New Fungus Causes Big Crop Loss for Some Cotton Growers

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

TWO EGG- It's rare to ever hear a farmer complain about rain, but that's become the new reality for farmers in Jackson County.

"All this rain we've been getting is too much of a good thing," local grower, Craig Bishop said.

Bishop runs a 6,000 acre farm in the Two Egg area. He said all the rain had caused a big problem that was threatening his cotton crop.

"Here's some leaf spot over here as well" Bishop showed us. "This has been sprayed twice."

The spots are caused by a fungus called target spot. It showed up in Jackson county about 10 years ago.

"The best fields we got probably 10% [crop loss due to fungus] ranging all the way up to some really wet places, 75% loss. So we're going to have really significant losses," Bishop said.

Target spot was not the only problem, his peanut fields were also taking a hit.

"All the rainy weather we've got, it's very conducive to leaf spot and white mold. Especially when the temperature, like were supposed to get in the next few days, approaches the mid 90's, white mold just explodes."

Fungicides help, but that created a problem too.The fields were so wet an soggy, he said he couldn't spray the fungicide using his ground equipment. Bishop told us the only option was to hire an aerial sprayer, and he says that's a tough option.

"The airplanes are really backed up right now. Whenever something happens like this- widespread- everybody runs to the plane, takes their chemicals up their, they get very backed up."

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