Research and Education Centers
Innovation and Discovery
The mission of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) is to seek, verify and apply knowledge related to agriculture and the environment, and to disseminate this knowledge through student education and public outreach programs. The Research and Education Centers (RECs) play a central role in this mission by providing CAES faculty and students with the opportunity to conduct experiments across a wide range of environments and production systems.
The primary role of the Research and Education Centers is to support agricultural research and education programs. CAES has eight off-campus REC facilities located throughout the state. This research network is vital to Georgia agriculture and collectively allows faculty and students to address local production concerns as well as to answer more fundamental research questions and further the development of new technologies related to agriculture and natural resources.
During certain times of the year, it is not uncommon for UGA Extension weed specialists to receive 50 to 100 inquires per day for information from clientele. Frequently, science-based answers to these information requests are unknown which then become a focus for new research. The bulk of one specialist's research is conducted on UGA research facilities (Attapulgus Research and Education Center and Ponder Farm), as well as on-farm in cooperation with local growers and county Extension agents. The goal of this research is to provide immediate and practical science-based answers to new issues. From 2015 to 2019, he conducted more than 230 field trials. Annual Weed Science Research Reports from 2010 to 2019 are available on-line on the UGA Weed Science Web-Page (http://gaweed.com/reports.html). He regularly publishes an on-line annual summary of his research. Additionally the results of this research are disseminated through various venues including telephone, text, e-mail, 50-60 educational meetings a year, popular press articles, blogs, and personal contacts.
Eric P. Prostko, Henry Dales, William Mills, Charlie Hilton, Timothy Richards
Industrial hemp was legalized federally with the 2018 farm bill and in Georgia with the passage of House Bill 213 in May 2019. The market for CBD-related products derived from industrial hemp is projected to reach $24 billion in the U.S. by 2023. Georgia previously did not participate in the hemp pilot program as authorized by the 2014 farm bill. Therefore, no variety performance information is available for Georgia farmers. In June 2019 variety trials for industrial hemp grown for CBD production were initiated by UGA horticulturists at three University of Georgia research sites. Biomass data suggest that yields are highest when grown in the northern regions of Georgia. This data will be used for Georgia farmers in 2020 when they produce their first legal crop of hemp in more than 70 years.
Tim Coolong, Alan Covington, Ryan McNeill
Georgia’s peanut crop is affected annually by white mold and early leaf spot diseases. There are a number of fungicides labeled to protect peanut crops from these diseases. Farmers in southeast Georgia need comparative data to make the best decisions possible to allow for the greatest profit potential in every acre of peanuts. The Screven County Extension agent, Burke County Extension agent, UGA plant pathologist and UGA Extension economist developed a research project to analyze the efficacy and economical differences in commonly used fungicides. The research trial was established in 2018 and conducted again in 2019. This project was implemented at the Southeast Research and Education Center in Midville, GA. The objective of this study was to evaluate commercial fungicide programs for impact on disease and yield to provide research-based information to local producers to allow selection of management practices that have the highest yield potential by reducing severity of these diseases. While the initial input cost may be more than the producer was looking to make, the yield gain benefits higher profitable returns. Data collected from 2018 has been presented at the county agents’ production meetings, reaching 86 producers. This could have potentially affected 25,000 acres between the two counties it was presented in. If this information influenced 50 percent of those peanut acres at a gain of $15 per acre, the adjusted farm revenue would increase $187,500.
Jason Mallard, R. Black, Robert Kemerait, Amanda Smith, Katherine Burch
Many grape species and hybrids share one significant issue in common – susceptibility to a disease called powdery mildew. To minimize powdery mildew and other diseases, grape growers spray fungicides throughout the season and even after harvest to protect leaves. Due to the season-long infection potential of E. necator, vineyard managers may employ as many as 13 to 17 powdery mildew sprays in any given growing year. Because of the numerous applications of fungicides, resistance can readily develop to different chemical classes utilized to control powdery mildew. UGA plant pathologists collected samples of powdery mildew from multiple commercial Georgia vineyards and tested for genetic mutations known to confer resistance. Through a national cooperative grant with Washington State and the USDA, the presence of these mutations was evaluated for samples on DNA isolated from Georgia powdery mildew samples. Results indicated that quinone outside inhibiting (QoI) fungicide resistance is widespread among E. necator populations, and demethylation inhibitor (DMI) resistance is a potential concern as well. Efficacy of multiple fungicides were tested for powdery mildew control at the UGA Research and Education Center in Blairsville, Ga. This trial clearly documents field resistance of powdery mildew to the QoI fungicides and confirms the lack of activity by these fungicides in most sites in Georgia; in addition, this provides the first report of DMI resistance in grape powdery mildew in Georgia. Rotation among all active chemical classes will require producers to purchase multiple chemicals that will be utilized only once per season, but alternation of chemical classes is critical to maintaining these fungicides for years to come.
Phillip M. Brannen, Nathaniel Eason, Clark MacAllister, John Scaduto, Jacob Williams, Michelle Moyer, Walt Mahaffee
The adoption of soil moisture sensors to schedule irrigation in row crop production is growing, but at a rather slow pace. Between the two types of soil moisture sensors, volumetric (capacitance), and tensiometric, the tensiometric style probes have seen a much higher adoption rate in row crop production mainly due to their lower cost. The Mitchell County Extension agent implemented on-farm demonstration trials in three southwest Georgia counties in corn, peanuts, and cotton using three different style capacitance sensors from three vendors. All of the county agents and farmers gained knowledge of using capacitance style soil moisture sensors and that the data given to the farmers influenced their irrigation decisions. Results also showed that all of the farmers were more than likely to implement soil moisture sensors systems on their farm in the future.
Jackson Cale Cloud, D. Carlson, Calvin Perry, Holly Anderson, Stephanie Hollifield, Michasia Dowdy, David Sutherland
- Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center, Blairsville
- Northwest Georgia Research and Education Center, Calhoun
- J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center, Watkinsville
- Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center, MidviIle
- Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center, Plains
- C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park, CamiIla
- Attapulgus Research and Education Center, AttapuIgus
- Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center, Reidsville