Chicago Celebrates 20 Years of Making the Great White Way Red Hot

first_img Ryan Silverman Star Files from $49.50 ‘Chicago’ 20th anniversary celebration(Photo: Caitlyn Gallip) View Comments Chicagocenter_img Amra-Faye Wright Charlotte d’Amboise Related Shows November 14 marks 20 years of hotcha, whoopee and jazz on the Great White Way. Chicago’s anniversary celebration drew a crowd of both original and current cast members and the Tony-winning revival’s die-hard fans. Those in attendance included Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth, Tony-winning director Walter Bobbie, legendary composer John Kander, script adapter David Thompson, original music director Rob Fisher and original cast members Ann Reinking, David Sabella, Michael Berresse, Jim Borstelmann and Mamie Duncan-Gibbs. Other notable alumni cast members also stepped out for the anniversary, including Charlotte d’Amboise, Christopher McDonald, Paul Nolan, Ron Orbach, Vincent Pastore, Christine Pedi, Ernie Sabella, Christopher Sieber, Ryan Silverman, Lavon Fisher Wilson, Carol Woods, Tom Wopat and Amra‐Faye Wright. Both previous and current cast members snapped an epic family photo in front of the Ambassador Theatre, where Kander and Ebb’s iconic tuner is still bringing razzle dazzle to the Great White Way. Check out the hot shot above, and happy anniversary, Chicago!last_img read more

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Peanut Profitability

first_imgFixed costs also were higher among this year’s winners, says the economist, but high yields helped to compensate for the difference. “If you look at these growers’ production records, you’ll see that they’re consistently high-yield producers, most every year. We’re talking about a minimum of 4,800 to 5,000 pounds per acre.” “And we’re not talking about small plots here. The Peanut Profitability Program judges a grower’s efficiency over his entire farming operation. It’s easy to make a high yield on a small plot, but the challenge comes in duplicating that success over your entire acreage while maintaining cost efficiency,” notes Lamb.Rotation is another common trait among this year’s winners, he adds. “Not one of these growers had a crop rotation of fewer than three years. Crop rotation of one of the basic but primary components of efficient peanut production, and these growers recognize this,” he says.The awards program, established by Farm Press in cooperation with the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, is sponsored this year by BASF Corporation. The survivors, representing one of the three major U.S. peanut production regions – the Southwest Regions, the Southeast Region and Virginia-Carolina Region, were presented the award during the 4th annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference held recently in Panama City Beach, Fla. “The 2002 Peanut Profitability winners are to be commended for their strength and perseverance in the face of the worst conditions imaginable,” says Mike Gonitzke, publisher of the Farm Press Publications. “These growers are setting the standard for production efficiency by continuing to discover innovative methods of improving bottom-line profits.” Looking at the winners“This year’s Peanut Profitability winners were excellent yield and cost managers – they all had outstanding yields,” says Marshall Lamb, economist with the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga. “While their cost of production might have been higher than last year’s class of winners, their yields were so good that they lowered their cost-per-unit. These growers didn’t mind spending money if they could see a return in yields.”center_img -30-The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, formed in 1998, is an alliance between the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association and the Georgia Peanut Commission. The winners include: Southeast Region-Jerry Heard, Jr. and Jeff Heard, Newton, Ga.; Southwest Region-Chuck Rowland, Gaines County, Texas and Virginia-Carolina Region-Jamie Lee, Courtland, Va.last_img read more

