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 YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Colquitt County 4-H provides an environment that enables participants to develop skills in the essential traits of independence, generosity, belonging and mastery. Youth in 4-H develop skills that are valuable to themselves and the community, helping them grow into successful adults. In 2020, Colquitt County 4-H had an enrollment of over 800 youth and a total of 49 clubs. Forty-Six members participated in Cloverleaf District Project Achievement, while Eleven 4-H members competed in Junior/Senior District Project Achievement. One senior 4-H’er went on to place first in the food project area. Colquitt County 4-H’ers attended multiple state events. Although programs were cut short due to the pandemic, our Livestock and S.A.F.E (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) teams increased in youth participation. Our Livestock Team continues to strive by over 45 youth members exhibiting market hog, goat, sheep, and cattle. Our S.A.F.E. Teams increased to over 30 youth continuing the disciplines of BB and .22 Rifle. In addition, many Colquitt County 4-H members participated in fundraisers, such as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Strawberries, and Vidalia Onions. Funds were used to support 4-H projects like camp and District Project Achievement.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Free tax preparation through the Colquitt County Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Volunteer Income tax assistance program (VITA) program continues to serve the community. All programs would not be possible without the support of the Extension staff, community partners, and volunteers. In 2020 VITA served 56 Georgians in six weeks and brought a total of $33,612 into Colquitt County while reducing predatory lending, scamming (particularly of high-risk populations) and offered financial education on savings to participants. Financial education and support extended through the COVID-19 pandemic with classes, information sessions, and support for the CARES Act, stimulus payments, and eligibility requirements. Likewise, during the shutdown, the Colquitt County FACS Agent paired with another UGA FACS agent to revise the When Your Income Drops financial curriculum package that FACS offers monthly to the Colquitt County Department of Labor (DOL) clients. This revised and updated curriculum package will serve not only Colquitt County residents but Georgians statewide.
In spite of dramatic programming alterations due to public health concerns, the Colquitt County FACS agent taught four ServSafe Manager courses in-person certifying 18 ServSafe Managers and training all School Nutrition Managers requiring certification for the Colquitt County School System. This remains a beneficial partnership with the Department of Public Health, and key program for Colquitt County food service establishments to meet food safety and regulatory compliance ensuring safe eating experiences for Colquitt county residents and visitors.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Managing root-knot nematodes in Colquitt County cotton.
Summary: A field experiment was conducted to evaluate resistant cotton varieties, seed treatments, and Telone applications for the management of nematodes in Colquitt County.
Situation: Colquitt County cotton production ranges from 50,000 to 60,000 acres per year and producers have struggled with managing root-knot nematodes. According to UGA Plant Pathology, the southern root-knot nematode is the most plant-parasitic nematode affecting cotton in Georgia. It is estimated that over 70% of the Georgia cotton acreage is infested with this pest.
Response: In response to this issue, the Colquitt County Extension implemented a field trial consisting of none treatments replicated four times. Treatments in this field experiment included nematode-resistant and non-nematode-resistant cotton varieties and their response to Telone, aldicarb, seed treatments, seed mixtures and their effects on cotton yield. The experiment was taken to yield.
Impact: The highest yielding treatment in this field experiment consisted of DP 1646 with Telone applied pre-plant. A 125 lb. yield increase was noted when Telone was applied to DP 1646 compared to DP 1646 without Telone. Assuming $0.80 per lb. cotton price, the increase in yield would be a $40.00 per acre increase in profits. If 70% of cotton acres in Colquitt County were infested with root-knot nematodes, the results of this research could influence Colquitt County growers by increasing profits by 1.5 million dollars.