By Clint Thompson
The Georgia Cotton Commission and University of Georgia Extension Cotton Team advise growers to stay in contact with their local Extension agent and state specialists as the production season winds down. This year’s crop is at least 10 days behind, which means producers need to be vigilant in maintaining their crop’s needs through the next couple of months.
Taylor Sills, executive director for the Georgia Cotton Commission, discussed the importance of growers maintaining communication with Extension agents and specialists at last week’s mid-year meeting of the Georgia Cotton Commission.
“Don’t be afraid to call your agent. Don’t be afraid to call specialists. We’ve seen an uptick in plant bugs We’ve had all of this rain, which I’m sure will lead to a delay in defoliation issues down the road,” Sills said. “How does that interact with replants and things like that? Keep in close contact with your local county Extension agent and the specialists across the state.”
University of Georgia entomologist Phillip Roberts talked extensively about plant bugs and the increase in infestations growers have observed in recent years. “With plant bugs, historically, it hasn’t been a common pest for us, but unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more plant bugs each year in Georgia. 2023 was probably the most widespread issue we’ve observed in my career. We probably have treated more acres for plant bugs this year than in history,” Roberts said. “Fortunately, where farmers recognized the problem, we were able to mitigate losses. But we probably have some areas we missed detecting this problem just because it’s not a frequent issue.”