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Georgia

AG News

Inside Fireplace safety Page 3 Farm road safety Page 6 Deer season Page 7 Tawny crazy ant Page 14

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NOVEMBER 2013

North Georgia’s Agricultural Newspaper

Georgia apples fill supermarket shelves By Barbara Olejnik Georgia Ag News Staff bolejnik@poultrytimes.net

Photo by David B. Strickland

Autumn apples: The fall is the perfect time to enjoy locally grown, fresh, ripe and crisp apples; and many varieties are abundant.

GAINESVILLE — A trip into the produce section of a local supermarket reveals row upon row of a variety of apples — a great deal of these from North Georgia. Apples are a major product of Georgia’s economy and the 2013 harvest of those apples has now filled the supermarkets. The bulk of Georgia’s apple harvest is in the late summer and fall, although a few varieties ripen in early summer. The long season is due to the state’s north-south orientation, changes in elevation and the fact that the state grows almost four dozen varieties of apples. Georgia’s most popular variet-

ies include Ozark Gold, Paulard, Red and Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Mutzu Crispin, Empire, Jonagold, Jonathan, Arkansas Black, Fuji, Granny Smith, Stayman Winesap and Yates. A large portion of North Georgia apples come from the mountain areas in and around Ellijay in Gilmer County. The cool mountain nights produce the best tasting, crispiest apples. A taste test held by the University of Georgia found that consumers overwhelmingly preferred Georgia apples over Washington state apples. Apples are also high in dietary fiber, low in sodium and contains no cholesterol. A medium-sized apple contains only 80 calories.

The apple saved North Georgia from the destruction caused by the boll weevil, which swept through the area in the 1920s, wiping out cotton, which was then the prevalent crop. North Georgia farmers had introduced the apple as a crop in the early 1900s and by the time of the boll weevil infestation, North Georgia had sufficient income from apples to offset at least part of the damage caused by the insect. The industry has grown from those early days. In 2008 Georgia produced 12 million pounds of apples with a value of $4.47 million, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. North Georgia celebrates the in-

See Apples, Page 16

Autumn arrives — fall leaves By David B. Strickland Georgia Ag News Staff

dstrickland@poultrytimes.net

GAINESVILLE — It’s a special time of year. It’s the time of year when trees in North Georgia are glowing with color. Georgia’s more than 250 species of trees produce fall leaf color ranging from dark red to bright yellow. These leaf color shades are dependent on several environmental factors, such as soil, weather and tree species. yy What types of trees produce what colors? If you’ve been driving through

North Georgia on a leaf watch trip, or just driving through town, and ever wondered what trees produce what shades of fall leaves; the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Georgia Forestry Commission are good sources of information. They note the following tree species, as just a few examples, of potential fall leaf colors:

Red White Oak, Scarlet Oak, Black Oak, Southern Red Oak, Black Gum, Sourwood, Sumac and Flowering Dogwood.

Yellow Green Ash, White Ash, American Beech, River Birch, Sweet Birch, Black Cherry, American Chestnut, American Elm, American Sycamore, Black Walnut, Black Willow, Slippery Elm, Winged Elm, Yellow Poplar, Buckeye, Georgia Oak, Laurel Oak, Chestnut Oak, Willow Oak, Red Mulberry, Yellow Poplar, Fraser Magnolia, Umbrella Magnolia, Georgia Hackberry, Bitternut Hickory, Carolina Hickory, Red Hickory, Shagbark Hickory and Shellbark Hickory.

See Leaves, Page 13

Photo by David B. Strickland

Fall leaf color: Late October and early November is usually peak leaf color time for North Georgia. The trees will be glowing with red, yellow and more — weather permitting.


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GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Successfully wrapping up another farmers market season However, there’s always something happening on Gainesville’s downtown square By Steven Thomas

Special to Georgia Ag News

Although the growing season was rough on some farmers, for most it was a banner year. After a very wet start, and then having Thomas to wait for the ground to dry enough for planting, massive amounts of produce were grown. The market also had vendors offering soap made the old-fashioned way, handmade cutting boards and kitchen towels, jewelry, knitted clothing, as well as fresh cut flowers, jams and jellies, baked goods, local honey, farm eggs, locally roasted coffee beans, goat cheese and salsa. The Downtown Gainesville Market On The Square had its most successful year, celebrating its fifth

year — the past three — on the trees for an enjoyable time. three bands that were then booked Historic Downtown Square. This Main Street Gainesville also puts for the Blue Sky Concerts, First Friis, I believe, where the market was on the First Friday Celebrations day Concerts, and that Art On The always meant to be. Traditionally, and these have really been bring- Square also booked local singer/ farmers drove in from the outlying ing people Downtown on Friday songwriter David Anderson (aka areas to meet in downtown squares evenings. First Friday’s include a Dave Boyd). Dave is a great musiand sell their wares. The square is free concert, as well as restaurant cian who performed three times at the focal point of Gainesville events and shopping deals. During market the market, each time with a group and the market is proud to be a part season, this means that there are of friends who, sometimes unexof all that is happening. two free concerts on the first Friday pectedly, showed up to join him. During the past five years, of the month. Everyone, it seems, wants to play Gainesville has seen resurgence Art On The Square is another with Dave Boyd. At one market, MZ 5225 in the use of the downtown square. event that brings aHUSQVARNA large crowd Dave had a 6-piece band with 3 • Engine manufacturer: Kohler Main Street Gainesville, the organi- downtown. This weekend event backup singers at the height of the zation that assists in the economic features local artists, photograperformance. • Engine name: Courage Pro V-Twin development of the downtown phers, and craftspeople showing Another event that brings people No turning radius by individual wheel-drive business district, has done a great off the amazing pool• of talent we downtown is the kickoff to the Anjob in making the Square come have in Hall County. Price: There is a free nual John Jarrard Foundation Song4,699.95 HUSQVARNA MZ 5225 night, as $well alive. Regina Mansfield and her concert on Saturday writer Concert. Originally, this was team actively pursue to bring as music during the day on Saturday a Saturday evening performance at • ways Engine manufacturer: Kohler people downtown — and it works. Sunday. Pro V-Twin Brenau University. This year, the • Engine name:and Courage In May and October, the free This year, the downtown mar- John Jarrard Foundation had a free No turning by individual wheel-driveFriday night concert on the downlunchtime Blue Sky•Concerts high- radius ket added musical performances light local musicians, singers, and each Friday. Main Street Gaines- town square to get the weekend Price: $ 4,699.95 songwriters. Local restaurants pro- ville used those performances to started featuring Riverstreet and vide reasonably priced meals and audition for their concerts and I’m folks sitHUSQVARNA around under the shady MZpleased 5225that the market showcased See Thomas, Page 15

Designed to make the toughest work easy.

