2019 Cotton Variety Performance

The University of Georgia works to provide producers with information on performance of cotton varieties through two programs.  The state-wide variety testing program conducts the Official Variety Trial or OVT program to evaluate yield potential of a large number of new and commercial varieties in a selected number of irrigated and dryland small plot trials.  Preliminary 2019 OVT results can be found at https://swvt.uga.edu/summer-crops/cotton.html.  The UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Evaluation Program (OFT) compares the performance of a much smaller set of varieties, which have been proven to have a fit in Georgia, in a significantly larger number of locations in large-plot, replicated strip-trials.  We thank the many County Agents and cooperating growers who participated in the on-farm program.

Both programs provide significant clues to which varieties will likely be the best performers in 2020.  Data from the UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Evaluation Program provides information not only on yield potential, which is one of the most important factors in choosing varieties, but consistency and stability of performance across varying yield environments.  Since the inception of this program, it has become clear that stability and consistency of performance in the past is one of the best ways to predict future performance.  All varieties evaluated in the on-farm trials have shown the potential to do well in Georgia and this program is intended to compare the “best of the best” choices for Georgia producers.

In 2019, a total of 11 varieties from five seed companies were evaluated in the 2019 UGA OFT program.  Varieties were evaluated in a total of 25 on-farm strip trials, 13 irrigated and 12 dryland locations.  Trials were planted, managed, and harvested by cooperating growers.  The trials were conducted across the Coastal Plain of Georgia, where the vast majority of cotton is produced.  Yield environments or trial averages across locations ranged from a low of 519 lbs. lint/acre to a high of 1,615 lbs. lint/acre.  Commercially harvested seedcotton samples were collected and taken to the UGA Microgin to determine lint percentage and ultimately fiber quality.  We are continuing to collect and summarize fiber quality data.  Once completed a final report of the UGA OFT data will be posted on http://www.ugacotton.com/.  Contact your County Agent for additional information on variety performance.

2019 On-Farm Cotton Variety Evaluation All Locations Average LSD (p=0.1) % Above Trial Average % Among Top 3
DG 3615 B3XF 1,206 a 68 60
DP 1646 B2XF 1,185 ab 76 52
PHY PX3B07 W3FE 1,170 ab 64 36
ST 5471 GLTP 1,165 ab 64 24
DP 1851 B3XF 1,161 bc 68 32
DP 1840 B3XF 1,140 bcd 48 40
ST 5600 B2XF 1,120 cde 44 16
PHY PX5D28B W3FE 1,119 cde 36 16
CG 19XG9B3XF 1,101 de 24 16
NG 5711 B3XF 1,086 e 28 8
NG 3930 B3XF 1,016 f 8 0

This study was conducted by UGA Extension Cotton Specialists Jared Whitaker and Mark Freeman.  This article was written by UGA Extension Entomologist Phillip Roberts.

Cotton Commission pleased with USMCA Vote

The Georgia Cotton Commission is appreciative of the recent passage of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement in the House of Representatives and is hopeful that the Senate will take up this important matter quickly when they return in 2020.

Georgia Cotton Commission Chairman Bart Davis, a cotton producer from Colquitt County, said, “this is positive news for not just cotton producers here in Georgia, but for the cotton industry at large.  Mexico and Canada are key markets for cotton, and I am hopeful that our exports to these countries will grow.”  Davis also commented that all members of Georgia’s bipartisan congressional delegation voted in favor of the agreement and thanked them for their support.

Cotton Farmers Give Back to Those in Need


The Georgia Cotton Commission, on behalf of the 3,500 cotton farming families across the State of Georgia, recently donated 12,000 pairs of socks to Atlanta Mission.

Since 1938 Atlanta Mission, a Christian nonprofit ministry, has grown from a small soup kitchen to a multi-facility organization serving Metro Atlanta’s large homeless population.  Today, Atlanta Mission provides emergency shelter, rehab and recovery services, vocational training, services, and transitional housing.  They serve more than 1,000 homeless men, women, and children every day.  They will us

e this mixed size and gender lot of socks to serve the needy men, women, youth, and infants of not only Metro Atlanta, but the state at large.

