1.35 Million Acres of Cotton in GA

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we will discuss the USDA NASS June plantings report. The June report from NASS has Georgia planting 1.35 million acres of cotton this year and 850,000 acres of peanuts. This is a 14% increase in cotton acreage (170,000) and an 18% increase in peanut acreage (130,000). Those increases in acreage total 300,000 acres. A reduction of corn by 40,000 acres and a reduction in soybeans of 80,000 still shows Georgia planting a total of 180,000 more acres of row crops this year versus last year. Most of this increase can be seen in a relatively stable peanut market and, until just a few weeks ago, a much stronger cotton market this year versus 2015 and 2016. With an insurance price of 73 cent set for the 2017 cotton crop, it was widely expected that cotton acreage would increase this year. Total US cotton plantings increased from 10 million acres to 12 million this year. For more info, visit our ‘GA Cotton Stats’ page at GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

GEORGIA PLANTED ACRES 2014 2015 2016 2017  ’16 to ’17 difference % change
Cotton    1,380,000    1,130,000    1,180,000    1,350,000                       170,000 14%
Peanuts       600,000       785,000       720,000       850,000                       130,000 18%
Corn       350,000       330,000       410,000       370,000                        (40,000) -10%
Soybeans       300,000       325,000       260,000       180,000                        (80,000) -31%
Sorghum         40,000         50,000         20,000         20,000                                  – 0%
total   2,670,000   2,620,000   2,590,000   2,770,000                       180,000 7%
Source; USDA NASS Southern Region Plantings, June 2017

Georgia Cotton Commission Approves Budget, Davis Elected Chairman

At its June 28th meeting, the Georgia Cotton Commission approved its budget for fiscal year 2018 (FY18) that starts July 1st. Along with supporting cotton industry organizations such as the National Cotton Council and Southern Cotton Growers, the FY18 budget includes $645,000 for cotton research. These research projects cover all aspects of cotton production including cotton breeding, variety testing, weed science, entomology, pathology, and engineering. The Commission’s research program also includes a grant for continued support of the UGA Cotton Team’s extension activities. A list of current and past research projects can be found on the Commission website at www.GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

Also at its June 28th meeting, the Commission elected Bart Davis of Colquitt County as Chairman and Matt Coley of Dooly County as Vice-Chairman. Davis, who was first appointed to the Board in 2012, succeeds Mike Lucas of Bleckley County who has served on the Commission’s Board since 2003 and as the Board’s Chairman since 2013. Coley, also appointed to the Board in 2012, succeeds Lee Cromley of Bulloch County who has served as a Board Member since 2011 and as Vice-Chairman since 2014.

Bart Davis operates Davis Farms, a cotton, peanut, corn, hay, and cattle operation, with his wife, daughter, and two sons. Davis is a longtime supporter of FFA and holds a State FFA Degree as well as being named Georgia Star Farmer. Davis has also been named Farmer of the Year at the Annual Peanut Festival in Sylvester. In addition to serving as the Georgia Cotton Commission’s Chairman, Davis serves as a Delegate to the National Cotton Council, a Director for Southern Cotton Growers, and as an Alternate Director for Cotton Incorporated.

Matt Coley is the fourth generation to operate Coley Farms, a cotton and peanut farm, and Coley Gin & Fertilizer, a cotton gin and peanut buying point in Vienna. After college, Coley served on the staff of Senator Saxby Chambliss, who was Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. In addition to serving as the Georgia Cotton Commission’s Vice-Chairman, Coley serves as a Board Member for the National Peanut Buying Points Association and as Director for the American Cotton Producers of the National Cotton Council. Coley was a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2016.

For more information visit www.GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

Below: Past Chairman Mike Lucas (left) accepts a cotton print from incoming Chairman Bart Davis (right). Lucas has served on the Georgia Cotton Commission since 2003 and as Chairman since 2013.

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2017 Research Review Day

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want to discuss our Research Review Day. Each year the Georgia Cotton Commission board, staff, and Research Advisory Board spend a day with the UGA Cotton Team in Tifton reviewing research. We’ve mentioned before, but it must be noted, that the Commission typically spends about $600,000 on cotton research each year, with most of that being in the UGA Tifton area. The Research Review Day is important because it allows direct conversation between the Georgia Cotton Commission and the UGA Cotton Team on the need and direction of current and future research. This benefits both parties as the Commission gets to see exactly how their research dollars are spent, and the UGA Cotton Team gets comments directly from growers about their research projects. Topics from the Research Review Day run the gamut of cotton production: from pre-plant herbicide strategies all the way through defoliation. All of the Commission funded research projects can be found on our ‘Producer’ page at GeorgiaCottonCommission.orgIMG_6800

Recent Rainfall and Weather Data Websites

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we will discuss the recent weather and where to find weather data. Most of the cotton growing region of Georgia has received at least 2 inches of rain so far in June with some areas exceeding 7 inches. The Commission has been a long time financial supporter of the Georgia Weather Network, which is housed in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and can be found at GeorgiaWeather.net. The Georgia Weather Network maintains numerous weather stations across the state that allow users to view real time and historical weather conditions on the website. You can go to www.GeorgiaWeather.net and select the station closest to you and view the soil temp, max and min temperatures, rainfall, and evapotranspiration. Another good website is AgroClimate.org. This website has lots of long-term and recent historical data pertaining to everything weather related. You can view things such as the El Nino/La Nina prediction model, a yield by planting date model, a short-term rainfall forecast, and many other tools.