Designed to make the toughest work easy.

GAINESVILLE — Another farmers market season has come to an end. Since May, we have had the pleasure of fresh produce, locally grown by some outstanding farmers. And not only fruits and vegetables — this year saw the addition of pasture raised pork, beef, lamb and bison. Who knew that we had a bison farm just north of Gainesville?

Designed to make the toughest work Steven Thomas is market manager easy. of the Historic Downtown Gainesville Market on the Square. He can be reached at 678-943-4442; by email at steve@hallfarmers.org; or the website www.hallfarmers.org.

Designed to make the toughest work • Engine manufacturer: Kohler • Engine name: Courage Pro V-Twin easy. • No turning radius by individual wheel-drive Designed to make the toughest work easy.

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3

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Keep fireplaces safe with clean chimneys By Michael Wheeler

Special to Georgia Ag News

GAINESVILLE — One of the best parts of late fall and winter is finding an excuse to build a fire. There is not much in the world that can top the feeling of a warm, glowing fire warming the house. It’s a great feeling, but it is something that should not be taken lightly. Wheeler Creosote and soot accumulated up to a thickness of onefourth inch or more at the top of flues and chimneys can create a hot fire in a matter of seconds. Inspect chimneys and flues regularly and clean or replace when necessary. If a chimney fire does occur, you will be able to hear the roaring noise and see the flames and soot shooting 4 to 6 feet above the chimney

top. The extreme heat can damage the chimney and cause house or grass fires. In the event of fire, close off the air supply at the base of the chimney if possible. Do not put any water into a hot chimney. The high heat can cause damage to any metal or the flue tiles, so check carefully for damage. The best prevention is proper cleaning and maintenance. Usually the best cleaning procedure is to use a chimney brush working form the top, taking precautions against falling and avoiding power lines that may be near. The opening of the fire place itself should be covered with plywood or a damp blanket to prevent soot entering the living area of the home. Some chimneys can be cleaned from the fireplace level if flexible brush rods are added as the brush moves up the chimney. When working with a stove, remove the stovepipe before cleaning and seal the bottom of the opening. After cleaning, the chimney should be smoke tested using a small smoky fire in the fireplace or

stove while the fireplace opening into the home is covered. Check the attic for any leaking smoke. If cracks are found they should be repaired with high temperature mortar or other acceptable means. Various cleaning agents are remedies have been proposed for preventing creosote buildup in chimneys. However, salt solutions and various chemicals have not shown to be effective in research tests. Hot fire for 30 minutes once a day may reduce buildup by burning away deposits. This is more easily done with fireplaces that have higher flue gas temperatures than for more efficient stoves. The higher efficiency stoves have lower flue gas temperatures putting the heat in the living space instead of up the chimney. Therefore, these chimneys should be checked more frequently. Michael Wheeler is the Hall County Extension Coordinator and agricultural Extension agent. He can be reached at 770-535-8293; e-mail at wheelerm@uga.edu; or www.hallcounty.org/extension.

How to blunt effect of higher heating bills The Associated Press

NEW YORK — After two years of flat or lower fuel prices, many residents will pay sharply more to heat their homes this winter, according to government forecasts. There are a number of ways residents can blunt the expected rise in heating bills — beyond putting on a turtleneck. Staying warm is expected to cost more because fuel prices are rising and forecasts call for cooler weather, in some areas, after two relatively warm winters. Natural gas, propane, and electricity prices are expected to rise, affecting 94 percent of U.S. households. Heating oil users will catch a slight price break, but still pay nearrecord bills to heat their homes.

One obvious way to lower your heating bill is to lower the thermostat — sleep under a few more blankets, watch TV in a sweater, and use a programmable thermostat to turn the heat down when you are away or fast asleep. The Energy Department estimates that a resident can save 1 percent on their heating bill for every degree a thermostat is set back. Here are a few other ways: yy Think of the sun as a heater, and your drapes as a blanket: Open drapes when you are getting direct sunlight, then close them at night to keep heat from escaping. yy Make sure the damper in your fireplace is closed when you aren’t using it. yy Keep air vents clean and uncovered so heat can easily flow

throughout your home. yy Shut off kitchen fans and bathroom fans as soon as they are no longer needed. yy It takes more energy to heat water in cold weather. You can lower the temperature of your water heater a bit and still get a hot shower, and use cold water to do laundry and rinse dishes. Also, insulate pipes that move hot water around the house. A look at the government’s forecast for winter fuel costs shows why homeowners will want to use some cost-cutting measures this winter. Natural gas customers will pay an average of $679 this winter for heating, up 13 percent from last year. Electricity customers will pay

See Bills, Page 6

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GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

AG News

Viewpoint

Here’s to a happy and plentiful harvest By Bob Stallman

Special to Georgia Ag News

WASHINGTON — Autumn is upon us once again. This is my favorite time of year, when the air turns crisp and the hills are in full color. It’s a time to take the grandkids to the pumpkin patch and sip hot cider on a chilly evening. Most imporStallman tantly, it’s harvest time.

Harvest captures what I, and probably most farmers, feel this time of year: a sigh of relief; a twinge of excitement; a feeling of blessedness when a good crop is brought in.

Hayrides & apple bobbing Harvest time is steeped in a tradition that has encompassed farm families and rural communities across the world for generations. In fact, until the 16th century, the term “harvest” was used to refer to the season we now know as autumn. Today, most folks outside of agriculture simply think of it as a very special, nostalgic time of year, cel-

ebrated with corn mazes, hayrides and apple bobbing. For farmers, harvest secures our reward for an entire year’s worth of hard work, commitment and patience. It represents an end-goal of growing food that nourishes our families, neighbors and communities across the globe. While there are exceptions, many areas of our nation were blessed this year with a record crop. The Agriculture Department is projecting record corn yields in 11 states, from Michigan to Georgia.

