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Georgia Farmgate Value Tops $14 Billion

Led by increases in forestry and livestock values, Georgia's agricultural output increased by $484 million in 2014, making agriculture, once again, the largest industry in the state with a value of $14.1 billion.

According to the most recent University of Georgia Farmgate Value Report, published earlier this month, the value of Georgia's livestock and aquaculture industries increased by almost 36 percent from 2013.

The significant increase in beef prices in 2014 combined with anticipated high prices have led Georgia farmers to increase their herds. In one year the value of the state's beef cattle production rose by $443,394,105 to $1.089 billion, making it the second most valuable commodity group in the state.

Coordinated by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED), the Farmgate Value Report is one of the most comprehensive annual studies of its kind. Eighty-six Georgia commodities are evaluated. UGA Cooperative Extension agents, who work closely with farmers in every county, collect data that other surveys can't, according to Kent Wolfe, director of the center and an ag economist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

"It's an on-the-ground survey of what Georgia farmers are growing," Wolfe said. "It's really the only study of its depth in the nation. We collect more data than the federal agencies and on more commodities than they are able to survey."

Whereas larger surveys may not count emerging or niche commodities, like southern peas for example, the UGA Farmgate Value Report does. Southern peas, like black-eyed peas, are a $5-million-a-year-business in Georgia.

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Border View Farms is a mid-sized family farm that sits on the Ohio-Michigan border. My name is Nathan. I make and edit all of the videos posted here. I farm with my dad, Mark and uncle, Phil. Our part-time employee, Brock, also helps with the filming. 1980 was our first year in Waldron where our main farm is now. Since then we have grown the operation from just a couple hundred acres to over 3,000. Watch my 500th video for a history of our farm I filmed with my dad.