GCC: EPA Tour Important for Cotton Industry

Clint Thompson Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC)

By Clint Thompson

The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) is excited to see the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tour South Georgia this week to learn about pest and weed management in Georgia cotton.

Taylor Sills

Taylor Sills, executive director of the GCC, discussed the importance of EPA members visiting with South Georgia producers on Aug. 15-17.

“The goal of the program is the EPA staff and regulators there to gain more of an understanding of the challenges that Georgia cotton producers face and the different tools in the toolchest that those producers have and how important that in Georgia, one product isn’t a one size fits all. Georgians are so diverse in their operations in the size, scope and practices of an operation. Our farmers need a wide array of tools to use for those problems,” Sills said. “We’re real excited that it’s being done in Georgia. We think that speaks highly of what our producers have done in the pest as it relates to pesticide stewardship and what possibilities there are out there.”

The National Cotton Council is coordinating the tour as part of The Cotton Foundation’s ’22 Educational Outreach Program. The group will visit farmers in Byromville, Vienna, the University of Georgia (UGA) Ponder Farm in Ty Ty before visiting the Lewis Taylor farm in Tifton. UGA Extension will also highlight the importance of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides and need for seed treatments.

Visits with cotton farmers in Doerun, Dawson and Leary will end cap the final day.

“It’s mostly in the central and southwestern part of the state,” Sills said. “It’s an opportunity for these staffers to get a real understanding of the width and breadth of the cotton industry here in Georgia.”