If Georgia farmers plan to plant cotton, they need to do so as soon as possible. Only 86 percent of the state’s crop has been planted as of June 10, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress and Condition Report for Georgia.
Silverleaf whiteflies devastated Georgia’s cotton and fall vegetable crops last year. In response to this crisis, a team of University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences research and UGA Cooperative Extension specialists is studying the pests statewide to help cotton and vegetable farmers avoid another year of disappointing crops.
Two consecutive weeks of rainfall in Georgia stunted the growth of the state’s peanut crop and created ideal conditions for diseases in vegetable fields, leaving farmers scrambling to decide what to do next.
Researchers project that Georgia’s cotton farmers will plant more than 1.45 million acres this year, an increase from 1.28 million acres in 2017, according to Jared Whitaker, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension cotton agronomist.