GA cotton growers debate referendum - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

GA cotton growers debate referendum

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) -

You may not see cotton in the fields of Georgia right now because farmers have finished harvest, but they are still busy, and they have a big decision to make.

Georgia cotton farmers only have a couple of weeks left to cast their ballot to continue or to cut a program that provides them with tons of research and marketing, but gets it's money off every bale of cotton they sell.

Farmers decide every three years whether or not to keep the Georgia Cotton Commission. It costs them $1-off each of the two-to-three-million bales they collectively sell each year. Bulloch County farmer, Lee Crumley, sits on the commission's board. He says it helps give farmers a future.

"Research is what keeps us in business these days. There's a ton of research into new technology and on new varieties," said Lee Crumley, Cotton Commission Board. 

That research helps growers to be more productive and to bring more revenue to their local economy.

"Cotton has a huge impact on rural communities of the state. It's like a $2.5 billion impact," said Crumley. 

Lee hopes Georgia growers keep the commission going as a way to help themselves grow their market, and make more business for everyone.

Growers have until March 8 to cast a ballot. According to the Cotton Commission's website, Georgia growers planted nearly 1.4 million acres of cotton in 2014. Bulloch County ranks among the top 10 cotton producers in the state. 

Crumley says cotton growers who did not get their ballot can still get one. Just contact the Georgia Cotton Commission, at P.O.Box 1464 Perry, GA 31069. They can be reached by phone at 478.988.4235 or 478.988.4273. You can also send them an e-mail to chris@georgiacotton.org. 

The Georgia Cotton Commission is located at 401 Larry Walker Parkway, Suite A. 

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