Harvest Time Safety

The most hazardous part of harvest time is when you have to move your equipment using local roadways. For growers, remember that it is your duty, and the law, to have a slow moving vehicle triangle on each piece of equipment that will be traveling on a road. If you are moving equipment at night, you must also have functioning headlights and flashing caution lights but do not use rear work lights or spot lights as this may confuse traffic approaching from the rear. For rural citizens, remember that most farm equipment will be traveling at speeds less than 25 MPH on the road. This means you will approach the equipment faster than a normal vehicle. Remember that farmers moving equipment from field to field on the roadways is no different than you going from your house to the office, growers are just trying to go to work and make a living as well.

Visit the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for more information. 

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GA Cotton Crop Condition

USDA collects and publishes weekly data on the condition of the cotton crop. The condition is broken into five categories from very poor to excellent. According to this data, it appears that the summer drought and excessive heat has had a larger impact on the condition of the cotton crop than Hurricane Hermine. Since the end of May we have seen a steady decline in the cotton crop ratings for the top three categories – good, fair, and excellent; with these categories combined at 97% in the beginning of the season and remaining above 90% until last week of July. Prior to Hurricane Hermine the crop stood at 87% in the good or better categories; after the hurricane we only lost two percentage points down to 85% with 15% of the crop now rated poor or very poor. The green vertical line in the graph below indicates Hermine’s landfall week. You can see that the numbers have only moved slightly since then as the ‘good’ percentages were falling and the ‘poor’ percentages were already rising prior to the hurricane.

One should note that the percentage of ‘poor’ (yellow line) and the percentage of ‘very poor’ (dark blue line) have risen throughout the season at the expense of the ‘good’ category (grey line). Both ‘excellent’ (light blue) and ‘fair’ (orange) have remaining almost constant throughout the season.

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To learn more about this and many other cotton topics visit our website at http://www.GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

Field Day/Weather Update and Varieties Planted Report

The recent UGA Cotton and Peanut Field Day was held on Sept. 7th in Tifton. This event, co-sponsored by the GA Cotton Commission and the GA Peanut Commission, is a great way for producers to see exactly how their checkoff dollars are spent on research that has a direct effect on the producer’s farming operation and thereby the producer’s profitability. At the field day we also saw and discussed some of the crop damage from Hurricane Hermine. This damage mirrored what has been seen across most of south central and southeast GA, the areas that received most of the high winds and heavy rains. Statewide damage to the cotton crop seems to be minor from Hermine but there are localized spots that received heavy damage that will affect yield. UGA has several resources for growers to keep track of tropical storms and daily weather conditions in general. For the current weather in your area you can use GeorgiaWeather.net. For long term forecast and historical climate data go to GAclimate.org.

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In other news. USDA-AMS released the “Cotton Varieties Planted 2016 Crop” report yesterday. Results indicate that Deltapine is still the largest cottonseed brand in the US with 33% of the market share. Americot is now #2 nationwide at 23%. The largest single variety planted was NG 3406B2XF at 12% nationwide.

In GA, Deltapine accounts for 70% of the varieties planted, with Phytogen second at 17%, Stoneville third at 7%, Americot fourth at 2.22% Cropland Genetics fifth at 2.11%, FiberMax sixth at 1.25%, and Dyna-Gro seventh at 0.58%. The largest single variety planted in GA for 2016 is DP 1538 B2XF at 21.28%; DP 1553 B2XF at 17.09% is the second, DP 1252 B2RF at 10.41% is the third, PHY 444 WRF at 8.56% is the fourth, and PHY 333 WRF at 6.02% is the fifth most popular variety in GA.

Contamination Free Cotton: Warehouse Checklist

We previously discussed what producers and ginners can do to maintain contamination free cotton – for warehouse operators the main point is to keep the facility clean. This means that there should be no foreign materials such as plastic, rope, leather gloves, or things such as grease and oils in areas that could contaminate the bale. Make sure the warehouse floor is clean and that handling equipment is free of excess grease and oils that may contaminate the bales as they are moved. Be sure to use bale handling methods that do not result in damage to the bale packaging materials or lint. It is also a good idea to keep a “foreign materials watch list” posted in the warehouse and train all warehouse employees to identify and remove items that may contaminate cotton. For more information visit the National Cotton Council’s website “Guidelines for Cotton Warehouses” or our website at http://www.GeorgiaCottonCommission.org

A comprehensive list of links regarding cotton contamination can be found here.

Examples of contamination found in bales at a textile mill. Photo courtesy of NCC.

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Contamination Free Cotton: Ginner’s Checklist

In this week’s blog we want to list a few things that ginners can do to ensure contamination free cotton.

Growers and ginners need to ensure that they do not transport contaminates from the field to cotton gin. If contaminants to make it do the gin, gin employees need to ensure that these contaminants do not end up packaged with the lint inside the bale. Before ginning season begins, inspect the gin and gin yard to ensure that no foreign materials are present and that no excess oils and greases are present on the ginning equipment. Once ginning season begins, monitor the gin yard closely to ensure that windblown trash, such as plastic shopping bags, do not contaminate modules sitting on the yard. Also make sure that module covers and wraps are properly removed to ensure that the plastic is not torn into pieces that could contaminate the seed cotton. If contaminants are found at the gin, they must be completely removed as one piece of plastic going through a gin could easily contaminate many bales of cotton. (see below)

For more information, visit the National Cotton Councils website or our website at http://www.GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.

YouTube video: “Contamination Prevention this Harvest Season”

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