Whether you are a home owner or a large agriculture producer, we are all faced with multiple challenges throughout the year from insects, plant diseases, wildlife or fertilizing questions. For over 100 years, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has provided free, reliable, research-based information based on the latest scientific research in easily understandable and practical forms. Here at the UGA Extension office in Banks County, we have lots of resources for you to tackle these challenges with a scientific approach.

We have the sample containers, instructions and forms you need to submit soil, water, plant tissues, hay and feed analysis to the Agriculture and Environmental Services Laboratories at UGA. Soil tests can be a great resource to analyze current conditions in your yard or pasture; providing current pH levels and other nutrients and is essential to forming a plan of action to improve soil quality. An additional service is free poultry litter testing so that you know the exact nutrient content before you apply litter to forage or crop fields. All samples can be brought to the extension office and we will ship them to the lab, as well as help interpret test results and form a plan of action.

Another phenomenal resource through UGA Extension is the online catalog of publications that cover a huge range of topics in the home and on the farm. This site receives over two million visits a year and serves as an excellent source of information based on the research by a large network of specialists that are located throughout the state. These articles cover many useful topics including; controlling fire ants, management basics for backyard poultry, understanding and improving forage quality and a multitude of home gardening guidance.

UGA Extension also provides education for safe and efficient use of pesticides around the farm and home. We are able to help with identification of plant diseases and pests through visual inspection or lab testing.

The 2020 Commercial and Home Pesticide Management Handbooks have just arrived at the office. The commercial handbooks are two large volumes that you can purchase on-line for $50 or just stop by the office and look at our office copy. The Home Pesticide Handbook is $20 and covers pesticides used in home and garden situations. Both handbooks are updated on an annual basis and are available free of charge online at https://extension.uga.edu/programs-services/integrated-pest-management/publications/handbooks.html.

We are here to help with your agriculture and home garden needs at the Banks County Extension office.

For more information, call 706-677-6230 or by email at zmccann@uga.edu. The office is located at 413 Evans Street, Homer.

Zach McCann is the Banks County Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent.

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