Governor Nathan Deal is Presented with a 100 Percent Georgia Grown Cotton T-shirt

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black presented Georgia State Governor Nathan Deal with a 100 percent Georgia Grown cotton t-shirt during a press conference held at the Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday, March 20.  The conference was held to announce a new line of Georgia Grown t-shirts grown and sewn locally in Georgia in partnership with the Georgia Cotton Commission, Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and Georgia’s cotton farmers.

“With the largest row crop industry in this state being cotton, it is an honor to present 100 percent cotton shirts grown and sewn in Georgia,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “We are thrilled to identify a transparent supply chain to produce a high quality, Georgia-made product that consumers will be proud to wear.”

The 100 percent cotton shirts are sourced from South Georgia and ginned at Osceola Cotton Company in Irwin County, Georgia. Platinum Sportswear receives the finished fabric and sews the shirts at their facility in Wilkes County, Georgia. The entire process is completed within a 600-mile radius.

Georgia Grown has partnered with local screen printers, including Georgia Industries for the Blind, to complete the design process for local businesses and organizations. All shirts are completely customizable and feature a 100 percent Georgia Grown cotton tag.

“With more than $73 billion in economic output each year, agribusiness is the largest industry here in the No. 1 state for business,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “An important part of that industry, which is directly tied to this Georgia Grown project, is our cotton sector, as almost 20 percent of all American cotton comes from Georgia. With this project, we are recognizing the farmers, growers and raisers who are ultimately responsible for so much other business all along the farm-to-consumer supply chain and I am proud to stand alongside Commissioner Black in support of this campaign. All the best things are Georgia Grown, so I look forward to seeing these shirts on citizens across the state as we continue to be the No. 1 state for business and the best place to call home.”

Creating a supply chain that occurs in three different agrarian regions of Georgia has helped to rebuild Georgia’s textile manufacturing industry and brought revitalization to rural Georgia.

“We are so proud of the effects this supply chain has had on Georgia’s rural regions. Being able to establish a process that begins and ends in Georgia reiterates that Georgia is indeed Nature’s Favorite State,” Commissioner Gary W. Black said.

The 100 percent Georgia Grown t-shirts are available for purchase online at store.georgiagrown.com. For information about wholesale pricing and orders, please contact Lesia Walker of Georgia Industries for the Blind at Lesia.walker@gvs.ga.gov or 229-248-2666, ext. 305. For more information regarding the program, please contact Georgia Grown at 404-656-3680.

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UGA Extension – A New Tool for Improving Thrips Management in Cotton

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Thrips are the most consistent insect pest of cotton in Georgia and the southeast.  Near 100 percent of the cotton planted will be infested by thrips each year.  For this reason preventive insecticides applied as a seed treatment and/or an in furrow application at planting are recommended.  At-plant insecticides for thrips control provide a consistent yield response.  Thrips infestations in cotton vary by location, planting date, and year.  In some situations (high thrips infestations and/or slow seedling growth) supplemental foliar insecticides may be needed in addition to at-plant insecticides.  Foliar insecticides are recommended when 2-3 thrips per plant are counted and immatures (crème colored and wingless) are present.

Thrips injury on seedling cotton is a function of thrips pressure and seedling growth.  Seedlings are most susceptible to thrips feeding during early growth stages; economic damage rarely occurs once seedlings reach the 4-leaf stage and are growing rapidly.  Thrips injury is more severe when seedlings are not growing rapidly (i.e. stress from cool temperatures or herbicides); rapidly growing seedlings can better tolerate thrips feeding.

A new tool, Thrips Infestation Predictor for Cotton (TIPs), is available to aid growers in thrips management decisions.  Entomologists from the southeast cooperated with researchers at North Carolina State University who developed the TIPs tool.  Data from Cotton Commission funded projects evaluating thrips management programs by planting date were used to aid in the creation of and to validate the tool.  Additionally, county agents collected thrips infestation data from over 300 commercial fields during 2016 and 2017 as part of the TIPs tool verification effort.

The TIPs tool uses planting date, temperature, precipitation, and knowledge of when and how intense thrips infestations will be to predict risk of thrips injury to cotton.  The TIPs tool can be used to identify planting dates which are at greatest risk for thrips injury.  The TIPs tool will give the best predictions within 10-14 days after you use it, so use at multiple times during the planting and thrips management season would be beneficial.  Dr. George Kennedy has prepared the webinar “Thrips Infestation Predictor for Cotton: An Online Tool for Informed Thrips Management”.  The webinar includes an overview and how to use the TIPs tool and can be found at http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/edcenter/seminars/cotton/ThripsInfestationPredictor/.

High risk planting dates will require more aggressive thrips management compared with low risk planting dates to achieve acceptable thrips control.  Management options for high risk planting dates would include the use of in-furrow liquid insecticides such as acephate, imidacloprid, or aldicarb or the use of a neonicotinoid seed treatment plus a supplemental foliar application at the 1-leaf stage.  In low thrips risk environments neonicotinoid seed treatments will generally provide acceptable control.  The TIPs tool should allow proactive decisions to be made relative to thrips management.  The Thrips Infestation Predictor for Cotton tool can be found at http://climate.ncsu.edu/CottonTIP.

Note – This article was written by University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Extension Agronomist Phillip Roberts.  The Commission thanks Dr. Roberts for his time in writing this article and appreciates all the hard work that Dr. Roberts and the entire UGA Cotton Team does in conducting research and disseminating information to Georgia’s cotton growers.  For more information on the UGA Cotton Team, visit www.ugacotton.com.

Georgia Cotton Commission Welcomes Cotton Ginning Cost Share

On March 3rd at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis, Tennessee, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a Cotton Ginning Cost Share (CGCS) program for the 2016 crop.  This program provides assistance to American cotton producers who were left out of USDA safety net programs during that crop year.  The Georgia Cotton Commission welcomes this program.

Colquitt County farmer Bart Davis, who also serves as the Chairman of the Georgia Cotton Commission, said “We are greatly appreciative to Secretary Perdue for making this program available to cotton producers.  At a time of tight margins and depressed commodity markets, this announcement could not have come at a more opportune time.  This program will make it easier for cotton producers to secure financing for the 2018 crop.”  Davis also noted the economic impact of the program, “This announcement will have ripple effects in Georgia’s economy and have a significant impact in rural communities across our state.”

CGCS program payments were based on 20% of the average producer’s ginning costs per acre.  Growers in Georgia and the southeastern region are eligible for $23.21 per acre based on cotton acres reported to USDA for 2016.  Growers are encouraged to go their local USDA-Farm Service Agency office to enroll in the program between March 12th and May 11th.