On September 18, 2015 Leadership Georgia class participants, board members, and alumni toured Bulloch Gin in Brooklet, GA. Over 200 people were in attendance at this event which featured a gin tour, an explanation of cotton harvesting, as well as updates from the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) and Georgia Peanut Commission. GCC Vice-Chairman Lee Cromley welcomed the group to the gin and gave a brief history of cotton in Georgia and its importance to Bulloch County. Gin manager Andy Hart showed the group a pre-Civil War gin that was recently discovered and relocated to Bulloch Gin. This small historic gin was easy to open up and give the group a visual of how a gin operates.
Next the group clamored over the new John Deere CP690 cotton picker. For many, this was their first time seeing machinery of this type. They had very good questions about its operation and its effectiveness on the farm. Finally the group got to cool off in the shade of the gin warehouse and get an update from the GCC and the Executive Director of the Georgia Peanut Commission Don Koehler. Several members of the GA Legislature also were on hand to bring greetings including State Reps. Jon Burns and Jan Tankersley and State Senator Jack Hill.
The Leadership Georgia group then loaded the buses and went to see peanuts in the field. The gin tour will have a lasting impact on the participants as a super majority of the 200 plus in attendance were from metro Atlanta and this is only one of a handful of opportunities for them to be exposed to row crop agriculture and its impact on the the state.
Click here for a photo album of the event.
This past week the Cotton Incorporated Cotton Breeders Tour came to Georgia. This tour consisted of cotton breeders from all across the US cotton belt. While the bulk of the group was from public institutions, there were also a few industry breeders on the tour. A handful of participants were from other countries – some were visiting scientists at US universities and a few were from industry.
The tour kicked off Sunday in Cary, NC and eventually made its way to GA on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday the group visited with Delvin Williams at his farm just south of Lumber City. There the group got to see a large conventional cotton strip plot. The strip plot consisted of 6 transgenic/stacked trait varieties, 6 conventional varieties, and one variety that was Roundup Ready only. It was very interesting to have both Dr. Peng Chee (Georgia) and Dr. Fred Bourland (Arkansas) present at this plot since several of the varieties being tested came from their breeding programs. The group also heard from Bayer CropScience on Wednesday at Bayer’s new cotton breeding location just outside of Dawson.
Thursday the group of cotton breeders toured the UGA Tifton Campus. Cotton test plots were shown to the group at the Gibbs farm and their was a very good discussion about the future of breeding for nematode resistance and fiber quality. The group also got to hear from other crop breeders such as Dr. Bill Branch (peanuts), Dr. Brian Scwartz (turfgrass), and Dr. Patrick Conner (pecan and muscadine). The group was very engaged and interactive while learning about the challenges and progression the other crop breeders have in their respective programs.
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Dr. Peng Chee and his staff address the Cotton Incorporated Cotton Breeders Tour group at the UGA Gibbs Farm in Tifton, GA.
The 2015 UGA Cotton & Peanut Field Day was held September 9th and showcased many projects funded by the Georgia Cotton Commission and the Georgia Peanut Commission. This annual half-day event was well attended this year and gave producers a chance to see exactly how their checkoff dollars are spent on research. Many of the projects provide essential and timely data to the grower regarding production practices of both cotton and peanuts.
For cotton, a wide range of topics were covered at the field day. Dr. Jason Schmidt, the newest cotton researcher in Tifton, discussed his ongoing biological control studies. His main focus is to gain a better understanding of the role border areas and cover crops play in managing insect pest in a cotton crop. Early findings suggest that certain types of cover crops contain higher levels of beneficial insects that feed on stinkbug eggs. Dr. Mike Toews, a research entomologist in Tifton, discussed his research project focusing on chemigation. He is looking at stinkbug management from a systems approach and therefore has started testing the idea of chemigation for stinkbug control.
Dr. Bob Kemerait, a plant pathologist, gave an overview of his disease and nematode research. Some of his research is to continue looking at new products for target spot management and continue to test new commercial varieties for root-knot nematode (RKN) resistance. Dr. Peng Chee gave a brief overview of his cotton breeding program based in Tifton. Chee’s focus is on finding desirable traits in exotic cotton varieties and introducing those traits in commercial varieties adapted for the southeastern climate. Chee and his lab have also been pioneers in the area of breeding for RKN resistance. He briefly discussed how they identified a gene that prevents root galling and another gene that suppresses nematode egg production.
Irrigation and water use is always a hot topic at field days. Dr. John Snider, a cotton physiologist, discussed his research on cotton water use efficiency. One of his projects uses pre-dawn water potential to schedule irrigation. This method is tested against the traditional UGA Checkbook method and a dryland scenario. Snider is also working with soil fertility specialist Dr. Glen Harris investigating how to manage nitrogen in a cotton crop when the goal is to produce 4 bale yields. Also doing irrigation research is Dr. George Vellidis. He explained his ongoing project that pertains to variable rate irrigation for both cotton and peanuts. His wireless sensor-based approach to monitor soil moisture and schedule irrigation enables a producer to fully utilize variable-rate irrigation. This is achieved by making the irrigation system dynamic and flexible to the conditions in the field.
Dr. Jared Whitaker discussed several topics such as cotton variety selection, seeding rates, plant growth regulators, and defoliation. Given the time of year and that defoliation decisions are rapidly approaching, Whitaker gave a quick overview of the various products and recommended application rates of those products used in defoliation.
Click here for a defoliation guide from Dr. Whitaker.
Click here to view our photo album of the UGA Cotton & Peanut Field Day.
For more information about projects funded by the Georgia Cotton Commission please visit http://www.GeorgiaCottonCommission.org. or visit the UGA Cotton Team webpage at http://www.ugacotton.com. For more information about projects funded by the Georgia Peanut Commission please visit http://www.gapeanuts.com.
The Georgia Cotton Commission, Georgia Peanut Commission and the University of Georgia Extension Cotton and Peanut Teams will co-sponsor a joint research field day Sept. 9 in Tifton, Ga.
The purpose of the tour is to showcase current research, which is funded by the respective commissions, in plot-side presentations by the researchers themselves. The sponsors’ goal is to provide an educational environment for cotton and peanut producers and give them the opportunity to pose questions directly to the researchers and to express opinions and concerns pertinent to the production of their crops.
The field day will start at 8:30 a.m. at UGA’s Lang Rigdon Farm before relocating to the RDC Pivot around 11 a.m. Lunch will be held at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center at 12:45 p.m.
Also, this week the ex-officio committee for the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commissions announced appointments to several commodity commission boards. For the Georgia Cotton Commission, Bart Davis of Colquitt County and James “Jimmy” Webb of Calhoun County were appointed to three year terms. Click here for a full list of all appointments.