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_imgIRVINE, Calif. – Drivers in three IMCA divisions are the beneficiaries of new sponsor CP-Carrillo’s added emphasis on dirt this season.The Irvine, Calif., manufacturer of the Bullet line of pistons and connecting rods gives awards to IMCA Sunoco Stock Car, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock competitors.“We’re really excited about being involved with IMCA,” CP-Carrillo’s Bryce Mulvey said. “Our pistons really fit these divisions well. All our products are made in America and we already sell a large quantity of them to IMCA customers. We use technology learned over the years to make products that are affordable to the Saturday Night racer.”The national Stock Car champion and top finishing drivers in national Northern SportMod and Hobby Stock point standings competing with claim engines are in line for a complete set of pistons and connecting rods.CP-Carrillo also gives $100 product certificates to second through fifth place finishers in each Stock Car region and to second through fifth place claim engine competitors in the national Northern SportMod and Hobby Stock ranks.Certificates will be presented during the national awards banquet in November or mailed beginning the following week from the IMCA home office.Those certificates will be redeemable through a nation-wide dealer network that includes local engine builders and auto shops, as well as Speedway Motors, Karl Performance and Day Motorsports.“One of the best things about IMCA is the rules package. It’s good to have the same rules so drivers can race at different tracks and with IMCA they can do that from the East Coast to the West Coast,” noted Mulvey, who piloted a Modified at tracks in California and Arizona during his own career. “IMCA also does a very good job of enforcing their rules.”More information about CP-Carrillo connecting rods and pistons is available by calling 949 567-9000, at the www.cp-carrillo website and on Facebook.“The partnership with CP-Carrillo is one that we’re proud to emphasize as it strengthens our continued commitment to the aftermarket engine industry,” noted IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “It remains a vital component to the IMCA brand moving forward and hopefully funnels racers to their local engine shops as a result.”last_img read more


first_imgUEFA have launched disciplinary proceedings against FC Schalke 04 after the play-off encounter with PAOK on Wednesday.The allegations against the Royal Blues concern the alleged display of political banners, crowd trouble and late submission of team sheets.FC Schalke 04 will seek legal advice and plead not guilty.last_img