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.
Managing Southern Root Knot Nematodes
Colquitt County cotton producers have historically struggled with the economical management of southern root-knot nematodes. According to UGA’s Department of Plant Pathology, the southern root-knot nematode is the most prevalent plant-parasitic nematode affecting cotton in Georgia. The studies show an infestation of this potentially devastating pest in an estimated 70 percent of the cotton acreage in Georgia. In response to this issue, UGA Extension in Colquitt County implemented a field trial consisting of nine treatments replicated four times. Treatments in this field experiment included nematode-resistant and non-nematode-resistant cotton varieties and their responses to fumigants, aldicarb, seed treatments and seed mixtures. The highest-yielding treatment in this field experiment consisted of DP 1646 with the fumigant applied pre-plant. A 125-pound yield increase was noted when fumigant was applied to DP 1646 compared to DP 1646 without fumigant. Assuming $0.80 per pound cotton price, the increase in yield would be a $40 increase in profits per acre.
4-H Youth Development
The Colquitt County 4-H agent sought an effective way to reach more students, improve writing skills and help fifth-grade teachers improve student scores on the Georgia Milestones Test. She met with language arts teachers about supporting the Project Achievement essay contest as part of the test preparation. The teachers agreed to use this project as a teaching tool and allow students to work on their essays during school. Some teachers chose to require this for a grade and others just for the Georgia Milestones Test practice. The language arts teachers were in support of the 4-H agent teaching the Project Achievement Essay lesson during regular club meetings. Out of the classes taught, 50 percent of students completed and submitted essays for the Colquitt County 4-H Project Achievement essay contest. There were approximately 433 essays submitted and approximately 65 percent of all 4-H students participated in the Cloverleaf essay contest. The teachers shared how the 4-H essay contest assisted their students in enhancing their writing skills. The Cloverleaf essay contest provided teachers with an additional opportunity to assist with improving the informational writing skills of their students.
Family and Consumer Sciences
In 2018, Colquitt County Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) participated in the virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Participants learned about important tax deductions and credits and received free tax preparation. Participating taxpayers began to take action to start and/or increase savings while utilizing free tax assistance. The Colquitt County FACS agent facilitated 17 appointments and completed 15 tax returns through UGA, and 20 appointments and 18 tax returns through the University of Florida (UF) program, totaling 37 appointments and 33 returns. Total federal tax returns received were $19,261 and state refunds received totaled $7,800, equaling $27,061 in tax returns.
This collaboration resulted in the Internal Revenue Service asking the Colquitt County FACS agent to conduct a brief de-escalation training in fall 2018 for the UF VITA team so that they may begin basic client-management training with their individual site teams