Cornucopia of blessings While many farmers will bring

Staying competitive globally; stocking grocery shelves locally By Tracy Grondine

Special to Georgia Ag News

WASHINGTON — America’s ports and waterways are in significant need of updating. Most of the infrastructure is at least 50 years out-of-date and very few U.S. ports can fit the gargantuan post-Panamax vessels that are being used to ship goods around the globe. To learn firsthand how this lack of technology is affecting U.S. agriculture exports, American Farm Bureau Federation leaders recently Tracy Grondine is director of media relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation, with offices in Washington, D.C.

visited ports in the West and Pacific Northwest. The group of leaders, which are part of AFBF’s Trade Advisory Committee, got an up close look at ports in Oakland, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Vancouver, British Columbia. U.S. agriculture heavily depends on trade. Last year more than $141 billion farm goods were exported. Yet, U.S. port and waterways infrastructure is decades behind international competitors due to a lack of funding. For example, only about half of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, which was established to fund the operation and maintenance of ports, is currently being allocated toward port infrastructure. And

Congress is just sitting on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which would secure funding for America’s waterways. Expanded capacity and access to markets on the West Coast is especially critical for U.S. farm products and local jobs. Take Washington for example, the most trade-dependent state, where trade is responsible for 40 percent of all jobs. Agriculture products are Washington’s thirdlargest export. In Oregon, one in five jobs is dependent on trade of farm products, accounting for 10 percent of Oregon’s gross domestic product.

See Grondine, Page 10

in a good crop this harvest, there are others who didn’t have such a bountiful year because of drought and other weather conditions. For example, spring rains in Iowa prevented farmers from planting until later in the season. The state’s corn crop is now only projected to reach 162 bushels per acre, whereas it should be at least 180 bushels per acre. Unfortunately, that’s the business of farming. Some years you’re up, and others you’re down. It’s my hope that those farmers suffering this year will be back in the saddle come next harvest. Someone once said that farmers deserve our deep respect — for the land and its harvest are the legacy

Corporate Headquarters

Poultry Times P.O. Box 1338 Gainesville, Georgia 30503 Telephone: 770-536-2476; 770-718-3444 (after 5:30 p.m.) Fax: 770-532-4894

General Manager Cindy Wellborn 770-718-3443 cwellborn@poultrytimes.net

Editorial/Advertising Staff Editor David B. Strickland 770-718-3442 dstrickland@poultrytimes.net Associate Editor Barbara L. Olejnik 770-718-3440 bolejnik@poultrytimes.net

of generations of farmers who put food on our tables, preserve our landscape and inspire us with a powerful work ethic. My wish for all farmers this year is a plentiful harvest, after which you can sit back and take pleasure in the toils of your labor with family and friends. Enjoy an outing with the kids to the pumpkin patch or corn maze, and then partake in that muchdeserved hot cider. It has been a blessed year. Bob Stallman is president of the American Farm Bureau Federation based in Washington, D.C. More information about the organization can be obtained at www.fb.org.

Account Executive Stacy Louis 770-718-3445 slouis@poultrytimes.net Account Executive Regina Blalock 770-718-3438 rblalock@poultrytimes.net

Companion Publications: Poultry Times; A Guide to Poultry Associations; Poultry Resource Guide. The opinions expressed in this publication by authors other than Georgia Ag News staff are those of the respective author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Georgia Ag News. Georgia Ag News assumes responsibliity for error in first run of an in-house designed ad only. Advertisers have ten (10) days from publication date to dispute such an advertisement. After ten (10) days, ad will be deemed correct and advertiser will be charged accordingly. Proofs approved by advertiser will always be regarded as correct.


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GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

GCIA working to ensure certified seeds By Billy Skaggs

Special to Georgia Ag News

ATHENS — As many Georgians know, agriculture is big business in our state — actually, it’s the state’s largest industry contributing more than $71 billion to Georgia’s economy. And with the farm gate (or wholesale) value of Georgia crops, poultry and livestock topping $13 billion, it’s easy to see why. Many factors influence Georgia farmers’ ability to produce so prolifically, including a long growing season, abundant rainfall, fertile land, and a second-to-none landgrant university and Extension system. However, one factor that is often taken for granted is the availability of high-quality crop seed. Anyone who has ever attempted to raise vegetables, grow flowers or even

over-seed a lawn certainly knows the importance of high quality seed. Here in Georgia, the Georgia Crop Improvement Association (GCIA) is the organization that ensures farmers, producers, turfgrass professionals and even homeowners can purchase high quality crop seed and turfgrass which are free of noxious weeds, genetically pure, and guaranteed to germinate. GCIA certifies a number of crops including: forages, small grains (oats, rye, wheat), peanuts, cotton, soybeans and turfgrasses. The Georgia Crop Improvement Association was organized in 1946, and made the legal certifying agency by passage of House Bill No. 104 in 1956. This bill was superseded by Senate Bill No. 583 in July 1997. Both bills authorized the Dean of the University of Geor-

gia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences to designate the Georgia Crop Improvement Association as the legal certifying agency in Georgia. Certified seed is produced and increased under a limited generation concept that is supervised by GCIA. There are three classes of certified seed; foundation seed produced from breeder seed, registered seed produced from foundation seed, and certified produced from registered seed. Each generation increase is field inspected by GCIA. Varietal purity is determined by using distinct morphological characteristics of the variety, inseparable other crops and weeds are rogued from the production field, and the seed is monitored by GCIA from the field, to storage, through the conditioning facility, sampling

and labeling. Seed meeting or exceeding GCIA quality standards (germination, no noxious weeds, varietal purity, other crops seed) are tagged with the appropriate certification tag. In addition to seed certification, GCIA offers turfgrass certification which is unique to our program. Most certification is with seeded crops. However, warm season turf grasses are mostly hybrids which do not produce seed and are planted vegetatively (by sprigs or sod). As with all crops, weeds and off-type plants must be rogued from production fields. Certification is the only quality control offered for protection of the consumer, as state and federal laws do not address vegetatively produced crops. In Georgia there are two certi-

fication programs. One administrated by the State Department of Agriculture issues a certificate for “apparent freedom” from insects, diseases, or other pests. GCIA members grow all certified grass under rules and regulations of GCIA which prevents the sale of grass containing noxious weeds, common Bermuda, and other contaminating turfgrass varieties. Many landscape architects specify Georgia certified “blue tag” turfgrass on their projects. More information on GCIA, and how to locate a certified seed or sod producer in your area, can be obtained at www.certifiedseed.org. Billy Skaggs is seed certification program manager with the Georgia Crop Improvement Association in Athens, Ga.


