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Georgia farm outlook.

first_imgUGA peanut economist Nathan Smith said Georgia farmers’ 2003 peanut crop will be their second under the new farm bill, which ended the way they had long marketed their peanuts. Under previous farm bills, the government had regulated the U.S. peanut supply through a quota system.To get better-than-average prices in 2003, peanut growers will have to watch the market closely. Like cotton, peanut prices are now very susceptible to supply-and-demand. And right now, this isn’t working in peanut farmers’ favor.The 2001 crop was the second-largest ever, creating an oversupply of peanuts going into 2002. To get rid of these extra peanuts, farmers need access to foreign markets or a huge increase in consumer demand.The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects U.S. citizens to eat about 4.5 percent more peanuts this year. The industry view is that lower peanut prices will increase consumption.Lower farm prices for peanuts could mean slightly lower prices for peanut butter and for candy and snacks containing peanuts. It may be more likely, though, that manufacturers will spend more on advertisements and promotions instead of lowering prices.The 2002 U.S. peanut crop wasn’t a good one. This drop in supply could mean higher prices for farmers in the future.Lively stockLivestock and poultry account for 51 percent of Georgia’s total farm income. In 2002, there was a large supply of poultry and red meat. This suppressed farm prices. But domestic demand remained strong, and prices weren’t as bad as they could have been.In 2003, poultry growers can expect slightly higher prices, said John McKissick, a UGA livestock economist. But an oversupply of eggs will continue to hurt egg prices.U.S. beef production is expected to total 25.95 billion pounds, down from 27 billion in 2002. This lower supply will increase prices for farmers. Beef demand is expected to remain strong.Tobacco uncertainThe tobacco industry still faces uncertainty. Tobacco remains under a federal quota-based system. But changes in the industry and the mood in Washington toward quota-based farm policies point to a potential quota buyout.Growers seem willing to give up the security of government price supports for greater freedom in deciding how much to grow and in selling directly to tobacco companies.The 2003 flue-cured quota, announced Dec. 15, will be 526.4 million pounds, or 9.6 percent less than in 2002 and 40 percent less than in 1997.With the lower production, most growers have gotten prices above the government support price. In 2002, 95 percent of Georgia tobacco was contracted directly with tobacco companies.Agriculture is Georgia’s No. 1 industry, generating $8.7 billion of the state’s $400 billion annual economy. Including the businesses directly and indirectly affected, farming contributes $41 billion of state economy.For a copy of the 2003 Georgia outlook guide, call your UGA Extension Service county office. Georgia farmers should see better prices for what they produce next year, according to a University of Georgia study.The 2003 Farm Outlook and Planning Guide, published by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, will be released in mid-January.Cotton comeback?Supply-and-demand seems to favor cotton farmers, said Don Shurley, a UGA cotton economist with the CAES agricultural and applied economics department.In 2002, the world grew 87.4 million bales of cotton, or 11 percent fewer than in 2001. A bale of cotton is 450 pounds of lint. Production declined in the major cotton-producing countries: China, India, Australia and the United States.While the world supply is lower, the demand for cotton is expected to rise next year to about 96.4 million bales, up 2.4 percent from 2001.”At this juncture, the 2003 cotton price outlook is encouraging,” Shurley said.Peanut marketinglast_img read more