Katrina Dantism, Atlanta Mission’s Director of Partnerships & Volunteer Services, said, “”At Atlanta Mission we provide basic needs for up to 1,000 men, women, and children experiencing homelessness every day. We cannot do that without the generosity of the community. Something as basic as a new pair of socks provides these individuals with hope for a brighter future.”

Georgia Cotton Commission Chairman Bart Davis, a cotton farmer from Colquitt County, said, “As a cotton producer, it gives me great pleasure and pride to be able to give back to our state in such a meaningful way. The donation of cotton socks to the Atlanta mission helps people who truly need a little extra at this time of year.”

The Georgia Cotton Commission is a producer-funded organization located in Perry, Georgia. The Commission began in 1965. Georgia cotton producers pay an assessment enabling the Commission to invest in programs of research, promotion, and education on behalf of all cotton producers of Georgia. For more information about the Georgia Cotton Commission please call (478) 988-4235 or on the web at www.georgiacottoncommission.org.

Speakers Announced: Georgia Cotton Commission 13th Annual Meeting Jan. 29, 2020

The Georgia Cotton Commission is pleased to announce the guest speakers for the Commission’s 13th Annual Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 29, 2020, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The annual meeting is held in conjunction with the UGA Cotton Production Workshop conducted by the UGA Research & Extension Cotton Team.

The UGA Cotton Production Workshop will feature breakout sessions where attendees will learn the latest technical production strategies from the researchers whose projects are funded by the Commission’s research program. The Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting will follow the breakout sessions and feature speakers from several industry organizations.

The program speakers are Kent Fountain, Vice Chairman, National Cotton Council of America; Melissa Bastos, Director of Market Research, Cotton Incorporated; and Hank Reichle, President & CEO, Staplcotn.

  • Kent D. Fountain, the president/CEO of Southeastern Gin and Peanut, Inc. in Surrency, Ga., served as the vice chairman of the National Cotton Council (NCC) for 2019. He was a NCC vice president from 2016-2018 and served on the NCC’s Board in 2011. Since 2010, he has served as a director of Cotton Council International, the NCC’s export promotion arm. Fountain is a past president of the National Cotton Ginners Association and the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association and currently serves as a director for Staplcotn and the Cotton Growers Warehouse Association. The recipient of numerous honors, he received the Southeastern Ginner of the Year in 2001 and the Horace Hayden National Ginner of the Year Award in 2016. Fountain, who was a member of the NCC’s 2001-2002 Cotton Leadership Class, earned degrees from the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.
  • Melissa Bastos is the Cotton Incorporated Director of Market Research in the Corporate Strategy and Program Metrics Department. In her role, Melissa is responsible for directing the development of corporate performance measures, corporate strategy, and strategic research including global consumer attitudinal and behavioral studies as well as product assessments, such as the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ and Retail Monitor™ research, which are conducted in the US, China, Europe, Latin America and India.
  • Hank Reichle is the President & CEO of Staplcotn, one of the oldest and largest cotton marketing cooperatives in the United States. Reichle joined Staplcotn in 2004, having previously worked with Ernst & Young and The Seam.  He was named President & CEO in 2018, succeeding Meredith Allen, after serving as Vice President of Export Sales and Executive Vice President.  He serves as President of Cotton Council International; a member of the Agribusiness Industry Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; and as a director of the National Cotton Council of America, AMCOT, and The Seam.

Following the Annual Meeting speakers, the Commission will host lunch where sponsors will be recognized, door prizes will be given away, and the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards for the 2019 crop will be awarded. The meeting, production workshop, and lunch are open to not only cotton growers, but anyone interested in the cotton industry. The UGA Cotton Production Workshop breakout sessions will be repeated after lunch.

