Monday, December 22, 2008

Pork Quality Assurance Training - PQA+ and the TQA Training

What: Pork Quality Assurance Training - PQA+ and the TQA Training
When: January 9, 2009
Where: Tifton Conference Center - Tifton, Georgia - Rooms 4 & 5
Audience: Commercial Pork Producers or Facility Managers

Dr. Robert Dove will be teaching the classes.
10:00-12:00- PQA +
1:30-4:30 TQA
There is no charge for the classes.
If you need further information, please contact Ken Lewis with UGA Cooperative Extension at 229-386-3812

The PQA+ and the TQA training being discussed are for the producers in the state. Producers need both of these certificates to be able to sell their animals to major packers. In the past County Agents were able to do the PQA training, however when PQA+ was introduced, agents and teachers were no longer included in the group of potential instructors. The PQA certificates were grandfathered until they expired. Many of them will expire in the next year and state faculty will have to conduct trainings to educate the producers.
Currently, there are 2 people in the state that can give PQA+ training (Dr. Robert Dove and Dr. David Reeves) and Robert is the only one trained to give the TQA training. Most (if not all) major packer that we are currently hauling to are requiring the PQA+ and most will require TQA by the end of 2009.

Recalls of Cocoa Products (December 19)

Thanks to Elizabeth Andress -

Three holiday G and J Gourmet Market Cocoa Products are being recalled, and this recall includes distribution nationwide to Big Lots stores and Shopko. The concern is possible melamine content. No injuries have been reported and only a few samples have, in fact, been found to include melamine. However, the manufacturer is proceeding with this recall in the interest of public health and the safety of American consumers.

Here is the FDA press release. have no further information myself; consumers are being urged to return the products to the place of purchase for a refund. There is a toll-free contact from the manufacturer provided in the FDA press release.

Elizabeth Andress
Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist
Director, National Center for Home Food Preservation
Department of Foods and Nutrition
The University of Georgia

Monday, December 15, 2008

Georgia Master Gardeners Winter Conference: Winter on the Flint

Winter on the Flint: The Quest for Sustainable Landscapes in a Changing World

Georgia Master Gardeners Winter Conference
Darton College in Albany, Georgia
February 6, 7 & 8, 2009

Speakers will include:

  • Rick Darke, Author
  • Jim Fowler, Naturalist
  • Dr. Katherine Kirkland, Ph.D., M.S. Ecology
  • Jason Powell, Owner of Petals from the Past
  • Janisse Ray, Author, Naturalist, Activist

    Our GOLD sponsor is Wright Turf ~

    You can get more information and register for the conference at

    You can also contact
    Dougherty County Cooperative Extension Office
    125 Pine Ave., Suite 100, Albany, GA 31701
    (229) 436-7216 or
    Carla Heard (229) 734-5696
    Juby Phillips (229) 888-0864

Friday, December 5, 2008

New forage publications

Dennis W. Hancock, PhD. Forage Extension Specialist has posted some new publications on the website.

The new publications are:

- Soil and Fertilizer Management Considerations for Forage Systems in Georgia
Link PDF

- Georgia Forages: Grass Species

- Georgia Forages: Legume Species
Link PDF

- Alfalfa Management in Georgia

- Forage Lectures on Video

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well water has rotten-egg smell? You can fix that...

I have had a few question on well water smelling like sulfur or rotten eggs. If you read below, Jim Crawford does a good job explaining why this happens and how you can fix the problem. Just for your information, you can get bacteria tests done by your county health department (typically).

By Jim Crawford
University of Georgia

Back when I was in junior high school, nothing tasted as good as cold water after track practice. But the rotten-egg smell of that "sulfur water" was enough to make a fellow go thirsty.

This is a fairly common condition in privately owned deep wells. Bacteria cause the smell. But don't be alarmed. Not all bacteria are the coliform type that poses a health hazard. Different species can cause odors without threatening the quality of your water.

If you have rotten-egg water, first check your wellhead to make sure you're not getting contaminated water into the well from any sort of runoff. If the top is secure, you can still get bacteria in the system. Many experts used to think the subsurface earth served as a giant filter to trap bacteria before it could enter the groundwater. That's not true.

We know now that many types of bacteria are native or adapted to saturated sediments and rock. Given time and a route, these bacteria will eventually find a way into the water system and can easily cause odors and off-taste.

The most common way to sanitize a well is with shock chlorination. Just use household bleach from any grocery or hardware store. But don't use scented chlorine products. Make sure you warn everyone in your home not to use the water during the treatment.

Depending on the amount of water in your well, the process can take many hours. You might want to arrange for an alternative source of drinking water for several hours or time the treatment for when you're asleep. Calculate the amount of bleach you'll need by figuring the amount of water in the well. Just subtract the depth to the water from the total depth of the well. Multiply that by 0.65 for a 4-inch well or 1.47 for a 6-inch well. Then add another 100 gallons for the tank and hot water heater. Use 3 pints of chlorine bleach for every 100 gallons. But you may want to double this amount if you have a really bad odor problem.

The odor is caused by hydrogen sulfide, which tends to neutralize chlorine. Fill the water tank, and be sure it's pressurized. Remove the well cap on the wellhead and pour in a 50:50 mixture of chlorine and water, or alternate pouring fresh water and chlorine into the well.

Hook a garden hose to the outdoor faucet nearest the well and place the end of the hose inside the well. Turn it on full force to circulate the water. Thoroughly rinse the sides of the well casing during this recirculation process.

When you can smell chlorine, stop and turn on the cold water taps in your kitchen and bathrooms until you smell chlorine from them, too. Flush the toilets. Then let the water stand in the system for at least 8 hours (12 to 24 is better). After this time, run the water outlets until the chlorine smell is gone.

Don't allow more than 100 gallons of chlorine-treated water to enter the septic system. A slight residual chlorine taste and odor will likely remain in the water for a couple of days, but it shouldn't be a problem.

Even after shock chlorination, the sulfur smell may return. Sometimes it's from the bacteria reacting with the anode rod in electric water heaters. You can solve recurring problems with sulfur-smelling water after shock chlorinating with a treatment system designed to remove hydrogen sulfide.

To learn more, get the circular, "Your Household Water Quality: Hydrogen Sulfide and Sulfate," at your nearest University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office (1-800-ASK-UGA1). Or get a copy online at

Thanks to Jim Crawford for this, and I hope you can get rid of the smell.
- R.J.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bioenergy Hot Spot: Meigs, Georgia

From the December Forest 2 Market Newsletter:

On November 20, when Woodlands Alternative Fuels announced that it would build a wood pellet plant in Meigs, Georgia, few were surprised. Like Woodlands Alternative, many bioenergy companies have been flocking to Georgia over the last couple of years. There have been so many, in fact, that the state has dubbed a large swath of the state the Bioenergy Corridor. Many credit the state’s Bioenergy One Stop Shop with this success.

