Poultry, cattle top industry
Published 7:34 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
According to a recent study, poultry and egg production is the “cock of the walk” in Lowndes County, accounting for 42.9 percent of the county’s total agricultural and forestry production.
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The Alabama Cooperative Extension System, in conjunction with Alabama A&M University and Auburn University, issued a report recently that detailed the noticeable impact of agriculture, forestry and related industries in Lowndes County in 2010.
These and related industries accounted for a total impact of $149.5 million and 1,295 full and part-time jobs.
According to the report, Lowndes County ranked fifth in the state in cattle, which contributed 27.2 percent of the county’s total agricultural and forestry production, making it the second largest agricultural commodity.
Third largest, according to the report, was greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, which contributed 3.1 percent.
Timberland accounted for 66.8 percent of the surface area of Lowndes County and 12.1 percent of the county’s total agricultural and forestry production.
Overall, agricultural, forestry and related industries generated 28.5 percent of the county’s total workforce of 4,541 jobs in 2010. Their impact was 16.3 percent of the county’s economic activity of $918.8 million.
Indirect business taxes were $3.6 million or 18.4 percent of the county’s total indirect business taxes.
Crop, livestock, forestry and fisheries production were $62.3 million and 639 jobs, food and affiliated products manufacturing were $65 million and 333 jobs, forest products were $7.5 million and 51 jobs, related industries were $14.8 million and 273 jobs, agricultural inputs and services were $4.5 million and 112 jobs and food and affiliated products distribution were $10.3 million and 161 jobs.
Michael Oglesby is in the poultry industry in Lowndes County. He and his father, Nolly Oglesby, have operated Double O Farms for 10 years. He has 12 broiler houses in the Lowndesboro/St. Clair area and has been a contract grower for Koch Foods of Montgomery since they started in the area about eight years ago. Before that he was a grower for Sylvest.
“It’s been very good for my family,” Oglesby said of the Poultry business. “You don’t get away very much. We stay right here with the chickens, especially during the summer months.”
Oglesby said he raises 352,000 chickens per batch in his operation and gets five batches of chickens per year.
He was not surprised at the percentage of the county total agricultural and forestry production poultry and egg accounted for in 2010. “We’ve got some rather large producers here,” Oglesby said. “We just happen to be one of them.”
He said there are currently 12 chicken growers in Lowndes County.
Stephen Logan has been in the cattle business in Lowndes County for about 41 years. He said he runs about 490 head of brood crows plus heifers.
He said he is in the stock cattle business, raising beef cattle.
He explained that his cows are “commercial cows” or mixed breed. He explained further than he runs crossbred cows and purebred bulls. “I cross them up,” he said.
Logan said the cows are doing well in Lowndes County now after having been down for so long. He said at one time Lowndes County was one of the top cattle producing counties in the state “No. 2 or No.3.” However, he said, a lot of the larger producers went out of business.
Logan said he raises cattle on Lowndes County Road 13 and Lowndes County Road 12 in the Gordonville area.
He said there is a good return on the cattle with calves around 600 pounds bringing about $1.40 per pound, which he said was a big difference from the between the 65 and 70 cents a pound they brought in the past.