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Story in Brief

The Miller County Extension agent has established programs to determine which cotton varieties will yield the best in our local climate and soil types and how to manage plant pathogens in cotton. This program is part of a regional effort that encompasses variety trials in several counties in Southwest Georgia. The trials help to educate growers in cotton variety decision making as well as how to place and manage certain varieties in environments that will optimize their performance. In addition, the Miller County Extension Agent has collected data in support of the UGA Cotton Team’s effort to generate a multitude of data to inform growers on how to understand growth potential of new varieties as they come to the marketplace, and how to properly manage growth of these new cotton varieties so that yield potential is not inhibited. Across Miller County in 2020, improper variety selection may collectively cost growers from $4 million to $7 million, which is 30-35 percent of the total revenue expected to be generated in Miller County by cotton in 2020. The UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Performance Evaluation Program is expected to drastically reduce these costs, which returns this money to producers and Georgia's economy. Additionally, the extensive evaluation of plant growth could reduce costs to growers, and provides them the growth management information that could prevent them from implementing unnecessary yield-inhibitory growth management strategies. Growers are also more up-to-date and more cautious when applying their cotton herbicides in 2020. Improper use of synthetic auxin herbicides can cause thousands of dollars in damage to neighboring crops.