Georgia Cotton farmers are being shunned - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Cotton farmers are being shunned

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September 2, 2004

Cordele -The cotton stacked up at a Cordele warehouse may not be going very far. "There are some mills that are beginning to balk at some of Georgia's cotton," explains Crisp County extension coordinator Ken Lewis.

Textile mills and manufacturers are not buying Georgia cotton because they say this year's quality isn't good. Lewis says "While we're not exactly 100 percent sure of the reasons, we think it's related to staple length or the length of the fibers," and buyers are very specific when it comes to the quality of their cotton. "There's a color grade, the maturity of that cotton. There's the length of it, the strength of it,"explains Lewis.

The refusal of manufacturers to buy Georgia cotton has the strength to hurt this agricultural economy. "This has potential for a huge economic impact for our farmers,"replied Lewis.

Researchers are working with farmers to improve the quality of their crop. Lewis explained "We can make sure we control our stink bugs. We can harvest in a timely fashion. We can defoliate in a timely fashion to maintain that fiber quality."

They're hoping an improvement in quality will keep cotton buyers coming back to Georgia.

Posted by jennifer.hulsey@walb.com at 3:58 PM.