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Pecan prices

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia pecan farmers are seeing some high prices for their crop this year. But they don’t have much crop to sell, due to untimely tropical storms this fall. Shoppers can expect to pay more for pecans this holiday season.Depending on the pecan variety, Georgia farmers are seeing prices ranging from $1.20 to $2.15 per pound, said Greg Fonsah, an economist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. That’s an average of about $1.67 per pound, the highest ever.”We’re certainly looking at some historically high prices for pecans at the farm level right now,” Fonsah said.Farmers haven’t seen prices in this range since 1992. Prices averaged about $1.50 per pound that year. The crop totaled about 30 million pounds, extremely low for Georgia, traditionally the biggest producing state. A large 1991 crop and unfavorable weather caused the ’92 crop to be so poor.Good to badThe weather this summer treated Georgia’s pecan crop well, said Darrell Sparks, a horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.But hurricanes and tropical storms in September pounded the crop that was nearing maturity. Strong winds knocked limbs and nuts to the ground, Sparks said. Many trees were blown completely over.Georgia pecan farmers lost an estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of this year’s crop due to bad weather. They’re expected to harvest about 40 million pounds this year. That’s about half what they harvested last year, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service. Production hasn’t been this low since the drought of 1998.The United States is expected to produce about 189 million pounds of pecans this year, about 33 percent less than last year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.More than half of Georgia’s crop is in poor to very poor condition, according to the GASS. About 20 percent of it has been harvested. The harvest will run through December.”Some growers say they will only harvest once because there’s not enough out there to make it worth harvesting a second time,” said Lenny Wells, a Dougherty County Extension Service agent. With about 15,000 acres of orchards, Dougherty County is considered the hub of Georgia pecan production.Alabama’s pecan crop was also heavily damaged by tropical storms. As much as 80 percent of the crop was reportedly lost there due to Hurricane Ivan.Consumer pricesThis year’s early-season pecan halves are selling for between $7 and $8 per pound in grocery stores in south Georgia.Pecan halves last year averaged between $4.50 and $5.50 per pound, according to Jose Pena, an economist with the Texas Cooperate Extension Service. Prices are expected to come down as the harvest progresses.This year, Texas is expected to produce about 50 million pounds of pecans, pushing past Georgia for the top producing state for the second year in a row.Total U.S. tree nut production is expected to be about 2.3 billion pounds, the highest on record, according to the USDA.last_img read more

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Humongous produce

first_imgBy Sharon DowdyUniversity of GeorgiaGrowing gigantic award-winning watermelons and pumpkins takes skill, patience and time. Young gardeners across the state are encouraged to plant their seeds now if they plan to win either the annual Georgia 4-H Pumpkin or Watermelon Growing Contest this year. Gaining knowledge and winning moneyThe Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association sponsors both contests. First place gets $100. Second and third receive $50 and $25 respectively. The first 50 entrants to each contest receive a contest T-shirt. The goal of the contests is to get Georgia students interested in agriculture and in growing their own crops, said Lindsey Fodor, a Georgia 4-H program assistant and the contests’ coordinator.Any watermelon variety may be grown, but University of Georgia Cooperative Extension experts highly recommend the Carolina Cross variety.Monica Walden of Grady County won first place in the 2008 watermelon contest. Her Carolina Cross melon weighed in at 127-pounds.When it comes to growing pumpkins, UGA experts suggest growing varieties like Atlantic Giant, Big Max, Big Moon, Prizewinner and Connecticut Field. All of the 2008 winners grew Atlantic Giant pumpkins. Carroll County 4-H’er Matthew Adams made Georgia 4-H history in 2007 when he won the pumpkin contest with a record-setting 580.8-pound pumpkin. He didn’t break his record in 2008, but he still won first place with a 468.8-pound pumpkin.Weighed by county agentsTo enter, a 4-H’er must grow the watermelon or pumpkin and have it weighed by their local UGA Extension agent. The deadline for watermelon contest submissions is Aug. 1. The pumpkin contest deadline is Oct. 1.The top three state winners for each contest are required to submit a photo of themselves with their humongous harvest. Information about the contests, including photos of the past winners, can be found online at www.georgia4h.org/public/edops/nationalfair/pumpkincontest/.last_img read more

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UGA researcher embarks on new study of cowpea curculio

