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Cold Berries.

first_imgGeorgia’s freaky freezing temperatures haven’t hurt the state’sblueberry crop yet. But if warm weather arrives soon, it couldset up this year’s blueberry crop for significant freeze damagelater.”I don’t think the cold weather has hurt the blueberrycrop so far, but it’s sure setting us up for a dangerous situation,”said Scott NeSmith, a research horticulturist with the Universityof Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”Right now, the blueberries have received more chill hoursthan they need at this point in the season.”They’ve Gotta Have the ColdBlueberry plants need cold weather to produce blooms and thenfruit. This cold weather requirement is called chill hours. Oncethe plant gets the required number of chill hours, it’s readyto break bud and produce blooms.”If the weather warms up now, the plants are really goingto start blooming fast and this sets up a danger for possiblefreeze damage later,” NeSmith said. “So if we go throughtwo weeks of warm weather, we run the danger of getting earlybloom before the frost damage is over.”NeSmith said Georgia blueberry growers faced the opposite problemlast year.”In 1999, we had a record lack of chill hours, just 200,for the first week of January,” he said. “The plantsweren’t getting the chill hours they needed to bloom adequately.This was a very low number of chill hours compared to the historicalnumber of 400 chill hours for the same time of year.”Today, NeSmith keeps a close eye on the number of chill hoursusing data from UGA’s Georgia Automated Environmental MonitoringNetwork website .Too Many Chill Hours”Here in Spalding County, we have normally accumulated400 to 500 chill hours at this time of year,” he said. “Butthis year, we already have more than 900 chill hours, which isabout a 40 percent increase in chilling.”NeSmith says having too many chill hours is rarely a problem.”This only happens five to 10 percent of the time,”he said. “It’s almost unheard of for us to have this problem.”The largest concentration of commercial blueberry orchardsin Georgia is located in the southeastern corner in Appling, Bacon,Clinch, Pierce and Ware counties, with additional growers sprinkledacross the state. Georgia ranks third in the nation in blueberryproduction with more than 4,500 acres.NeSmith and other UGA horticulturists plan to share their concernswith Georgia blueberry growers during the Georgia Fruit and VegetableConference set for this weekend in Savannah.”It’s a very scary situation because winter has been shiftedback,” he said. “It’s not any one cold event we’ve facedthat has caused this dilemma. It’s the amount of total cold weatherwe’ve been having. The cold hasn’t hurt us so far, but it surehas put us in a precarious position.”last_img read more

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2,510 ex-NPAs, allies surrender in Escalante City

first_imgThe event also commemorated the 34thyear of the Escalante Massacre, where 20 people died and scores of others wereinjured after they were shot by paramilitary forces during a protest-rally helda day before the 13th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. BACOLOD CITY – A total of 2,510 formerrebels and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) took their oath of allegianceto the Philippine government in Escalante City, Negros Occidental. During the program, governmentauthorities also apologized for the tragedy brought by the Escalante Massacre.Those who delivered statements of apologies were Executive Assistant RolynCabus; Maj. Win Love Bag-ao, commander of 33rd Civil-Military OperationsCompany; and Col. Romeo Baleros, director of Negros Occidental PoliceProvincial Office. He added that civilian agents, includingpsychologists and lawyers, assisted the surrenderers during the debriefing tohelp them cope with their fear of returning to the fold of the law. In her testimony, she has expressedwillingness to avail of the services of various government agencies. According to Vinoya, “the tragedy wasused by left-leaning organizations to fuel hatred and disgust against theduly-constituted government to push their wicked agenda.” Former rebels and supporters of the New People’s Army pledge allegiance to the Philippine government during the northern Negros peace summit in Escalante City, Negros Occidental on Sept. 20. PNA Others were from San Carlos City, 560;Toboso, 382; Don Salvador Benedicto, 217; Calatrava, 171; Sagay City, 63;Victorias City, 54; Cadiz City, 20; Murcia, 18; EB Magalona, 14; Manapla, 13;and Silay City, 1. “The time is now to move on andtransform the lesson of the past to be our jumping board for a better future.With the help of the agencies, organizations, and the whole nation, we willachieve genuine, inclusive and sustainable peace,” the army official added. “We are very fortunate to witness one ofthe nation’s milestones in achieving peace today. We will turn the EscalanteMassacre tragedy into a peace summit miracle,” said Brigadier Generak EricVinoya, assistant division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), in hiskeynote message. One of the surrenderers, JanetPantonial, now in her 50s, was one of those injured in the 1985 massacre andhas decided to reconcile with the government. Mayor Melecio Yap Jr. of the host-citysaid the process of surrender of those from Escalante started as early asNovember last year. Of the 2,510 former rebels who pledgedallegiance before Escalante City local government operations officer SharonCadigai, a majority or 997 were from Escalante. The surrender took place during thesecond day of the North Negros Peace Summit hosted by the city government of Escalantewith the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion. In a statement, the 3ID said the “Armyis not in any way involved in the massacre, but we do accept the fact that thegovernment failed to address the social issues being raised by the peasants andthe marginalized sector, which prompted them to revolt during that time.” (With a report from PNA/PN)last_img read more

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