UGA Cotton/Peanut Field Day Sept. 7th

The UGA Cotton and Peanut Field Day will start at 8am on Sept. 7th at the UGA Gibbs Farm located on William Gibbs Road. After the field visits, we will move to the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village for a few indoor presentations and lunch. The field day is co-sponsored by both the Georgia Cotton Commission and the Georgia Peanut Commission. This field day will be a great chance for growers to learn first-hand about the research that their checkoff dollars are paying for. To RSVP call 386-3006, or visit our website at for more information.

Also, USDA recently released it updated cotton production numbers. For Georgia, they still have us at 1.3 million planted acres of cotton, which we feel is a little high, and an expected statewide yield of 967 pounds per acre, which we also feel may be an optimistic given the growing conditions this summer.(see table 10 in above link)

Nice pivot irrigating outside of Vienna, GA. (about one month ago)


Contamination Free Cotton: Farmer’s Checklist

Before harvest, such as when you are defoliating your fields, keep a watchful eye for things such as plastic shopping bags, irrigation drip tape, or plastic mulch. If you see these contaminates, please be sure to remove them from the fields as many of these contaminates are hard to see during harvest. During cotton harvest, be sure to not build a module or drop a round module in a portion of a field that may have contamination. Any foreign materials, such as plastics, that get trapped under a module usually end up making their way to gin once the module is picked up. Also during harvest, when you are servicing your equipment, be sure check for any small loose parts that may end up in the module and be sure not to over grease your equipment. Excess oils and greases can easily stain any lint that it comes in contact with. For more information on how to keep your cotton contamination free, visit our website at or click here.

What a grocery bag looks like after a picker/stripper runs over it. Shreds of white plastic are now likely in the module.


Be sure not to use module covers that are torn; this plastic can rip off and contaminate the whole module.


Photos courtesy of the National Cotton Council.

Keep Our Good Reputation in Cotton

Recently, staff and board members from the Georgia Cotton Commission have attended several regional and national meetings in which cotton contamination was a topic of discussion. At both the Southern Cotton Growers mid-year meeting and the American Cotton Producers summer meeting, industry leaders reminded growers that US cotton has the best reputation in the world regarding contamination free cotton. In recent years though, several foreign textile mills have complained that they are starting to see some contamination in cotton coming from the US. These contaminates range from plastic twine and bale wrap to things like leather gloves. It takes everyone in the industry, from the grower to the ginner to the warehouseman, to insure that we keep our reputation of having contamination free cotton. In the next few weeks be on the lookout for more information on how to keep your cotton free of contaminates.

In other news, as we reported last week, one good rain good send the futures market down, and when the rains came, down it went. This week’s drop in the market seems to confirm how jittery traders are to the weather in cotton country. Despite the rainfall in West Texas and South GA over the past week, only at harvest will we be able to know if it did any good.

It is no secret that some early planted dryland cotton in Georgia has already cut-out, and you can easily see from the road how many dryland peanut fields have yet to lap the  middle. Only time will tell how much these recent rains have helped this crop.

A True “Weather Market”

Most cotton analyst say that we are in a true “weather market” right now meaning that the daily impacts of weather across the cotton growing regions of the world have a daily impact on the current futures price of cotton. India and China are the two largest production regions in the world. In the U.S., West Texas and Georgia are the two largest cotton production regions and have only received limited amounts of rainfall this past month. If a much needed widespread rain event occurs across West Texas or South Georgia, there is a potential for the market to move back down. With the recent contract highs we’ve seen in this past week, we just want to remind growers to watch the market daily to insure that you do not miss out on these new market highs.

Below is the current drought monitor map for Georgia and Texas. For most farmers this is not news but 68% of Georgia is currently classified as “Abnormally Dry” or worse. Almost a third of the state (31%) is classified as “Severe Drought” or worse.

Drought Monitor for Georgia released August 4, 2016.

U.S. Drought Monitor forGeorgia

Drought Monitor for Texas released August 4, 2016.

U.S. Drought Monitor forTexas

Cotton Ginning Cost-Share Program Deadline Aug. 5

We want to remind cotton growers that Friday, August 5th, is the deadline to sign up for the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share Program. The program is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency and provides producers who grew cotton in 2015 with a one-time payment to help offset the cost of ginning cotton. Payments are made on a regional rate – the payment rate for Georgia is $47.44 per acre with a total payment cap of $40,000 per entity. This does not count against your normal $120,000 payment limit under the 2014 Farm Bill. Sign-up for the program started on June 20th and concludes Friday August 5th at your local FSA office. Producers will receive their payments within a couple of weeks of signing up for the program. We would also like to thank USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack for his work, as well as our congressional leaders, for providing this much needed assistance to the cotton industry.