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22 Overcup oak

first_imgThis native oak species (Quercus lyrata) is also calledswamp post oak, swamp white oak and water white oak. It’s foundin wet bottom lands of the coastal plain from Delaware to Georgiaand west to Texas. It grows along the Mississippi River floodplain, too, as far north as Illinois and Indiana.Despite its tolerance of wet sites, you don’t have to live in aswamp to enjoy overcup oak. It’s this year’s Georgia Gold Medalwinner partly because it does equally well on dry, upland sitesand adapts to a variety of soils and growing environments. Itthrives in full sun in hardiness zones 5 to 9.But there’s more. Overcup oak is a tough shade tree for largelandscapes, public parks, golf courses and office parks. Whilemost oaks have a reputation for being slow growers, this treegrows fast, particularly when it’s young.Its initial growth is somewhat pyramidal. Then, with age, itgradually becomes more rounded. It typically grows 50 feet highand 50 feet wide under cultivation. But it’s been known to reach125 feet in the wild.Named for acornThe unique shape of the acorns gives the tree its name and helpsdistinguish it from other oaks. A warty cap almost completelycovers the nut. The acorns drop to the ground in the fall.They’re a good food source for wildlife, including squirrels,deer and turkeys.At first glance, overcup oak looks a lot like its white oakcousin. Like the white oak, it has rough-textured, gray-brownbark, deeply lobed leaves and yellow fall color.Nursery experts call overcup oak a tough, tolerant tree that’sperfect for less-than-perfect sites. It thrives in heavy,compacted clay soils. And it loves the heat and humidity of theDeep South.With a life span as long as 400 years, overcup oak provides aliving legacy for many future generations to enjoy. It’s easy tosee why it has emerged as the top tree out there for 2006,earning the 2006 Georgia Gold Medal for trees.(Gary Wade is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.) Volume XXXINumber 1Page 22 By Gary WadeUniversity of Georgia”Bulletproof” is a term for plants that thrive with very littlecare in many soils and growing conditions. And overcup oak fitsthe definition perfectly.last_img read more

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Your Southern Garden

first_imgCareful irrigation, annual bed design and transplanting agave will be featured on “Your Southern Garden” with Walter Reeves June 19 at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Georgia Public Broadcasting.Water conservation tops the list of most home gardeners, especially in the South. Wouldn’t it be nice if your irrigation system came on only when the soil was dry? University of Florida engineer Michael Dukes shows host Reeves how to use a lawn moisture sensor to limit irrigation. UF horticulturist Erin Alvarez designs a plot for annual flowers and shows how to space them properly. And, Reeves narrowly avoids a prickly encounter as horticulturist Sheila Kanotz teaches him how to transplant needle-sharp agave pups.“Your Southern Garden,” produced by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and University of Florida IFAS Extension, is a one-of-a-kind program specifically for the Southeast. The program is made possible by underwriter support from Scotts Miracle-Gro and sponsorship from McCorkle Nurseries.last_img read more

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Tomato genomics

first_imgResearchers in the University of Georgia Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory recently helped finish the decade-long process of sequencing the tomato genome. The genome mapping effort involved more than 300 researchers working at universities and research institutes in more than a dozen countries. A team from UGA worked under the guidance of Andrew Paterson, a Regents Professor of plant breeding and genetics. They spent the past two years looking into the evolutionary history of the tomato’s genome—trying to find the place where the tomato split from its flowering plant forbearers. Dubbed the Tomato Genome Consortium, the researchers involved in the project published their findings in the May 31 edition of Nature. “This project combined fundamental insight into flowering plant evolution, in particular the first case known of a lineage that experienced consecutive genome triplications, with application-oriented work such as the discovery of many genes likely to contribute to breeding better tomatoes,” Paterson said. Graduate students Jingping Li, Hui Guo, Yupeng Wang, Dong Zhang, former graduate student Haibao Tang, postdoctoral researcher Tae-ho Lee and assistant research scientist Xiyin Wang discovered numerous insights into tomato evolution, in particular that the entire set of genes within the tomato’s ancestors had been repeated three times. Paterson’s team, who represent both the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has played a pioneering role in a period of discovery of duplications and triplications of gene sets in the genomes of many of the world’s leading crops and botanical models. Repetition of the gene set has been important in the worldwide spread of flowering plants and in the evolution of crops—providing “spare” genes that can evolve new traits while the plant also retains the traits prescribed by its original set of genes. The tomato and its relatives, which include the potato, have gone through this process not once but twice, Paterson’s team found. It’s the first known case of two consecutive triplications of an original set of genes. Identifying the changed genes in each of these triplicated gene sets will help researchers pinpoint which genes control the characteristics that make a tomato a tomato—things like fruit size, flavor and texture. Paterson, who was recently recognized for his work sequencing sorghum and cotton, had studied tomatoes during his post-doctoral work. His team joined the Tomato Genome Consortium in 2009. Researchers on the tomato genome project focused on fully understanding the sequence of one tomato variety, Heinz 1706. This sequence can now be used to more fully decipher the genetic makeup of other tomato varieties and eventually be used to breed better tomatoes. As a part of the effort, researchers compared the Heinz 1706 genome to the genome of one of the tomato’s wild ancestors as well as to the potato genome. They found only a 0.6 percent divergence between the genetic information contained in the wild and modern tomato varieties, but found about an 8 percent divergence between the potato and tomato, according to the article published in Nature. Those points where the genetic information diverges, Paterson said, are clues to changes that may explain why one plant makes potatoes and another tomatoes. For more information on the study, see http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v485/n7400/full/nature11119.html.last_img read more

