Marination miracle


first_imgThrough both lectures and demonstrations, sessions will cover, among many other topics, the science of marination, food service perspectives, quality control and marinades for flavor, texture, color and shelf life.The program starts at 7:45 a.m. July 16. It ends at 3 p.m. July 18. A $595 fee (or $650 after June 25) covers materials, luncheons, refreshment breaks and a reception. Preregistration is required.To learn more about the program, contact the county Extension Service office. Or call Marian Wendinger at (706) 542-2574.last_img read more

Fattening up the chickens


first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaA University of Georgia researcher has discovered a chicken gene which, when manipulated, makes birds fatter or and thinner. However, it works only in female chickens.”The same gene exists in males, but it doesn’t do the same thing,” said Sammy Aggrey, the quantitative and molecular geneticist in the UGA poultry science department who found the growth hormone receptor gene. “Some genes work in one gender and not in another.”Identifying the growth hormone receptor gene in chickens and understanding how it works could have important implications for human research.Obesity is growing at epidemic proportions in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 44 million Americans are now obese, an increase of 74 percent since 1991.Humans and chickens are enough alike that Aggrey’s discovery and other genetic research on chickens may lead scientists to similar findings in humans.”One of the beauties of using chickens is that the research can be done quickly,” Aggrey said. “Then biomedical researchers can use it right away in their work with humans. When we find genes in chickens that act in a certain way, we expect to find the same types of genes in humans.”Aggrey said it’s wrong, though, to call the growth hormone receptor gene a “fat gene” or a “female fat gene.””Many people think that if you pinpoint a gene like this, you can simply manipulate the gene to gain or lose weight. It’s not that simple,” Aggrey said. “Behavior and the environment, non-genetic factors like nutrition and activity level, play large roles.”How can a gene express itself in females but not in males?The reasons are complex, Aggrey said. But they boil down to this: While both sexes have most genes in common, genes located on the sex chromosome differ. Often, as in humans and chickens, one gender has a single copy of that gene and the other has a double copy of it. This causes the gene to take different actions in each sex.Aggrey is also involved in a larger obesity-related study to identify and map all the genes involved in growth and fatness in broiler chickens.For this project, he works with researchers at the universities of Delaware and Maryland and the National Institute for Agricultural Research in France. The latter is an agency much like the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”It’s a huge project to identify and characterize that many genes,” he said. “Last year we discovered spot 14, which is one gene for fatness.” Spot 14 has since been shown to be connected to obesity in humans and mice.(Cat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Too hot for plants


first_imgWhen temperatures start heading into 3-digit territory, even the most sun-loving plants can start suffering from the effects of Georgia’s mid-summer sauna. Excessive heat not only increases the amount of water a plant needs each day, it can also cause the plant to become less productive and more susceptible to insect damage. “Heat can cause blossoms to drop, and sometimes you’ll see a decrease in pollinator activity,” said Sheri Dorn, coordinator of the Georgia Master Gardener Program. “Those will both impact your fruit set and ultimately plant yield.” Dorn doesn’t recommend sticking a fan out in your garden or bringing your plants inside to spend time with you in the air conditioning, but there a few ways you can help your vegetable garden beat the heat. Planning aheadOne of the best and easiest tactics is to think about the late summer when you’re laying out your garden in the early spring. An ideal garden spot will have 6 to 8 hours of bright sun but benefit from the shadow of a tree, or even a fence, during the late afternoon. “This is the easiest way to protect plants from the summer heat, but obviously it takes a long time to grow a tree — so it might not help this summer,” she said. Last minute solutionsOne good thing about a container garden is that you can move the pots into shade in the afternoon if the plants start to look a little sunbaked. “However, once you get any sizable fruit on the plant you need to be very careful because they can fall off when you’re moving the pot,” she said. Alternately, gardeners could take a cue from large production growers and spread shade cloth over their most delicate blooms or vegetables during times of extraordinary heat. It may be time consuming and messy-looking, but it could protect your harvest, she said. In studies done by faculty at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, researchers found that 30 percent shade cloth worked best to improve the production of delicate plants like bell peppers. Athens Master Gardener John Aitkens added that plants can sometimes shade themselves. After years of clipping the suckers off of his tomato plants, he let them go this year. The shade created by the extra leaves has made a world of difference on the number of tomatoes he’s seeing and for the health of the plant, he said. Mulching is keyAitkens gave a presentation on vegetable gardening during the summer, as part of the Lunch and Learn Series at his local library, just as this most recent heat wave was starting. Based on the questions that people asked at the presentation, he believes that the biggest problem facing plants during the summertime is irregular watering and unmulched beds. Unmulched beds can let water evaporate from the soil before plants have a chance to absorb it, and irregular watering can cause serious stress on plants, he said. In the last year he has become a serious advocate of soaker hoses and irrigation timers. The regular and adequate moisture, with a thick layer of mulch, has kept his vegetable garden healthy this year despite the record-setting temperatures.last_img read more