For more information visit our website at


GMO Labeling Bill Sent to President for Signature

The Georgia Cotton Commission wants to thank the Georgia Congressional delegation for their support of the GMO labeling bill that passed the Senate and House with support from all of the Georgia members. This bill is important to the whole ag industry but especially important to the cotton industry as a majority of the cotton grown in the U.S. contains at least one transgenic trait. Opponents of this labeling law insisted on even more extreme requirements for labeling of GMO products, which we feel was an unnecessary burden to the ag and food industry since no study has ever shown GMOs to be less nutritious or less safe than non-GMO foods. This new law will preempt the state laws that have been passed around the country and therefore continue to allow products like cottonseed oil to be used in the food industry without a patchwork of differing state labeling requirements. Also, the bill includes an important provision that exempts feed, meaning cottonseed fed to dairy and beef cows will not require the products produced to be labeled. Great leadership from the production ag industry, including the National Cotton Council, were instrumental in insuring the feed provision portion of the bill.

Cotton Marking Soaring

If you’ve been on vacation this week and not watching the cotton market you might not know that for the first time in two years the new crop futures is above 70 cents! This is important because most growers have said 70 cents per pound is about the average breakeven price and therefore no reason to contract unless they can get close to 70 cents.

It appears that the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) that USDA released on July 12 shocked some folks by showing a reduced crop outside of the US. Coupled with reports from India and China, the world’s two largest producers, suggesting much lower crops this year, the market went higher. Also, it doesn’t take an economist to see that weather conditions in Texas and Georgia, the US’s two largest producers, could result in lower yields than were expected just a few weeks ago; thus also potentially pushing prices higher even though the US planted more acres of cotton this year than last.

What this means is that growers need to be extra diligent in the next few days and weeks in case the market slips back down. Last year some growers were able to receive above the magical 70 cents/pound once basis, premiums, and LDPs were included. If growers keep a close eye on the market now (or even contract now), 70 cents is well within reach (unless mother nature says otherwise).

GCC Board Sets Budget for FY17

Last week the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) Board of Directors approved the Commission’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017. GCC operates on the same fiscal year as the state of Georgia which starts July 1. GCC is not a state agency, nor are any other commissions, but by law the Georgia Department of Agriculture has administrative responsibilities for most of the commissions and therefore we operate on the same July 1 fiscal year as the state. I think this confuses some people, but the bottom line is that the commodity commissions in Georgia do not receive any taxpayer funding; commissions are wholly funded by the producer checkoff for that commodity. In Georgia, cotton producers pay $1 per bale to support the Georgia Cotton Commission.

The GCC budget for fiscal year 2017 continues many of the same programs such as funding just over $600,000 for cotton research projects and GCC’s continued support of educational programs such as FFA, 4-H, Georgia Young Farmers Association, and several other important organizations. Also included in the budget is continued support for the National Cotton Council and Southern Cotton Growers, thereby making every cotton farmer in Georgia a member of both the National Cotton Council and Southern Cotton Growers.

1.3 Million Acres of GA Cotton Planted

Yesterday the USDA released its June acreage report. Surprisingly GA was up about 100,000 acres more than we predicted. The March USDA planting intentions report had GA cotton at 1.15 million acres, but due to lack of seed supply in soybeans, most folks knew that the soybean number would be down and the cotton number up. Seems like USDA has had a hard time pegging the peanut number (pun intended) as the March numbers suggested GA peanuts at 730,000 and the actual plantings in June at 765,000, which is close to last year’s 785,000. Corn increased 70,000 from last year up to 400,000 acres in 2016. Soybeans surprisingly were higher than we expected at 265,000. Most rumors around the state suggested that there was only 1/3 of the supply of SE soybean varieties this year compared to last year. Below is a chart of 2014 and 2015 planted acres for major GA crops along with the 2016 estimate in March and the 2016 June planted acre number from USDA.

GEORGIA PLANTED ACRES 2014 2015 March ’16 est. June ’16  ’15-’16 change
Cotton  1,380,000  1,130,000        1,150,000  1,300,000            170,000
Peanuts     600,000     785,000           730,000     765,000             (20,000)
Corn     350,000     330,000           390,000     400,000              70,000
Soybeans     300,000     325,000           320,000     265,000             (60,000)
total  2,630,000  2,570,000        2,590,000  2,730,000            160,000
Source; USDA NASS Southern Region June Acreage Report, June 2016

2016 Research Review Day

This year’s Research Review Day was held today at the UGA Tifton Campus where the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) Board of Directors, Research Advisory Committee, and staff review the projects funded by GCC. Once again it was a great day for all involved as GCC gets to see first hand how the producer-funded research impacts every cotton grower in Georgia. This day also affords the producer board members a one-on-one chance to ask specific questions about the progress of research projects and to direct the UGA Cotton Team on the future needs of cotton growers in Georgia.

Below are a few pictures from the event.