In April 2006, Georgia formed the Georgia Renewable Energy One-Stop Shop. The One-Stop Shop, which is now part of the Georgia Center for Innovation in Agriculture, holds working meetings in which pre-screened businesses are given an opportunity to present and discuss their bioenergy projects with representatives from over 20 state and federal agencies. The companies leave with the contacts they need to get started. The resulting streamlined permitting process takes just 90 days in most cases.

Georgia has also adopted income tax credits to offset the costs of installing biomass power plants and other renewable energy technologies. The credit covers up to 35 percent of the cost of a solar, wind, geothermal, or biomass installations. For businesses, the ceiling for the credit is $500,000, though the credit cannot exceed tax liability. Taxpayers are also eligible for credits resulting from the transportation of wood waste to biomass facilities on a per-ton basis.

When Woodlands Alternative opens in June 2009, it will join three other pellet plants (including Fram Renewables), a cellulosic ethanol industry led by Range Fuels (which is currently building the first commercial scale facility to produce ethanol from wood), and multiple wood-based power plants (like the one that Rollcast Energy will build to supply Santee Cooper with electricity). Because of these projects and others like them, we select Georgia as our Bioenergy Hot Spot this month.

Another article - link1 link2

Looks like the wood pellet industry is growing more and more. As the article states, this will be the 4th pellet plant in Georgia once it is up and running. Plus, it is in our own backyard.
- R.J.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Georgia Made Georgia Grown Products Website Available

Free Marketing Website for Georgia's Arts-centric Businesses

It's here -- Georgia's Creative Economies website for marketing and promoting Georgia Made Georgia Grown Products. The website will connect buyers and sellers, corporations and corporate suppliers, locals and visitors to Georgia's creative small businesses. The listing is free to Georgia-based artisans, theaters, crafters, agritourism venues, festival planners and others looking to enhance their marketing and advertising.

In order to prepare the website for its launch and an expected 35,000 plus monthly visitors; local creators, museum & gallery owners, farmers, entertainers and destination managers must self populate the database with their business information and imagery. Simply go to and follow the instructions. Approved entries will be posted FREE for one year.

All businesses who register between November 21 and December 21, 2008 will be included in the first round of search results for this much-anticipated, first-of-its-kind and FREE website. Companies and individuals can register everyday; however, registering between Nov. 21 - Dec. 21 will ensure inclusion when the site debuts. Registering early also enters you into a drawing for a Georgia Made Georgia Grown Products gift basket.

Georgia's Creative Economies Initiative is galvanizing arts-centric businesses and promoting Georgia Made Georgia Grown Products. Please assist us in getting the word out to the arts, theater, agriculture, entertainment and creative business community.

Visit to learn more about this economic development effort led by the Georgia Tourism Foundation. Please feel free to contact the Georgia Tourism Foundation via email at for more information.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Master Gardener Class Offered - Deadline Extended!

New Deadline - December 9th, 2008
Info below and Registration form here.

Thomas County Extension will offer a Master Gardener Class beginning Tuesday, January 20, 2009. The course is open to residents of Thomas, Brooks, Colquitt, Mitchell, and Grady Counties. All classes will be held at the Thomas County Extension Office, 227 West Jefferson Street. The classes will be held on January 20th , 22nd, 23rd, and starting January 26th, every Monday and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. for 10 weeks, ending on Wednesday April 1st.

The Georgia Master Gardener Program is a volunteer recruitment and training program of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. The main purpose is to train volunteers to provide unbiased, research-based, environmentally sound, horticulture information to the public. Those completing the course will have a much greater knowledge of horticultural practices and will be expected to share their knowledge by volunteering 50 hours back into the community.

Most potential Master Gardeners want to know what community service entails. Community service is any activity in which your newly acquired horticultural knowledge is shared with others. These activities may include advising other citizens with caring for their landscapes, writing horticultural newsletters, working with youth, assisting with beautification projects, judging school projects dealing with agriculture, or civic and garden club presentations.

Most classes will be taught by extension agents and specialists from the University of Georgia. The following classes will be taught:

Introduction to the Master Gardener Program

Soil and Plant Nutrition

Botany/Plant Physiology

Basic Entomology/Pathology

Weed ID and Control

Using the Pest Control Handbook

Vegetable and Herb Gardening

Insects and Diseases of Vegetables

Herbaceous Ornamentals

Selecting Woody Ornamentals


Maintenance of Woody Ornamentals

Turf Selection and Maintenance

Diseases of Turf and Ornamentals

Developing a Waterwise Landscape

Insects of Turf and Ornamentals

Composting and Mulching

Fruit Gardening

Structural and Household Pests

Nuisance Wildlife

Registration fee for this class is $125.00 which includes a copy of the Georgia Master Gardener Handbook. A minimum enrollment of 10 participants is required to conduct this training. Maximum enrollment is 25 participants.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, December 2, 2009. Applications may be obtained at Thomas County Extension Office at 227 West Jefferson Street or by visiting our website If you have any questions, please contact R.J. Byrne, Thomas County Extension Agent at 229.225.4130 or

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

HOTC Day - Painting the office's front hand rails...

Volunteers came over on Hands On Thomas County Day on Saturday, October 4th, 2008, to help re-paint the front entrance hand rails to the building. The front rails were rusty and the paint was peeling off. We got them sanded and painted. No more rusty rails to look at.

Thanks to all the volunteers!

- R.J.




Monday, September 15, 2008

2008 Sport Fish Pond Management Workshop

Spend a day learning and understanding pond biology and proper management techniques from experts in the field. This program is for all pond owners, managers, and others interested in pond management, fishing, and the best natural resource management practices.

Topics and Demonstrations include:
· Water Quality
· Choosing a Fish Stocking Program
· Beaver Control Methods
· Weed ID and Management
· Pond Liming and Fertilization Methods
· Pond Shocking

Where: Camp Piney Woods,
233 HWY 84W Bypass,
Thomasville, GA 31792

GPS Coordinates: 30˚52’24.04”N 84˚02’18.03”W
Download a Map

When: Friday, September 26th,
8 A.M. to Noon, check in starts at 7:30

Cost: $25 by September 25th, $35 after.
Includes refreshments, meal and a workbook.

You can register by calling the Thomas County Extension Office, or by mailing in your payment to the Address below, and include your Name, City, Phone Number, Email Address, and how you heard about the workshop.