first_imgBelieve it or not, field peas — a fixture of the Southern dinner table — can be too difficult to grow in Georgia.A pest called the curculio weevil has moved most of the production of cowpeas out of the state. With the cowpea exodus, Georgia farmers lost a crop that adds nitrogen to the soil and suits the state’s often hot, dry growing conditions.A dramatic decline“The cowpea curculio is to Southern peas what the boll weevil is to cotton,” said David Riley, a vegetable entomologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.The curculio has played a hand in reducing the total acreage of Southern peas grown in Georgia from 86,500 in 1951 to a low of 4,311 in 1997. Due to curculio damage, 40 percent of the crop value was lost in 1995 alone. Adults lay eggs inside the pea pods, where the grubs feed on the developing peas. The grubs can then make it all the way through the processing line and even wind up on your dinner plate. Reproducing several times within a year, the curculio has a stubborn penchant for developing resistance to insecticides, with the standard pyrethroid treatments rapidly losing effectiveness.“If you can’t get a handle on it, it can literally run the acreage out of the state,” said Riley.An increase in Georgia cowpea acreage to more than 8,000 in 2009 came with an increased number of farmers’ calls to Riley about curculio outbreaks. At the time Southern peas had a farm gate value of more than $12 million, according to the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.The bug had never gone away. It just had fallen off the radar. Renewed researchWith the decline in cowpea acreage and focus diverted to other pressing vegetable insect problems, research on the curculio had been forgotten or fallen by the wayside. Once acreage started to rise, the curculio resumed its role as a serious economic pest. Starting in 2011, Riley embarked on research to study the curculio’s biology, population dynamics, susceptibility to insecticides and the resistance of host plants. “They’re very funny little weevils,” Riley said. “Talk about playing opossum, they’re specialists in playing dead.” Geared to avoid becoming the prey of birds, the curculio is a tricky pest. The elusiveness that makes curculio difficult to control also makes it difficult to study.“When you approach a plant, they’ll drop off the plant and literally look like they’re dead. But they’re just lying on the ground, and they’ll stay that way for 15 to 20 minutes — long enough for you to lose interest and walk away.”Developing a new trapSpotting the bug in the field can be nearly impossible. Consequently, most research on population dynamics in the past assessed curculio numbers by crop damage, which by that point was too late to apply any kind of controls.Riley needed real-time measurements of adults in the field. Past insecticides have targeted adults, but they can be useless if not applied at the proper time.By combining existing traps, Riley developed a new trap that for the first time could pick up adults early in the season, providing critical information on population count and movement.Original dataWith help from Lacey Lewis, a high school student in the UGA Young Scholar program, he conducted a marked-release study, placing the weevils in the middle of a pea field and tracking their damage. The wing-less curculio moved with surprising speed hundreds of feet from the release point in both directions along the row.His study collected new data on the weevils’ movement late in the season and their behavior over the winter, providing insight to possibilities of managing the pest in the landscape. Riley also found that no pea cultivar provided complete resistance. Only some of the white varieties could provide a measure of tolerance.With the curculio apparently developing resistance to pyrethroid insecticides, Riley identified only one insecticide that could knock down the pest, although it’s currently not registered for cowpeas.Alternative insecticidesWhile he’s working to move that chemical through the regulatory approval, Riley warns that one insecticide won’t be the long-term solution to the curculio.Alternatives have to be developed. Otherwise, the control system will fail as the bug develops resistance, he said.Regional assessmentRiley cautions that a regional survey for the curculio has not been done in a few decades. Much of the cowpea acreage outside of Georgia may now have curculio. As the bug expands it range, the potential losses to commercial cowpeas will only be multiplied.“These things will eat your lunch, basically,” Riley said.last_img read more

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Beginning Farmers

first_imgStarting in October, a new training program will offer beginning and young farmers crash courses in business planning, vegetable and fruit production and goat husbandry to provide them with a strong foundation to help grow their new businesses. The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UGA Small Business Development Center, Georgia Organics, Fort Valley State University and AgSouth Farm Credit, along with other partners, are developing the training and mentoring program to help beginning farmers become successful and sustainable farmers.The partnership will provide training to 70 new farmers, focusing on minority farmers and farmers with limited means. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced Feb. 2 that the partnership would receive a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant of $652,000 to establish an innovative training program that can be presented throughout the state. “Many of the young people interested in farming don’t come from a farming background,” said Julia Gaskin, director of UGA’s Sustainable Agriculture Program. “We have been very interested in developing a comprehensive training program to help this group and those currently farming that want to improve their operations.” The statewide partnership also includes UGA Extension’s county agents, the Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association. “We think this collaborative approach will give us a good foundation for a strong program for the state’s beginning farmers,” Gaskin said.This grant is part of more than $18 million in NIFA funding to support beginning farmers. The core of the training program is business planning. The UGA Small Business Development Center — a unit of the Office of Public Service and Outreach — and AgSouth Farm Credit will provide business planning and financing workshops to the farmers. “To assure a continued sound agriculture industry in our nation, it is essential that we provide financial literacy and risk management training for the next generation of farmers,” said Van McCall, director of the AGAware program for AgSouth. “AgSouth Farm Credit has made a commitment to the future of agriculture through the development of our national award-winning AGAware program. We are very excited for the opportunity to partner in this program.” AgSouth Farm Credit launched a young and beginning farmers training program in 2013 with AGAware, a series of business skills workshops focusing on business planning, marketing and Farm Services Agency and Small Business Administration programs. Georgia Organics will help develop training for farmers interested in small fruit and vegetable production and coordinate the hands-on training that will offer internships and/or mentoring experiences. “Beginning farmers face many obstacles, and successful, established farmers offer a wealth of expertise to help them succeed,” said Alice Rolls, executive director of Georgia Organics. “We look forward to connecting these new growers with producers who have been there, and to the rewarding work of feeding their communities.” Tom Terrill, a small ruminant expert at Fort Valley State University will lead the development of the small ruminant training. The training is based on the highly successful Master Goat Producers classes that have been run in north Georgia. The demand for sheep and goat products has been growing, and this training will teach new farmers the basics on how to be successful with their herds. “Goat production is an ideal enterprise for beginning farmers because of (growing) demand for goat meat in the United States and because they do not require an intensive system,” Terrill said. “Goats can utilize brush, broadleaf weeds and grasses on marginal land and still be productive.” The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will lead the grant and provide additional training in small fruit and vegetable production.For more information about Georgia’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, see www.SustainAgGA.org.last_img read more