Peanut Tour 2018


first_imgWhen people think of Georgia peanuts, they often think of the thousands of acres planted on the western half of the coastal plain. But the truth is that east Georgia boasts its share of peanuts as well. During the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour, about 200 industry leaders and other peanut stakeholders learned about the eastern half of Georgia’s peanut belt — from the Bulloch County fields that produce more than $20 million worth of peanuts a year to the Port of Savannah, where Georgia’s peanut exports are sent overseas. The Georgia Peanut Tour is organized by the Georgia Peanut Commission with the help of industry leaders and peanut researchers at the University of Georgia. It’s designed to help peanut stakeholders, who are not familiar with Georgia agriculture, to learn more about the local impact of peanut farming and how commission-funded research impacts individual growers and farms.This year’s tour attracted attendees from more than 20 states and four countries outside of the U.S., according to Joy Crosby, communications director for the Georgia Peanut Commission. Over the course of the three-day tour, experts from the University of Georgia Peanut Team and peanut farmers from across the region explained the link between Georgia’s peanut industry and the research pioneered by agricultural scientists at UGA. “Georgia peanut farmers realize that research is what’s going to move them forward,” said Bob Kemerait, a peanut plant pathologist with UGA Cooperative Extension and a Georgia Peanut Tour committee member, explaining that farmers fund over $1 million in research each year through the peanut commission. One research success farmers pointed to repeatedly during the tour was UGA peanut experts’ work to control tomato spotted wilt virus in the state’s peanut fields. “When I first started seeing this (tomato spotted wilt virus) problem, I said, ‘This is going to put us out of the peanut business,” said peanut farmer Charlie Cromley during a harvest demonstration at one of his family’s peanut fields near Springfield, Georgia. “That’s a testament to the research at UGA, which has supported the peanut industry in this state. We were facing a big problem, and they found some cultural practices and other methods that we could use to control the problem before it became too widespread.” The tour also gave farmers the chance to demonstrate how they’ve put the latest research into action. At the Boddiford Farm in Sylvania, Georgia, father and son team Joe and Knapp Boddiford showcased how new precision agriculture technologies have reduced the amount of water they use to irrigate their crop and how it has resulted in more productive peanut plants.Today, peanut researchers are working to identify more insect- and disease-resistant peanut varieties, better weed control measures and more productive cultural practices to help solve emerging problems in Georgia’s peanut fields. For more information about the impact of the UGA Peanut Team, visit More photos from the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour are available at read more