There is no charge to attend. Pre-registration is requested to help with meal plans.  Register online at www.ugatiftonconference.caes.uga.edu or call (229) 386-3416.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Deltapine/Bayer Crop Science – John Deere
Stoneville/BASF – Phytogen/Corteva Agriscience
Allenberg Cotton Company/ProCot Cooperative/Louis Dreyfus Commodities
Alltech Crop Science – Americot, Inc.-NexGen
Choice Cotton Company – CNI – Cotton Solutions Cooperative
Custom Ag Formulators – Farm Credit Associations of Georgia
Farm Journal/Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
Hembree & Smith Nationwide Farm Insurance – Indigo Ag
Kelley Manufacturing Company – Lasseter Tractor Company
Nationwide Insurance-Agribusiness Insurance Advisors
Quail Forever
R.W. Griffin/Coffee County Gin/Four Corners Cotton Gin
Rabo AgriFinance – Rossee Oil Company – SePRO Corporation
Southeast AgNet – Staplcotn – Syngenta – Tidewater Equipment Company Triangle Chemical Company – Valent USA – Valley Irrigation Yara US
Zimmatic Irrigation

NCC Urges Swift USMCA Passage

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council (NCC) is pleased with the deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) reached today between the Administration, Congress and the governments of Mexico and Canada and urges swift Congressional approval.

NCC Chairman Mike Tate said, “This trade agreement will provide an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity and freer markets/fairer trade. Importantly, it will restore important trade certainty in the North American market which represents significant export market share for both U.S. cotton and cotton textile products.”

Mexico is the second largest export market for U.S. cotton textile/apparel products and Canada is the fourth largest for these goods. Mexico also is a top market for U.S. raw cotton.

The Alabama cotton producer noted that the USMCA, which updates and modifies the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), includes a textile chapter that offers significant improvements for domestic textile manufacturers and workers, including a stronger rule of origin for certain regional textile products and strong customs enforcement language.

The NCC also agrees with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s statement that this agreement will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come and be the model for American trade deals going forward.

NCC: Trade Assistance Will Provide Economic Relief

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council extended its thanks to the Administration after USDA announced details regarding the second tranche of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments for the 2019 crop year.

NCC Chairman Mike Tate, an Alabama cotton producer, said this assistance is timely as U.S. cotton’s economic health has deteriorated significantly during 2019. He noted that lost market share to China and a slowdown in global cotton demand have contributed to cotton futures prices having fallen by approximately 30 cents per pound since summer 2018. With average yields, that drop equates to about $250 less revenue per acre.

“This second round of MFP payments is much needed for mitigating the impacts of retaliatory tariffs being placed on U.S. raw cotton to China,” Tate said. “We are encouraged from Administration reports about the state of the trade talks with China in an effort to finalize a Phase 1 agreement that would include a significant commitment by China to purchase U.S. agricultural commodities.”

The first tranche of MFP payments provided 50 percent of the expected county payment rate per acre and the second tranche – to begin being processed by USDA during the week of November 18 – is providing an additional 25 percent of the county payment rate.

Tate said the U.S. cotton industry is urging USDA to proceed with facilitating the third MFP tranche, which the agency has indicated will be 25 percent of the 2019 MFP. USDA indicated a January timetable for that tranche, but its initiation could be affected by a potential Phase 1 agreement with China.

Hollifield and Torrance Presented 2019 King Cotton Awards

kingcotton219County UGA Cooperative Extension Service agents are an incredible resource for cotton farmers across Georgia.  Agents are known for delivering timely and accurate information, which is instrumental for the success of Georgia’s farmers.  They also do community specific research, education, and outreach programs, designed at helping farmers maximizing yields and efficiency.

For the nineteenth year in a row, the Georgia Cotton Commission sponsored the King Cotton Awards to recognize outstanding contributions of county agents to Georgia cotton producers. The Senior Award is for agents with 10 or more years of experience, while the Junior Award, named the Allen B. Fulford Award, is for those with less than 10 years of service. The latter award honors the accomplishments and memory of Allen B. Fulford as a county Extension agent and state cotton agronomist.  The awards were presented at the 2019 Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents Annual Meeting & Professional Improvement Conference held in Dublin in November.  The Georgia Cotton Commission is proud to salute the excellent work that County Extension Agents do for farmers across the state.