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Water, bugs and space

first_imgSpringtime brings questions about gardening, and some of the most common gardening questions have to do with watering, bugs and how to grow more food in less space. Here is some basic information from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension to help answer these common questions. Question: What can I do to prevent insect pests in my vegetable garden? Answer: Plant as early in the spring as the weather will permit to get your plants established before pests arrive. Also, be sure to rotate crops to prevent buildup of pests in one area of the garden. For example, do not plant tomatoes year after year in the same spot in the garden. Rotate tomatoes with corn or beans. You can also plant vegetable varieties that have built-in tolerance or resistance to certain insect pests. And, always buy and plant fresh seeds and healthy, insect-free vegetable plants. Next year, you can till your soil in the winter to expose insects and eggs to cold temperatures and drying winds. Q: How and when should I water my vegetable garden? A: The worst possible method of watering vegetable plants is to spray water over the plants for a few minutes everyday. When you water, use a method that delivers water as directly to the soil as possible and water thoroughly to encourage plant roots to seek moisture and nutrients deep in the soil. Soak the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. A thorough soaking every five to six days is usually sufficient. Of course, weather conditions, like temperature and rainfall will affect frequency of watering. Soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems provide the best results, as overhead watering is usually a very inefficient way to water. Soaker and drip irrigation systems place the water near the roots and not in the middle of the rows. They also do not wet the foliage, thus helping to reduce leaf spot and other diseases. Vegetables need moisture, but overwatering is harmful. Overwatering not only wastes water but waterlogs the soil, preventing roots from getting air. Overly wet soil is also much more likely to be attacked by root rot and fungus. Watering early in the day reduces water loss by evaporation and allows the foliage to dry quickly. Watering in the late afternoon or evening can leave foliage wet overnight and encourage diseases. Avoid watering in the middle of the day because you will loose much of your irrigation water to evaportation. Q: I have almost no space for a garden. Can I grow vegetables in containers? A: There are a number of vegetable varieties suitable for growing in containers that have small plants and produce either full-sized or miniature fruits. Containers should be large (at least 5 gallons) to prevent rapid loss of moisture and provide adequate room for root growth. One tomato plant will need a 5-gallon bucket, whereas two peppers or two cucumbers can be grown in a 5-gallon container. The biggest challenges will be to properly water and fertilize the plants. They will need more care and attention to perform well. For more information on gardening, call your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or visit online at www.ugaextension.last_img read more

