Stock image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.ALBANY – New legislation was introduced in New York to thank first responders for their work on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.The proposed bill, which comes one day before the traditional deadline for filing taxes, would create a tax deduction of up to $5,000 for medical professionals, certified first responders, and EMTs for personal protective equipment and travel expenses related to the pandemic.Once passed, the bill would apply to the 2020 taxable year. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
When the flowering process starts, the blooms will be susceptible to late frosts. Temperatures 28 degrees and lower can cause serious damage to peach blossoms and greatly reduce the crop. “We have varieties with chilling requirements ranging from 400 hours up to 1,000 hours,” Taylor said. “We’re at about 900 hours at Fort Valley now. That probably takes care of 95 percent of our varieties.” Blueberries will still bloom when chill hours are low, Krewer said. But the blooming will be strung out over a longer time. That makes it even more vulnerable to late freezes and makes it harder to control insects like thrips and gall midges. “We like to see 750 hours or more for most varieties, and we’ve got that now,” Krewer said. “The ‘great chill’ put the low-chill varieties back into dormancy and satisfied the higher-chill varieties’ requirements. It was like a miracle. We couldn’t have asked for better weather.” One of Two Nervous Times The shivery days were a blessing to peach growers, too, said UGA horticulturist Kathryn Taylor. Getting enough chill hours allows peach trees to produce plenty of blossoms and, ultimately, a bountiful harvest of sweet Georgia peaches. Winter Just in Time For Morris and other growers, the hard winter came just in time. “Three weeks ago the situation looked grim,” said Gerard Krewer, a small fruits specialist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. In south Georgia, where about 10 percent of the Georgia crop is grown, Brooks County has now had 670 chill hours. “That will take care of the latest varieties,” Taylor said. Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA-ARS Peach growers needed the cold weather badly, coming off a year with very few chill hours, which raised their production costs. “Last year we were way behind,” Taylor said. “We never got enough chill hours.” Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA-ARS Peaches Helped, Too “We had been behind in chill hours since mid-December,” Taylor said. “We’re still behind the 45-year average. But for most varieties, we have enough chill hours now to meet the minimum requirements.” Donnie Morris doesn’t describe the frigid weather of late January and early February the way many Georgians would. “I don’t know any other way to say it: it’s just wonderful,” Morris said. ‘It Was Like a Miracle’ “Now the buds are dormant and are just sitting there ‘counting’ heat units,” Taylor said. “When they get enough heat units, they’ll begin to swell and then start blooming.” Peaches are more demanding than blueberries when it comes to chill hours. Coming up just 100 hours short can cause a major crop failure in many varieties. “Before the ‘great chill,’ the weather had been so mild,” Krewer said. “The low-chill varieties of Southern highbush and rabbiteye blueberries were on the verge of an extremely early bloom. They would have been in great danger of freeze damage.” Growers would like to get the 100 hours or so the highest-chilling varieties need. “But even if we get no more chill hours,” Taylor said, “most of our growers will be happy campers.” Photo: Kathryn Taylor “The more compact blooming time you have when the chill hour requirements are met usually improves pollination, since more varieties are blooming at the same time,” he said. “Our growers will be holding their breath until mid-April looking at frost events,” Taylor said. Almost all of the state’s 4,400 acres of blueberries are in south Georgia. But from mid-January through the first week of February, though, the chill hours in the area mounted fast. Blueberries, peaches and other fruits need a certain number of chill hours, or hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, between Oct. 1 and Feb. 15. In the heart of blueberry country, Alma, Ga., had 790 chill hours as of Feb. 6. For Morris’ more than 200 acres of blueberries near Baxley, Ga., the almost constant cold was exactly what they needed. “We need about 700 chill hours,” he said, “and that’s about what we have now.” This winter’s cold weather has gotten growers past one of two nervous times in the peach growing season. The cold winter gives blueberry growers a brighter outlook for the $9 million Georgia crop. Georgia peach growers’ chances for a strong crop have been boosted by the winter chill. In a good year, the state’s peach crop brings farmers about $35 million.
Florida on Sunday became the second state after California to overtake New York, the worst-hit state at the start of the US novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a Reuters tally.Total COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State rose by 9,300 to 423,855 on Sunday, just one place behind California, which now leads the country with 448,497 cases. New York is in third place with 415,827 cases.Still, New York has recorded the most deaths of any US state at more than 32,000 with Florida in eighth place with nearly 6,000 deaths. On average, Florida has added more than 10,000 cases a day in July while California has been adding 8,300 cases a day and New York has been adding 700 cases.The surge in Florida has continued as the state’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has repeatedly said he will not make mask-wearing mandatory and that schools must reopen in August.On the contrary, New York state has managed to get the virus under control, with stores and restaurants shuttered and the wearing of masks mandatory.The rise in cases also comes as President Donald Trump is pushing to re-open US schools in the fall, despite teachers’ and families’ concerns that children could contract or transmit the disease should they return to the classroom.After New York, Texas has the most total coronavirus cases at 391,000. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Tropical Storm Hanna, which made landfall on Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane, was especially challenging as it was sweeping through an area of the state that has been the worst hit by the coronavirus.For the tenth time in July, Alaska set a record for a one-day rise in cases, with 234 new infections on Sunday, bringing the state’s total to 3,100. Oklahoma hit a record for new cases five times in July, with 1,204 new infections on Sunday bringing the state’s total to 31,285. More than 146,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 – nearly a quarter of the global total — and there are nearly 4.2 million confirmed cases in the country, or at least 1 in 79 people have been infected.Topics :
By Sulayman BahLaliga champions FC Barcelona’s former Gambian kid Alasana Manneh is undergoing trial in Poland, Foroyaa Sport can report.The 21-year-old is out seeking a new employer and trying a new challenge after seeing out his loan spell at Bulgarian Premier League Etar where he spent the previous two terms.Shipped out by the Laliga outfit to secure regular first-team football, Alasana’s first stint in the Balkan nation’s top tier had him featuring eleven times, nine of those from the lineup before he bettered that in his second stint with twenty-one caps last season.However, seeing Barca are delaying extending his contract which ended last month, which seems to suggest the Catalans loss of interest in considering him a prospect, the Gambia international has taken the initiative to audition with Polish top tier outfit Gornik Zabrze.Manneh has been tested in a number of games in Zabrze’s pre-season campaign amid possibilities he could be offered a deal.