The 2019 Senior King Cotton Award Winner is Stephanie Hollifield of Brooks County, where she serves as County Extension Coordinator as well as Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.  Hollifield has worked for Extension from 1994 to 1998 and 2013 to present. She has ten years of service, all in Brooks County.  In addition to holding producer education programs regarding agronomics and defoliation, Hollifield conducts county research on cotton.  The priorities for her local research are made in collaboration with local growers.  Recent trials have been on issues such as areolate mildew, planter downforce, defoliation tank mixes, and many more.

The 2019 Allen B. Fulford Award recipient is Ty Torrance of Grady County, where he serves as ANR Agent.  Torrance started with extension in 2015, and previously served producers in Decatur, Schley, and Marion Counties.  Ty has been recognized nationally for his work regarding irrigation scheduling and serves as a member of the Georgia Cotton Commission’s Research Advisory Committee, which analyzes and makes recommendations on research programs funded by the Commission.  Ty also participates in the UGA Cotton Team’s on-farm variety trials, a program designed to inform producers on yield and fiber quality data from the numerous commercial cotton varieties available to farmers across the state.

The Georgia Cotton Commission is a producer-funded organization located in Perry, Georgia. The Commission began in 1965. Georgia cotton producers pay an assessment enabling the Commission to invest in programs of research, promotion, and education on behalf of all cotton producers of Georgia. For more information about the Georgia Cotton Commission please call (478) 988-4235 or on the web at www.georgiacottoncommission.org.


NCC Applauds EPA Revisions for Pesticide Applications

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council appreciates the EPA’s proposal to change some aspects of the Worker Protection Standards (WPS) that were finalized under the last Administration.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler made the announcement today regarding the proposal that provides much needed changes to what is called the Application Exclusion Zone, or AEZ. The AEZ is a 25- or 100-feet, unoccupied, “floating” area around any pesticide application equipment that “moves” with the equipment. This zone is to remain unoccupied during the pesticide application. Problems arose, though, because farmer’s homes and buildings are most often in or next to their fields and would have to be vacated under the AEZ rules. Also, many fields are adjacent to other properties and public roads where the farmer or applicator has no control.

The proposed revisions will: 1) modify the AEZ to be enforceable only on the farmer’s property; 2) exempt immediate family from having to leave their homes or outbuildings; 3) clarify that applications can resume as soon as an individual has vacated the AEZ; and 4) simplify the decision-making process on whether the AEZ must be 25-feet or 100-feet.

NCC Chairman Mike Tate, an Alabama cotton producer, said, “I believe these changes, when finalized, will provide much-needed assurance to farmers and applicators, reduce their potential liability, eliminate the loss of useable field edges and still protect human health and the environment. Our industry is grateful for the practical, commonsense approach that Administrator Wheeler and his team continues to utilize when determining how best to ensure public safety and health without undue, burdensome regulations on family farms.”

In EPA’s news release regarding the agency’s proposal, Wheeler noted that the proposal would “enhance the agency’s Application Exclusion Zone provisions by making them more effective and easier to implement. In listening to input from stakeholders, our proposal will make targeted updates, maintaining safety requirements to protect the health of those in farm country, while providing greater flexibility for farmers.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue stated in EPA’s release that, “President Trump made a commitment to our farmers to reduce burdensome regulations, and this is another example of him making good on that promise. This action will make it easier for our farmers and growers to comply with the Application Exclusion Zone provisions, providing them with the flexibility to do what they do best – feed, fuel, and clothe the world.”

The proposal will be open for public comment for 90 days from the date it is published in the Federal Register.

FSA: Trade and Disaster Assistance Available to Georgia Agricultural Producers Impacted by Tariffs and Natural Disasters

By:  Tas Smith, State Executive Director, USDA Farm Service Agency, Georgia

Agricultural producers are facing tough times.  Under the direction of President Donald Trump and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to ensuring producers suffer minimal financial impact from the wrath of Mother Nature and trade tariffs implemented by China and others.