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Borlaug’s Centennial

first_imgToday, he would have turned 100. “You can’t build a peaceful world on empty stomachs and human misery,” Bourlaug once said. Today, we are reminded he was a living example of the power of science to improve the world. He was the picture of practicing what you preach. He certainly did his part to fill empty stomachs and end human misery. Borlaug developed dozens of cereal grain varieties that grew well in Asia, Mexico and Africa – areas of the world that had spent years facing mass famine and starvation. Scholars say he prevented as many as 1 billion deaths. “There can be no permanent progress in the battle against hunger until the agencies that fight for increased food production and those that fight for population control unite in a common effort,” he said during his 1970 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Today, we again face a growing population that will outpace food production if we don’t find a way to double our yields — this time with less land and less water. Borlaug was fast to point out that meeting the challenges that led to the Green Revolution took many scientists, farmers, agencies and organizations working together. The same will be true of the grand challenge before us now. And the solutions will be more complicated than before. It will take plant breeders and engineers, farmers and processors, transportation and cooperation to feed a hungry world. Technology will drive the future of agriculture and help to curb world hunger. Agriculture may be the sector of our economy where new technology can have the greatest impact in the shortest period of time. On the 30th anniversary of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Borlaug said in a speech in Ohio, “The world has the technology – either available or well advanced in the research pipeline – to feed on a sustainable basis a population of 10 billion people.” Our college has a long history of excellence in developing the next generation of technology to provide food for the world. One area in which we have traditionally been leaders is plant breeding and genomics. Glen Burton, a world-renowned forage breeder in Tifton and a contemporary of Borlaug’s, helped turn our forage and turfgrass breeding program into a world powerhouse. Today, among our faculty, we have some of the finest plant breeders in the world improving the yield and productivity of everything from soybean and sorghum to peanuts and blueberries. Each understands the consequence of failing to meet the growing demand for food with dwindling resources. In a recent interview with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, he reflected on the Carter Center’s work with Borlaug to improve the food supply and farm income in developing nations around the world. They found, especially in Africa, most of their work was with female farmers since the women generally tend the crops. By providing plant varieties better suited to African climates, they were able to put more food on the dinner table and more income in the family budget. The work these scientists are doing today will ensure that effort continues. Someone like Norman Borlaug may only come along every 100 years, but our students, our scientists, our engineers, our teachers and our farmers share his drive, determination and curiosity. Those qualities will help usher in the next great revolution in agriculture. The vision for that quest is Borlaug’s lasting legacy to the world. Agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug was known as many things during his lifetime: Nobel Peace Prize winner, father of the Green Revolution, a persistent pioneer in the battle to end hunger. Few can dispute that during his 95 years, he was responsible for saving more human lives than anyone in history. last_img read more

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Travel Funds

first_imgThree CAES faculty members have been awarded funding from the first-round of the newly launched Office of Global Programs Faculty International Travel Funding Program. However, a second round is already under way; the deadline for applying is April 1.Darold Batzer, professor of entomology, Wojciech J. Florkowski, professor of agricultural and applied economics, and Dennis Hancock, associate professor and a forage specialist with Cooperative Extension received funding for travel to Brazil, Vietnam, and New Zealand, respectively.The funding program supports the development of sustained collaborative global partnerships. Priority is given to proposals that aim to secure external funding for collaborative programs or projects; demonstrate a high potential to develop long-lasting partnerships; and indicate cost-sharing by the applicant or department. Awards are allocated based on the availability of funds, but are generally about $2,000 each.Batzer’s early March trip to Brazil focused on developing collaborations with researchers at the Laboratory of the Ecology and Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems at the University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos. Batzer’s area of interest is the use of invertebrates to provide a research basis for addressing environmental problems in wetlands and other aquatic habitats.“Both here and in Brazil, wetland habitats are increasingly being threatened by human development and a changing climate,” Batzer said in his funding application, noting that he planned to evaluate research facilities and field sites during his stay.Based on the trip’s outcome, Batzer plans to develop funding proposals with his Brazilian colleagues for that country’s “Science Without Borders” program.In December 2014, Florkowski delivered the keynote address and continued his economic and marketing research in postharvest handling of agricultural commodities at the annual Asian Pacific Symposium on Postharvest Research, Education and Extension in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The event was organized by the Vietnam Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Postharvest Technology and Nong Lam University.During his stay, Florkowski met with researchers from Asia, Australia and Europe who are involved in postharvest research. He also began discussions about renewing a memorandum of agreement with King Mongut’s University of Technology Thonburi in Thailand, a co-organizer of the conference.“The presence of a number of scientists and administrators from Asia, including Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia permits the exploration and discussion of future collaborative research projects using funding of the interested parties,” Florkowski noted.Hancock will travel to New Zealand in late March as an advisor to a meeting of the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise ministry. The meeting, which will include the leaders of a number of New Zealand’s agritech companies, will focus on plans for establishing an “innovation park” somewhere in the U.S., possibly Georgia.“Georgia has developed quite a reputation throughout the world as a real ‘hot-spot’ for growth in pasture-based livestock systems and dairying,” Hancock said. “This is Georgia’s opportunity to impress upon them the profound logic of locating their offices, warehouses, supply chains, parts, service systems and, perhaps, even some manufacturing operations here in Georgia.”During his trip, Hancock will provide industry leaders information on the technical aspects of the U.S. market and what niches are currently not being filled by domestic companies.For more information, visit the Office of Global Programs Faculty Travel Funding webpage.last_img read more

