Popular vegetables like broccoli and kale are among the crops that could be in danger from Alternaria leaf blight — a disease that can cause spots on some brassica crops and render them unmarketable — which has developed resistance to a once-dependable fungicide that Georgia farmers rely on, according to Bhabesh Dutta, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist.Dutta recommends producers stop using Quadris on brassica crops, which include cabbage, collards, kale, mustard greens and broccoli. The fungicide is the main one farmers currently use when treating for the disease. Although further research is required to confirm his hypothesis, Dutta believes a new species of Alternaria may be responsible for the outbreak of disease. The species normally associated with Alternaria leaf blight differs from the disease that has recently been observed in Georgia’s brassica fields.Tift County, Georgia, vegetable farmer Bill Brim is among the brassica farmers concerned about the development.“Alternaria has become resistant to Quadris, so it’s not as good as it once was,” said Brim, co-owner of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton, Georgia, which includes about 1,500 acres of brassica crops. “We’ve got a little bit left in our arsenal to use for Alternaria. We just need to get something back in there we can use.”Dutta is conducting a research trial evaluating different varieties of Alternaria leaf blight, along with different fungicide programs against this disease, at the Blackshank Farm on the UGA Tifton campus.Dutta, an assistant professor of plant pathology in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, emphasizes the need to develop an integrated pest management (IPM) program to fight Alternaria leaf blight, especially in broccoli and leafy brassicas.“We do have some other groups of fungicides that we’ll need to rotate, but considering how effective Quadris has been for our vegetable farmers, this resistance is a huge hit on our growers,” Dutta said.Alternaria leaf blight first became a problem in Georgia in 2016, but has gotten significantly worse over the past two years.“Alternaria is a foliar pathogen. Symptoms first appear on older leaves as small, dark spots that gradually enlarge with concentric rings. As the disease progresses, younger leaves can also become infected. In severe cases, infection can occur that results in rot on heads. Infection is exacerbated by humidity and extended periods of leaf wetness from overhead irrigation or frequent rainfall,” Dutta said.Farmers can employ alternative methods to help prevent the disease from becoming more widespread in their fields. Since the pathogen can survive in crop debris, Dutta recommends farmers bury their crop debris when their spring and fall crops are harvested.Because the disease propagates and spreads through overhead irrigation, growers should use drip irrigation or a form of subsurface irrigation to help reduce the splashing effect of the pathogen, Dutta said.Excessive rainfall Georgia in January and February led to outbreaks of the disease this year.“We have to try to manage this issue with good resistance-management techniques, such as rotating different modes of action in order to preserve the chemistries that we have,” said Jeremy Kichler, Colquitt County Extension coordinator. “Hopefully, if we implement good resistance-management strategies, then we can effectively manage this disease.”According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, cabbage production in Colquitt County accounted for more than $42 million in farm gate value in 2017. Colquitt County, which produces approximately 6,500 acres of cabbage in the fall and spring, has experienced severe disease outbreaks.The production of brassica crops is a profitable industry for Georgia farmers. According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, the state farm gate value for cabbage was $53.6 million in 2017.Georgia is not the only state experiencing problems with Alternaria leaf blight. As early as 2015, broccoli growers in Virginia’s Northern Neck region reported severe Alternaria head rot in fields where Quadris was the primary fungicide used. During 2015 and 2016, some growers experienced complete crop failures from this pathogen. Virginia Tech researchers led by Steve Rideout, director and vegetable plant pathologist at Virginia Tech’s Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Painter, Virginia, have determined isolates of Alternaria that possess resistance to Quadris. To learn more about vegetable production in Georgia, see http://extension.uga.edu/topic-areas/lawn-garden-landscapes/fruits-vegetables.html.
