GCC Agrees with USDA Estimates on Predicted Cotton Acreage

Clint Thompson Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC)


By Clint Thompson

It is planting season for Georgia’s cotton producers. The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) and executive director Taylor Sills believe the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) preseason estimates should be close to accurate on what the state’s acreage will look like this year.

“The USDA came out with their planting intentions report (recently) and they have Georgia at about 1.2 million acres. Back in February, the National Cotton Council had Georgia at about 1.25 or 1.27 million acres. That was a little high from what we were seeing and hearing across the country. I’m going to guess that the USDA number is close to right,” Sills said.

Thrips Pressure

One of the first things that growers need to be mindful of once their crop is planted is thrips pressure. Thrips infest nearly 100% of Georgia cotton every year. A preventive systemic insecticide should be used at planting, according to University of Georgia entomologist Phillip Roberts.

“For producers, there’s a lot of things to consider at planting; one of which is thrips management. Thrips are an economic pest of cotton here in Georgia. Dr. Phillip Roberts at UGA has an article on our website about thrips management and the thrips predictor model that he and several other southeastern entomologists have worked on,” Sills said. “I would encourage folks to look at that. It’s a very easy to use predictor for thrips infestation. I would encourage everybody to look at it if they can.”

Commonly used at-plant insecticides include seed treatments (imidacloprid, acephate, thiamethoxam), in-furrow applications of aldicarb granules, and liquid in-furrow applications of imidacloprid or acephate, according to Roberts. Aldicarb and liquid in-furrow applications provide increased and longer residual control compared with seed treatments. Supplemental foliar applications of insecticide may be needed if environmental conditions are not conducive for uptake of the at-plant systemic insecticide or if heavy thrips infestations occur. 

Source: Georgia Cotton Commission