Sanders introduces bill to install 10 million ‘solar systems’ on US rooftops


first_imgUS Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), chairman of the Senate s green jobs subcommittee, today introduced legislation with nine cosponsors to encourage the installation of 10 million solar systems on the rooftops of homes and businesses over the next decade. At a time when we spend $350 billion importing oil from Saudi Arabia and other countries every year, the United States must move away from foreign oil to energy independence, Sanders said. A dramatic expansion of solar power is a clean and economical way to help break our dependence on foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, improve our geopolitical position, and create good-paying green jobs.At a Senate committee hearing today, Sanders questioned Energy Secretary Steven Chu about President Obama s budget for next year. The White House requested $2.4 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The requested 5 percent boost overall included a 22 percent increase for solar power.The potential for solar power also was the subject of testimony last week before Sanders green jobs subcommittee by Jeff Wolfe, chief executive officer of groSolar in White River Junction, Vt. Wolfe said Sanders bill would help homeowners and small businesses stabilize their energy costs.Sanders bill would authorize rebates which, along with other incentives, would cover up to half the cost of the 10 million solar power systems and 200,000 water heating systems. Non-profit groups and state and local governments also would be eligible. The legislation would ensure that participating homeowners and businesses also receive information on incentives to improve energy efficiency.Sanders said a recent report shows that solar power could help make every state more energy independent if solar units were installed on available rooftop space, because every state can meet 10 percent or more of its electricity needs just through rooftop solar. Moreover, because solar energy creates more jobs per megawatt than other energy sources. Sanders bill could create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next ten years in the solar industry.The legislation s cosponsors include Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.),  Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).Sanders measure is patterned after successful state programs promoting solar energy in New Jersey and California, where prices have fallen as the number of solar units increased.To read a copy of the bill, click here.Source: Sanders’ office. 2.4.2010last_img read more

CVPS completes Readsboro Electric purchase


first_imgCentral Vermont Public Service (NYSE-CV) has completed the purchase of the Town of Readsboro’s franchise territory and electric department assets.  The $360,000 deal includes about 14 miles of distribution line and associated equipment, and the exclusive franchise Readsboro held to serve its 330 customers.  The purchased assets also include Readsboro’s small ownership interest in Vermont’s high-voltage transmission company, specifically 133 shares of VELCO stock and 9,651 shares of Vermont Transco.‘Readsboro customers will fit perfectly into our southern Vermont territory,’ CVPS President Larry Reilly said.  ‘We have two operations centers within proximity to the town, and we serve most of the surrounding territory.‘CVPS will be able to offer most customers lower rates, new services and rate choices, top-notch customer service, and award-winning operations.  This is a nice addition to our customer base.’Among the service offerings are CVPS Electripay, an automated bill payment program; on-line bill review; CVPS Cow Powerâ ¢; even monthly billing; Speedpay, an on-line payment program; and service guarantees for everything from bill accuracy to on-time appointments.CVPS’s rates have been generally lower than Readsboro’s rates; the typical customer will see a rate decrease of about 0.32 percent in their first CV bills. The Vermont Public Service Board approved the sale on July 8. Town voters approved the sale of the Readsboro Electric Department in March 2010. Selectmen had attempted to sell the utility for several years, but voters twice rejected the idea, the last time by just a handful of votes in 2009.  Under the agreement, CVPS will reimburse Readsboro for half of its reasonable legal fees and expenses related to this transaction.CVPS, founded in 1929 through the consolidation of eight electric companies, now includes territory once served by more than 100 different companies.  CVPS is listed by Forbes magazine as one of the most trustworthy companies in America. CVPS is in the process of being bought by GazMetro and merged into one company with Green Mountain Power. GazMetro, from Quebec, owns GMP and Vermont Gas Systems. The merger is expected to be completed by mid-2012.last_img read more

Vermont’s General Fund, Transportation Fund and Education Fund revenues all exceed August targets