COLCHESTER, VT&Green Mountain Power Corporation (NYSE: GMP) today announced 2005 consolidated earnings from continuing operations of $2.09 per share of common stock, diluted, compared with 2004 consolidated earnings from continuing operations of $2.10 per share of common stock, diluted. The Company reported additional earnings of $0.03 and $0.10 per share from discontinued operations in 2005 and 2004, respectively.Increases in operating revenues in 2005 were offset by increases in power supply expenses, other operating expenses, maintenance expenses, depreciation and amortization, and transmission expenses, causing earnings from continuing operations to be essentially unchanged compared with 2004.Retail operating revenues for 2005 increased by $9.6 million compared with the same period in 2004, reflecting the 2005 effects of a 1.9 percent retail rate increase, warmer summer weather, an increase in the number of Company customers, and increased sales of utility services to other utilities and large industrial and commercial customers. These increases were partially offset by recognition in 2004 of $3 million in revenue deferred under our 2003 Rate Plan.Under the Companys 2003 Rate Plan, approved by the Public Service Board in December 2003, rates remained unchanged in 2004 and the Company put into effect retail rate increases of 1.9 percent (generating approximately $4 million in added annual revenues) in January 2005 and 0.9 percent (generating approximately $2 million in added annual revenues) in January 2006, upon the submission of supporting cost of service schedules. The last of these rate increases was implemented effective January 1, 2006. The 2003 Rate Plan also allowed the Company to carry unused deferred revenue totaling approximately $3 million to 2004 and to recognize this revenue to help to achieve its allowed rate of return during 2004.Total retail megawatt hour sales of electricity increased by 1.9 percent in 2005, compared with the same period in 2004. Sales to residential and small commercial and industrial customers increased by 3.0 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, while sales to large commercial and industrial customers increased by 0.3 percent in 2005. Revenues from the sale of utility services to other utilities and large industrial and commercial customers increased by approximately $4.3 million in 2005, compared with the prior year. Wholesale revenues in 2005 also increased by $5.6 million compared with 2004, reflecting substantially higher wholesale energy prices in 2005.Other operating expenses increased by $5.5 million in 2005, reflecting an increase of $4.3 million in utility services expense. The Companys utility services business is designed to recover some of its administrative and staffing costs from other parties, ultimately reducing costs to customers and improving financial results between rate cases.Power supply expenses increased $6.0 million in 2005 compared with 2004 due to increased costs of market purchases to serve marginal load, increased purchases of power under the contract with Hydro-Quebec, an increase in the cost of power under the power supply contract with Morgan Stanley, and increased costs of transmission line losses and congestion charges allocated within the New England power pool by ISO New England, the regional system operator. Congestion charges represent the cost of delivering energy to customers and reflect energy prices, customer demand, and the availability of transmission and generation resources. The Company paid an average market price of approximately $95 per megawatt hour for system purchases during hours when customer demand exceeded supply during 2005, compared to $57 per megawatt hour in the same period last year, inclusive of the effects of congestion and line losses. Increased hydro production and deliveries under long-term power supply contracts with Hydro-Quebec and Vermont Yankee had a significant dampening effect on the increase in power supply expenses the Company experienced in 2005. The average cost of our power supply resources is substantially below current market prices, said Mr. Dutton. We are pleased that our customers have continued to enjoy significant benefits under our long-term power supply contracts. Unfortunately as these arrangements expire, they must be replaced with higher priced energy resources. We will feel that effect when our contract with Morgan Stanley expires at the end of 2006. The Company expects to file a retail rate case requesting a rate increase estimated at between ten and fifteen percent in 2006, effective for January 1, 2007.Maintenance expenses, depreciation and amortization, and transmission expenses also increased during 2005 compared with 2004. Maintenance expenses increased by $1.5 million, reflecting an increase in transmission and distribution line maintenance and maintenance of our gas turbines. Depreciation and amortization were $1.1 million higher than in the previous year, reflecting increased plant investments and a $539,000 increase in amortization of regulatory assets. Transmission expenses increased by $797,000 during 2005, compared with the prior year, as a result of an increase in charges allocated for system support in New England by ISO New England, increased retail sales of energy and an increase in investments by Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO), the entity that owns and operates most of the transmission grid in Vermont. The Company owns approximately 30 percent of VELCO.Earnings on discontinued operations for 2005 and 2004 consisted primarily of changes in operating reserves or tax valuation allowances that are considered non-recurring.In other developments, the Companys most recent customer service survey indicated an overall satisfaction rate of 94 percent with contacts with the Company. There is nothing more fundamental to achieving success than providing superior customer service, said Mary Powell, Chief Operating Officer. We made efforts to improve service in a variety of ways this year, including increasing expenditures on line maintenance to shorten outages for customers when severe storms strike, increasing funding for our power partners program to help low-income customers, and expanded deployment of new automated meter reading equipment to reduce estimated readings. We look forward to further improvements in the coming year.Certain statements in this press release may be forward-looking in nature, or forward-looking statements as defined in the United States Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statement contained in this press release are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties, including regulatory and judicial decisions or legislation, changes in regional market and transmission rules, energy supply and demand and pricing, contractual commitments, availability, terms and use of capital, general economic and business environment, changes in technology, nuclear and environmental issues, industry restructuring and cost recovery (including stranded costs, and weather), and other factors and uncertainties disclosed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Any forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important factors and uncertainties. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any information in this press release.– 30 — For further information, please contact Dorothy Schnure, Manager of Corporate Communications, at 802-655-8418 or Robert Griffin, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, at 802-655-8452.
WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa – Top prize for Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds is $1,000 this Saturday, July 4 at 34 Raceway.Roberts Tire Center makes the payout possible. The holiday show is a qualifying event for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.Also on the card for Young House Family Services Night are IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods, as well as 305 sprint cars, midgets and 4-cylinders.Fireworks follow the race program.Pit gates open at 4:30 p.m., the grandstand opens at 5 p.m. and hot laps are at 6:15 p.m. with racing to follow.Spectator admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for students and free for kids 10 and under. Pit passes are $25.