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Rose Sawflies

first_imgDozens of calls and samples of roses with a variety of leaf problems are coming into the University of Georgia Extension office in Bartow County. The most common problem diagnosed this year is injury caused by rose sawflies, also known as rose slugs. These insects do not discriminate on the types of roses on which they feed. Even ‘Knock Out’ roses make a tasty meal for these critters. Home gardeners often ask why ‘Knock Out’ roses are affected if they are supposed to be problem-free. These roses are bred for resistance to certain diseases, like black spot, but are still damaged by a variety of rose-loving insects.Sawfly larvae look similar to the caterpillar stages of moths and butterflies, but have six or more pairs of prolegs behind the three pairs of true legs on their body. True caterpillars have fewer prolegs. Caterpillars can also affect roses in the spring, but the damage they cause is slightly different. Caterpillars chew large holes in the leaves. Sawfly larvae chew a thin layer off the surface of leaves, leaving a skeletonized appearance. If you hold up an affected leaf, you can see light shining through it. This unique “window pane” damage is a classic sign of sawflies. If you look carefully, you might even find a few, tiny, slug-like larvae on the leaves. Some sawfly species can chew holes through the leaves as they get older, but usually you will see both types of damage on the same plant. Sawfly larvae eventually become small, non-stinging wasps that feed on other insects. Begin scouting for sawflies in April or early May. Most sawfly species feed through June and will not return again until next spring. The larvae are often found on the undersides of the leaves, so inspect both sides of the leaves carefully. Keep in mind that the damage caused by sawflies is only to the leaves and mainly affects the appearance of the plant. Plants that are otherwise healthy can tolerate significant feeding damage and will usually put out new leaves by mid-summer.Sawflies are best controlled when they’re young. A physical control tactic is to simply pick them off by hand. A forceful spray of water from a hose can also knock off sawflies. Once dislodged, they cannot climb back onto the plant. Horticultural oil, insecticidal soap and azadirachtin (sometimes called “neem oil”) are low-toxicity, natural, organic insecticides that work well on young sawflies. Synthetic insecticides that control sawflies include acephate (Orthene), carbaryl (Sevin), malathion and diazinon. Avoid using insecticidal dusts and spraying flowers, as many insecticides are highly toxic to bees and other pollinators. Imidacloprid (Bayer Advanced), a systemic insecticide, can be applied to the soil around the roses in spring before feeding activity is noticed. However, once the damage is noticed, it is usually too late for a systemic product to be effective. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) products are effective against leaf-feeding caterpillars, but not on sawflies.For more answers to gardening questions, call your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or search UGA Extension publications at extension.uga.edu/publications.last_img read more

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Bug Camp

first_imgTift County, Georgia, elementary school students who are buzzing with excitement to attend the University of Georgia Bug Camp are encouraged to apply. Registration for the camp ends this Friday, May 5. The camp, hosted by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Department of Entomology, will start Tuesday, May 30, and end on Friday, June 2. It will be held in the Nationally Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL) Building on the UGA Tifton campus. Camp begins at 8:30 a.m. daily and ends at 3:30 p.m.Activities are geared toward elementary school students, but children ranging in age from kindergarten through middle school may attend.“It is designed to be very interactive,” said Breanna Coursey, camp contact in Tifton. “It does not involve sitting in the classroom all day. They’ll take some trips and go out to explore.”Children will take part in a series of activities and labs taught by CAES entomologists and students. Lessons will cover the good and bad effects of insects on the community, the spread of diseases by insects and ways in which insects pollinate crops. Campers will also collect insects.“We want students to have the opportunity to have fun and enjoy their summer,” Coursey said.There have been several bug camps on the UGA Athens campus, but this is UGA-Tifton’s first. Marianne Shockley, UGA Cooperative Extension entomologist, designed the camp and is excited about the impact it could have in Tifton.“These camps are exciting because they introduce students to a lot of insects they may not have known about before. Children need to know that not all bugs are bad, but they also need to be made aware of the dangers of some insects that we may take for granted,” Shockley said. Registration for the camp is available at blog.caes.uga.edu/bugcamp/registration. Registration must be completed online. The cost to attend the camp is $130 and can be paid online or by mail. Checks should be made payable to “UGA” and mailed to University of Georgia, Department of Entomology, 120 Cedar Street, Biological Sciences Rm. 413, Athens, GA 30602.Discounts are available for families with multiple children attending Bug Camp and for UGA employees’ children.last_img read more

