Many samples are brought into the extension office every week. The samples vary from insects and plants to manure. The majority of the samples are brought into the office for identification purposes.
When bringing in plant samples for identification, please bring the whole branch. It is very hard to identify a plant species based on a single leaf. A whole branch allows us to see the leaf arrangement. If there are any flowers or fruit present, please bring them. All of this is key when identifying plant species.
With insects, please bring them in a container. The container will protect them from getting crushed. Insects should be placed in the freezer or alcohol to kill them. Never put larvae or caterpillars in the freezer, always put them in alcohol. Do not put butterflies or moths in alcohol. The alcohol will take the scales off of their wings, making identification difficult.
Many times when you call the office, I may ask you to send me a picture of what you are seeing. When submitting pictures, please ensure the subject is in focus. It is hard to determine what the issue is when the picture is blurry. Sending multiple pictures is recommended.
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For diseases, plant identification or insect damage, start by taking a picture of the overall area. Then get closer, and take a picture of the whole area where symptoms are present. The last picture should be a close-up of the area affected.
When sending pictures for plant identification, send a picture of the whole plant, a branch and a close-up of a single leaf. For insects, please take a picture of the whole insect, a picture of its legs/underside, and then of its mouth parts. With the close-up pictures, a size reference is always recommended. This could be a coin or a ruler.
There are a few things that also are needed when bringing in samples for submission to the laboratory. For plant tissue samples, we need a good number of leaves. For example, I need 100 leaves in order to submit a pecan leaf analysis sample. That number varies based on the type of sample, so please, to save you time, contact the extension office before bringing in a sample.
Soil samples must be submitted in a UGA soil lab bag. We keep a large number of those bags here in the office, so if you do not have one, bring your soil in a plastic bag and we will transfer it. Manure samples needing to be sent for analysis should be brought in a quart size bag. Hay samples need to be in a gallon size bag for submission. We have bottles here to submit water and lagoon samples.
These are samples that we usually see the most of, but if you have a question about how much of the sample to bring or in what kind of container, please contact the office. On average, sample results should be returned in about a week.
DATES TO REMEMBER:
March 5: Recertification training, Perry
March 18-19: Advanced Landscape Design, Perry, 6-8 p.m.
March 19-21: Spring Plant Sale, Macon
March 28-29: Spring Home and Garden Show, Perry
Production meetings: Please RSVP
Feb. 19: Pecan, noon, Perry
Feb. 20: Cotton/soybean, noon, Perry
Feb. 27: Peanut, noon, Oglethorpe
March 5: Disease management, noon, Oglethorpe
For more information on any program area, contact Houston County Extension at 478-987-2028 or drop by our office in the old courthouse, downtown Perry, 801 Main St. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visit our website at www.caes.uga.edu/extension/houston/ for more news about your local Extension office.