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.
Comments Published on April 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] Justin Moore filled Syracuse’s schedule with tough competition this season. Eight of its opponents are currently in Top-20 or have received votes in the CRCA/US Rowing Coaches poll.Senior coxswain Allison Todd believes the challenging slate has made a difference thus far, saying the Orange is now capable of putting together a dominant and complete performance.The schedule also serves as a reminder SU can’t take any opponent lightly.‘At this point Justin has always told us you take everyone seriously,’ Todd said. ‘You race as if everyone’s fast. The other crews are fast but the thing is, even though they’re not ranked, they’re still going to put up a fight.’Moore’s strategy tested the Orange during the season and prepared his rowers for postseason racing, which starts when Syracuse heads to Indianapolis on Saturday for the Big East Double Dual regatta at Eagle Creek Reservoir. The Orange will face a competitive field that includes Iowa, Notre Dame, Rutgers and West Virginia. No. 15 Notre Dame is the only ranked crew in the event. But the oarswomen do not want to take any of their opponents lightly.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNotre Dame is also the eight-time defending Big East Champion. This season, the Fighting Irish have defeated No. 19 Clemson, while losing to No. 4 Ohio State by seven seconds. Two weeks ago, Notre Dame, who boasts one of the best varsity four boats in the country, lost to No. 2 Virginia by less than seven seconds.‘We’ve heard very good things,’ freshman Anna Kaszycki said. ‘We’ve heard that they’re very fast. I think it’s exciting and gives us a good opportunity to see where we’re at and where we need to be.’Syracuse has a talented group ready for the challenge Notre Dame poses. The Orange’s varsity four boat – coxed by junior Kristina Herb and comprised of Ashley Marsh, Laura Adams, Amy Ludovici and Morgan DiValerio – currently ranks fourth among Mid-Atlantic schools.Notre Dame and Syracuse will surely be the favorites, but Iowa and West Virginia will row closely behind. On March 17 in South Carolina, the SU varsity eight crew finished only one second ahead of Iowa and cruised to a 14-second victory against the Hawkeyes’ varsity four.‘Since we first raced them [Iowa] in Clemson we’ve made a lot of progress,’ freshman Emma Basher said. ‘I think it will be good to go up against them again and see how we compare and hopefully we beat them by more this time.’West Virginia’s season-best time in the varsity eight this season is 6:42.72, which is actually better than Syracuse’s 6:47.4. Syracuse also faced Rutgers on March 31 at Onondaga Lake, defeating the Scarlet Knights in a varsity eight head-to-head consolation match.SU will use this weekend to hone its skills for the Big East Championship, which takes place from May 12-13 in Mercer, N.J., where Notre Dame will once again be the Orange’s toughest competition.But the Orange will be ready regardless of its opponent this weekend. Basher said the team has continued to improve at practice this week, and that the previous experience against top-ranked teams like Dartmouth prepared the team for the postseason race.With the stakes a little higher, Todd wants to see SU turn that experience into a successful weekend in the conference regatta.‘We’ve had pieces of the races that have been successful, and last weekends I think we put it all together,’ Todd said. ‘Hopefully this weekend we’ll have the same results.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+
Confederation of African Football (CAF) has expressed satisfaction with the preparation of host country of the 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Morocco ahead of the competition.The CAF Inspection team travelled to the competition host cities namely; Rabat, Marrakech, Agadir and Tangier on 14th to 21st of April, 2014.CAF second vice president Almamy Kabele Camara, who led the inspection mission, said that CAF was satisfied with the quality of the inspected facilities (stadiums, hotels, roads, and telecommunications).The Moroccan government, represented by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Karim Aqary reaffirmed the commitment of the authorities to ensure every effort is not spared to make AFCON 2015 a success.Mr Agary also revealed that it was decided to work on improving the infrastructure of the stadium in Rabat in keeping with the high standards set at other venues.At each stage of the inspection visit, the CAF delegation met the administrative and municipal authorities of each of the host cities of the competition to lay the foundations for a partnership to ensure the success of CAF’s flagship competition which will be played under the theme of the “Celebration of Africa”. To enhance cooperation and coordination of the smooth running of the tournament, Morocco has created a platform where the Ministries of Higher Education, National Education and the Youth and Sports will work together with their representatives and those from host cities and football leagues, all pooling their resources to make it a successful AFCON finalsMeanwhile, CAF on 21st April, 2014 signed the Framework Agreement on the organization of the competition with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) in Rabat, Morocco.CAF was represented by its 2nd Vice President, Almamy Kabele Camara and FRMF by its President Fouzi Lekjaa at the signing of the 78 page document which lays out among others things, the legal framework for collaboration between the two institutions, defines the responsibilities of each stakeholder and actions to be executed in areas such as marketing, media, transportation, lodging, ticketing, accreditation, security and finances.CAF and the Moroccan AFCON 2015 LOC will meet again in Cairo Saturday, April 26, 2014, on the eve of the AFCON 2015 qualifying draw.The Organising Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations will among other things affirm official dates of the qualifying tournament schedule and the final tournament. The final draw will take place on November 26, 2014 in a city that will be named during next week’s CAF meetings in Cairo.