6

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Agencies partner for farm equipment road safety message ATLANTA — The number of crashes on Georgia roads involving farm equipment rose 7 percent in 2012. With harvest season approaching, the state’s highway safety and agriculture agencies are teaming up to bring attention to the need for more safety on Georgia’s rural roads. For the third year, Gary Black, Georgia Department of Agriculture commissioner, and Harris Blackwood, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety director, are putting their united efforts behind the “Improving Georgia’s Yield Behind the Wheel” campaign. “While motorists cruise the beautiful rural roadways of Georgia this year, they should be aware of slow-moving farm equipment using those roads during harvest season,” Blackwood said. “We’ve worked the last two years to get this message out to drive safely around

slow-moving vehicles, but it’s clear there is still more work to do.” Statistics from 2012 show that nine deaths resulted from 429 farmequipment related crashes, and 185 people reported injuries. “As our farmers are working to bring in this year’s crop, we want to remind Georgians of farmers’ increased presence on the roadways,” Black said. “While traveling, we urge you to be mindful of tractors and other farm equipment sharing the same roadways and to take extra precaution.” Black and Blackwood appeared recently at the Georgia National Fair in Perry and at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie to remind the state’s farmers and motorists the importance of sharing the road. “When sharing the road with other motorists, farmers should have red reflective triangles posted on their equipment to signal to Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Road safety: The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety are working together to bring awareness to rural road safety.

drivers they are operating a slowmoving vehicle,” Black said. “The triangle should be visible and if it is rusted or faded, it should be replaced. We want our farmers to have a happy harvest and for motorists to get home safely.” By law, farm equipment must have the nationally designated

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slow-moving vehicle sign — a red triangle-shaped reflector — to warn oncoming drivers that their equipment is on the road. These vehicles often travel at speeds no higher than 25 mph. “When drivers come up on slowmoving vehicles on an open country road, many won’t think twice

about passing them in a hurry,” Blackwood said. “We want to remind motorists that these farmers have every right to use the roadway, too. Waiting a few minutes to safely pass or for the driver to pull over won’t impact their drive substantially, and they will get home unharmed.”

director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, is expecting $3 billion. Many states and utilities offer incentives for home energy audits and home weatherization programs that include things like adding insulation, installing more efficient windows, and replacing an old boiler or furnace with a new one. These investments can pay for themselves in heating savings in just a few years, especially when energy prices are high.

Switching from oil heat to natural gas is expensive — it costs $5,000 to $10,000, depending on how much workers have to do to reconfigure the heating system. But the Energy Department says the average heating oil customer will pay a whopping $1,367 more this winter than the average natural gas customer — and that gap is expected to remain wide. If it does, the payback for a switch would be four to seven years.

•Bills (Continued from page 3)

$909, up 2 percent. Propane customers in the Midwest will pay $1.453, up 9 percent and propane customers in the Northeast will pay $2,146, up 11 percent. Heating oil customers will pay $2,046, down 2 percent. At the same time, funding for low-income heating assistance is falling. In 2010, Congress set aside $5.1 billion for heating assistance. This year Mark Wolfe, executive


7

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Firearms deer hunting season opened Oct. 19 SOCIAL CIRCLE — The wait is over for hunters as firearms deer hunting season began Saturday, Oct. 19, and lasts through Jan. 1, 2014, in the Northern Zone and in the Southern Zone, through Jan. 15, 2014. “Regulated hunting is the most cost effective and efficient means of managing the deer herd,” said John W. Bowers, chief of game management for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division. “In addition, deer hunting provides an economic benefit in excess of $890 million to the state.” During the 2012-2013 firearms deer season, more than 295,000 licensed deer hunters harvested more than 315,000 deer in Georgia. Georgia’s deer herd remains a stable and healthy herd with an estimated statewide population of about 1 million deer. Beginning this season, the num-

ber of firearms either-sex days is reduced in most counties. Biological data indicating a declining statewide trend in the number of fawns that survive into the fall and a steady increase in doe harvest rates informed this science-based decision, the department said. Additionally, these biological trends were echoed in concerns expressed through public comment. These factors warranted regulatory changes to reduce the doe harvest. More information on this change can be obtained at www.eregulations.com/georgia/hunting/whyfewer-either-sex-days/. More than 1 million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas. In addition to traditional hunts, many special hunts are offered, including ladies-only and adult/child

hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts, as well as WMA maps, are available in the 2013-2014 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/ hunting/regulations. Hunters may harvest up to 10 antlerless deer and no more than two antlered deer (one of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers). To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license and a current deer harvest record. If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license is required. Licenses can be purchased online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/licenses-permits-passes, by phone at 800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online). All deer hunters must wear at

David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

White-tailed deer: Firearms deer hunting season began in Georgia on Oct. 19, and runs through Jan. 1, in the Northern Zone of the state.

least 500 square inches of fluorescent orange above the waist to legally hunt during firearms season except on archery-only areas.

More information on deer hunting seasons and regulations can also be obtained at www.gohuntgeorgia. com/hunting/regulations.


8

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Arrendale receives National Humanitarian Medal Presented with American Humane Association high honor LOS ANGELES — The American Humane Association has presented its prestigious National Humanitarian Medal to Gus Arrendale, president of Springer Mountain Farms in Baldwin, Ga. The association, the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals, awards the National Humanitarian Medal to “visionary leaders whose actions reflect the essential values of compassion, caring and hope.” The award was presented during the recent annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, honoring the nation’s bravest canine heroes and humane heroes.

Farm animal treatment Recently, the organization announced that it now oversees the humane treatment of nearly 1 billion farm animals through its American Humane Certified program, representing 10 percent of all livestock raised for food production each year in the U.S. Arrendale has been with the program since the very beginning as a leader in the humane movement, bringing the progressive farm animal welfare program to his family’s operations. In 2001, Arrendale led Georgiabased Springer Mountain Farms to become the first poultry producer to bear the American Humane Certified seal of approval. Since then, he has been key in educating his fellow producers — as well as retailers and consumers — about the benefits of third-party animal welfare audits and humane certification.

“I am honored to receive the National Humanitarian Medal from American Humane Association, an organization I deeply respect and have enjoyed working with, helping to educate my colleagues about why the American Humane Certified program is so vital,” said Arrendale. “My family is passionate about the humane treatment of our chickens, and at Springer Mountain Farms we produce all natural chicken raised on a vegetarian diet without the use of antibiotics, steroids, growth stimulants or hormones.” Arrendale currently serves as president of Springer Mountain Farms, overseeing the day-to-day operations and decisions, but has spent most of his lifetime with the company, representing the third generation of a family dedicated to poultry farming. Even before entering elementary school, he was caring for baby Easter chicks at home, and then taking them to his grandmother’s farm to live. Throughout his teenage years, he worked in a number of positions at his family’s business from delivering baby chicks to working in the processing facility to delivering the finished products to the supermarkets. This work ethic allowed him the opportunity to learn the operations of his family’s business from the ground up. After receiving a bachelor’s of science degree in agriculture from the University of Georgia, Arrendale returned to the company and helped to develop it into the operation it is today.

