The University of Georgia wants feedback from producers impacted by COVID-19. Growers have until Dec. 23 to fill out a survey that will help industry leaders gauge the impact the pandemic has had on Georgia’s agricultural sector.
The survey covers various facets of farming operations that have been altered since the pandemic began in mid-March. This includes commodity prices, disposal or loss of products on the farm, lack of markets, access to working capital, farm labor and international trade.
Another Survey Needed
Mark McCann, assistant dean for UGA Extension, said an earlier survey was conducted in May after the initial outbreak.
Another one is needed so experts can grasp the total impact the pandemic has had on the state’s No. 1 industry.
“As we’re looking to close the calendar year for 2020, thank goodness, we’d like to look at it from a longer perspective than we did the first survey. A couple of other key things that have happened since the first survey when we inquired of farmers is that the COVID Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 1 and 2 have both come out from FSA (Farm Service Agency),” McCann said. “That’s one of the questions we’ve asked producers in the survey is which federal assistance have they participated in. That was one of the things that got a lot of people’s attention in the first survey is most farmers had not really participated in many programs.
“I’m really very curious to see how many have taken advantage of the CFAP programs.”
The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia Department of Agriculture and UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development are jointly sponsoring the survey. Organizers will use the data to document the needs of the agriculture industry and share the summary at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ 2021 Georgia Ag Forecast, which will be held online Friday, Jan. 29.