Rainy Weather Causing Issues for Georgia Cotton Producers

Dan Cotton, Georgia, Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC), Weather

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Flooded cotton field, agricultural disaster
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The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) and University of Georgia Extension Cotton Team advise growers to exercise caution when accessing a soggy field to plant this year’s crop. They also need to think twice about re-planting this year’s crop, believes Camp Hand, UGA Extension cotton agronomist.

“No. 1, our backs are against the wall. The later we go, the more acceptable some of these stands become. You’ve got to take what you can get at a certain point. Once we start getting into next week, it’s going to be really tough for me to recommend a replant. You just can’t have any more delays once we start getting into June,” Hand said.

“In terms of growers that haven’t planted yet, making the most of the situation we’re in; keeping in mind that we need to get the crop in the ground, and we need to be careful not to make a mess. If we try to jump in there and do it right now, in a lot of places, we’re going to bog down and rut fields up. That’s going to be a problem for the rest of the year. We still need to be cautious about jumping out there into these fields too quick.


“We’ve had conditions that may warrant replant, but the hard part is we haven’t been able to get in the field to fix that.”

Hand said about 63% of the crop has been planted, a high percentage considering the excessive rainfall that has drenched parts of the state.

“If you would have asked me two weeks ago, I would have said that number is high, but the more I thought about it, the more I think it’s pretty close to accurate. There are spots in the state that are dry enough to plant, and of course, there are a lot of spots that aren’t. These growers are spanning over thousands of acres in multiple counties. You’re not going to catch an inch in every spot,” Hand said.

“It feels like we are further behind than we are, and I feel like it’s just because everybody’s been hitting bumps in the road, but we’re really not. If you look at the five-year average, we’re only slightly behind where we normally are. I think we’re in a better situation than most people make it out to be.”

According to the UGA Weather Network, Tifton, Georgia, has received 7.66 inches of rain from May 1 to May 28, compared to 2.93 inches in 2023 and 1.27 in 2022. Moultrie, Georgia, has received 13.02 inches during that same timeframe, compared to 3.38 inches in 2022. “It’s a tough situation for some folks, and then other folks are in really good shape. You certainly don’t want to wish the rain away, because we make better cotton in a wet year than we do in a dry year,” Hand said.

About the Author

Clint Thompson

Multimedia Journalist for AgNet Media Inc.