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
Local 4-H programs are “making the best better” across Toombs County. The Toombs County 4-H agent and 4-H program assistant deliver research-based programming to youth in Toombs County. Issue programming focuses on agriculture, nutrition and safety. Youths also gain life skills through participation in leadership, service and communication opportunities. Last year, nearly 100 4-H’ers participated in district-level public speaking events and more than 120 attended camp, learning about responsibility at one of Georgia’s 4-H natural camping environments. Because experiences for young people often allow them to travel outside county lines, they build a network of friends across the state of Georgia. By making the best better, our staff assist youth in becoming productive citizens of tomorrow.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
The Vidalia onion is world-renowned. To be labeled a Vidalia onion, the onion has to be grown within a certain region in the Southeast. One of the biggest problems facing worldwide onion production is center rot, which is caused by the bacteria Pantoea ananatis. This disease causes an internal rot to occur in the onion, leaving it unmarketable, hence its common name, “center rot.” In order to address this major issue facing onion production, researchers conducted an experiment at the UGA Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center to evaluate the efficacy of chemical fungicide and bactericide applications. The Toombs County Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent, in cooperation with other local agents, the area onion agent and a vegetable pathologist, conducted an experiment to see whether center rot of onions could be controlled through chemical sprays at certain growth stages. Throughout 2017 and 2018, research concluded that by utilizing Kocide 3000 during bulb initiation, bulb swelling or all three growth stages, farmers can reduce their center rot incidence by up to 20 percent. This would add a value of more than $5,000 per acre to the grower in fields with significant center rot incidence.