy programs.

GEORGIA CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION CONVENTION & BEEF EXPO

Originally scheduled for April 2-4, has been rescheduled for May 28-30 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter. Convention registration has been transferred to the correct dates. Hotel rooms booked by GCA staff have been moved to the correct dates. Individuals who booked their lodging will need to make sure it is moved to the correct dates.

Southeast Elite Female Sale – Friday, May 29 @ 11 a.m

66 female lots: Angus, Simmental, SimAngus

Contact Mike Jones at 706-773-3612 or mikejonesauctioneer@gmail.com

GA Beef Expo Commercial Heifer Sale – Friday, May 29 @ 2 p.m.

147 female lots offered

Cow/calf pairs, bred heifers, open heifers

 Contact Mike Jones at 706-773-3612 or mikejonesauctioneer@gmail.com

Georgia Hereford Association - Saturday, May 30 at 11 a.m

Cow/calf pairs, bred heifers & open heifers to be sold

View sale book at www.hereford.org

Contact Taylor Neighbors at 229-337-0038 or email

royboyjt@bellsouth for more info.

 

GEORGIA ASSOCIATION OF CONSERVATION DISTRICTS ANNUAL MEETING
Originally scheduled for April 5-7 in Pine Mountain, has been rescheduled to January 15-17, 2021, at Callaway Gardens. Room reservations made with the hotel for this year’s conference will be automatically moved to the January 2021 dates. Attendees who want to cancel their hotel reservations may do so directly with the hotel. Registration payments will be automatically moved to the new date in January unless otherwise noted. The GACD expects the outstanding group of speakers, presenters and special guests originally scheduled for this year’s conference will join the group in January.

2020 GEORGIA FORAGE AND GRASSLAND COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING

Originally scheduled for March 17 at the Iron Horse Plant Sciences Farm in Watkinsville, the meeting is postponed and will be held in conjunction with the GFGC Tour in June.

GEORGIA PECAN GROWERS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Originally scheduled for March 24-25, The Georgia Pecan Growers Association annual conference is postponed to Sept. 10-11. The conference will remain in Tifton for the fall event and will essentially combine with GPGA’s annual fall field day. The GPGA uses the conference as its primary fundraiser to offset operating costs throughout the year. Registration will remain open online until the event occurs in September. All planned events will proceed at the fall event, including the golf tournament, orchard tour, welcome reception, and annual awards luncheon. 

 

EVENTS POSTPONED INDEFINITELY

 

USING PESTICIDES WISELY TRAINING

The Using Pesticide Wisely training meetings for March 16 in Rome, March 17 in Dublin and Blackshear, March 19 in Elberton, March 25 in Blakely, March 26 in Statesboro and April 3 in Tifton have been canceled and will be rescheduled, dates TBD. If you need this training to purchase dicamba or 2,4-D products and did not receive it in 2019, please contact your local Extension County Officehttps://extension.uga.edu/county-offices.html.

 

ABAC GEE HAW WHOA BACK RODEO

Originally Scheduled for April 3-4 in Tifton, has been postponed. The rodeo will be rescheduled to a date TBA.

 

PUBLIC TRADE HEARING FOR GA PRODUCE GROWERS

Originally Scheduled for April 9 at the Rainwater Conference Center in Valdosta to let Georgia fruit and vegetable growers tell U.S. trade officials how Mexico's unfair trade practices have harmed their farms has been postponed. New date TBD. Interested parties are still encouraged to submit written comments and informatio via Regulations.gov at www.regulations.gov/document?D=USTR-2020-0010-0001 . The original deadline for written submissions—March 26, 2020—has been waived. The public docket will remain open and will accept written submissions during this period of postponement, and new submission deadlines will be announced in connection with the announcement of new hearing dates. The Federal Register notice with instructions on how to submit written materials can be viewed here. 

 

UGA FORAGE PROGRAMS

The University of Georgia Forage Program announced March 23 that it is postponing all of its short courses and field days scheduled through May 1 to prevent spread of COVID-19. Most of these events will be rescheduled in early summer or this fall. Some events may be transitioned to an online format (i.e. Facebook Live), to allow the presentation of information in a more timely manner. Watch for updates on www.georgiaforages.com and on the programs social media pages @GeorgiaForages .

 

GEORGIA FFA CONVENTION – The State FFA Convention originally set for April 23-25 in Macon has been postponed. Georgia FFA will send updates to its local chapters as decisions are made. 

CENTENNIAL FARM APPLICATION DEADLINE

The Georgia Historic Preservation Division recognizes that many Georgia libraries and courthouses are closed due to COVID-19, so it plans to extend the original May 1 deadline but is waiting to see how long COVID-19 requires facilities to remain closed before setting the new application deadline.

 

CANCELED EVENTS

GREAT SOUTHLAND STAMPEDE RODEO

Scheduled for April 16-18 at the UGA Livestock Arena in Athens, the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo has been canceled.

By administrative recommendation, the rodeo has not been rescheduled at this time. Ticket refunds are on the responsibility of the buyer. To request a refund, contact Tyler Hortman at gssrodeo.tickets@gmail.com.

VIDALIA ONION FESTIVAL 

Originally scheduled for April 21-26 in Vidalia, the annual Vidalia Onion Festival has been canceled. Visit www.vidaliaonionfestival.com to learn more.