first_imgRain has hit on target and temperatures have been reasonable. So far, Georgia row-crops like what they’ve been getting. The tobacco harvest is under way in south Georgia. Tobacco companies continue to offer fewer contracts to Georgia farmers, about 20 percent less this year than last. Farmers planted between 10,000 acres and 12,000 acres this spring. The crop looks good, though, said J. Michael Moore, a tobacco specialist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.“This is the most excellent growing season we’ve had in years,” he said.Plenty of soil moisture in spring helped the young plants in fields. Temperatures were good for growth. Rain through the season remained consistent, but not excessive, allowing for fieldwork to keep the crop cared for, he said. Damage from tomato spotted wilt virus, tobacco’s top nemesis, was low this year.Farmers will start delivering their crop to companies later this month.Eighty-six percent of the corn crop is in fair to good condition, according to a July 11 Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service report based on weekly surveys of UGA Extension county agents.“Overall, I expect it to be a good year for our corn producers,” said Dewey Lee, a UGA Extension grains specialist.Unusually high temperatures in early June (some as high 100 degrees) hit some areas during crucial kernel development, he said. This will hamper yields. Georgia’s average corn yield last year was 140 bushels per acre, tying the state record set the year before. The wet, humid weather increased diseases. Farmers, he said, spent a lot of money trying to stay ahead of them. Corn harvest will get under way in the next few weeks.According to GASS, 90 percent or more of the peanut, cotton and soybean crops are in fair to excellent condition. Harvest for these crops will start in the fall.last_img read more


first_imgMany insects are hardly ever seen because they are so well camouflaged. But if you look close enough in your garden or nearby woods, you might see a stick insect, which can become a good pet.Stick insects require minimal care. Most species thrive if fed on fresh blackberry leaves. Give them cages with water, fresh food, warmth and high humidity. They are delicate, so handle carefully to avoid breaking off a leg or antenna.Hard to see in the landscapeStick insects aren’t uncommon, but their cryptic appearance means we seldom realize how many are around us. Like other insects, there truly is more to them than meets the eye.Stick insects are wingless and move slow, so they don’t disperse over long distances. Their ability to remain motionless for long periods of time permits them to imitate plant parts and evade predators.Eats leaves, but doesn’t damage cropsHarmless to humans, stick insects eat plant leaves, but they don’t occur in enough numbers to damage plants or crops. They have a wide host range, including rose bushes, apple trees, and numerous weeds and vines.But watch out for the unusual species of stick insect called the musk mare, which is also called two-striped walking stick, devil’s riding horse or witch’s horse. These equestrian allusions probably refer to the fact that the smaller male is commonly found on top of the much thicker female, as though he were riding her. These stick insects are more than three inches long and wider than the common green or brown stick insects.The musk mare produces a repellent chemical that is exuded from glands behind its head. This repels large predators like birds, and small predators like ants and beetles. If sprayed into the eye, this liquid can cause pain and temporary blindness.last_img read more


first_imgSummer is just around the corner and rainfall deficits for Georgia are expected to continue, so learning how to save water in your landscape is essential. Following these tips from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension will help keep your lawn healthy while saving water and protecting the environment. Know what you mowDo you know the type of turfgrass you are mowing? Often people move into a home and inherit a lawn. Is it bermudagrass or zoysiagrass? Maybe it’s centipedegrass or St. Augustinegrass? Grasses may look similar, but different species have different needs. For example, centipedegrass has very different nitrogen requirements than other warm-season grasses; the mowing height recommendations for tall fescue differ greatly from those for bermudagrass; and the fertilization timing of zoysiagrass is not the same for tall fescue.If you are unsure what type of lawn you have, contact your local UGA Extension office for identification help. Knowing your grass type will help you manage mowing and fertilization with better results. As a bonus, healthy turf requires less water.Aerate oftenWhen a lawn care company suggests optional core aeration, do you pass on the service? You probably shouldn’t. Aeration relieves soil compaction, which is a major problem in Georgia’s clay soils. Don’t think you have compacted soils? Several scenarios can worsen compaction. Maybe you had a tree removed and heavy machinery drove across or sat on your lawn. Do your children host weekly neighborhood football games? These activities contribute to soil compaction.In order to survive drought, grass needs healthy, deep roots– the kind that won’t be able to develop in compacted soil. Aeration can help. The core aerator has hollow tines that remove a core of soil 2 to 4 inches deep and about one-half inch in diameter. The open holes allow oxygen to enter the soil and give plant roots room to grow, allowing for greater movement of water and nutrients. Aeration creates healthier grass plants that will need less water.Aeration can be done anytime the grass is actively growing and the soil is moist enough for the aerator tines to penetrate as deeply as possible into the grass. Deeper is always better! If you would like to do the work yourself, core aerators can be rented from hardware and big-box, garden retail stores. To save money, split the rental fee with your neighbors and aerate the entire neighborhood in a weekend.Keep the mower blade sharpMany home landscapers only sharpen their mower blades once every few years. This damages the lawn as mowing with a dull blade tears rather than cuts the grass. These wounds leave the grass vulnerable to disease-causing organisms that could require additional water and chemical inputs. It also leaves your lawn looking ragged.A clean, mower cut quickly seals and leaves the entire lawn looking well manicured. If your lawn looks choppy, check your blade. Learning to sharpen your blade is not difficult, and many hardware stores offer blade-sharpening services. For more information on caring for your lawn, contact your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or go to www.GeorgiaTurf.com.last_img read more