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Beekeeping Basics

first_imgRock Eagle 4-H Center, in Eatonton, Georgia, is working with beekeeping expert and Putnam County University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agent Keith Fielder to introduce would-be beekeepers to the tools and skills they need to raise bees. This workshop, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 20, is part of the Saturday at the Rock Education Series. Fielder, a lifelong beekeeper and former president of the Georgia Beekeepers Association, will discuss beekeeping basics and offer advice on how to start and maintain a personal colony. Appropriate for all ages, the cost for the workshop is $5 per person and includes an opportunity to visit the Rock Eagle 4-H Center Natural History Museum, following the activity. Advanced registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Rock Eagle Program Specialist Jessica Torhan at (706) 484-4838 or by email at jtorhan1@uga.edu. Different programs take place on the third Saturday of each month as part of the Saturday at the Rock Education Series, excluding December. A complete list of Saturday at the Rock sessions may be found online at: rockeagle4h.org/ee/community/SaturdayattheRock.html. Spread it on fresh, fluffy biscuits, stir it into a steamy cup of tea or use it to soothe a sore throat. Honey has been used for a variety of culinary and medicinal applications for centuries, and it’s still in high demand today. Beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular in cities, suburbs and across rural landscapes throughout the country. Using both traditional and modern tools, today’s beekeepers are providing friends and neighbors with honey while supporting strong pollinator populations.last_img read more

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Vermont Chamber Announces Top Five Economic Development Initiatives

first_imgThe Vermont Chamber of Commerce will hold a press conference in Room 10 at the State House on Monday, December 15 at 10:30 AM to release the Top Five Economic Development Initiatives for 2004.Paving the way to job creation and retention, the initiatives focus on: permit reform, competitive business climate, tax policy to ensure business investment, energy costs and taxes, and travel and tourism.Recognizing that the legislative climate is ripe for compromise, Vermont Chamber Board Chair Kevin O’Donnell of The Old Tavern at Grafton and Vermont Chamber Government Affairs Committee Chair Jim Pratt of Cabot Cooperative Creamery will confirm the need for the Chamber initiatives, based on experience and business member feedback.The new President of the Vermont Chamber, Duane Marsh, will be available, as well as Vermont Chamber Board Members, Government Affairs Committee members, and senior Chamber staff.last_img read more

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CITY MARKET DONATES OVER $3,700

first_imgBurlington, Monday, February 7, 2005 – City Market, Onion River Coop presented the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) with a large check in the amount of $3,719 from funds raised through the sale of Christmas trees this past holiday season.$222 of the money raised was matched through a new Neighbor to Neighbor program through Shurfine, a conventional grocery supplier to City Market. Shurfine gives City Market credit, which accrues over time. City Market can then use the money as matching funds for their own efforts. The Trees for COTS project meets the criteria for the matching funds program.Cumulatively, over the past 7 years, City Market has raised a total of $15,780 for COTS, through the Trees for COTS program. All proceeds are used to provide shelter and services to Vermonts homeless families and individuals.ADDITIONAL NOTES:City Market is searching for a new tree farmer for the Trees for COTS program for more information, please contact Jodi Harrington, City Market, 863-3659Since 1982 COTS has been providing emergency shelter, services, and housing for people who are without homes or who are marginally housed. Each year COTS serves 1,600 homeless children, women and men through nine locations in Burlington, VT.WHO COTS SERVED IN 2004:” Waystation: 487 people served, 9,589 bednights Average of 29 per night” Daystation: 781 people served, 19,149 sign-ins Average of 52 per day” Case Management Services provided service to 675 individuals” Family Shelters and Family Services (includes all people who stayed in shelters and people not in shelter who worked with our case managers): 137 families for a total of 411 persons (adults and children).” COTS housed 56 families and 86 individuals in 2004.###last_img read more

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