Agri. commitment Arrendale is also committed to agricultural issues in his state and around the country. Nationally, he serves on the National Chicken Council’s Marketing Committee

Photo by Michael Rueter

Humanitarian award: Gus Arrendale, left, president of Springer Mountain Farms, was presented the American Humanitarian Medal by American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert at the recent 2013 Hero Dog Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. They are joined by Ganzert’s daughter, Jocelyn.

and is a member of the National Poultry & Food Distributors Association. On the state level, he has served on the Agricultural Technology Research Program’s Poultry Advisory Committee at Georgia Tech, was a past president of the Georgia Poultry Processors Association and is also a lifetime member of the Georgia Poultry Federation. He also continues to serve as chairman of the board of trustees at Piedmont College, in Demorest, Ga., as he has for the past 10 years. In 2007, he received Habersham County Rotary Club’s Vocational Excellence Award, and in 2010 he was presented with the Distinguished Citizen Award by the Boy Scouts of America. “The agriculture industry is the No.1 economic engine in Georgia, and businesses like Springer

Mountain Farms represent the best of what our state’s industry has to offer,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “Gus is a leader in environmental stewardship and a truly deserving recipient of this prestigious award.”

‘A special partner’ “Gus has been a special partner for American Humane Association over the years, and we are honored to bestow upon him the prestigious National Humanitarian Medal at the 2013 Hero Dog Awards,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association president and CEO. “He is truly a humane visionary in the animal welfare community, deeply committed to the welfare of all farm animals. Through his leadership by example, he has been

instrumental in helping the nation’s oldest and largest farm animal welfare program grow at this unprecedented rate,” she added. Springer Mountain Farms, headquartered in Baldwin, Ga., is a family owned business that has been raising chickens for more than 40 years. Springer Mountain Farms was the first poultry company in America to be certified by the American Humane Association for their humane growing practices. Springer Mountain Farms chickens are raised on a pesticide-free, vegetarian diet without the use of antibiotics, steroids, growth stimulants or hormones. More information about Springer Mountain Farms can be found at www.SpringerMountainFarms.com or mobile at m.springermountainfarms.com.


9

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Howell inducted into GEC Egg Hall of Fame ATLANTA — The Georgia Egg Commission has honored retiring GEC president Robert N. Howell for his 38 years of service to the industry with induction into the Egg Hall of Fame. Howell has served as the commission’s president for the last four years and as its executive director for some 34 years. He also directed the activities of the state’s egg trade group, the Georgia Egg Association. He has served as a state representative for the nation’s egg promotional agencies on the American Egg Board and as president of the Georgia 4-H Advisory Council and the Metro Atlanta AG Communicators’ Club. He was twice named as a Friend of Extension by the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension Service and was made an honorary member of FFA, FHA, and AGHON (the University of Georgia’s Agricultural Honor Society).

In addition, he was the recipient of the Family and Consumer Sciences Alumni Association’s Appreciation Award and the Georgia Egg Commission’s Golden Egg Award. Hall of Fame members have been chosen every three years; but, with the recent termination of the commission’s program, Howell will be the last honoree. Howell joins 11 other industry leaders who have been selected to the Hall since its formation in 1981. They are: Roy Martin Durr, Paul J. Davis Sr., George Seaton, William G. “Bill” Owens Jr, Edward L. Houston, James E. Sutherland Sr., Emerson Gay, Loyd Strickland, Vince Booker, Jerry Faulkner and Albert Pope. Commission chairman Dennis Hughes made the announcement during the group’s recent last meeting in Atlanta and presented Howell’s family with a portrait in his honor and a Waterford crystal egg

to commemorate the event. Portraits of the Hall of Fame members are displayed as a part of the Georgia Egg Commission’s exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village in Tifton, Ga.

Golden Egg Award Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black was presented with the Georgia Egg Commission’s Golden Egg Award. Members of the commission’s board of directors made the decision to honor Black last spring; but this was the first opportunity for a presentation.. Black also presented the Georgia Egg Commission staff each with a proclamation naming them as “Ambassadors to Georgia Agriculture!” In addition to Howell, proclamations were given to Executive Director Jewell Hutto and Holly Hidell, RD, LD, vice president of media and nutrition.

Special

Proclamations: Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, left, recently presented members of the Georgia Egg Commission staff with proclamations designating them as “Ambassadors to Georgia Agriculture.” Holding their proclamations are, left to right, Holly Hidell, vice president of media and nutrition; President Robert N. Howell; and Executive Director Jewell Hutto. GEC Chairman Dennis Hughes, right, joined in the presentation.

Special

Hall of Fame: Robert N. Howell, center, was inducted into the Georgia Egg Commission’s Egg Hall of Fame during the commission’s last official meeting. Howell, who served the commisison for 38 years, was presented with a portrait that will be displayed at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton, Ga. Joining in the presentation were Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, left, and GEC Chairman Dennis Hughes.


10

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Ga. scientists studying long-term effects of Gulf oil spill Special to Georgia Ag News

SKIDAWAY ISLAND — As the Gulf Coast continues to recover from the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists from the University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography are continuing to look into the long-term effects of the spill on coastal marine life. A team led by Skidaway Institute professor Richard Lee recently completed preliminary work into the effect dispersed and emulsified oil has on blue crabs and shrimp. The project includes vital information from fishermen and crabbers in the Gulf. Lee and his research associate, Karrie Bulski, are exposing blue crabs and grass shrimp to emulsified oil in sediment and then determining how this oil affects molting, or periodic shedding that allows shrimp and crabs to grow. To test

this, emulsified oil is added onto sediment inside the tanks that house the crabs. The crabs are also fed squid that has been contaminated by the emulsified oil. Preliminary research results show egg and embryo production was reduced in female grass shrimp exposed to food and sediment infused with emulsified oil. Working with Anna Walker, a pathologist at the Mercer University School of Medicine, they found that blue crabs exposed to emulsified oil showed changes in their blood cells, especially cells related to the immune system. Lee and his team speculate that the immune systems of those crabs may be compromised, making the crabs more susceptible to infection and disease. Researchers are also testing effects of oil treated with dispersants. In the case of the Deepwater Horizon blowout, millions of gallons of

