"Navigating the winds of uncertainty" was the theme of the annual meeting of Southern Cotton Growers and Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association held at the Marriott Savannah Riverfront in Savannah, Ga. Jan. 15 to 18. More than 250 cotton farmers, cotton ginners, and industry suppliers converged on the historic Georgia city with deep roots in cotton to plan ahead for the 2020 crop year.
Speakers included Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Cotton Incorporated CEO Berrye Worsham, Cotton Concil International President Bruce Atherely and Martn Barbre with USDA's Risk Managment Agency. John Mitchell, president of Choice Cotton in Prattville, Ala. provided the cotton situation and outlook while other speakers addressed taxes and public policy issues impacting the coton industry.
U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler, the newest senator from Gerogia who was formally sworn in on Jan. 6, addressed the conference. Senator Loeffler replaces retired U.S. Senator Johnny Isackson and is only the second woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp tapped Loeffler to replace Isakson in December.
A session targted to cotton farmers focused on germination issues imapcting North Carolina cotton while a session for cotton ginners examined cotton seed issues across the Southest. National Cotton Council Chairman Mike Tate, a farmer from Huntsville, Ala., gave an udate on the Council. The annual conference is considered the preeminent cotton meeting for farmers and ginners from Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.