For more information and to register, contact R.J. Byrne, CEA

Phone: 229.225.4130
P.O. Box 49, Thomasville,GA 31799

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Local Farmers Look To Peanuts for Bio-diesel

Folks, we just had a short workshop on bio-diesel and you can read the news story below. If you are interested in learning about making bio-diesel, please let us know by emailing us so we can get you signed up for the next workshop, tentatively planned for February 2009.
Posted: 5:15 PM Sep 5, 2008
Last Updated: 5:15 PM Sep 5, 2008
Reporter: Caroline Blair
Email Address:

Now many farmers are turning to peanuts to help ease the pain at the pump. The nuts are made up of nearly 50% oil.

The USDA's Peanut Bio-diesel Project began several years ago to help take peanuts from the field to the fuel tank.

And on Friday in Thomasville, area farmers got the chance to hear how the program is progressing and what they can do to start planning for a bio-diesel rich future.

"You know I spend anywhere from give to seven thousand dollars a month in fuel alone and if we could get the numbers they talk about at $2.50 a gallon that cuts my fuel costs in half, so you're looking to save $3000 a month," said local wildlife business owner Alan Dennard, who is very interested in making and using bio-diesel for his business.

Researchers say they are constantly working on ways to cut costs and that growing peanuts for fuel gives farmers control and independence.

The University of Georgia's Thomas County Extension Agency hosted the informative meeting with the USDA's Chris Butt's as guest speaker.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Interested in growing commercial blueberries???

Then make plans to attend the Coffee County Extension's Blueberry Profitmaker Course. See photos below, just click to enlarge photo.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mosquito Control

With all the water we received in the area, mosquito's are sure to be a problem. Here are a few links to read about mosquito control.

"Stinging and Biting Pests of People" located here (with a PDF version available):

I also recommend the following three FACES articles, which have printable versions available for distribution if necessary.
"Tips to Keep Mosquitoes Away" --
"Control Mosquito Larvae in the Water" --
"Protect Yourself against Mosquito Baby Boom" --

Preparing for Floods & Flash Foods

1. How to prepare should persons be isolated for several days; i.e., canned goods and water, etc. These are FACS pubs and can be found online as well:
There's also some good info about "Preparing for Floods and Flash Floods" on our Natural Disasters "Flooding" page at the following link (a PDF is available there for printing and distribution):

2. How and what documents to secure and protect from flooding. See the "If Time Permits, Protect Your Possessions" fact sheet located here:
This information is also included in the "What To Do Before and After A Flood" PDF fact sheet.

3. How to clean flooded areas / homes. See the "What To Do Before and After A Flood" fact sheet (mentioned in #2) -- particularly the "Restoring Vital Services" portion, which has lots of information on everything from cleaning household appliances to furniture to pillows to books, etc.

Info on mold control

1. There's a good FACES article here -- -- titled "Heavy Rain, Leaky Pipes Can Create Mold-Friendly Conditions" that has some helpful information. On that page there's a link to a PDF of the article if anyone needs to print and distribute.

2. On our Natural Disasters in Georgia page under the "Flooding" section (located here: I recommend taking a close look at the topics under the "What To Do Before and After a Flood" link. There are two in particular under the "Restoring Vital Services" subhead that would be useful for learning about mold control -- one on "Flooded Walls" and another on "Floors & Carpets."

A Consumer's Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes (FSIS-USDA)

With the recent storms, I thought this might be helpful in making the decision to keep/not keep your perishable foods.

The publication is found online in HTML at:

and as a PDF booklet at:

This publication has a couple of tables dealing with "when to save and when to throw out" for both refrigerator and freezer foods. It also discusses what to do with food in containers exposed to flood waters.

We have a UGA Cooperative Extension fact sheet, "What to Do if the Freezer Stops", in both English and Spanish:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Master 4-H Status “The Ultimate Goal!"

Georgia’s best 4-H’ers gathered in Atlanta July 22-25, 2008 among whom were four Thomas County Senior (9th-12th grade) 4-H’ers with high hopes of achieving the ultimate goal of 4-H "Master" status.

The State 4-H Congress delegates are district project achievement winners who compete for state honors and the right to represent Georgia at National 4-H Congress. District Project Achievement is a public speaking contest on a subject the 4-H’er chose. It is the reflection of a year’s work complied into a portfolio and a verbal demonstration. Portfolio’s are broken down into subject areas similar to a resume. Categories consist of an introduction page, main project work, main project sharing and helping, leadership and teen leadership, community service and citizenship activities, other activities and events, and 2 pages of supporting pictures. The youth are encouraged to memorize their 10-12 minute speeches. Typically six or eight poster and/or visual aids are also used during the presentation. University faculty members and other expert judges evaluate their work and interview them on their portfolio and presentation.

District and/or Area Project Achievement is promoted yearly and open to 9 year olds through 12th grade. District Project Achievement is an educational tool that meets many language arts Georgia Performance Standards. The key components of the project achievement teaching tool are research, organization, summary, and expression.

District and Area Project Achievement is both educational and fun. The competition is a real motivator, not necessarily motivation to win over others, but to exceed any previous accomplishments of their own. We set standards in project work and encourage 4-Hers to exceed those standards. Many State Congress delegates began competing as early as 5th grade in order to prepare for State Congress.

Blake Williams, son of Bret and Angie Williams received the honor to compete in the Power and Energy project. He graduated from Thomas County Central High school last year. Blake won first place in the state competition and achieved the prestigious title of becoming a Master 4-H’er. The donor of his project was the Georgia 4-H Foundation. His project was about how to properly install a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet. His project work included countless hours working with his family business, community service, and other 4-H activities and events. He will receive an all expense paid trip to represent Georgia at National 4-H Congress in November.

"I feel that the challenges that I have faced along with my accomplishments through out my 4-H years have given me the extra discipline and perseverance needed to succeed in life!" Blake Williams said.

J.T. Wynn, son of Henry and Cindy Wynn competed in the Horse project. He recently graduated from Thomas County Central High School. J.T. placed 3rd in the state competition. J.T presented a leather demonstration entitled: Introduction to Saddle Making: 101. J.T. owns a leather business, "Just the Thang" Leather Goods. His project donor was the Georgia 4-H Foundation. J.T. served as summer 4-H camp counselor at Rock Eagle 4-H Center, was a member of the State and District 4-H Board of Directors, 4-H Horse Club president, and he participated in countless community service projects.

Sara Parramore, daughter of Dayne and Carol Parramore competed in the Veterinary Science project and placed 4th. Sara graduated from Thomas County Central High school last year. The donor for her project was the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. Sara presented a hands on demonstration about how to properly wrap a horse’s leg to prevent injury. She was also an active member of the 4-H S.A.F.E (Shooting Awareness, Fundamentals, and Education) Team and 4-H Horse Club.

