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.
4-H: RABIES CLINIC
We are still going strong here in Clay County with our annually Rabies Clinic, and in 2019 we served more than 70 clients bringing their cats and dogs to get their rabies vaccinations.
There are many dog and cat owners who have failed to realize their pets need to be vaccinated. Keeping essential vaccinations up-to-date protects the animal from contagious diseases. Even though some pets are kept mostly indoors, many diseases are airborne and the pet could easily be exposed. Clay County Extension offers the clinic to provide a convenient and affordable way for pet owners to keep their pets up-to-date with vaccinations. The rabies clinic serves Clay Count, as well as surrounding counties including Randolph, Early and Barbour Counties, as well as pet owners from the neighboring state of Alabama. The clinic is also a fund-raiser for the 4-H club. Local veterinarian Todd Tabb donates his time and services each year in May to help make the public be aware of the importance of having their pets vaccinated at a reduced price. Combination vaccines for dogs were $25 and $36 for cats, with rabies only shots offered for $11. The prices will remain the same in 2020.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: PEANUT MATURITY CLINICS
Peanut maturity is an important part of peanut harvest and production. Premiums are paid and deductions taken from the peanut base price based on maturity. The Clay County Agriculture and Natural Resources agent held peanut maturity clinics every morning from August 20 through the month of October. More than 150 peanut samples were tested from Clay County for optimum maturity and digging date. A 200-pod sample representing a single field is pulled by the farmer and brought to the extension office where the agent then blasts the sample with a pressure washer to reveal the inner hull color. When a peanut matures, the inner hull changes color from white (immature) to black (full maturity).This inner hull color is then used to determine peanut maturity by placing the sample peanuts on a profile board according to color. Producers have learned this is a great tool to help them determine when to harvest the crop. If producers decide to dig too early, a projected loss of 30% yield is possible, which equates to a loss of nearly 3,900 tons across the county’s 6,500 acres of peanuts. Based on the county’s total peanut crop, this represents an estimated saved value of $ 1,560,000 million countywide, or about $240 per acre.