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chemical dispersants were sprayed over the surface and subsurface of the Gulf. These chemicals disperse the oil into micro-droplets. In this project, dispersed oil droplets are added to petri dishes containing embryos of crabs and shrimp to test their effects on development. Preliminary results show grass shrimp embryos exposed to suspensions of dispersed oil affected the hatching and molting of the shrimp embryos. Work on this project by Sook Chung at the University of Maryland indicates that molting hormones and molting regulating genes are affected in grass shrimp embryos exposed to dispersed oil. Lee is working with scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi to provide the outreach portion of the project, which includes working with crabbers, fishermen and others in the Gulf ecosystem to understand the long-term effects of the spill and discover ways to manage them. “In the outreach part of the project, scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi are going to some of the affected communities and recruiting people to participate in a series of one-day workshops,” Lee said. “At these workshops, scientists are explaining the effects of the oil on crabs and shrimp.” So far, workshops have been

held in Ocean Springs, Miss. and included charter boat captains, crab and shrimp fishermen, eco-tourism operators, and even teachers and artists from Biloxi, Miss. and Bayou La Batre, Ala. “It was very interesting,” said Lee. “From the scientific and economic standpoints, there are many aspects as to how oil is affecting these communities.” According to Lee, one issue facing the Gulf coast communities is rumors about seafood safety are often much worse than reality. In Louisiana and parts of Mississippi, where a lot of the oil came ashore, there is a perception that people should not eat the seafood there. But, there is very little evidence of any contamination in commercial shellfish. Lee describes the people who attended the workshops as passionate, involved and worried about their communities. “They are worried that the oil will change things, but most agree that the ecology was not destroyed and it’s not the end of a way of living,” he said. “It’s my opinion that the Gulf will recover.” Lee and his team plan to complete their project and publish their results early next year. The study is funded through a $500,000 grant from the U.S Envi-

Special

Gulf oil spill research: University of Georgia Skidaway Institute professor Richard Lee conducts research with tanks of crabs and grass shrimp to look into the longterm effects of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

ronmental Protection Agency. The team includes Chung from the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology at the University of Maryland, Harriet Perry and Christopher Snyder from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, and Walker at the Mercer University School of Medicine.

•Grondine (Continued from page 4)

The Port of Oakland, the fifthlargest container port in the U.S, supports 73,000 jobs locally and 827,000 jobs across the country. Last year, nearly half of the value of exports — approximately $6.74 billion — leaving the Oakland port were agricultural products. Comparing these U.S. ports to our international competitors, the TAC leaders had an opportunity to tour the Port of Vancouver, BC. Unlike the U.S, Canada continues to invest in its port infrastructure.

The Vancouver port, for example, is currently undergoing a nearly $900 million infrastructure improvement program in three key trade areas, which will be completed in March. The U.S. could clearly learn a thing or two from its international competitors when it comes to modernizing the means of moving our goods to global markets. As TAC Chair Steve Baccus said, “There are no trucks or trains to Asia. We are reliant on the sea, of which our ports are the conduit to that end.” Updating America’s waterways

is also essential for agriculture to serve domestic markets. Passage of WRRDA is critical for farmers and other producers to continue to move food, timber, coal and other essential products throughout the country. America’s marine infrastructure ensures that our grocery shelves are stocked and our lights stay on. Our ports and waterways make it possible for U.S. farmers to move their goods to market, whether they are sending Washington apples or New York yogurt to Taiwan or Tennessee.


11

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Turn autumn leaves into spring compost By Stephen Garton

Special to Georgia Ag News

CUMMING — As the shorter days of winter approach, the leaves on the trees turn from green to fall colors of gold, bronze, red, orange, brown, yellow and crimson. In a few short weeks, deciduous trees and shrubs in landscapes and natural areas will have lost all of their leaves and prepared themselves to face the rigors of a cold winter. Home gardeners will be faced with a choice about what to do with the fallen leaves. Do we rake them from our lawns and flowerbeds? Do we put them in bags and leave them for pickup? Do we rake them into piles, set a match to them and let them slowly smolder? Can we make compost or just leave them where they lay?

Don’t throw away Bagging fallen leaves and sending them to the landfill doesn’t make sense for long-term environmental sustainability. It makes sense to remove the leaves so they don’t limit the growth of turfgrass species by obstructing light or creating conditions that favor disease. Leaves that fall on to areas that are used to grow shrubs or trees may be ignored and left to benefit the soil. Trees and shrubs evolve in environments where no one removes leaves every autumn. In fact, the leaves contribute several beneficial functions including adding mineral nutrients, organic matter and mulch. When the organic matter covering the soil surface in the woods is disturbed, a keen observer will notice old leaf litter that is extensively colonized by fungi and other microorganisms that live in the soil. Decomposed organic matter

adds a rich dark color to the top few inches of soil. The layers of decomposing organic matter provide habitat for many soil insects and water and nutrient holding capacity for plants. This natural mulch layer is just part of nature’s way of recycling carbon and other mineral elements in the leaves. Perhaps the best way to mimic nature in managed landscapes is to turn leaves into compost. When applied back to the soil, compost provides many of the benefits that are enjoyed by plants in natural environments. To compost leaves, gather them and make piles that consist of a layer of leaves about four-inches thick followed by a 1- to 2-inch layer of soil supplemented with organic kitchen wastes. These wastes can include items like vegetable peelings, food scraps (without meat or fat) and any sort of waste plant

matter or grass clippings. Add another four inches of leaves followed by another layer of soil and kitchen waste and repeat. Your new compost pile can be as large or small as you like, but a pile 4x4x4 feet will have enough mass to remain warm and allow decomposition to take place throughout most of the winter. Make sure the pile is well watered and moist. The pile can be covered with an old tarp to prevent cooling off. Now leave the pile to decompose naturally. Natural decomposition will take place as a result of the actions of organisms that are present in the soil. These organisms include fungi and bacteria that will grow and multiply on this rich source of natural, organic matter. The pile will create some heat and reach high temperatures that may cause steam to come from the pile on cold winter days. It may need to be turned once or twice to increase

oxygen concentration. Turning the pile will also prevent any anaerobic decomposition that might lead to unpleasant odors. When you return to the compost pile in the spring you will discover that the volume has decreased by half. You will now have darkcolored organic soil of a crumbly consistency. When spread over the surface of the soil, this new organic matter will provide a source of nutrients to plants. Many soil scientists believe soil productivity is limited by the loss of organic matter. Anything you can do to return organic matter to the soil is in the long-term best interest of the stability and productivity of our soils. And, you will see the direct benefit in a larger harvest from your vegetable garden. Stephen Garton is the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension coordinator in Forsyth County.

