Heavy rains creating problems for Georgia cotton

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

The deluge of rainfall this summer made a splash with some cotton farmers, but created a tidal wave of challenges that some growers are still fighting.

While the increased moisture sparked growth in some cotton plants, it stunted growth in other fields and made fields almost impossible for tractors and equipment to pass through.

“There a lot of folks that are struggling to get in the field to get any work done. There’s some cotton that hasn’t been side dressed yet. We’re a little bit behind on that,” said Guy Collins, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension cotton agronomist. “In places, there’s cotton that’s drowning. There’s a lot of water-logged cotton, not really taking off like we had hoped."

Unlike recent years when the cotton crop endured long periods of drought, it’s been common this year for fields around the state to get several days of rain.

According to the UGA’s Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, the Bowen Farm on the UGA Tifton campus recorded 15.17 inches May 1-July 21. In comparison, the rainfall accumulated registered just 8.16 inches in 2012 and only 4.70 inches in 2011. During that same timeframe on the UGA campus in Griffin, 18.94 inches were recorded in 2013, 9.42 in 2012 and only 7.66 in 2011.

“Right now, I’ve got cotton in the fourth week in bloom, and there’s some out there that’s very young,” Collins said. “You’ve kind of got a broad spectrum of crops and it ranges in terms of when they were planted.”

Collins added that during this time of year cotton farmers, who plant early, are normally either irrigating, which hasn’t been necessary, or applying plant growth regulator treatments along with insect management.

“That’s a challenge we’re running into. Farmers can’t (apply treatments) when they normally would so they’re a little bit behind schedule,” Collins said.

For growers, the challenge may also be attributed to their particular field. For those who farm on low-lying fields, the problem is the ground doesn’t drain well. Water is left standing in the fields, which drowns the cotton. Farmers with fields that slope have to deal with washes, making it difficult for equipment to travel.

More and more farmers have also resorted to hiring airplane pilots to apply chemicals or fertilizer on their cotton. It’s an added expense but one that’s probably “necessary,” for some growers, Collins said.

Though farmers have encountered obstacles with the soggy conditions, Collins insists circumstances could be worse.

“If we were in a drought, it would be a lot worse than what we have now,” he said. “However, a short-lived, slightly drier spell wouldn’t hurt us right now, but we don’t need rains to subside completely."

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Kinze 1500 Grain Cart

The Kinze 1500 Grain Cart is engineered for speed and reliability required of custom harvesters. Load up to 1500 bushels ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form