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
Grady County 4-H offers educational programs for youth to develop their leadership, citizenship, public speaking, and critical thinking skills. 4-H staff conducts monthly in-school club meetings for grades four through twelve with after-school programming being conducted at the Extension Office. A total of 726 youth enrolled in 4-H during 2020 with 154 participating in an educational event. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly threw a monkey wrench in 4-H programming for most of the year. Most of Georgia 4-H's state level competitive events were either canceled or conducted virtually. Grady County had 21 students that presented an illustrated talk at Project Achievement. We had 45 4-H'ers exhibit hogs, cattle, sheep, and goats on the county, regional, state, or national level. Twenty-nine students improved their decision making skills by judging on our Livestock Judging, Cotton Boll & Consumer Judging, Horse Quiz Bowl, or Hippology Teams. Fifty 4-H'ers participated in our shooting sports program which consists of Archery, Modified Trap Shotgun, and Skeet, Trap & Sporting clays teams. Grady County 4-H'ers also learn the value of helping those less fortunate as they collect pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. 4-H'ers further develop their leadership skills by participating in project clubs and attending statewide leadership conferences such as Junior Conference, Senior Fall Forum, and State 4-H Council which were all held virtually this year. The highlight of 2020 was two Grady County 4-H'ers sweeping the State Market Goat and Lambs Shows by winning Champion Market Wether, Market Doe, and Market Lamb. We were also the recipient of the National 4-H Council/Corteva Pollinator Grant. As part of the grant, 11 4-H'ers were trained as pollinator ambassadors and then reached out and taught educational pollinator lessons to 1,020 4th-12th graders during in-school club meetings. Over 400 youth were reached during a Pollinator Field Day, and 21,056 indirect contacts through social media outreach. Grady County 4-H offers young people a diverse 4-H program that allows them to grow and develop into outstanding adults.
Agriculture and Natural Resources: PEANUT VARIETY EVALUATION
For years, the peanut variety GA-06G has been the standard variety in Georgia. GA-06G was planted on more than 90% of the peanut acres in Georgia last year. Recently, Grady County growers have expressed an interest in other peanut varieties that have come onto the market. Many growers believe that GA-06G does not have the yield potential that it once had or that the variety is “playing out.” To an extent, the peanut market is requesting more varieties with high oleic oil content. Growers have little experience with the new high oleic varieties like GA-16HO and FL 331. Grady County Extension and University of Georgia Peanut Agronomist Scott Monfort worked with local Grady County grower Myron Jones to evaluate new peanut varieties. The study included peanut varieties GA-06G, GA-16HO, GA-18RU and FL 331. All four varieties were evaluated and taken to yield. In this trial, the highest yielding variety, GA-06G, out-yielded the lowest yielding variety FL 331 by 600 pounds per acre. With the price of peanuts at $0.21 per pound, the 600pound-per-acre difference in varieties could mean an increase of more than $126 per acre for producers. Grady County grows 9,000 acres of peanuts annually, and the impact of $126 per acre would result in more than $1.1 million in increased income. This study demonstrated that variety GA-06G still has great yield potential and a place in Georgia peanut production. The results of this study will be shared at county production meetings, as well as statewide UGA Extension meetings.