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GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Thomas presented with Volunteer of the Year award GAINESVILLE — Steven Thomas, a communications officer for the Food Processing Technology Division of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), earned the Volunteer of the Year award from the Georgia Downtown Association and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for his work in Gainesville. Thomas also manages the Historic Downtown Gainesville Market on the Square, a community farmer’s market in Gainesville’s downtown business district. Started five years ago, the market aims to help promote and bring people to the downtown area. “The market has been successful in bringing hundreds of people downtown each week,” Thomas said. “In turn, these have become new customers to the shopkeepers.”

Thomas has used the market to invite local farmers, food sellers and craftspeople to downtown Gainesville. The market is open 2:30-6:30 p.m. each Friday from May 31 to Oct. 4. Many of Thomas’ vendors have become members of Georgia Grown, a marketing and economic development program of the state’s Department of Agriculture. Once more than 50 percent of these vendors have this designation, the market itself will become a member. Through the market, Thomas also works to bring information to the downtown’s visitors, hosting city and county organizations. New this year were performances by local musicians, in advance of the Mainstreet Gainesville’s Blue Sky Concerts and Art in the Square. “The city of Gainesville Public

Works sets up each year for Water Conservation Week, and the Hall County Master Gardeners give advice and promote their events,” he said. “All county and city organizations, as well as local non-profit organizations are welcome to set up at the market with no fee charged.” Last year, Thomas received a proclamation from the city of Gainesville for the market and its economic impact on the downtown business district. Regina Mansfield with Mainstreet Gainesville nominated Thomas. The Georgia Downtown Association is a nonprofit association that promotes the economic redevelopment of the state’s traditional downtowns. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs was created in 1977 to serve as an advocate for local governments.

Special

Volunteer award: Steven Thomas, with the Georgia Tech Research Institute and manager of the Historic Downtown Gainesville Market on the Square was recently presented with the Volunteer of the Year award from the Georgia Downtown Association and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Outdoor leaf burning ban lifted

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DRY BRANCH — Just in time for the backyard leaf pile, the annual burn ban in 54 Georgia counties was lifted on Oct 1. Summer burning restrictions are imposed annually in the primarily northern part of the state, due to air quality concerns and regulations of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Division. “Georgians who want to burn outdoor debris piles must always get a burn permit,” said Frank Sorrells, chief of protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission. “They’re easy to secure online when local weather conditions are favorable.” The Georgia Forestry Commission’s web address is www.Ga-

Trees.org, and permits may also be obtained by phone at 877-652-2876 (OK-2-BURN). The 54 counties whose burning restrictions will be lifted on Oct. 1 are: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker and Walton. “As always, we’re asking anyone

who gets a permit to be extremely careful about burning debris,” Sorrells said. “Even though we’ve had a lot of rain in past months, escaped burning remains Georgia’s number one cause of wildfire. One spark that flies onto fallen leaves and branches is enough to ignite a dangerous fire.” Safety gear to have on hand before lighting a fire includes a shovel, hose, and a cell phone to call 911 if needed. Only natural, hand-piled vegetation may be burned; it is unlawful to burn man-made materials such as tires, shingles and plastics. Residents seeking permission to burn larger areas or agricultural burns should contact their local Georgia Forestry Commission office.

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13

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

•Leaves (Continued from page 1)

Multi-color Red Maple (red, purple, yellow), Sweetgum (red, yellow, orange, purple), Black Tupelo (red, orange), Persimmon (red, yellow), Southern Red Oak (brown, red) and Hawthorns (several colors). Evergreen Red Cedar, White Cedar, Southern Magnolia, Live Oak, Eastern Hemlock, American Holly, Spruces and Pines. yy What produces the color change in leaves in the fall? The change in fall leaf colors is the result of weather conditions and leaf pigmentation (chlorophyll, carotenoids and anthocyanins). In the broad scope, these pigmentations produce the greens, yellows and reds, respectively. According to the Georgia Forestry Commission, “chlorophyll is the green pigment found in tree

leaves during the growing season. Chlorophyll uses energy from sunlight, carbon dioxide from air, and water from the tree to make simple carbohydrates (food for the tree). This process is known as photosynthesis.” The carotenoids that comprise the yellow and orange pigments are also in leaves during the growing season, “but are masked by greater amounts of chlorophyll,” the GFC notes. “As the green pigment disappears, the carotenoids reveal the brilliant yellow and orange coloration in hardwood trees species such as hickories, birches, cottonwood and poplars.” The anthocyanins produce reds and purples, and are trapped in leaves after residual chlorophyll makes carbohydrates. “If the trees sap is acidic, leaves become red; alkaline causes purple coloration,” the commission notes. As for weather conditions and environmental conditions, the GFC adds that, “Long periods of cloudy,

wet weather can produce a drab fall coloration due to low light intensity. In contrast, the more sunshine that leaves receive, the more vivid the color. That’s why shaded trees will be less colorful than those that get lots of sun during autumn changes. Trees that don’t get enough water during the growing season may drop their leaves before the color display.” “Optimum conditions for fall color displays are cool (but not freezing) temperatures, mild lateseason drought and sunny days,” the commission says. The Georgia DNR State Parks & Historic Sites is noting that peak time for leaf color should be late October and early November. More information on leaf viewing can be obtained from the Georgia DNR at http://gastateparks.org/ LeafWatch; or www.facebook. com/georgiastateparks. More information from the Georgia Forestry Commission can be obtained at www.gatrees.org.

Photos by David B. Strickland


14

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Invasive tawny crazy ant found in Georgia By Sharon Dowdy

Special to Georgia Ag News

GRIFFIN — The tawny crazy ant has made its way into Georgia for the first time. University of Georgia Extension agent James Morgan in Dougherty County discovered the ant — which originates in South America — on Aug. 15, and submitted a sample to UGA entomologists for identification. Prior to his discovery, the ant was found only in a few counties in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Where it occurs in those states, it is a major nuisance. Morgan stumbled upon the ants at an assisted living facility, after the director called the UGA Extension office for help controlling the insect. “What I found was thousands of dead ants in a pile in the corner of the bathroom floor,” Morgan said. “The duplex was vacant, and the

ants had come in looking for a food source. When they came in, they died and we found hundreds of them piled up around baseboards and in corners.” After further investigation outside the facility, Morgan found droves of the ants in an outbuilding. “We found them in the lawn on debris and dead wood, and we traced them back to a storage area that was full of appliances,” he said. Accustomed to identifying Argentine ants, fire ants and other ants common to Georgia, Morgan knew these ants were different. “They’re reddish in color, very tiny, and they run around and scurry really fast. And they don’t march in a straight row like Argentine ants,” Morgan said. He sent a sample to UGA entomologist Dan Suiter, an Extension specialist in urban entomology

