Making A Difference in Our County
We're working hard for the citizens we serve. Here are some examples of successful projects from the past year:
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Decatur County is the second-largest peanut-producing county in the state, with over 28,000 acres growing peanuts. Many of those acres have a severe problem with nematodes, and growers experiencing heavy yield losses are searching for the most cost-effective way to control nematodes. The best chemical control options available can cost up to $80 to $100 per acre. Decatur County Extension and UGA came together to plant an on-farm trial with a local peanut grower. The on-farm trial included two nematode-resistant varieties of peanuts and a new nematicide applied to a susceptible peanut variety. The trial showed growers the impact of different nematode control tactics in their home county. After only one year of data, the results are not conclusive, but with further research, we will be able to provide the most cost-effective nematode control options for Decatur County growers.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
“Take chances, give your time and it’s always all about the people” are just a few of the words of wisdom that families gained from the legendary Warren Beeler and other swine experts. On Dec. 2-3, 2016, Decatur County 4-H hosted the Swine Showmanship Short Course. Members of 4-H, FFA members, parents, 4-H and Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agents, and agriculture education advisers from Georgia, Florida and Alabama took advantage of this in-depth, hands-on teaching seminar to increase their skills in the swine production area. It has been a long-time dream of Lindsey Hayes, Decatur County Extension coordinator, to hold such an event for area swine exhibitors. Warren Beeler is regarded as one of the most experienced livestock judges in the country. He has evaluated livestock shows for 35 years in 42 states. Beeler is also one of the most respected leaders in animal agriculture and, for the past three years, has been the director of agriculture policy for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Students were able to bring their own pigs to use during the critique sessions in the ring. Beeler spent time with each student, assessing and encouraging correct showmanship techniques. His positive comments on the benefits of livestock showing inspired students, parents and teachers to continue putting in the hard work necessary to do well in the show ring.