Planting Progress and GABIE’s

Most folks in cotton country don’t have to be told but there has been a lot of cotton planted in south GA in the last two weeks. The long spell of dry weather has allowed everyone to get back into the fields, and now it appears that it’s become too dry to plant in dryland situations. The crop progress report for May 17 indicates that 44% of Georgia cotton has been planted. This is a huge jump from 19% indicated in the May 10 report. The five year average for cotton planting progress is 45%, so GA is basically back on schedule as far as the season goes. If we don’t get a good shower across much of the GA cotton belt, I’d suspect planting progress will slow down. Most reports indicated a few showers here and there but everyone seems to be saying that their areas are too dry now.

Today we had the pleasure of visiting with the Great American Bus Interactive Education (GABIE) group as they taught kids at Ola Middle School in McDonough about GA agriculture. GABIE is unique in that they have outfitted an old school bus with agricultural teaching materials that they drive to each school they visit. Inside the bus there are several stations. Each station is dedicated to a different major commodity in GA, such as cotton, peanuts, pecans, etc. Students not only learn about the commodity at each station but they get to touch the commodity or its product (like cloths). Outside of the bus they have two stations where they teach kids about growing plants from seeds and how foods are processed from commodities, like flour from wheat and oil from cottonseed. Below are just a few pictures from this very neat group of folks who are passionate about teaching kids about ag. From the best of our knowledge, FFA and 4-H are the only formal ag instruction that kids receive and most schools only haveĀ these programs in high schools, some have them in middle school but it is imperative that children start to learn about agriculture at an early age.

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The cotton station inside the bus.

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Students touch seed cotton for the first time inside the station.

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Students learn about planting seeds and growing crops at an outdoor station.

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