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ISO/QS, Inc. Opens New England Office

first_imgIndividual Solutions Options / Quality Services, Inc., a high technology management, quality, and environmental consulting firm headquartered in Austin, Texas announces the opening of its New England office in Burlington, Vermont. Robert C. Greenlese has signed on as Senior Consultant to head this office. The New England office will specialize in process improvement consulting, including implementation of quality and environmental management systems (and their integration) as well as process improvement techniques to improve an organization’s bottom line results.Mr. Greenlese previously worked at IBM Microelectronics as a staff engineer in quality, reliability, and process development. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, a Bachelor or Arts in Physics from SUNY at Potsdam, and a Masters of Science in Mircoelectronic Manufacturing Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.The New England office offers a wide range of training and consulting services to provide customized solutions at affordable prices to a wide variety of technical and non-technical firms. For further information, Please view their website at www.isoqsinc.com(link is external) or contact them at ISOQSBob@adelphia.net(link sends e-mail), 802-899-3543.last_img read more

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SofTrak Synthetic Golf Greens Dealership Established in Vermont

first_imgUnited Turf Industries, developer ofSofTrak Synthetic Golf Greens the high-performance,low-maintenance turf for residential and commercial use that closelysimulates the look and feel of natural grass greens today announcesthe establishment of a new SofTrak dealership in Vermont and Eastern NewYork through Bob Kelly.Kelly, an avid golfer and longtime member at Burlington Country Club, willcover Vermont and the counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, St. Lawrence,Warren and Washington in New York with his dealership, SofTrak SyntheticGolf Greens of Vermont, LLC (802.985.9555 or BobKelly8@adelphia.net(link sends e-mail)).Prospective customers can view and test an installed SofTrak SyntheticGolf Green by appointment. Measuring 1,200 square feet, the SofTrak greenfeatures two feet of fringe around its perimeter and five cups built intoits undulating surface. A sand bunker and a couple tee boxes located 15and 30 yards away – from which to hit onto his green from – are scheduledto be added as well.For further information about SofTrak, visit www.unitedturf.com(link is external).A graduate of Middlebury College (VT) and a retired Certified PublicAccountant, Kelly didn’t plan on getting into the burgeoning syntheticputting greens business. However, while researching synthetic turf brandsand the companies that supply them before purchasing a putting andchipping green for his backyard, Kelly had an epiphany.”I saw an excellent business opportunity that simultaneously gave me thehigh-performance green I wanted for my personal use,” says Kelly. “Thefact that PGA Tour players select SofTrak to practice on at their privateresidences, coupled with the comprehensive training SofTrak dealersreceive in the design and installation of the greens made this an easy andexciting decision.”Exclusively supplied by United Turf Industries of Wichita, KS(www.unitedturf.com(link is external)), SofTrak’s sophisticated construction processincludes two layers of crushed stone base, which enables undulations andcontours to be designed into the green as well as quick, thorough drainageof water.SofTrak’s proprietary RQS in-fill — a sand-like material that is uniqueto the industry in that it resists hardening over time — ensures SofTrakgreens provide consistent-rolling putts and accept shots into greens frommore than 125 yards. Also, the surface fibers of SofTrak greens are UV-rayresistant to help maintain the lush, green appearance.Kelly is confident his dealership will thrive in Vermont and Eastern NewYork. He says he could discover no synthetic greens supplier in the area.Also, because residents so value the natural beauty of the area, heexpects them to respond favorably to SofTrak greens, which look likenatural turf greens and blend seamlessly into existing landscapes.In addition to thousands of homeowners and commercial businessesnationwide — from retirement communities and college campuses to golfshops and condominium complexes — PGA TOUR stars Fred Couples and SteveFlesch use SofTrak in the convenient comfort of their respective venues.last_img read more

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