Ag News

GA cotton assessment reaffirmed

Every three years, under Georgia law, cotton farmers have the opportunity to vote to continue the assessment ($1/bale) that funds the Georgia Cotton Commission’s (GCC) programs of research, promotion, and education. The 2019 referendum period was Feb. 13-March 15.  The Georgia Department of Agriculture recently recorded the votes and 92.5% of voters favored the continuation.

“I am pleased that growers voted to continue the program, and that the yes margin increased from 2016,” said GCC Chairman Bart Davis, a cotton, peanut, and corn grower from Doerun.

 Davis noted that times have been hard for Georgia cotton farmers over the past few years and that the Georgia Cotton Commission would continue to strive to find solutions, educate policy makers, and effectively promote cotton to the consumer on behalf of the cotton growers of the state. 

“We will continue to work with leaders in Washington to promote an effective disaster program to help Georgia’s farmers and rural communities recover from Hurricane Michael,” Davis said.

At its March 27 meeting, the GCC Board of Directors approved $656,287 in research funding for the 2020 crop year and $25,500 in supplemental research for 2019.  This money will go to fund eighteen projects that will be conducted by researchers and extension specialists from the University of Georgia and the University of West Georgia.  Projects range from funding for the UGA Cotton Team, to research on resistant weeds, evaluating the economics of conservation production practices monitoring water use efficiency and more.  The goal of this producer-funded research is to help the cotton producers’ bottom line by conducting studies that can either raise yields, promote efficiency, or open new markets.

All projects are vetted by both the GCC Board of Directors and State Support Committee, made up of cotton producers from across the state, and the commission’s Research Review Committee, which consists of researchers, crop consultants and local UGA Extension agents.

“Despite the decrease in income for the Georgia Cotton Commission, our board is committed to providing the cotton farmer valuable research that can make a difference on their farms.  Now, more than ever, it is important for us to fund research that makes an impact while being an effective steward of the farmer’s money,” Davis said.