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:
CAPITAL OF GEORGIA’S DAIRY INDUSTRY
As the No. 1 dairy producer in the state, Macon County continues to lead the way. An estimated 14,800 head of cattle help keep the county’s dairy production in the top spot, with a total dairy value of more than $66 million. The value of the livestock in the county, totaling $69.5 million, also ranks No. 1 in the state. Turfgrass production also brings Macon County another No. 1 position, with a total value of $19 million. Fodder grown to support the dairies place Macon County in the top 10 for silage production with a $1.48 million value. Peach production places Macon County among the top five counties, with a total value of $9.45 million. Macon County also places in the top 10 for total fruit and nut production, with a $26.7 million value, which is primarily comprised of peaches and pecans. Individually, pecan production is also in the top five with $16.9 million in total value. Row crops are also an integral part of Macon County’s bountiful agriculture production. Macon County is among the top 15 soybean-producing counties, with a total value of $2.56 million. Poultry production is key in Macon County and valued at more than $137 million. UGA Extension is eager to assist Macon County as it grows as a leader in agriculture.
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT EDUCATION
In addition to increased yields, particular attention has been given to improving integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. Central to this task is using all available means, rather than relying on a single course of action, to combat pests that threaten crops. As a result of educational efforts, growers who received one-on-one education decreased the number of pesticide applications and reduced overall costs. As new invasive pests become established and current pests are becoming increasingly resistant to control efforts via pesticides, the need for IPM education has never been more important. IPM efforts are also integral to improving profitability and sustainability. Given the difficult nature of agriculture, which is often subject to swings in commodity prices, pest pressure and challenging weather conditions, special efforts have been directed toward improving profitability by decreasing costs without decreasing quality or yields. Providing growers with the latest research and advanced agricultural practices is key to this effort. Profitability, though essential to allowing a farm operation to continue, must integrate sustainability into the operation. Lack of sustainability in an agricultural setting has already proven to dramatically increase costs for farms across the Southeast. Educational efforts regarding profitability and sustainability will continue to be given equal priority. UGA Extension is dedicated to Macon County’s producers through research-based agricultural information.