Rainy Conditions: Young Cotton Plants Not Vulnerable to Disease Pressure Yet

Dan Cotton, Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC), Weather

By Clint Thompson


The Georgia Cotton Commission and University of Georgia (UGA) Extension Cotton Team are comforting growers concerned about a buildup of disease pressure amid the rainy conditions this week.

Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension plant pathologist, talks about why diseases like target spot are not yet concerning for producers in South Georgia.

Bob Kemerait
UGA Extension Plant Pathologist

“Most of our cotton is still relatively young or small, if we were in a situation where we were at bloom or approaching bloom, that would be a situation where conditions would be favorable for target spot to come in. If we were at bloom or beyond or if we had a good canopy out there, target spot would be a concern for me, especially in Southwest Georgia,” Kemerait said.


“Most of the cotton is not there. Really, from a cotton standpoint, this weather is not going to hurt us as far as disease. The cotton crop is still young, and it’s going to help us with growth. Unless you have very early planted cotton and substantial canopy, I’m not that worried about it.”

Kemerait estimates that within the next three weeks, a significant portion of the state’s cotton crop will be beginning to bloom.

Target spot (Corynespora cassiicola) and areolate mildew (Ramulariopsis gossyppii) are the two most important diseases affecting cotton in Georgia later in the growing season, according to UGA Extension. The most important factor with both diseases is for growers to be aware and pay attention. Timeliness with fungicide applications is vital to the farmer’s success.

About the Author

Clint Thompson

Multimedia Journalist for AgNet Media Inc.