Jon Wynn, son of Henry and Cindy Wynn competed in the Dog Care and Training project. Jon is senior at Thomas County Central High School. The donor for his project was the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. Jon’s demonstrations title was: Georgia Field Ready and he talked about methods to insure that your dog is ready for hunting season. Other 4-H activities included serving as chairman the 2nd Annual Something To Bark About 4-H Dog Show.
The 4-H’ers were busy from the time they arrived. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza in Atlanta. An opening assembly honoring state 4-H scholarship winners and 4-H Volunteers for Success winners was first on the agenda. District meetings and check in followed. Dinner and competition presentations by the 4-H Performing Arts projects rounded out the evenings events.

The competitions were held on Wednesday, July 23. Demonstrations were given and 4-H portfolio interviews were held. The state winners were announced that evening at Six Flags over Georgia.

The Thomas County delegation, along with others at Congress, were entered at breakfast Thursday, July 24 by Georgia Power. 4-H’ers enjoyed 4-H donor visits and educational tours, including a visit to the State Capitol. The Georgia EMC Formal Annual banquet was held on Thursday night.

When you combine what 4-H’ers learn from project work, community service activities, leadership events, educational retreats, and the experience of working with community and university leaders the life skills gained are immeasurable. All Thomas County Youth are encouraged to participate in District or Area Project Achievement. Preparations for the next competition is underway.

For more information contact Thomas Counties, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension at (229)-225-4130.
Left to Right: J.T. Wynn, Blake Williams, Sara Parramore, & Jon Wynn.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Master Wildlifer Program in September

Are you interested in wildlife???

Master Wildlifer is a program recorded by Clemson University Extension as a short course for landowner and land managers across the Southeast who are interested in integrating wildlife considerations into their current land use. Farmers, forestland owners, and others interested in wildlife will find Master Wildlifer to be a wealth of practical information that will serve as a guide to develop an d improve wildlife habitat on their land. Special emphasis will be placed on wildlife species (game species) that currently offer landowners additional sources of income through recreational access fees.

Additionally, Master Wildlifer will include a local 3 hour class on fish pond management, plus a 3 hour field tour of a private property that is intensively managed for game.

Classes are on Tuesday evenings [6:30 to 9:30pm], September 9, 16, 23, 30, except for the field day on Friday, September 26.

Cost is $105 by September 2nd, $130 after.Spouse/Partner fee - $30Alumni fee single/partner - $20/$30

Download the brochure here and fill it out and send in.

More info???? Please contact R.J. Byrne - 229.225.4130 or

Friday, August 8, 2008

Agrosecurity Awareness Training, August 13th, Macon, Georgia

Agrosecurity Awareness training is offered by the Georgia EmergencyManagement Agency in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia for those who have a potential role in responding to an agricultural incident. This training provides information on the scope of agriculture in Georgia and impacts of terrorism or disaster, recognition of potential threats, notification procedures, and how to better prepare your community for an agriculture or food emergency. Participants include those involved in production agriculture or agribusiness, as well as first responders from local and state governments and volunteer organizations who respond to all types of emergencies. Examples include:

  • Agricultural chemical distributors and retailers
  • Agriculture Educators, Agricultural fair managers, Agriculture-related organizations and cooperatives
  • Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, and Fire Fighters, Environmental Health Officers and Health Care responders.
  • Food processing, wholesale and retail managers and employees, Farmers and commodity group leaders
  • Food & Agriculture-related Local, State and Federal agency personnel
  • Livestock and poultry industry and Green Industry representatives, Public Works, State government leaders and congressional staff., Veterinarians, technicians, assistants and animal health specialists, Other first responders

6 hours credit is offered in each of the following categories:

  • Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (post).
  • Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training.
  • Georgia Department of Human Resources, Office of Emergency Medical services.
  • Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine

4.5 hours Certified Crop Advisor credits: 1.5 Pest Management; 2.0 Crop Management; 1.0 Pest Detection
Southern Chapter ISA credits: 2,25 Arborist; 1.5 BCMA Science; 2.25Municipal; 0.075 BCMA Management

Additional credits are being sought including Pesticide Applicators Recertification. Status of these credits will be sent to registrants priorto training.

Vineville Methodist Church
2045 Vineville Ave
Macon, GA 31204
(478) 745-3331

Directions: From I-75, take exit 164/Hardeman Ave. Travel toward downtown Macon. Merge onto Vineville Ave. Turn right onto Forrest Ave. Vineville Methodist Church will be on the right. Park behind the church and Enter through the double glass doors.
If you get lost, call (478) 745-3331.

The training is free, but PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: Registrants should send their name, address/city/state/zip, day-time telephone number, occupation, e-mail address, and the date of training you wish to attend to, or fax to 706-542-7905.

There will also be another training on September 3 also in Macon. Trainings are from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Wal-Mart Commits to America's Farmers as Produce Aisles Go Local

If you have not heard the news, Wal-Mart is committing to purchasing local grown foods. I am not sure if the Thomasville store is doing this, but it may be coming in the future.

BENTONVILLE, Ark., July 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wal-Mart today
announced its commitment to source more local fruits and vegetables to keep
produce prices down and provide affordable selections that are fresh and
healthful. The retailer also reported that partnerships with local farmers
have grown by 50 percent over the past two years -- one example of the
company's efforts to support local economies, cut shipping costs and provide
fresh food offerings.
Today, hundreds of growers across the United States provide produce sold
in Wal-Mart Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, making Wal-Mart the
nation's largest purchaser of local produce. During summer months, locally
sourced fruits and vegetables that are both grown and available for purchase
within a state's borders make up a fifth of the produce available in Wal-Mart
"Offering local produce has been a Wal-Mart priority for years, and we're
taking it to a new level with a pledge to grow our partnerships with local
farmers. We're committed to purchasing locally grown produce whenever
possible," said Pam Kohn, Wal-Mart's senior vice president and general
merchandise manager for grocery. "Increasing the amount of local produce in
our grocery aisles -- and adding clear locally grown signage -- reflects our
dedication to offer the freshest products possible at great prices."
Wal-Mart announced its locally grown commitment in a Supercenter in DeKalb County, Ga. today. The event featured an in-store farmers' market with growers
on hand to educate customers about produce. Just in time for the Fourth of
July, Georgia Wal-Mart Supercenters have many of the ingredients customers
need for a locally grown celebration: sweet Georgia-grown Vidalia onions for
their Independence Day burgers, Georgia cantaloupes and watermelons for a
fabulous fruit salad, and Georgia peaches for cobbler. A complete list of
locally grown produce available by state is at
"Georgia is proud of its family farmers who lead the production of many
important fruits and vegetables like our famous Georgia peaches and
watermelons," said Donnie Smith, Governor Sonny Perdue's Agriculture Liaison.
"Thanks to Georgia producers and companies like Wal-Mart, Georgia will
continue to be recognized as a trusted provider of high quality fruits,
vegetables and other agricultural products to feed America's families."
Georgia onion farmer Delbert Bland is one of the growers who participated
in the Decatur event. His family farm has been in operation in Glennville, Ga.
since the 1940s, and he is featured on in-store signage in the Atlanta area.
"We are proud to see our onions sold in Wal-Mart stores across Georgia and
knowing that we are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is an added
value," said Bland. "Our business would not be where it is today without the
support of Wal-Mart."