first_imgThe annual seminar series will be held Jan. 14-23 in Gainesville, Cartersville, Bainbridge, Lyons, Tifton and Macon. Registration for the series is open at www.georgiaagforecast.com. The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences hosts the annual seminar series, and its attendance grows every year. Nearly 1,000 business people, producers and community leaders attended their local seminars in 2014. “The main objective of the Ag Forecast seminar series is to provide Georgia’s producers and agribusiness leaders with information on where we think the industry is headed in the upcoming year,” said Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. “It helps farmers plan what they’re going to plant in the next year, but it’s also good for bankers and others who do business with farmers or who will be impacted by the farm economy.” Economists from the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and from the UGA Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics will deliver the economic outlook, which will focus on Georgia’s major commodities and the way that global markets, weather patterns and historical trends will affect those commodities. In addition to the annual economic outlook, Douglas Britton, program manager for the Agricultural Technology Research Program at Georgia Tech, will speak about research being done in conjunction with UGA and will provide insight into the next wave of innovation in agricultural technology — from remote-sensing systems to unmanned aerial vehicles. The 2015 Ag Forecast sessions will be held Jan. 14 in Gainesville, Jan. 15 in Cartersville, Jan. 16 in Bainbridge, Jan. 21 in Lyons, Jan. 22 in Tifton and Jan. 23 in Macon. The Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series is organized by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This series is made possible through the Georgia Farm Bureau Land Grant University Lecture Series Endowment and is supported by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. For more information on the 2015 Ag Forecast series, see www.georgiaagforecast.com, follow @UGA_CollegeofAg on Twitter or search for #agforecast on social media. From new varieties to new technologies and new markets, Georgia’s agricultural landscape is guaranteed to change every year. The University of Georgia’s team of agricultural economists will provide valuable insights into what 2015 will hold for the state’s largest industry during the 2015 Georgia Ag Forecast series. last_img read more


first_imgWhether protecting watermelons from the scalding summer sun or helping plants produce bigger fruit, maintaining healthy vines is a top priority for Georgia growers, especially when farm workers continuously pick from the same fruit bed.“There are multiple reasons that watermelon farmers think about vine protection. Healthy vines supply more energy and photosynthate to fruit,” said University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable specialist Tim Coolong.Protecting watermelon vines also increases the length of harvests. Instead of picking two or more times in a season, a farmer may pick four times in the same field, which increases yields and profits, Coolong said.Vines also help control sunburn. If vines aren’t strong when temperatures are at their highest during the harvest season, they aren’t able to protect the watermelon fruit from being exposed, which leads to sunburn damage.Coolong stresses that the best way to protect vines is to turn them back in drive rows. Watermelon fields are set up in several groups of five or six beds that are divided by larger drive rows, which make the vines accessible by farm equipment. Drive rows allow the grower to spray vines and enable harvest wagons or buses to get into the field without running over most vines. Vines in the rows located next to the drive row may grow into the road, however, which makes them vulnerable to being run over.“For some of our larger growers, it can be prohibitively expensive to turn vines by hand, but most of our medium-sized growers have their crews go into the fields and turn the vines in those drive rows so they’re not running over them,” Coolong said. “Also, if (the plant) sets fruit in those drive rows and you run them over, and you have a drive row every fifth or sixth row, you’re talking maybe 10 percent of your fruit that could potentially be damaged.”In Coolong’s research trials on the UGA Tifton Campus, watermelon vines are turned back once a week for a month or more near harvest.“It really helped with the quality of our harvest on that third picking. Where we used to have a lot of small fruit that may not be worth picking, now we’re still maintaining size through that third pick,” he said.Coolong also stresses the importance of workers not trampling vines when they walk through a field.“As a grower, your workers are trying to move through the field as fast as they can to be as efficient and as productive as they can. That doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with maintaining vine quality, so it’s a challenge to not beat up the vines, but get through the fields in a quick fashion,” Coolong said.The watermelon market in Georgia starts in early June and usually concludes a week after July 4. Georgia watermelon was worth more than $124.5 million in 2015, according to the Georgia Farm Gate Value Report, published by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.last_img read more