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Tawny crazy ant: The University of Georgia Extension has discovered samples of the tawny crazy ant in Georgia. This ant species is a major nuisance because of its attraction to electrical boxes.

housed on the UGA campus in Griffin. The samples were confirmed as tawny crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva) by taxonomist Joe MacGown at the Mississippi Entomological Museum. The ant is classified as a nuisance because of its attraction to electricity and because it travels in masses. It likes to get into electrical boxes, Suiter said. Large accumulations of the ant can cause short circuits and clog switching mechanisms, which can result in electrical shortages in phone lines, air conditioning units, chemical-pipe valves, computers, security systems and other electrical locations. “Most people will be overwhelmed by the number of tawny crazy ants they’ll find. It’ll be through the roof,” he said. “They’ll come in your house, and it becomes a kind of ‘ant from hell’ scenario.” Suiter said once an ant species gets established, it’s “really hard to dislodge them.” He expects Georgians to confuse the tawny crazy ant with Argentine ants. Like Argentine ants, the tawny

crazy ant travels indoors in search of food and water. It doesn’t sting like a fire ant, but it probably has a mild bite, he said. The ant also is capable of spraying small quantities of formic acid, which may irritate some individuals. About one-eighth-of-an-inch long, tawny crazy ants are slightly larger in size than Argentine ants and have erratic foraging patterns. Argentine ants are dark brown in color, slightly smaller and do not move as fast or as erratically. “We will probably get a lot of reports that people have it when they really have Argentine ants. Those are sugar ants-the ones you see in trails,” he said. Suiter describes dead tawny crazy ants as looking like snowdrifts. “They can be inches deep in a pile,” he said. “When they get up and going, the numbers that die will be in the tens of thousands in and around a structure.” Like many non-native, invasive species, no one knows exactly how the ant came to the U.S., or how it made its most recent trip to the

Peach State. “It probably came into the U.S., initially, from several Florida ports and one in Mississippi and one in Galveston,” Suiter said. He thinks the ant may have hitched a ride on a plant brought into the state from a region where the tawny crazy ant is already established. Back in Albany, Morgan says the director of the assisted living facility had no knowledge of anyone traveling to any of those regions. To discourage the new ant species and other pests from entering a home, Morgan recommends searching for and sealing any cracks around doors and windows. Due to large populations, the tawny crazy ant typically requires a pest management professional. To verify the presence of tawny crazy ants, take a sample to the nearest UGA Extension office. For office locations, call 800-275-8421 or visit http://extension.uga.edu/. Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.


15

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

•Thomas

Make it at Home recipe

Date Nut Bars American Egg Board Servings: 24 bars Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 30-35 minutes Ingredients: 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/8 tsp. salt 4 eggs, room temperature 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/4 cup orange juice 2 tbsp. freshly grated orange peel 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates (about 8 oz.) 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (about 8 oz.) Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix

flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in mixing bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add orange juice and peel; beat well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture gradually, mixing just until combined after each addition. Add dates and pecans; stir gently until evenly distributed. Spread batter in greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake in 350 degrees F oven until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Cut into 24 bars, about 2 1/4 x 2 inches each. Tip: Remember to grate the peel before juicing the orange. More recipes may be obtained from the American Egg Board at www.incredibleegg.org.

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(Continued from page 2)

David Lee Murphy. More than 2,000 people came to the show thanks to Bruce Burch, Jody Jackson, and the wonderful folks at the foundation who keep bringing local and national performers to Gainesville. The John Jarrard Foundation also produces the Summer Songwriter Series at the new Brenau Downtown Theatre (formerly the Georgia Mountain Center) in June and August. These concerts feature nationally recognized songwriters who write the songs for some of the biggest stars of the concert circuit, such as Amy Grant, Trisha Yearwood and Amy Grant. The Annual Mule Camp Market Festival, held in October, draws huge crowds to downtown Gainesville. Music, food, arts and crafts, and family fun are at the heart of this

event. The music this year included free concerts from The Joe Olds Band, the Asphalt Cowboys, Alex Hall to name a few. A new event was the OysterFest, put on by Scott Dixon of Scott’s Downtown, and benefiting two local groups — Our Neighbor Inc. and The Next Chapter Bookstore. This all day event featured lots of oysters, of course, and free concerts including the local Fly Betty Band. Looking ahead, downtown Gainesville is getting ready for Trick or Treat On The Square for Halloween fun and Jingle Mingle gets the holiday season off, featuring music, the lighting of the Big Chicken atop Main Street Market, and a visit from Santa Claus. As far as music is concerned, there are weekly live performances happening at the local restaurants, such as The Monkey Barrel, Recess Southern Gastro Pub and Scott’s Downtown.

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16

GEORGIA AG NEWS, November 2013

Happy Halloween

•Apples (Continued from page 1)

dustry and the success it has brought to the area with fall festivals held during the month of October. These include the Big Red Apple Festival in Cornelia and the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay. While apples are plentiful in the local supermarkets, there are also orchards where families or individuals can go to pick their own apples. A list of Georgia apple orchards can be found at www.americantowns. com/ga/features/apple-pickingand-apple-farms.

Photo by David B. Strickland

Turnip Jack O’ Lantern: What could be more traditional than a carved pumpkin for Halloween? Well, actually a carved turnip. Pumpkins, which were native to North America, were not the first Jack O’ Lanterns, a tradition that stems from an Irish folk tale. In Ireland, turnips, potatoes and other vegetables were used. When Irish immigrants came to the U.S., they brought their Jack O’ Lantern carving traditions with them and applied them to the seasonal pumpkins, and they have been an icon of the holiday ever since.

Apple fun facts yy The cultivated apple appears to have arisen on the northern slopes of the Tien Shan, the mountain range running for a thousand

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miles between the Chinese border to the east and Uzbekistan in the west. yy Apples are a member of the rose family. yy It takes energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple. yy Fresh apples float because 15 percent of their volume is air. yy The apple is the official state fruit of Rhode Island, New York, Washington and West Virginia. The apple blossom (Pyrus coronaria) is the official state flower of Arkansas and Michigan. yy Apples ripen six to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. Apples should be kept at 35-60 degrees F with relative humidity of 80-90 percent. yy The average U.S. consumer eats an estimated 45 pounds of apples a year.

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FOR ALL YOUR HOLIDAY NEEDS!

LOCATED AT 2516 OLD CORNELIA HIGHWAY

Less than a mile off Exit 24 off I-985 • Open Monday - Saturday 10am- 6pm


Georgia Ag News November 2013  

Georgia Ag News November 2013

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