Economic Impact

Wal-Mart estimates that it purchases more than 70 percent of its produce
from U.S.-based suppliers, making the company the biggest customer of American
agriculture. This year, Wal-Mart expects to source about $400 million in
locally grown produce from farmers across the United States.
Wal-Mart's relationships with U.S. suppliers also extend beyond its
support of local agriculture. Beyond produce, Wal-Mart partnered with 61,000
U.S. suppliers in 2007 and supported millions of supplier jobs nationally.
Shortening the Distance from Farm to Fork
Beyond the benefits to consumers and economic opportunities for farmers,
Wal-Mart's commitment to locally grown produce is helping to reduce "food
miles" -- the distance food travels from farm to fork. It is estimated that in
the United States, produce travels an average of 1,500 miles from farms to the
homes of consumers. Through better logistics planning, better packing of
trucks and local sourcing, Wal-Mart expects to save millions of food miles
each year.
In addition, Wal-Mart is working with state departments of agriculture and
local farmers to develop or revitalize growing areas for products like corn in
Mississippi and cilantro in Southern Florida which had not grown there before
or which were once native crops.

New In-Store Presence

Wal-Mart now highlights locally grown produce in its stores across the
country. Customers will find it easy to recognize locally grown fruits and
vegetables with signs that include official state-grown marks, indicating
approval by their state's agriculture department.
The company is also dedicating space on its web site to locally grown
produce, including farmer profiles and recipes. For more information, visit
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters,
Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The
company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United
Kingdom. Wal-Mart serves more than 176 million customers weekly in 14 markets.
The company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the
symbol WMT. For more information:
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Deisha Galberth of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 1-800-331-0085

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SouthEast BioEnergy Conference 2008

Just in case you have not heard about the Southeast Bioenergy Conference 2008 in Tifton, GA, here is some info:

In our third Southeast Bioenergy Conference, experts will be on hand to deliver the latest information and answer your questions on the changing face of this market. Ron Fagen, President and CEO, Fagen Inc., will keynote the conference. The man and his company has the best handle on the pulse of the industry and will share his insights for the future. Joining him in the headlines will be Gale Buchanan, USDA’s Under Secretary for Research, Education, & Economics, relaying why the U.S. will need more than bioenergy to meet the energy needs of the future. Jose Luis Oliverio, Senior Technology and Development Vice President, Dedini Industrias de Base, will share his perspectives on how the Brazilian biofuels market developed and why it will be successful in the U.S. Guest Speakers from throughout the Southeast and beyond (led by Dr. David Bransby, Auburn University) will share their experiences and vision for the Southeast. Attendees will :

  • Discover the energy contained in forest products and how you can add value to your bottom line.
  • Explore new and emerging technologies with companies on the cutting edge.
  • Learn the role of water and other environmental issues play in the development of bioenergy.
  • Acquire valuable insight to ably evaluate bioenergy project investment--expectations, market potentials and pitfalls.
  • Hear what aspects of crops grown for bioenergy are important for conversion to biofuels/bioenergy.
  • Examine the importance of a quality product, ample supply, and marketing.
  • Find ways to incorporate energy conservation and renewable energy production into your business, your community and your home.
  • Gain insight from our group of financial experts in the art of the deal.
  • See new and innovative tools that are making the business of bioenergy more efficient and effective.
  • Uncover ways to “waste not; want not”.
  • Build invaluable contacts for your current or future project.
    Join us for Southeast Bioenergy Conference 2008.
    The dialogue begins August 12th at 8:30 a.m.!

Click on this link to register...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

4-H Shotgun Team Shoots Down State Title!!

On May 31, 2008 Thomas County Jr. and Sr. Trap and Skeet teams, a part of the 4-H Shooting Awareness, Fundamentals and Education (S.A.F.E.) program, traveled to Atlanta, GA. to compete in the State 4-H Trap and Skeet competition. The one day event was held at the prestigious Tom Lowe shooting range.

Competing against eight other teams (46 shooters total) from around the state, Thomas County’s Jr. (7th and 8th grade) Team walked away with first place honors and the State Championship trophy.

The four member team included Brandon Barnes, Brice Evans, Trey Lanier, and Nick Murphy.

Thomas County’s two Sr. teams competed against 28 teams, a total of 104 shooters. Sr. Team members included Gordon MacQuirter, Josh Smith, Brittany Vinson, Chelsea Vinson, Blake Williams, and Jon Wynn.

Individual honors were as follows: Brandon Barnes – 5th overall in Trap and 5th overall in Trap & Skeet combined; Brice Evans – 2nd overall in Trap and 8th overall in Trap & Skeet combined; Trey Lanier – 5th overall in Skeet and 11th overall in Trap & Skeet combined; Gordon MacQuirter – 5th overall in Trap and 10th overall in Trap & Skeet combined.

"We are proud of all Thomas Co. 4-H competitors. They did an awesome job representing Thomas County and the 4-H S.A.F.E program" said Amanda Carter.

Anyone interested in the 4-H S.A.F.E. program, please contact Amanda Carter or Cindy Wynn at the Thomas County Cooperative Extenstion (4-H) office at (229) 225-4130.

Friday, July 11, 2008

8th Conservation Production Systems Training Conference and 30th Southern Conservation Agricultural Systems Conference

The three day conference is designed to educate/share information about conservation tillage systems topics between farmers, researchers, extension agents, and NRCS personnel in an interactive setting.

Topics to be covered include: · Precision Ag Management Tools, · Water/Irrigation, · Organic Production, · Pest Management, · Bioenergy Shifts, · Technology in Conservation Tillage and much more!

Please see the brochure here.

