GCC Board Approves Over $600,000 in Research

Last week the Georgia Cotton Commission Board of Directors approved the new budget for Fiscal Year 2016. Below is the text of the press release we sent out. You may have already seen it on Growing Georgia, Southeast AgNet, or the GA Dept. of Ag websites.

Georgia Cotton Commission Board Approves Over $600,000 in Research


At its July board meeting, the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) Board of Directors approved its Fiscal Year 2016 budget which includes over $600,000 to fund the GCC research program. A total of $605,588, or about 24% of the overall budget, is allocated to research. GCC Chairman Mike Lucas stated that “even with the lower number of cotton acres this year and the Commission’s lower expected revenue, we were able to maintain funding for research projects at a level similar to 2015.”

The FY16 budget includes funding for 20 projects. Some of these projects are a continuation of GCC yearly support for the UGA Cotton Team, on-farm variety testing, PGR management research, and irrigation research. GCC was pleased to add additional research projects this year based on feedback from growers across the state. “We’ve heard of producers wanting more fertility information, so we funded a new project from Dr. Glen Harris that will look specifically at cotton fertility in Georgia,” says Chairman Lucas. This fertility project will expand on Dr. Harris’ existing research and extension activities in Georgia cotton. GCC also funded a new project from UGA Extension Entomologist Phillip Roberts that will address thrips management in Georgia cotton. “Since the loss of Temik, thrips have become more of a concern so we feel like Dr. Phillip Roberts’ thrips management project is both timely and appropriate. It will add resources to the existing thrips work he already does,” states Chairman Lucas.

For more information about the Georgia Cotton Commission research program please visit www.georgiacottoncommission.org and click on the ‘Producer’ page or call us at 479-988-4235.

Old World Bollworm found in Florida

The old world bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) has been found in Florida. This marks the first time it has been found in the continental US other than a few specimens found at port interceptions. Last September, the old world bollworm was found at a single farm in Puerto Rico. The old world bollworm feeds on about 200 plants, cotton included, and is known to develop resistance to insecticides more rapidly than other Helicoverpa species.

Here are several recent resources to learn more about the old world bollworm:

USDA APHIS Pest Alert 81-35-025

FL Dept. of Ag and Consumer Services Pest Alert: Old World Bollworm

Dr. Philip Roberts, a UGA Extension Entomologist, recently updated the Georgia Cotton Commission board of directors about this new pest. He indicated that he and Dr. Michael Toews, a UGA Research Entomologist, are very aware of the issue and are monitoring for this new invasive pest. Unfortunately, the old world bollworm is identical to the corn earworm that is found all over Georgia and these two species cannot be distinguished just by visual indicators.

The National Cotton Council (NCC) has mentioned the threat of the old world bollworm to US cotton producers and USDA for several years now. NCC has monitored old world bollworm captures and indicated that it could reach the US soon.


Adult male (1) and female (2) Helicoverpa armigera from Europe (taken from the Florida Dept. of Ag and Consumer Affairs Pest Alert)

In other news, Rome Ethredge (Seminole County County Agent) and Dr. Bob Kemerait (UGA Plant Pathologist) released a short blog about angular leaf spot, also known as bacterial blight. They indicated that it has only been found west of I-75 and south of Tift County this year. There is no treatment for angular leaf spot since it is a bacterial disease, but worst-case-scenario yield loss is reported to not exceed 10%.

The final cotton news of the week comes from a speech by Dr. Gary Adams, President/CEO of NCC. Below are two articles from his speech to the Mississippi Boll Weevil Management Corporation and the Mississippi Farm Bureau.

Now It’s Turkey: Trade Policy Issues Still Plague Cotton Sector

As Farm Bill Implementation Proceeds, Challenges Remain for US Cotton

Conventional Cotton in Georgia

Before the introduction of Bt and Roundup Ready cotton, all cotton was “conventional,” a term now used to describe cotton that doesn’t have either the Bt or Roundup Ready traits. Every year we hear of a few farmers scattered out across GA that still grow conventional cotton or have gone back to growing conventional cotton after many years of growing only transgenic cotton. Surprisingly, GA has the most conventional cotton acres in the US. The latest data from USDA-AMS for all upland cotton varieties planted in the US in 2014 indicates that 2.61% of GA cotton was conventional, which equates to about 36,000 acres in 2014. The next highest percentage is in California at 0.42%. Texas, the largest cotton growing state, was 0.25% conventional in 2014, or about 15,500 acres.

In GA, most of this conventional cotton was AM UA48, a University of Arkansas variety, sold by Americot. Be on the lookout for a more in depth article about conventional cotton in our next newsletter published in Southeast Farm Press.

Articles of Interest:

Report and News Propel Cotton Prices Back South

No Change to Cotton Crop Forecast But Consumption Drops

Weeds: Are the Fugitives and Flushes Worth Getting?

Cotton Board’s First Ever Women in Agriculture Tour

ICE World Cotton Contract on Track for Launch this Year

Research Review Day a Success

Last week the Georgia Cotton Commission held its annual research review day. This is an event that allows the GCC board members, advisory board members, research advisory committee members, and staff to see the GCC producer-funded research. As we have written about in the past, the Commission’s research program is an extremely vital part of the GCC’s mission of research, promotion, and education. The event was a huge success as it allows GCC to interact directly with the cotton researchers who are funded through the GCC research program. The research review day was also beneficial to the cotton researchers as they get vital feedback from cotton farmers.

Click here for a complete list of the GCC funded research projects.