The skies were grey and the rain was falling due to the huge hurricane Joaquin cloud pattern swirling out in the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, the menacing storm is forecast to head on out into the eastern Atlantic, missing populated land areas. We felt fortunate to just be troubled with a few rain drops.
Driving from Tallahassee on to Macon, Georgia to attend a football game at Mercer University we were looking forward to seeing the cotton that would be growing in many South Georgia fields this time of year. As you can see from the below photos we were not disappointed.
Yes, it was delightful to see the cotton fields which stretch as far as the eye can see.
These cotton bolls will soon open up into bouquets
of beautiful pristine white cotton ... Isn't that totally amazing!
The state of Georgia is one of 14 states in the United States that grows cotton.
Some states plant cotton as early as February and as late as June.
There are mechanical planters which plant as many as 10 to 24 rows at a time. About two months after planting, flower buds appear and in another three weeks the blossoms open. Then the green cotton bolls begin to grow.
The cotton bolls grow in the nice warm sun and continue to expand.
Finally, they split open and the fluffy cotton pops out.
This whole process is said to take about a total of 120 days from beginning to end.
They look just like the little cotton balls I use to apply nail polish remover.
I touched the cotton and it is soft and fluffy and perfect.
I spotted this cotton plant with some of the leaves still on the plant.
The leaves were so pretty and reminded me of maple tree leaves.
Cotton is harvested by machines that strip the cotton from the open bolls.
Throughout the history of growing cotton in the United States, boll weevils have been a serious threat to all cotton crops. In the 1920s major crops in the US were destroyed by this beetle. Over a period of years the state of Georgia participated in a program to try to eliminate this serious problem.
Boll weevils are considered the most destructive pest to cotton plants.
This trap is designed to attract any boll weevils that may be infecting
the cotton and then other measures can be taken to protect the cotton crop.
According to Mr. Google, cotton production is a $25 billion per year industry in the US, employing over 200,000 people total.
Forty billion pounds of cotton a year are harvested from a total of 12.3 million acres of land. An estimated 17 million bales were produced in the US in 2012.
There are about 3,500 cotton producing farms in the United Stated.
Apparently if you have a garden and wish to grow cotton you must have permission from the Georgia Department of Agriculture to grow this amazing plant. All cotton growers are required to be a part of the monitoring program to detect the very dangerous boll weevils. If these pests go undetected an entire crop of cotton could be threatened.
As you can see I could not resist taking photos of the very colorful Goldenrod which was growing at the entrance to one of the cotton fields.
Thank you for stopping by and walking through these beautiful
"old cotton fields back home" with me.
Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday, and many blessings to you for the rest of your week.