first_imgVermont Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding released the August 2011 General Fund (GF) Revenue results today. Led by an increase in personal income tax receipts, the most important component, General Fund revenues totaled $90.06 million for August 2011, and were +$10.89 million or +13.75 percent above the $79.17 million consensus revenue forecast for the month, more than covering the prior month’s shortfall. Year to date, General Fund revenues were $176.33 million, and +$6.00 million or +3.52 percent above the two month target of $170.33 million. August is the second month of fiscal year (FY) 2012. Spaulding commented, ‘August General Fund receipts allowed us to recoup a July shortfall and placed us a little ahead of our year-to-date target. In addition, the year-to-date August 2011 General Fund revenues exceeded 2010 receipts for the same period by +7.6 percent. While this is indeed good news, it is in the rearview mirror. Recent events, including the impacts from Tropical Storm Irene along with continuing global fiscal instability and looming federal cuts, require us to be especially cautious looking forward.’ Current targets reflect the Fiscal Year 2012 Consensus Revenue Forecast adopted by the Emergency Board at their July 21, 2011 meeting. Statutorily, the State is required to revise the Consensus Revenue Forecast two times per year, in January and July; the Emergency Board may schedule interim revisions if deemed necessary. Personal Income Tax (PI) receipts are the largest single state revenue source providing approximately 50 percent of total GF revenue. PI Tax receipts are reported Net-of-Personal Income Tax refunds. Net Personal Income Tax is comprised of PI Withholding Tax, PI Estimated Payments, PI Refunds Paid, and PI Other. Net PI Receipts for August were recorded at $43.46 million, +$8.67 million or +24.94 percent above the monthly target of $34.78 million. Year to date, net PI Receipts were $87.97 million, +$5.08 million or +6.13 percent ahead of target. Corporate Income Taxes are also reported net-of refunds. August Corporate receipts of $1.99 million were +$0.62 million or +45.61 percent ahead of the monthly target of $1.37 million. Year to date Corporate receipts were $3.97 million, +$0.22 million or +5.86 percent ahead of target. Consumption tax results for August were mixed: Sales & Use Tax receipts of $17.34 million were slightly below target by -$0.04 million (-0.20 percent); Rooms & Meals Tax receipts of $12.42 million exceeded target by +$1.00 million (+8.72 percent). Year to date, both Sales & Use Tax ($38.66 million or +1.42 percent) and Rooms & Meals Tax ($22.79 million or +6.07 percent) were above target for August, as well as being above the two month total receipts for the prior year by +7.2 percent and +6.1 percent respectively. The remaining non-major tax components include Insurance, Inheritance & Estate Tax, Real Property Transfer Tax, and ‘Other’ (which includes: Bank Franchise Tax, Telephone Tax, Liquor Tax, Beverage Tax, Fees, and Other Taxes). The results for the remaining non-major categories for August were as follows: Insurance Tax, $6.97 million (+1.80 percent); Inheritance & Estate Tax, $3.78 (+188.36 percent); Property Transfer Tax, $0.75 million (-2.22 percent); and ‘Other’, $3.35 million (-36.70 percent). The year to date August results for the remaining non-major categories were: Insurance Tax, $7.38 million (+3.77 percent); Inheritance & Estate Tax, $4.16 (+40.71 percent); Property Transfer Tax, $1.53 million (-5.34 percent); and ‘Other’, $9.86 million (-20.44 percent). Cumulatively, the total non-major component receipts of $22.93 million were below the prior year total of $27.73 million by -$4.80 million, or -17.31 percent. However, the shortfall versus prior year in ‘Other’ is due to one-time extraordinary settlement activity in Bank Franchise Tax during August of the prior year.  Education Fund Secretary Spaulding also released the ‘non-Property Tax’ Education Fund revenues (which constitute approximately 12 percent of the total Education Fund sources) today. The non-Property Tax Education Fund receipts for August totaled $12.97 million, or +$0.01 million (+0.06 percent) above the $12.96 million target for the month. Year to date, non-Property Tax Education Fund receipts were $26.26 million, or 0.55 percent ahead of the year to date target. The individual Education Fund revenue component results for August were: Sales & Use Tax, $8.67 million, or -0.21 percent below target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $2.47 million or -5.88 percent; Lottery Transfer, $1.83 million or +10.88 percent above target; Education Fund Interest for August was essentially $0. Year to date receipts by component were: Sales & Use Tax, $19.33 million, or +1.42 percent above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $4.11 million or -6.95 percent; Lottery Transfer, $2.83 million or +6.78 percent above target; year to date Education Fund Interest was essentially $0. As compared to prior year, FY 2012 year to date non-Property Tax Education Fund receipts are 7.9 percent ahead of the FY 2011 results for the same period.  Transportation Fund The non-dedicated Transportation Fund Revenue for August was also reported on by Secretary Spaulding. Total non-dedicated Transportation Fund receipts of $20.12 million for the month exceeded target by +$0.41 million (+2.09 percent), against the monthly target of $19.71 million. The excess August receipts covered most of the July shortfall, leaving August year to date Transportation Fund receipts of $35.38 million short of the $35.42 million target by -$0.05 million or -0.13 percent. Compared to FY 2011, year to date August Transportation Funds receipts now exceed the prior year by +$0.30 million or +0.80 percent for the same period. Individual Transportation Fund revenue receipts components for August were mixed: Gasoline Tax, $5.52 million or +0.25 percent ahead of target; Diesel Tax, $1.82 million or +39.25 percent above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $5.04 million or -3.78 percent behind target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $6.57 million or +5.11 percent ahead of target; and Other Fees, $1.17 million or -16.74 percent short of the monthly target. Year to date results for the individual Transportation Fund revenue components for August were: Gasoline Tax, $10.63 million or +0.48 percent ahead of target; Diesel Tax, $2.32 million or +10.84 percent above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $8.32 million or -5.70 percent behind target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $11.62 million or +2.39 percent ahead of target; and Other Fees, $2.48 million or -3.54 percent short of the monthly target. Secretary Spaulding said, ‘The Transportation Fund revenue seems to be holding its own and is, in fact, slightly ahead of the receipts at this point last year, although two months is not sufficient to project a trend and the after effects of Irene will impact T-fund revenues as well.’ The Secretary also reported on the results for the Transportation Infrastructure Bond Fund (’TIB’). TIB Fund Gas receipts for August were $1.98 million or +19.10 percent in excess of target; year to date TIB Gas receipts were $3.58 million or +12.34 percent ahead of target. TIB Fund Diesel receipts for the month were $0.22 million or -9.60 percent short of the monthly target; year to date TIB Diesel receipts were $0.28 million or -14.69 percent short of target. TIB Fund receipts are noted below the following table: center_img Conclusion Secretary Spaulding concluded, ‘Vermont’s August revenue results continued in line with the slow but steady recovery we had been experiencing. The future, however, is far from certain. We have yet to fully assess the recovery costs and economic impact of Irene on Vermont’s citizens, businesses and State operations. Additionally, global fiscal instability, paralysis in Washington, and unknown federal cuts continue to loom on the horizon. President Obama’s proposed Jobs Bill and the influx of federal disaster funds into Vermont may well have some positive economic impact on Vermont, although, it is too soon to tell how much and how the Jobs Bill will fair in Congress. We will continue our efforts to assess Irene’s impact, keep a close eye on our revenue performance over the next couple of months, and closely watch the wrangling in Washington over federal funding cuts and the Jobs Bill.’last_img read more