Tobacco Budworms Attacking Peanut Blooms

The budworm moth flight is currently heavy in the southwestern peanut production area. Larval populations are being reported at 6 to 8 per foot of row in some fields. They may be higher in other fields. It has been confirmed that there is heavy feeding on blooms by small worms and the absence of blooms where large larvae are present. It is critical that farmers and scouts check all fields for this behavior regardless of the lack of foliage loss as often observed through the open window of a truck. In fact, low amounts of foliage loss have been reported in fields with heavy bloom loss. This means the larger worms are eating the flower buds before they open. For other areas of the peanut belt the moth flight should follow soon so this should give ample time to confirm this budworm feeding behavior.

Steward and Tracer gives good to excellent control of budworms. Lannate gives good to excellent quick-kill control with short residual but, Lannate can be harsh on beneficials. Orthene gives fair to good control but, there is the potential for flaring mites. I have been informed that there should be an adequate supply of these insecticides warehoused in SW GA. NOTE: The pyrethroids are NOT appropriate insecticides for controlling tobacco budworms.

To avoid any confusion as we move through this moth flight, it would be wise to confirm the presence of budworms vs. corn earworms in a representative number of fields. Through time we may shift to an earworm moth flight. This would allow us to use some less expensive insecticides, such as the pyrethroids, when and if this occurs.

There are other worms in the mix. Some beet and fall armyworms are present in some fields. Even though no cutworms have been reported, they will be found in some fields. The tobacco budworm should be the main target in most cases.

If you need help ID'ing these pest, give us a call at 229.225.4130.

Protect Landscape Trees Now from Drought Injury

Adapted from an article by Dr. Kim Coder
Professor of Tree Health Care, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, UGA

Trees across Georgia are declining due to drought. Drought stressed trees may have fewer or smaller leaves. Small or large limbs or the entire tree may die. Although trees can withstand some drought injury, some trees may require months to years to recover from drought injury. Trees also may not show damage immediately. When they do, it may be too late to save them. Protect trees now from drought with proper care.

How to Water
The best ways to water trees are by soaker hose or drip irrigation. Automated lawn sprinklers are less efficient for applying water to trees. Even a garden hose, moved often, can provide a good soil soaking. Use a light organic mulch to conserve moisture and apply water over the top of the mulch. Do not pile mulch against the base of the tree or allow water to concentrate at the base of the trunk as this can lead to pest problems.

Where to Water
Most of the tree's absorbing roots are in the top foot of soil. Applying water deeper than this misses the active roots and wastes water.

Lay-out water hoses or applicators out to the tree crown edge (drip-line). Water the soil areas directly beneath the foliage and shaded by the tree. Do not water beyond the drip-line and do not water closer than 4 feet to the trunk base on established trees.

Use mulch and slow application rates on slopes, heavy soils (clays), and compacted soils to assure water is soaking-in and not running-off. Do not spray tree foliage when applying water. Water droplets on tree leaves can lead to pest problems. Try not to wet the tree’s trunk.

Young, newly planted trees need additional watering care. Water has limited horizontal movement in soil. You must apply water directly over where you need it in the soil. For new trees, concentrate water over the root ball, as well as the planting area.

Old, large trees can be watered over the entire area under their foliage. Another method in watering large trees is to water roughly 1/3 of the area within the drip-line.

When to Water
The best time to water is at night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Trees refill with water during the night. Watering at night reduces losses to evaporation and assures that more water moves into the soil and tree.

For every 18°F increase in temperature, the amount of water lost by a tree and the site around it almost doubles. Consider this when watering trees. Trees surrounded by pavement and other hot, hard surfaces can be 20-30°F warmer than a tree in a protected, landscaped backyard. Water use rapidly climbs with increasing temperatures, and so should water application volumes.

How Much To Water
Depending upon soil texture 1 to 2 inches of water per week should sustain a tree. Trees in limited rooting areas, in containers or pots, or on major slopes, need additional care to assure water is reaching the root system in adequate amounts and not suffocating roots from lack of drainage. Five gallons per square yard is about 1 inch of water.

Fine soils (clays) require careful attention to prevent over-watering and root death. Sandy soils can dry out rapidly since water runs out of the rooting zone quickly. Composted organic mulch on the soil surface can help prevent rapid loss of applied water.

How Often To Water
Water trees once or twice a week (minimum of 1 inch per watering) in the growing season if there is no rainfall in that particular week. A few heavy waterings are much better than many light, shallow waterings. A greater proportion of the applied water is used by the tree with heavy, infrequent watering. Once you begin watering, continue to water until rain comes.

Drought is the main cause of tree decline but beware of other factors that damage roots and lead to long-term tree decline and death.
Do not fertilize or use pesticides on severely drought stressed trees.
Do not dig or drive under the canopy of trees or do other things that kill or crush roots.
Do not pile soil under tree canopies. When adding soil to cover roots etc., add no more than 1 inch per growing season.
Protect the critical root zone of the tree. Measure the trunk diameter at chest height in inches. Multiply this by one and a half. This will be the size in feet of the radius of the circle that you must protect around the tree. For instance, a 20 inch diameter tree would have a critical root zone with a radius of 30 feet. Avoid digging, piling soil, trenching or driving through this area.

For more information:

Shade Tree Decline -

What's Wrong With My Tree? -

Call your local Extension Agent at (800) ASK-UGA1 or locate your local Extension Office at

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Early Season Water Requirements for Peanuts

Here are a few notes from Dr. John Beasley on water requirements for peanuts:
- Peanuts have low water requirements the first 30-50 days of the season.
- The root system of a peanut can usually go deep enough to capture water deeper in the soil profile to sustain the plant during early season drought, unless a hardpan restricts the root system.
- With the increased cost of irrigation due to increased cost of energy/fuel, save irrigation when peanuts most need water. This is when plants begin to peg and fill out their pods.
- Research by Dr. Craig Kvien has shown no yield difference when peanut fields were watered during the 20-50 days after planting and those that received no water during the same time.
- Once a field enters the reproductive growth stage of peanut by flowering and pegging, the water demand begins to increase sharply. At that time it is best to use either Irrigator Pro or UGA EASY Pan to trigger irrigation.

- R.J.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rust on Blueberries

Dr. Phil Brannen has found a small amount of rust on some blueberries. Read below for his comments.

Within the last few days, we have found at least one significant blueberry rust site in south Georgia. You might want to encourage your producers to scout for this disease at this time. The rust spores can be easily observed in spots on the underside of leaves, but in the early stages, the same spots on the upper leaf surface might possibly be confused with Septoria leaf spot or chemical damage. I have never personally observed rust this early in the season (normally found in late July or August), and this disease can defoliate plants, resulting in subsequent yield losses in the following year. Fungicides which are active against rust include chlorothalonil products (Bravo), DMI products (Indar, Orbit, Tilt), and strobilurin-containing products (Cabrio and Pristine); encourage producers to apply these according to the label, and rotation between classes of chemistry will help to prevent resistance development.