UGA Insect Scout Schools June 12 and 20

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want to remind everyone about the UGA Scout Schools on June 12th and 20th. On Monday June 12th, UGA entomologists will hold their annual Scout School at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. If you miss the Scout School on June 12th another one will be held on June 20th in Midville at the Southeast Research and Education Center. The purpose of the UGA Insect Scout Schools are to provide basic information on insect pest identification and damage, natural enemies, and scouting procedures. Cotton, peanut, and soybean scouting will be covered at this school. The trainings will serve as an introduction to insect monitoring for new scouts as well as a review for experienced scouts and producers. The classroom portion of the Scout School will start at 9am and then move to the field concluding around 12:30pm. Again, the dates are June 12th in Tifton and June 20th in Midville. For more information visit the UGA Cotton Team’s website at UGAcotton.com.

Below: Dr. Phillip Roberts conducts the field portion of the 2015 UGA Insect Scout School. 

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Synthetic Microfibers Causing Pollution

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want to discuss synthetic microfibers and their harm to the environment. Multiple studies have shown that microfibers from synthetic clothing are one of the leading causes of plastic pollution. One university study in particular has shown that these extremely small fibers are shed from synthetic materials, primarily synthetic clothing during the washing process, and are generally not visible without magnification. Once the microfibers are shed they can end up in the environment, usually in the ocean or rivers via wastewater without any visible effects on the environment. Only recently have studies shown that these microfibers are actually one of the leading causes of plastic pollution in the oceans. These studies confirm what many in the cotton industry have said for years: That cotton is a truly natural and sustainable crop that produces natural and sustainable products. Garments made from cotton are biodegradable and will return to a natural carbon state once placed in a landfill. To learn more about the benefits of cotton, visit our ‘Consumer’ page at GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

14,000 Students Reached during 2016/17 School Year.

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission we want to discuss our education program. With the school year now wrapping up, our education program reached over 14,000 students this year (14,796 to be exact). Most of those students received our “Cotton, King of Crops in Georgia” brochure and our educational bookmark during one of the many “ag days” or “farm days” that were held across the state this year. About 3,000 of those students were visited with directly by us at one of the half dozen or so events we were able to attend this year. Most of the students that learned about cotton this school year through our program were elementary school aged, although we were able to reach several middle school events as well. The Georgia Cotton Commission believes that it is important to explain the cotton industry to children at an early age. Most of what students learn through our program is how cotton touches every aspect of their lives, since cotton is the only food and fiber crop that we grow here in Georgia. For more information about our educational program, click the ‘Education’ tab on our homepage at GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

Below: Kids at Columbus Downtown Elementary learn that their t-shirts are made from cotton.

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Below: Students learn about cottonseed at Columbus Downtown Elementary, the last school event we attended for the 2016/17 school year. 

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Georgia Cotton Farmer Efficiency Survey

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want to remind growers about the Georgia Cotton Growers’ Efficiency Survey. This survey is part of a project funded by the Georgia Cotton Commission with the goal of improving Georgia cotton farmers’ production efficiency. The survey will look at each participant’s production efficiency based on farm inputs and farm yields. If you complete the survey, your survey results will be analyzed and you will be able to log back into the survey and see how your farm compares to others. Of course all of this information will be displayed as anonymous. The growers who participate in this survey will receive data that gives them the opportunity to tweak some inputs on their farm to increase the efficiency of the farm. The study is being conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Dorman and one of his graduate students in the UGA Ag Economics Department. The survey can be found at GeorgiaCottonFarmers.com or on our website at GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

Cotton Farmer Survey Flyer Final 2.0

Justin Jones Selected to Emerging Leaders Program

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want to congratulate Justin Jones on being selected to the Emerging Leaders Program. Jones, a producer from Smithville, is one of twelve people from the U.S. cotton industry who have been chosen to participate in the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Emerging Leaders Program for 2017-18. Now in its fifth year, the NCC’s Emerging Leaders Program is supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Monsanto. Overall, the Emerging Leaders Program provides participants with a better understanding of how the NCC carries out its mission of ensuring the U.S. cotton industry’s seven segments can compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed, and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.

Specifically, participants get an in-depth look at: 1) the U.S. cotton industry infrastructure and the issues affecting the industry’s economic well-being; 2) the U.S. political process; 3) the NCC’s programs such as policy development and implementation process and 4) Cotton Council International’s activities aimed at developing and maintaining export markets for U.S. cotton, manufactured cotton products, and cottonseed products. You can find more information about the Emerging Leaders Program by reading the press release on our website at GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

Commission Board Nominations Open

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want to inform all cotton producers in Georgia that nominations are open for positions on the Georgia Cotton Commission board. All commodity commission are farmer-funded and governed by producer appointed members. Each appointment is for three years, and the Agricultural Commodity Commission Ex-Officio Committee can reappoint or replace each board member once their term expires. To be nominated, eligible individuals must be an active Georgia cotton producer. Nominees will be certified to ensure they are active Georgia producers and geographic representation may be considered when making appointments. Appointments will be made by the Agricultural Commodity Commission Ex-Officio Committee in July. Nomination forms must be submitted to the GA Department of Ag by May 26th. For questions, please contact the GA Department of Ag at 404-585-1405, or visit their website at http://www.Agr.Georgia.gov. Information and forms regarding board nominations are also posted on our website at http://www.GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

Click here for more information about board nominations.

Click here for nomination form.