Georgia Cotton Growers Delayed by Rainy Week

Dan Cotton, Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC), Weather

Flooded cotton field, agricultural disaster
By costasz/DepositPhotos image

Rainfall totals were high heading into this week in Georgia. Then Monday came, along with additional rainfall. More is expected this weekend.

The Georgia Cotton Commission and University of Georgia Extension encourage growers to take advantage of any dry conditions when they have the chance.

Camp Hand
UGA Extension Cotton Agronomist

“You know your fields. You know your farm. It’s time to really be getting after it, and we’re kind of getting hampered here. Whenever it dries out, do what you can,” said Camp Hand, UGA Extension cotton agronomist. “We’re not getting long enough stretches of time to dry out and either prep fields or plant them.

“We’ve got more in the ground than we do normally, which is a good thing. It’s definitely going to slow us down a little bit.”

Hand said Georgia growers have planted approximately 35% of this year’s crop already, ahead of the five-year average of 32%.

According to the UGA Weather Network, Tifton, Georgia, received 10.42 inches of rainfall from April 1 to May 13, compared to 4.39 in 2023 and 2.76 in 2022. Moultrie, Georgia, received 12.17 inches during that same timeframe, compared to 3.99 in 2023 and 2.79 in 2022.

Those producers that already have plants in the ground still need to access their fields and apply fungicides to avoid disease buildup amid the excessive rains.

“We’re hoping to get dry enough to spray. There’s no guarantees there, either,” Hand said. “You start thinking about getting behind. I told my crew, whenever we’re in a hurry like we are today is when mistakes happen. Whenever we get behind on stuff is whenever we start getting in a hurry. “That’s when we make mistakes; still keeping in mind the little things whenever we are able to get back in the field and not mixing up jugs or spraying the wrong thing. We need to make sure we’re still doing the little things to be successful. This is not shaping up to be the kind of year where we can afford a bunch of screwups just because we’re in a hurry.”

About the Author

Clint Thompson

Multimedia Journalist for AgNet Media Inc.