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UGA Extension hosts sustainable, organic and non-GMO grain production field day By Merritt Melancon

Farmers looking to take advantage of the growing market for organic and non-GMO grains should plan to be in Upson County on July 31.

UGA Extension in Spalding and Upson counties are sponsoring a sustainable small grain production field day from 10 a.m. until noon July 31 at the Wes Smith Farm, located west of The Rock on Race Track Road off of Ga. Highway 36.

This field day is for sustainable or organic vegetable farmers who want to break into grain production and for traditional grain producers who want to take advantage of the market for non-GMO and organic markets, said Spalding County Extension Coordinator Wade Hutcheson.

Hutcheson and Upson County Extension Coordinator Wes Smith will provide demonstrations on corn and soybeans grown under various tillage strategies; corn grown with chicken litter as the nutrient source and behind crimson clover as a nutrient source; estimating grain yields under sustainable production systems; and drilled soybeans behind small grain and crimson clover.

There will also be an update on the proposed opening of an organic and non-GMO grain buying point in Forsyth, Ga. Coyote Creek, makers of organic animal feeds, has floated the prospect of opening the buying point there, Hutcheson said.

“They likely will purchase corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and barley that are certified organic and GMO free,” he said. “This will be a great opportunity to see small grain production geared towards that market.”

The field day is free, but farmers need to RSVP by July 28 to reserve a space and to ensure there is enough interest in the event. For more information email hutch@uga.edu or call 770.467.4225.

(Merritt Melancon is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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