Trade Impact Assistance

On July 29, signup began for the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and will continue through December 6, 2019.  MFP provides up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to agricultural producers who have been affected by unjustified retaliatory foreign tariffs on U.S. farm goods; causing a loss of traditional export markets.

Non-Specialty Crops

Assistance for covered non-specialty crops is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings, in aggregate in 2019.  A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings.  Calculations will consider new farmers, fallow ground, and farms exiting the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation on that county.  Producers will receive a payment based on 2019 planted acreage multiplied by county payment rate.


Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive a payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.

Specialty Crops

For specialty crops, producers will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants.  Rates include:  Dairy (milk): $0.20 per hundredweight, Hogs:  $11 per head, Nuts:  $146 per acre, and table grapes:  $0.03 per pound at 20,820 pounds per acre.

Payment Limitation and Eligibility

Payments for each category of covered commodity (non-specialty, livestock and specialty) are limited to $250,000 per person or legal entity, but no applicant can receive more than $500,000 (for example, a dairy producer who grows cotton and produces pecans can only receive $500,000).

To be eligible for payments, applicants also must either: have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017 of less than $900,000 or derive at least 75% of their adjusted gross income from farming.

MFP payments will be made in up to three installments, with the second and third installments evaluated as market conditions and trade impact dictates.  If conditions warrant, the second and third installments will be made in November 2019 and early January 2020.  The first payment will be issued based on the higher of the larger of 50 percent of a calculated county payment rate or $15 per acre.

A list of covered commodities, the MFP application, and payment rates can be found at farmers.gov/mfp.

Disaster Recovery Assistance

Hurricane Michael

The 2018 growing season was one of extreme difficulty for Georgia producers.  Last October one of the most productive crop years on record was battered and destroyed by Hurricane Michael.  According to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, Hurricane Michael caused more than $2.5 billion in losses to Georgia’s agricultural sector.

Responding to this devastation, Congress passed, and President Trump signed, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019.  The law provides assistance for production losses from Hurricane Michael through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+).

The disaster relief package also includes new Milk Loss and On-Farm Storage Loss programs to help producers who had to dump or remove milk without compensation or for losses of harvested commodities, including hay that was stored in on-farm structures.

Peach and blueberry producers will also receive assistance from 2017 freezes that affected 2017 and 2018 production through the original regulations of the 2017 WHIP program.


Signup for WHIP+ began on September 11 and will continue into 2020.  WHIP+ builds off the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) and is available to producers who have suffered eligible losses of certain crops, trees, bushes, or vines.

To be considered eligible for WHIP+, producers must farm land in a Secretarially or Presidentially-declared disaster county.  Producers outside one of those counties may be still be eligible for assistance if they can prove that they experienced the minimum level of loss due to a qualifying, eligible disaster event.

Eligibility will be determined for each producer based on the size of the loss and the level of noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) or conventional crop insurance coverage obtained by the producer.  A “WHIP+ factor” will be determined for each crop based on the producer’s coverage level.  Producers who elected higher coverage levels will receive a higher WHIP+ factor.  Producers who suffered crop losses due to Hurricane Michael will be compensated at 100 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment, once the application is approved.

WHIP+ benefits will be subject to a per person or legal entity payment limitation of $125,000 or $250,000 if at least 75 percent of the person’s or legal entity’s average income is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry related activities, provided the participant submits the required certification and documentation.

Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for WHIP+.  Producers receiving assistance through WHIP+ will be required to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage, at the minimum 60 percent level for the next two consecutive crop years.

USDA is also working with Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner to further assist growers through state block grants for producer losses not covered by WHIP+ or other USDA disaster programs.

For county rates, a WHIP+ application or related program information, visit farmers.gov/whip-plus.

For more information, please contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center farmers.gov/service-locator.

Respectfully Submitted,


Tas Smith
State Executive Director
USDA Farm Service Agency – Georgia