Experiential Education to Form an Extension Organic Production Team in Georgia

2011 Annual Report for ES08-094

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2008: $18,692.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Julia Gaskin
University of Georgia

Experiential Education to Form an Extension Organic Production Team in Georgia


We continued training members of the Sustainable and Organic Production Team and conducted training for NRCS personnel in Organic Weed Control.


On June 22nd, the Sustainable and Organic Production Team conducted training for 38 Extension Agents and NRCS personnel in Tifton, GA. The training began on the Ponder Farm, which is part of the Research and Experiment Station. The group looked at cultivation equipment for weed control including tine weeders and brush hoes. We also looked at trials of different weed control techniques for peanuts. Dr. Carroll Johnson of USDA Agricultural Research Service, who has worked on SARE-funded organic peanut projects, stressed to the group that a wider row spacing and early weeding before “cracking” or when the peanut plant emerges is critical for good weed control. The group moved into the classroom for the remainder of the day. We first viewed a DVD on the weed control system developed by Eric and Ann Nordell of PA. They emphasized crop rotation to provide period of fallow in both spring and fall when they could reduce weed populations as well as the use of cover crops. Other topics covered included cultural/tillage weed control – Dr. Carroll Johnson, USDA ARS; the effectiveness of organic chemical weed control – Dr. George Boyhan, UGA; cover crops for weed suppression – Ms. Julia Gaskin, UGA; solarization – Dr. James Brown, FVSU, and the role of hand weeding – Mr. Robert Tate, UGA.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The evaluation of the Organic Weed Control indicated a 29% increase in knowledge after this classroom training. On the post-test evaluations, agents indicated they planned on working with organic producers in their area as well as using some of the techniques with conventional growers. In follow-up conversations, this has proved true. Examples of this are given in the Final Report.


Jerald Larson

County Agent
Fort Valley State University
Emanuel County Extension PO Box 770
Swainsboro, GA 30401
Office Phone: 4782371226
Jonathan Tescher

Farmer Liaison
Georgia Organics
200-A Ottley Dr
Atlanta, GA 30401
Office Phone: 6787020400
Marc Thomas

Extension Specialist
Fort Valley State University
214 C.W. Pettigrew Center
Fort Valley, GA 31030
Office Phone: 4788256296
George Boyhan

Extesnsion Specialist
University of Georgia
Department of Horticulture 1111 Miller Plant Science Bldg
Athens, GA 30602
Office Phone: 7065422471