2015–2020 Industry Goals

Beef Cattle

  1. Increase productivity and profitability of the beef cattle industry by 10%.
  2. Increase cattle numbers by 150,000 from 429,350 to 579,350 by 2020.
  3. Increase the number of days of grazing to reduce winter feed costs.
  4. Improve profitability of cattle producers.

Catfish

  1. Increase the amount of research being done to combat diseases facing catfish and other species of fish. Of primary concern at the current time is Aeromonas hydrophila in the areas of disease transmission, vaccine development, and probiotics investigation
  2. Develop export markets for our aquaculture products and expand ways to level the playing field for Alabama raised/processed products versus imported seafood.
  3. Continue to develop Alabama’s coastal oyster aquaculture while developing a diverse marine aquaculture program in our coastal zone.
  4. Support development of indoor recirculating aquaculture systems to produce tilapia, rainbow trout, marine shrimp, and other high-value seafood species.
  5. Develop profitable value-added products to reach more consumers who demand convenience and quality.
  6. Continue the study and implementation of new production systems, called in-pond raceways, to make these systems profitable and more efficient for multiple aquatic species.

Cotton, Peanuts, Soybean, Wheat, and Feed Grains

  1. Create public economic incentives to stimulate the capital investments in crop production, input supply chain, grain marketing, and grain processing.
  2. Create programs and strategies to revitalize the textile and apparel manufacturing industry.
  3. Create programs to attract capital investments in the modernization of the cotton industry equipment and facilities.
  4. Increase wheat and soybean yields, quality, and production acreage through a collaborative education program.
  5. Increase the statewide average yield of agronomic crops.
  6. Amend the “Irrigation Initiative” to the “Alabama Agricultural Investment Initiative.”

Dairy

  1. Work with agricultural stakeholders to review and simplify implementation of the (AFO/CAFO) rules and regulations to ensure good environmental stewardship without the program being an economic burden to livestock producers.
  2. Increase labor supply of well-qualified and motived employees.
  3. Create an Alabama Dairy Revitalization Program that will increase dairy production.
  4. Provide options to producers on implementing environmental stewardship programs
  5. Obtain legislative support for water usage by agriculture as a state priority in all water use regulations and guidelines

Equine

  1. Increase miles of public recreational horse trails to more than 250 miles by 2018.
  2. Conduct an Economic Impact Study of the Alabama Equine Industry in collaboration with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
  3. Finalize and publish standards of care guidelines for equine, which include protocol for police officers/state troopers responding to equine calls by 2015 in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Industry’s State Veterinarian.

Forestry

  1. Grow from 4th to 1st in southern states forest product production.
  2. Increase direct employment from 38,369 to 42,205 by forest products companies.
  3. Increase total timber harvest from 41 million tons to 43 million tons.
  4. Increase third-party certified forest acres from 5.5 million to 6.0 million acres.

Fruits and Vegetables

  1. Increase labor supply of well-qualified and motived employees.
  2. Increase direct sales from fruit and vegetable growers to local and state school systems.
  3. Increase the sales of value-added fruit and vegetable products sold at retail markets.
    • Develop commercial processing and cold storage facilities
    • Develop lease-fee based value-added processing facilities accessible to producers.
  4. Increase the sales for bona fide fruit and vegetable growers at retail markets.
    • Adopt an Alabama Certified Farmers Market program.
  5. Increase funding of land grant universities and Experiment Station field locations.

Greenhouse, Nursery and Landscape

  1. Increase labor supply of well-qualified and motived employees
  2. Establish an enforced Landscape Company Certification program and searchable database.
  3. Increase public awareness of the value of the green industry.
  4. Increase public awareness of the value of home and community landscaping.
  5. Create a horticulture check-off program to sponsor research, Extension education, and marketing.
  6. Establish an enforced Certified Irrigation Contractors program.
  7. Promote water education and conservation among the general public.

Hay and Forages

  1. Increase the number of producers using forage testing results to optimize the production of quality forages.
  2. Increase the production of high moisture hay (haylage and balage).
  3. Improve farmers’ ability to differentiate green and yellow foxtail from knotroot foxtail for proper weed management.
  4. Gain access to road medians and right-of-ways for commercial hay harvesting. e. Foster the development of 2,4-D resistant clover varieties.
  5. Foster the development of 2,4-D resistant clover varieties.
  6. Increase Extension programming and research trials on emerging forage harvesting practices, grazing, and equipment at Agricultural Experiment Station field locations
  7. Purchase and support the use of a mobile forage testing unit with a portable NIR analyzer for forage and grain quality assessment.

Honey and Bees

  1. Implement a statewide collaborative beehive stewardship program to minimize pesticide damage to the bee and honey industry.
  2. Obtain official recognition of the Queen Honey Bee as the Alabama Agricultural Insect.
  3. Make Forever Wild lands available for apiary hive placement.
  4. Obtain funding for a minimum of four full-time pollination and bee specialists at the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.
  5. Secure funds to support honey production, colony collapse disorder research, marketing, and Extension education.

Meat Goats

  1. Establish a graded sale for sheep and/or goats.
  2. Attract USDA-inspected processing facilities to increase retail sales in Alabama.
  3. Establish state regulations and guidelines that support on-farm sales as a marketing option.
  4. Foster communications and collaboration among Alabama A&M, Auburn, and Tuskegee Universities on small ruminant teaching, research, and Extension.

Pork

  1. Recruit and incentivize pork processors and markets into Alabama
  2. Work with agricultural stakeholders to review and simplify implementation of the Alabama Animal Feeding Operation/Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (AFO/ CAFO) rules and regulations to ensure good environmental stewardship without the program being an economic burden to livestock producers.
  3. Increase labor supply of well-qualified and motived employees.
  4. Provide options to producers on implementing environmental stewardship programs.
  5. Increase Alabama-grown feed supplies.
  6. Maintain responsible use of antibiotics as a management alternative to enhance profitability and food safety.

Poultry

  1. Work with agricultural stakeholders to review and simplify implementation of the Alabama Animal Feeding Operation/Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (AFO/ CAFO) rules and regulations to ensure good environmental stewardship without the program being an economic burden to livestock producers.
  2. Expand poultry production and processing to meet domestic and global demand while targeting locations in Alabama in need of economic stimulation.
  3. Decrease operating costs of poultry production and processing.
  4. Develop new equipment with emerging technology to optimize poultry production and processing.
  5. Educate consumers, farmers, and public officials of the value of the Alabama poultry industry.

Shrimp

  1. Expand production and number of producers to meet demand for safe, sustainable, and wholesome farm-raised shrimp.
  2. Develop larval rearing protocol and facilities for inland Alabama production
  3. Develop shrimp production best management practices for current and new producers
  4. Conduct enterprise economic analysis and budgets to assist current and new producers to be profitable.
  5. Explore shared producer ownership of specialized but infrequently used equipment.
  6. Work with Auburn University to provide a water analysis service for inland shrimp producers.

Turfgrass

  1. Increase labor supply of well-qualified and motived employees.
  2. Set precedence over water, combat erroneous regulations, and promote water conservation among customer base.
  3. Increase Department of Agriculture and Industries’ enforcement of green industry permit fees and inspections.
  4. Decrease taxes on agricultural equipment and production inputs.
  5. Increase funding of land grant universities and Experiment Station field locations to improve the quality of Alabama turfgrass products.