Heavy Rain Effects Disease Management for Georgia Crops

As mentioned in an earlier post, a deluge of rainfall has rained down on Georgia. Not only is heavy moisture impacting plant growth, it’s also making disease management incredibly difficult for many of Georgia’s prime crops.

Soggy fields are creating an ideal environment to host certain bacteria and fungicides in peanuts, cotton, corn and soybeans. Plus, the moist fields are making it difficult for farmers to get in to apply necessary fungicide treatments. Even when they are able to treat the plants, the treatment sometimes gets washed away, resulting from another torrential storm. Crops are reaching a critical stage where timely use of fungicide application is paramount to effectively reduce the risk for bacterial and fungal outbreaks.

In these current conditions, the occurrence and proliferation of leaf spot diseases, white mold and Rhizoctonia limb rot can be expected in peanut fields. In fact, it’s been reported that white mold has already killed young plants on Southern Georgia farms. It doesn’t stop there.

Cases of southern corn rust have also surfaced, along with northern corn leaf blight and southern corn leaf blight. Though the damage isn’t too severe yet, it is still important to gain control over these occurrences before they become widespread. Aggressive use of fungicide treatment has proven effective against southern rust, but in these conditions, effective treatment becomes difficult. In addition, soybeans are at risk for Asian soybean rust and cotton is at risk for target spot and Ascochyta wet-weather blight.

To stay on top of these diseases, continue scouting your crop, keeping track of bacterial and fungal outbreaks. What’s more, hope that dry weather is on the horizon!

If you are a peanut, soy, corn, or cotton grower in Georgia, contact Bankers South Ag Lending and Financing to discuss your agricultural financing solutions. We offer Georgia farm loans to support your farm’s sustainability and continued economic success.  

Cotton Influenced by Intense Rainfall

Georgia has received buckets of rainfall this season. Some cotton farmers have welcomed the rainfall, as it has increased growth in many cotton plants. Other cotton farmers, however, are less than pleased because the reverse has occurred. Less fortunate cotton plants have experienced stunted growth.

The excess of moisture has made it nearly impossible for tractors and equipment to travel in some fields. As a result, many cotton farmers are struggling to enter the field to get the necessary work done. Some cotton crop hasn’t even been dressed yet. Some cotton is drowning or completely water logged. In many areas, the crop just isn’t taking off.

Usually, an abundance of rainfall is considered advantageous to the crop. After enduring endless summers of drought, you would think that this rainfall would make a big splash, sparking increased growth and better conditions for the crop. Clearly, this has not been the case for the entirety of the crop.

Some cotton is on schedule and some is very young, creating a broad spectrum of crop. Due to the conditions, many growers, who are normally irrigating during this time or applying plant growth regulator treatments along with insect management, cannot do so. Hence, many cotton growers find themselves behind schedule.

The farmers that are experiencing the toughest conditions have planted their crop on low-lying fields. These particular fields do not drain well, so water ends up drowning the cotton. On the flip side, fields that slope are dealing with washes, which make it difficult for equipment to get through.

There is an effective solution that many farmers are implementing. Though an added expense, many growers have opted to hire airplane pilots to spray the cotton fields with chemicals or fertilizer.

Even though the conditions aren’t ideal, conditions could be much worse. Drought, for example, would be much worse. What farmers are hoping for now is for the “rain, rain to go away” and be replaced by a temporary, slightly drier spell.

As a cotton grower in Georgia, it’s important to have all of your bases covered whether you’re enduring long periods of drought or excess rainfall. Contact Bankers South Ag Lending and Financing, to learn more about our agricultural farm loans to better finance your equipment, irrigation, and operating costs.