For more info on blueberry dieseases, check out UGA's publication here.

Friday, June 6, 2008

What about the Bees?

Almost half the bee colonies in the United States died last winter. Many were the result of a disorder that causes the colony to literally collapse. Using a $4.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, scientists at the University of Georgia hope to find solutions to the problem that is killing bees in 36 states.
To read more, visit the link -

Monday, April 14, 2008

2008 Wheat Disease Update, April, SouthWest Georgia

Wheat diseases are here. If you have not scouted your fields lately, check out the publication below for more info on wheat disease and what action you need to take.

Don and I scouted some fields last week and noticed a few spots with some minor disease pressure. Spraying ahead of the game allows you maximize your yields.

If using fungicides, make sure you use enough water to ensure good coverage. 20-30 gal/acre for ground applications, and 5-7 gal/acre for aerial.

Wheat Production Guide
UGA Wheat Disease Info (scroll down to wheat)
Intensive Wheat Management in Georgia

Here is a video of us scouting a field last week.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Some tips to save on production costs...$$$

With the onset of higher production costs and a weaker greenback, here are a few common sense tips to save on some production costs this year:

- using reduced tillage compared to intensive tillage can reduce fuel costs up to 50%
- consistent travel patterns can save on fuel, crop inputs, and labor
- switching to florescent bulbs can have an expensive up front cost, but last longer and use less energy
- properly inflated tractor tires helps reduce slippage and fuel loss
- regularly scheduled tractor maintenance [air filters, fuel filters] helps keep tractors running at peak performance
- don't use a sub-soiler any deeper than necessary to break up compacted soil
- use of cover crops can capture some N and may help reduce commercial N fertilizer costs
- keep records, and you may find that you can save in other areas in future crop production

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What To Do About High Fertilizer Prices In Cotton Production?

Anyone paying attention to the fertilizer market has seen the prices jump +20% since the start of the year. As you continue to watch the markets, a bull market, climb upward, here are a few things to think about this year for your production plans.

UGA Cotton Team Soil Scientist Dr. Harris gives a few tips:

Unfortunately there are no “silver bullets” when it comes to getting around these prices. Cotton needs a certain amount of nutrients. These need to be supplied from the soil and from applied fertilizer. The higher the yield goal, the more nutrients the cotton plant needs.

Banding P and K fertilizer does not increase uptake efficiency on soils with medium or higher P and K soil test levels. If you cut the recommended rate of P and K because you apply them in a band you may also cut your yield.

Some things that may be helpful to weather the storm of high fertilizer prices this year include:

1) Soil test – Important to do every year anyway but even more important now. Makes the cost of soil testing pale in comparison to the value of knowing where you stand.

2) Apply the recommended P and K, and ¼ to 1/3 of your total N rate at planting. If using chicken litter as a preplant fertilizer, calculate how much N, P and K is applied.

3) Tissue test around first square if you suspect any micronutrient problems (mainly Mn or Zn) especially due to high soil pH.

4) Sidedress N between first square and first bloom with the appropriate N rate for expected yield goal. Give yourself a 30 lb N/a credit if following peanuts or a legume cover crop.

5) Starting at first bloom, petiole test to fine tune N, K and boron needs. This is especially recommended if you are cutting your N rate compared to previous years because you thought you were high, or if using chicken litter since it is not easily predicted exactly how much and when N will be released from the organic portion of the litter.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Price Risk Management for Purchased Feed Users

If you are interested in manageing price risk of feed, then sign up for this informative workshop sponsored by University of Georgia, University of Tennessee, and CSREES.
You can call our office -Thomas County Extension at 229.225.4130 or Brooks County Extension office to sign up for the workshop.

Monday, April 7 • Quitman, GA
Brooks County Agriculture Building
400 East Courtland Avenue
Quitman, GA 31643

9:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.
Pre-Registration Required
Includes a sponsored meal
No Registration Fee

Topics to be covered

Introduction to Risk Management
Participants will learn about sources of price risk
for purchased feed and have an overview of tools
available to help manage that price risk.

Using the Futures Market to Hedge or Lock-in a
Price for Feed
Participants will be introduced to the concept of
hedging and how they can use the futures market
to lock in a price or set a ceiling price for their
feed to be purchased at a future date.

Using Options (Puts) to Manage Price Risk for

Participants will learn how puts can be used to
set a ceiling price at a known cost.

Seasonal Tendencies of Feed Grains and Byproduct

Participants will learn about the price history of
feed grains and by-products and how this can be
helpful in timing purchases or pricing of feed.

Use of Charts to Improve Timing of Pricing
/Marketing Decisions

Participants will learn how technical analysis or
charting can be used to improve the timing of
pricing decisions in both the cash and futures

Price Outlook for Feed
Participants will learn about the current situation
and outlook for feed prices.

Follow Up Opportunities to Practice Price Risk

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Landscapers learn about irrigation audits

Landscapers spent the afternoon on March 18, 2008 learning about performing irrigation audits on irrigation systems. Previous studies have shown that 90% of irrigation systems surveyed could save an average of 20% in water savings. Participants learned the basics of irrigation audits from Dr. Kerry Harrison (UGA Ag and Biological Engineering), R.J. Byrne (UGA Thomas County Extension), and Jake Price (UGA Lowdnes County Extension). Data collected in the field can be analyzed with the use of software, and provide the user with a map to identify problems in irrigation systems. This information will help identify problem areas and allow the irrigation owner savings in both water use and also cost savings on a water bill. After the class and hands on demonstrations, participating landscapers agreed that on average they could reduce irrigation water use by +20% after conducting an audit on an irrigation system.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Steer & Heifer Show Winners

Grand Champion Heifer: J. Ben Smith Reserve Champion Heifer: Chelsea Brown
Grand Champion Steer: Chelsea Brown
Reserve Champion Steer: J. Ben Smith
Showmanship Winners:
Cloverbud: Georgia Smith
Cloverleaf: J. Ben Smith
Junior: Jonathan Stewart
Senior: Chelsea Brown

Hog Show Results

Grand Champion Hog: Hailey Parrish
Reserve Champion Hog: Erin Stringer
Showmanship Winners:
Cloverleaf: Hailey Parrish
Junior: Kaylin Tinsley
Senior: J.T. Wynn

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

UGA/USDA Conservation Tillage Workshop

Folks, if you are interested in learning about the latest research in conservation tillage, this workshop will benefit you.

