The annual meetings of the Southern Cotton Growers Inc. and the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association Inc. were held recently in Savannah, Ga. The well-attended event featured several committee meetings and breakout sessions in which numerous production topics were discussed.
U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) gave the keynote address during the general session. Reece Langley, vice president, NCC, presented the Washington, D.C., update, and Bruce Atherley, executive director, Cotton Council International, delivered the CCI update.
Ginner Of The Year
The Southeastern Cotton Gin-ners Association recognized Joey Scarborough of Tallassee, Ala., as the recipient of the 2015 Cotton Ginner of the Year award. Scarborough is the second manager for the Milstead Farm Group gin.
The Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association represents the cotton ginning industry throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. For more than 30 years, the organization has recognized one of its outstanding members from across the region as the ginner of the year. Association president Kent Fountain says, “To be eligible for the award, the member must meet a number of criteria, and Joey certainly has met those criteria.”
Scarborough took over the gin in 2006 and has ginned more than 200,000 bales since then, growing the gin nearly every year. In a letter of support for Scarborough’s nomination, one of the gin’s larger customers and owner, Shep Morris, says, “Having watched Joey grow up and from knowing him all his life, we thought this would be a win-win for all parties concerned. Joey brought with him high ethical standards, mechanical aptitude and an entrepreneurial spirit.”
During the presentation, Fountain mentioned that Scarborough has been on the board of directors for several years and has served as the Safety and Insurance Committee chair for most of that time. “The only meeting I remember him missing was when one of his children was born,” Fountain says.
Scarborough and his wife, Kami, have two children and reside in Tallassee, Ala.
Insect Pest Management
In one of the breakout sessions, Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Extension entomologist, talked about insect pest management as reported by A. Denise Attaway, Clemson University, in the following excerpt from her article. Clemson University Cooperative Extension and Research specialists shared best management practices for thrips, stinkbugs and bollworms, as well as how to choose cotton varieties.
Thrips is a primary pest of South Carolina cotton. Proper scouting is essential in controlling thrips in a cotton field. Some management tips for thrips include: planting cover crops and using heavy residue in a reduced-tillage system, using starter fertilizer with irrigation, avoiding herbicide stress (proper calibration/delivery), applying foliar applications early (first leaf bud is best), as well as using at-plant insecticides (seed/hopper box treatments, in-furrow granular materials, such as Temik (label is good until 2018), Thimet or in-furrow liquid sprays, such as imidacloprid or acephate, or a combination of these mentioned.
Planting date also plays an important role in the susceptibility of seedling cotton to feeding injury from thrips. Historically, early planted cotton experienced more problems with thrips than cotton planted later in the planting window. However, it is more common recently to experience maximum pressure from thrips during the middle of the planting season in May. A new model will be available soon to help producers predict periods of heightened thrips risk in cotton.
In addition to thrips, stink bug is another important cotton pest. “Pay attention to field edges, borders and adjacent landscapes,” Greene says. “The interface of cotton with peanuts is a great example of an adjacent crop that can be an attractive location for stink bugs. Woodland margins with wild hosts for stink bugs can also be a hot zone for the insects in cotton. Scout these areas first when making decisions about using insecticides for stink bugs.”
Greene warned producers of the new brown marmorated stink bug already established in portions of South Carolina. He also addressed bollworms during the meeting. Greene says bollworms can be mostly controlled by using Bt cotton, although the technology does not provide 100 percent control. Growers still need to scout for and manage bollworms, as needed.
To aid cotton producers in their fight against insect pests, the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service has two mobile apps that can be found at http://www.clemson.edu/extension/mobile-apps/.
Officers presiding over the 2016 annual meeting were:
Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association
Chairman of the board: Levin Lynch,
President: Kent Fountain, Surrency, Ga.
Vice president: Wes Morgan, New London, N.C.
Secretary: Drake Perrow, Cameron, S.C.
Treasurer: Steve Sterling, Tuscumbia, Ala.
CEO: Dennis S. “Dusty” Findley, Dawsonville, Ga.
Southern Cotton Growers
Chairman of the board: Kent Wannamaker,
President: David Dunlow, Gaston, N.C.
First vice president: J.W. Jones, Windsor, Va.
Second vice president: Neal Isbell, Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Treasurer: Lee Cromley, Brooklet, Ga.
Secretary: Rusty Darby, Chester, S.C.
Executive committee: Joe Martin, Conway, N.C.
CEO: David Ruppenicker, Dawsonville, Ga.