Amtrak Vermonter returns October 1


first_imgThe Vermont Agency of Transportation today announced that the Amtrak Vermonter train will return to service this Saturday, October 1, 2011, with a northbound journey from Washington, DC to Saint Albans, VT.  On Sunday, October 2, regular Amtrak service with northbound and southbound trains in full operation will commence.    There will be slow orders on some portions of the rail line which will initially delay the train up to one hour from its regular schedule but the New England Central Railway (NECR) anticipates that these slow order locations will be reduced as rail work crews continue to improve the rail line. ‘The NECR did an amazing job of repairing their rail line in a short amount of time given the extent of the damage to their infrastructure,’ commented Brian Searles, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation.  ‘I know VTrans staff provided assistance to their recovery efforts and I appreciate the team effort that was involved in getting the Vermonter back in service,’ stated Searles. The State of Vermont was awarded a $52 million ARRA economic stimulus grant for the NECR line and their construction contractors have been working all spring and summer on upgrading the rail line with grant continuously-welded rail (CWR), new ties, rail crossing improvements and other upgrades.  At the time of Irene, the Vermonter rail service had been replaced by chartered motor coaches to facilitate advancing that project ahead of schedule and to maintain on time performance for Amtrak customers. The Vermonter train service was originally scheduled for a return to service on September 19th will be back on track only 12 days later than expected.          While the flood waters of Irene dealt a huge setback to the infrastructure of NECR, there were mixed blessings as the impossibility of north-to-south train traffic allowed the CWR installation crew to increase production, while the strong and freshly-laid rail was able to survive the ravages of the washouts to the north.  Construction and re-construction crews worked 24-7 to restore service, sharing equipment, materials, expertise, and labor in one concentrated effort.  It is a huge compliment to their dedication that service was restored on the New England Central Railway, border-to-border, as of last Tuesday, September 20th.    ‘We appreciate the understanding and patience of the passengers while our route was out of service for the project and then the hurricane repairs,’ stated Charles Hunter, Vice President for Government Affairs for RailAmerica.  ‘All of the 18 train loads of continuous welded rail have been received and the last few miles will be installed during October. Thanks in part to the track outage, the High Speed Rail Project is now about 70% complete and remains on schedule for completion in 2012.  We are very proud of our employees and contractors for maintaining momentum and safety on the project while completing the hurricane repairs in record time,’ continued Hunter. A map with the most recent updates of the Vermont rail system is available at is external).  Note the bright green New England Central Railroad route.last_img read more

