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 GeorgiaCottonCommission.org 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)
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 http://www.GeorgiaCottonCommission.org 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.
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.
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.
Drought Monitor for Texas released August 4, 2016.