first_imgAfter suffering a three-week dry spell in May, Georgia corn crops benefitted from rains during the month of June.It’s an encouraging sign for the future of this year’s corn crop, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension corn weed specialist Eric Prostko. “We’ve been catching these rains right at pollination or slightly later so they’ve been very helpful,” Prostko said.No significant rainfall was recorded from May 11 into early June, causing uncertainty around Georgia’s corn crop in late May. This was especially harmful for Georgia’s dryland corn crop, where irrigation is unavailable. Georgia’s dryland acreage totals about 70,000 acres.“Not having any rain really hurt us, but that 21- to 25-day period was especially rough because it was about seven degrees hotter than normal,” Prostko said. “Of course, we’ve been getting rains now so that should be really helpful.”According to this year’s UGA Extension Corn Production Guide (https://t.uga.edu/54o), corn requires the most rainfall during pollination, approximately 0.33 inches per day. Rainfall is essential for the plant to produce ears of corn. If the corn doesn’t receive the right amount of water at the right time, the amount and size of the kernels could be impacted.“Most of (Georgia’s) corn is irrigated, which is a good thing. But for the 20% that’s not, we won’t know the impact of that drought until it’s time for harvest,” Prostko said. “I had a farmer tell me this year that a year ago he made 200 bushels of dryland corn. I don’t think that’s going to happen this year.”Dryland farmers had a successful year in 2018 due in large part to the abundance of rainfall Georgia experienced during late spring. Two straight weeks of rain in May 2018 helped spike corn production in dryland fields.Georgia growers planted 325,000 acres in 2018, with harvested acres for grain estimated at 275,000. Corn production in Georgia was estimated at 46.5 million bushels in 2018, up 8% from 2017. Georgia corn yields have consistently been close to or more than 170 bushels per acre since 2012.For more information about corn production in Georgia, see the UGA Grain Crop Team website at https://grains.caes.uga.edu.last_img read more


first_imgIn a continuing effort to provide the best wireless service for local residents, Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest wireless provider, has expanded its digital network in Vermont, with a new cell site. The new site, located on an existing silo, provides improved coverage and capacity in Ferrisburg along Route 7.The new site is part of the company’s aggressive multi-billion dollar network investment each year to stay ahead of the growing demand for Verizon Wireless voice and data services, like two-way text messaging and Internet access, in New England.This investment is part of the company’s commitment to offer customers the most reliable service available on the nation’s largest wireless network. The company’s most reliable network claim is based on network studies performed by real-life test men and test women who inspired the company’s national advertising campaign. They conduct more than 300,000 call attempts monthly on Verizon Wireless’ and other national wireless carriers’ networks while traveling over 100,000 miles nationwide in specially-equipped company-owned quality test vehicles.”This network expansion will allow us to meet the growing need of local businesses and consumers for their voice calls and data applications, like our high-speed Express Network (sm) and two-way text messaging service,” said Bob Stott, Verizon Wireless regional president.Express Network is the company’s nationwide high-speed wireless data network, providing fast wireless Internet service, with bursts up to 144 kilobits per second (kbps). Express Network gives users full Internet access, intranet access and traditional email functionality via a laptop at unprecedented speeds for wireless access. Users can expect average speeds between 40 and 60 kbps, significantly higher than speeds being produced by competing technologies and comparable to, if not faster, than what PC users get when using a dial-up Internet service. Verizon Wireless has invested more than $8 billion over the last two years in its nationwide network, offering customers access to the most extensive wireless voice and data network in the United States.last_img read more


first_imgHelp for Import-Impacted ManufacturersLowell, Mass., June 6, 2005 The New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, Inc. (NETAAC), is a government funded non-profit organization that offers cost share assistance for imported-injured manufacturers through grants from the U.S. Department of commerce. NETAACs goal is to help New England manufacturers increase profitability and retain employees while competing with imported products.The New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers Executive Director, Richard McLaughlin, is pleased to announce the approval of the new grant from the US Department of Commerce, under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for firms. These funds will allow us to continue our efforts within the six New England states, stated Mr. McLaughlin.Annually NETAAC provides grants for business services on a cost shared basis to assist New England manufacturers to compete profitably within foreign import markets. Mr. McLaughlin continued to state the NETAAC has assisted over 1200 New England Manufacturers through this program. To be eligible, manufacturers must show a decline in sales and employment, within the most recent twelve months, due to increasing imports into the U.S. domestic market.The Trade Adjustment Assistance for firms is a federal program, which is regionally managed. NETAAC is one of a network of eleven non-profit Trade Centers nationally. A recent study by The Urban Institute concluded, Participating firms do well as a result of their participation. They found that both sales and employment increased after assistance and at rates significantly better than those of a control group of similar firms did. They attributed this positive result to the depth of breath of technical assistance available through the program as well as the ability to customize the assistance to the individual needs of a firm and to deliver it through the best available outside experts.For more information about the New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, you can visit their website at www.netaac.org(link is external). Formal inquiries can be made directly to the center located at 600 Suffolk Street, Fifth Floor North, Lowell, MA 01844 or by calling (978) 446-9870.last_img read more


