Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Bulloch County planted 23,400 acres of peanuts in 2017 with a farm-gate value of $22.5 million. Peanut diseases such as leaf spot and white mold require growers to use foliar-applied fungicide programs to reduce severity and increase yield potential. In 2018, a study was conducted in a white-mold-infected peanut field in Bulloch County. Research protocol included nine different fungicide treatments: Proline, Propulse, Prosaro, Elatus, Muscle ADV, Fontelis, Echo 720, Miravis, Priaxor and Convoy. There is a strong relationship between white-mold incidence and peanut yield. There was a 1,436 pound per acre yield difference between the highest- and lowest-yielding fungicide programs. The Elatus and Miravis fungicide programs performed best. The three-block Elatus fungicide program was the top yielder at 5,311 pounds per acre. The four-block Muscle ADV program yielded the lowest at 3,875 pounds per acre. The difference in yield was attributed to underground white mold. This increase in yield applied to the acres planted of peanuts in Bulloch County, showing a $5.6 million increase in profits.
More than 3,500 jobs in Bulloch County are in agriculture or related fields. Whether producers are developing a new venture or adapting an existing operation to meet new demands and opportunities, having an understanding of necessary business skills are vital to being successful. UGA Extension in Bulloch County routinely collaborates with UGA and Georgia Southern Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to assist new and existing producers and agribusinesses gain the technical and financial knowledge needed to be successful. Bulloch County Extension worked with UGA/GSU SBDC to present a workshop called “Digital Media for Agribusiness.” This workshop introduced participants to digital-media basics that will help expand their marketing potential. Participants learned how agribusinesses can use digital and social media outlets to target new customers and create market demand. The Bulloch County agent and SBDC business consultants also met with clientele to answer questions and provide necessary technical and financial advice.
4-H Youth Development
Equipping youth with leadership skills and opportunities is an important aspect of youth development. While Georgia 4-H offers numerous leadership activities and conferences, Bulloch County 4-H wanted to increase focus on local leadership among our active middle- and high-school 4-H’ers to better equip them with skills and tools to be effective leaders. Bulloch County 4-H developed a new methodology for selecting formal leadership within its junior and senior clubs for 7th to 12th graders. Those interested in serving as club leaders completed an application and interview process. Once selected, new officers attended a two-day intensive planning retreat along with monthly planning meetings, and adhered to a list of expectations that included involvement in community service, 4-H fundraisers, Project Achievement and planning meetings. Twelve Bulloch County 4-H’ers were selected to serve as club leaders. These 4-H’ers participated in the planning retreat and have completed other requirements set forth in their officer contract. 4-H’ers are gaining more experience in planning, organizing and implementing programs and activities while remaining highly engaged in the overall 4-H program.