UGA/USDA Conservation Tillage Workshop
March 31, 2008
Tifton, GA


8:00 – 9:00 AM Registration in the NESPAL building on the UGA Tifton Campus

9:00 Dr. Dana Sullivan, USDA-ARS Tifton and Dr. Gary L. Hawkins, UGA-Tifton

9:10 Coexistence of Conservation Tillage and Bioenergy production
Dr. Tim Strickland, USDA-ARS, Tifton

9:40 Low cost management of cotton crops
Jeff Dean, Farmer, Appling County

10:10 Water management with different cover crops
Dr. Gary L. Hawkins, UGA-Tifton

10:40 Corn response to long term conservation tillage
Dr. Dana Sullivan, USDA-ARS, Tifton

11:10 Winter crop biomass response to fall deep tillage
Dr. Randy Raper, USDA-ARS, Auburn, AL

11:40 Economic Impact of the 2007 Farm Bill on Conservation Tillage farmers
Amanda Ziehl, UGA-Tifton

12:10 Lunch

1:00 Field tour
Various cover crops
Various planting dates
Potential new crops

For more information, please contact our office via email or phone 229.225.4130

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Landscaper Irrigation Auditing

Calling all landscapers, and irrigation managers...

Improving Efficiency of Landscape Irrigation Systems

Learn How To Perform Irrigation Audits and Add Value

Where : Thomas County EMS Building, 1202 Remington Ave
When : Tuesday, March 18th, 2008
Who To Contact : UGA Thomas County Extension Office,
R.J. Byrne, 229.225.4130


(Classroom Session)

CONDUCT IRRIGATION AUDIT……...……………………………...2:35 - 4:00
(Perform live demonstration with hands on training)

(Pesticide Credits: 3 hours Cat.24 and private applicator have been applied for.)

Knowing how to conduct a landscape irrigation auditing is essential for anyone responsible for designing or managing irrigation systems on urban landscapes such as residential lawns, sports fields, parks, commercial properties, and golf courses. The audit procedure will also benefit municipalities and city water utility personnel, particularly those interested in developing urban water conservation programs. The presentation will introduce the participant to the basic step-by-step procedure to conduct a landscape irrigation audit. This training will provide you with the know-how to conduct audits and add this value-added service to your business.

A joint program of Lowndes and Thomas County Extension

Friday, February 8, 2008

Private Pesticide Training - 02/18/2008 - 8:30 AM

Thomas County Extension will have a private pesticide training class coming up on February 18th, Monday, starting at 8:30 AM and should end around 11:00 AM.

If you need to renew your expired license, or apply for a new license, this class is meant for you.

Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by contacting the office at 229.225.4130 or email with the subject - Private Pesticide Test.

See you at the class,

Friday, January 25, 2008


If you are interested in learning about current research and hearing updates from UGA's Beef Specialist, make plans to attend the 2008 TIFTON BEEF CATTLE SHORT COURSE.

Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Time: 9AM til 3PM
Location: Tifton Bull Evaluation Center
[The location is 12.5 miles east of I-75 (exit 78) and 1.5 miles
west of Irwinville on Georgia Highway 32.

Download the registration form.
Questions: call the Thomas County Extension Office 229.225.4130 or email.

Presiding: Johnny Rossi
9:00 AM Registration

9:30 Welcome ................ Johnny Rossi
9:45 Utilization of Whole Cottonseed in Beef Cattle Diets ......... Gary Hill
10:15 Grain on Grass Finishing of Beef Steers ................. Vanessa Corriher
10:45 Break
11:00 Bull Selection Tips ...................... Carole Brannen
11:30 Why Crossbreeding Works ............ Ronnie Silcox
12:00 Lunch
Presiding: Carole Brannen
1:00 PM Cattle Market Update and Outlook for 2008 ............ Curt Lacy
1:30 Producing High Quality Peanut Hay .................. Randy Franks
2:00 Utilizing Crop Residues ........... Johnny Rossi
2:30 Beef Industry Update ............ Jim Collins
3:00 Adjourn

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Horse Quiz Bowl

Three Horse Quiz Bowl Teams recently traveled to Rock Eagle to compete in the State Competition. Junior Team A and the Senior Team both placed third! Way to go!

Monday, January 14, 2008


If you need to dispose of some pesticides that you are no longer using, then I suggest you check out the Georgia Clean Day 2008 in Bainbridge, GA.

It will be held at the Decatur County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 from 9AM until 3PM.
YOU must pre-register by January 28th!!!!!

See this form here, visit the GA dept of Ag website, or drop by the office to pick up a form.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Figuring out Cropland Cash Rental Rates

This time of year I get the most phone calls about land rental rates. I get them both from growers and landowners. With the news of higher commodity prices, landowners may want to capitalize on there investment. Growers may be thinking that the higher commodity prices might be offset by increased production costs and a reduction in government support payments.

There are several ways to figure out reasonable rental rates, according to Iowa State Ag Specialist Don Hofstrand found here. He suggests many methods are available to calculate reasonable cash rents, including

1.)what others are charging/paying,

2.)average yields,

3.)share of gross crop value,

4.)return on investment,

5.)crop share equivalent,

6.) and the tenant’s residual.

A fair rent is limited only by the creativity of the operator and landowner.

University of Georgia Extension Economist Dr. Cesar Escalante has done some work on surveying growers and landowners on cash rental rates. You can find his latest survey here on the extension economics website.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Landscapers' Update


10:00 – 11:00
“Landscape Irrigation Troubleshooting”
Kerry Harrison – UGA Extension Irrigation Engineer

11:00 – 11:20
“Drought Tolerant Trees & Shrubs for Southern Gardens”
Jake Price – UGA Lowndes County Extension Agent

11:20 – 11:40
“Basics of Xeriscaping”
R. J. Byrne – UGA Thomas County Extension Agent

11:40 – 12:10
“Drought Disaster Relief”
Suzanne Barnett – Area Director
VSU Small Business Development Center
(229) 245-3738

THURSDAY - Jan 10th
10:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Thomas County Extension Office
227 West Jefferson Street – Thomasville, GA
(229) 225-4130

Also, if you cannot make the Thursday Meeting, there will be another meeting in Valdosta on Wednesday, Jan 9th. Transportation may be available.
10:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Lowndes County Extension Office
2102 East Hill Avenue – Valdosta, GA
(229) 333-5185

A cooperative effort of Lowndes and Thomas County Extension and the VSU Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
Two hours of pesticides recertification credits in category 24, “Ornamentals and Turf” have been applied for. Two hours of recertification credits for a private pesticide license has been applied for as well.
Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the University of Georgia.
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested in advance. For details, contact Rose Ware at the VSU SBDC Office: (229) 245-3738