first_imgWHAT: Governor Jim Douglas will announce a partnership with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company at a news conference on February 12th to give away free $50,000 life insurance policies to families in need across Vermont.WHEN/WHERE: The Governor will hold a news conference on February 12th, 11AM at  the State House, 109 State St., Montpelier, VT in the Governor s Ceremonial Office to announce details of the program, including the date and time of a public application event where people can apply for free life insurance policies. He will also announce who qualifies for the program and how it benefits the children of Vermont.WHY: The free life insurance program is called LifeBridge. This is strictly a philanthropic program with no additional obligations or commitments from families who qualify for the free insurance policies. MassMutual is the only company in the nation giving away life insurance as part of a charitable giving program.The $50,000 benefit from these life insurance policies will help pay for the education of children if their parent or legal guardian dies during the ten year policy term. MassMutual hopes to give away up to ten million dollars in life insurance coverage in Vermont.EDITORIAL NOTE: If you can not cover the news conference, please contact me for a news release about how people can apply for free life insurance; interviews with LifeBridge experts in Vermont can be arranged.last_img read more


first_imgThe following statement is being issued today by Vermont Attorney General William H Sorrell and the Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group:”It has recently come to light that a number of mortgage loan servicers havesubmitted affidavits or signed other documents in support of either ajudicial or non-judicial foreclosure that appear to have procedural defects.In particular, it appears affidavits and other documents have been signed bypersons who did not have personal knowledge of the facts asserted in thedocuments. In addition, it appears that many affidavits were signed outsideof the presence of a notary public, contrary to state law. This process ofsigning documents without confirming their accuracy has come to beknown as “robo-signing.” We believe such a process may constitute adeceptive act and/or an unfair practice or otherwise violate state laws.In order to handle this issue in the most efficient and consistent mannerpossible, the states have formed a bi-partisan multistate group to addressissues common to a large number of states. The group is comprised of bothstate Attorneys General and the state bank and mortgage regulators.”Currently 49 state Attorneys General have joined this coordinatedmultistate effort. State bank and mortgage regulators are participating bothindividually and through their Multistate Mortgage Committee, whichrepresents mortgage regulators from all 50 states. Through this process, thestates will attempt to speak with one voice to the greatest extent possible.”At the end of this statement is a list of the participating states.Our multistate group has begun inquiring whether or not individualmortgage servicers have improperly submitted affidavits or otherdocuments in support of foreclosures in our states. The facts uncovered inour review will dictate the scope of our inquiry.”The Executive Committeeis comprised of the following Attorneys General Offices: Arizona,California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New York, NorthCarolina, Ohio, Texas, and Washington; and the following state bankingregulators: Maryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation,New York State Banking Department, and the Pennsylvania Department ofBanking.”Source: Vermont AG. 10.12.2010.Participating Attorneys GeneralAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaii Department of the Attorney General / Hawaii Office of Consumer ProtectionIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingParticipating State Bank and Mortgage RegulatorsArizona Department of Financial InstitutionsArkansas Securities DepartmentConnecticut Department of BankingD.C. Department of Insurance Securities and BankingFlorida Office of Financial RegulationIdaho Department of FinanceIllinois Secretary of Financial and Professional RegulationIndiana Department of Financial InstitutionsIowa Division of BankingKentucky Department of Financial InstitutionsLouisiana Office of Financial InstitutionsMaine Bureau of Consumer Credit ProtectionMaine Bureau of Financial InstitutionsMaryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial RegulationDivision of Banks, Commonwealth of MassachusettsMichigan Office of Financial & Insurance RegulationMinnesota Department of CommerceMississippi Department of Banking and Consumer FinanceMontana Division of Banking and Financial InstitutionsNebraska Department of Banking and FinanceNevada Financial Institutions Division and Mortgage Lending DivisionNew Hampshire Banking DepartmentNew Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance – Office of Consumer FinanceNew York State Banking DepartmentNorth Carolina Commissioner of BanksNorth Dakota Department of Financial InstitutionsOhio Division of Financial InstitutionsOregon Department of Consumer and Business Services – Division of Financeand Corporate SecuritiesPennsylvania Department of BankingRhode Island Department of Business Regulation – Division of BankingSouth Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs Tennessee Department ofFinancial Institutions Texas Department of BankingTexas Finance Commission and Consumer Credit Commissioner VermontDepartment of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health CareAdministrationWashington State Department of Financial InstitutionsWest Virginia Division of Banking WisconsinDepartment of Banking Wyoming Division of Bankinglast_img read more