Georgia is home to a wide variety of agriculture, including Dairy. With 268 dairy farms producing over 1.34 billion pounds of milk and almost $300 million in gate values annually, dairy is Georgia’s 8th largest agricultural
commodity. The top Georgia counties for dairy production include Macon, Burke, Brooks, Sumter, Putnam, Morgan, Mitchell and Lee – each of which typically produce $10 million or more annually. In fact, Georgia has been an
important commercial dairy producer since the 1930s.
With this established history, let’s look at two industry developments currently impacting risk and insurance for the dairy industry in Georgia:
- RAW Milk Sales in Georgia. The recently enacted ‘Raw Dairy Act’ will allow Georgia dairies to sell raw milk product for human consumption on or after July 1, 2023. Dairies participating must obtain
a license that show their products follow food safety regulations and are produced and labeled ‘Grade A’. Previously raw dairy products were only allowed for animal/pet consumption. This new law could invigorate
the commercial success of smaller dairies which have been impacted by the increasing costs related to competing commercially against larger farms. Of note from a risk management perspective is the potential risk of contamination with
unpasteurized milk products and potential litigation that could result. Should be interesting to observe!
- Robotic Milking in Georgia. With several manufacturers offering equipment in the USA, Georgia is seeing the implementation of this equipment. These devices allow the cow to essentially milk itself by being milked
when it wants to be! AN RFID device identifies the cow entering the milking machine, and the machine then isolates, sanitizes, connects, collects and then cleans the animal to complete the milking process - all without human intervention. While a
big investment, robotic milking is looking to be a “keeper” technology and should prove instrumental in an industry where the shortage of skilled labor is already an issue. From a risk management perspective, the use of
robotic devices will allow for greater data, analysis and control of production. That said, the cost of these devices is a concern and the impact on yield is still to be proven. An exciting advancement, nonetheless.
We’re here to help and are proud to insure Georgia’s dairy farmers. Talk with your local agent about
our farm insurance coverage today.
Content provided by Richard Hart, Director of Sales Training for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance