Cotton Disease Update: What Growers are Seeing in the Field

Dan Cotton, Georgia, Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC)

By Clint Thompson


The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) and University of Georgia Extension Cotton Team remind growers that the time is now to take stock at what disease management strategies they should implement, now and into the future.

Bob Kemerait
UGA Extension Plant Pathologist

“As we move into the next two, three or four weeks that’s when we need to be prepared. Will we need a fungicide for target spot? Will we need a fungicide for areolate mildew?” said Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension plant pathologist. “Right now is a great time to take stock at what we can do for next time but also to take a look at what we may be doing in the next few weeks.”

Bacterial Blight Disease

“Right now, we’re a little bit early for things like target spot and areolate mildew. I think conditions are going to be favorable for both of those. I would expect target spot, once we start to bloom and I would expect aerolate mildew to come in later in the summer, maybe the end of this month starting to show up.”

Producers are also observing some bacterial blight on susceptible varieties. Unfortunately, there is nothing growers can do now to manage the disease. All they can do is plan for next year.

“It’s always a good reminder to growers that bacterial blight on cotton isn’t always a problem but when it is, the only thing we can do is plant resistant varieties. The disease hasn’t been a problem for most growers since about 2015, but it’s still out there. If you come to me now and say you’ve got bacterial blight, I’d say, ‘Well, I hate that, but there’s nothing we can do,’” Kemerait said.

“What we’re seeing now are a lot of things that are for next time you plant cotton. Next time I plant cotton I might find resistant varieties.”

About the Author

Clint Thompson

Multimedia Journalist for AgNet Media Inc.