New York offers $350 million to speed energy storage installations


first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:New York governor Andrew M Cuomo on Thursday unveiled a roadmap with a set of recommendations aimed at facilitating the state in reaching its goal of deploying 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025.The comprehensive plan is part of the measures addressed towards fighting climate change, improving power grid resilience and enhancing the benefits of renewables generation to meet peak demand for electricity. “This roadmap is the next step to not only grow our clean energy economy and create jobs, but to improve the resiliency of the grid to keep our power running in the face of extreme weather and other emergency situations,” Governor Cuomo said.The short-term recommendations include the provision of $350 million in incentives to speed up deployment of advanced storage systems, as well as additional funding storage capacity linked to solar projects developed under the NY-Sun initiative. The proposed measures also include regulatory changes to utility rates, solicitations and carbon values, facilitating the project permitting and siting process so as to cut indirect and soft costs, and modifications to wholesale market rules.The plan was developed by the Department of Public Service and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).Separately, the NY Green Bank has committed to provide at least $200 million for storage-related investments. The state-sponsored investment fund is also expected to launch a request for proposals later this year for projects incorporating solar and energy storage technologies. At present, New York has around 60 MW of advanced energy storage capacity and an additional 500 MW in the pipeline. The state also owns 1,400 MW of traditional pumped hydro storage capacity.More: New York issues roadmap to achieve 1.5 GW energy storage goal New York offers $350 million to speed energy storage installationslast_img read more

Cincinnati expects significant savings from new solar project


first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享WVXU:The city of Cincinnati is expected to put out a request for proposals next month in what could be the largest solar array by a city on city property. The 25 megawatt project would power 25 percent of the city’s energy needs.Energy Manager Michael Forrester stands on one of a dozen possible sites that could power a portion of Cincinnati’s energy needs, the former Center Hill landfill. “This is a great site because it’s large,” he says. “Very rarely in the City of Cincinnati do you have 60 acres of underutilized land that you can put a whole bunch of solar on.” There are two 30 acre plots. Only one would be used.Even if Center Hill is chosen Forrester and the Director of the Office of Environment and Sustainability, Larry Falkin, say it is only big enough for half of the project. Additional sites would be needed.Falkin’s office estimates it can place solar panels on that Center Hill field producing about 10,200,000 kilowatt hours per year. That would offset the emissions from just over 800 homes using natural gas or 1,100 homes for electricity-only use.Mayor John Cranley says this is the ultimate “think globally, act locally” project. “The cost of solar is far cheaper than at least 25 percent of our energy consumption,” he says. “So at least for the first 25 megawatts there will be no additional cost to the taxpayers. When it’s literally cheaper to do a renewable source and is better for the environment it’s almost unforgivable not to do it.”More: Planned Cincinnati solar project could be largest in U.S. Cincinnati expects significant savings from new solar projectlast_img read more