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Yield of cotton growers in Georgia set to increase this year

Cotton growers of Georgia can expect to make at least 5 to 6 cents more per pound than they received this time last year, according to Don Shurley, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension cotton economist.

The escalation of the price is due to many factors, but the main cause is the increase in exports. Most of the cotton now is exported of which about three-fourths is shipped overseas, said Shurley. The country’s exports are doing really well. The quality that is liked by the U.S. especially here in the Southeast has been just excellent in recent years, she added.

Shurley has been with UGA Extension for more than 26 years and believes that this year hr cotton produce is the best quality of cotton Georgia has produced in that time. Much of the improved quality is attributed to newer varieties and technology associated with those varieties.

However, some of the last year’s yield potential was lost due to the late-season drought. The lack of rain prevented some of the yield at the top of the plants from fully developing. But because of the extended drought, growers were able to get into the fields and harvest the crop in a timely manner.

Thanks that the country didn’t have any rain or wind that reduces the quality. Hence the harvest conditions were really very good,” Shurley observed.

Additionally, cotton acreage was up last year when Georgia planted 1.18 million acres compared to 1.17 million acres in 2015, according to the UGA Farm Gate Value Report.

This year, however, the acreage in Georgia may decrease due to estimated high peanut prices, Shurley predicted.

As for the cotton seed, Shurley is still trying to calculate the data and average them together. However, he hasn’t seen an increase in the price of seed or technology fees in recent years. The differences in prices from year-to-year result from the different varieties of cotton seed combined with newer technology, Shurley maintained.

Prices may be higher next year, but it would be because a new variety or new technology has been introduced to the market and not because of an overall price increase determined by dealers and seed manufacturers.