Broadway and TV fave Andrew Rannells heads to the big screen beginning September 25 in The Intern, appearing opposite Oscar winners Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro in the Nancy Meyers comedy. When Rannells stopped by The Tonight Show on September 23, he told Jimmy Fallon that the idea of working with De Niro was initially nerve-racking, as it’d be for anyone. Before filming, he received some sage advice from the legendary screenwriter and director. “Don’t be an ass,” Meyers said. “You have to be normal.” Take a look below to find out what Rannells’ version of “normal” was. It involves a lot of four-letter words. A lot. View Comments
NEW RED MAPLE IS TURNINGUP THE HEAT in Georgia landscapes, said John Ruter, in photo, a horticulturistwith the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “‘Somerset’will be a rich deep purple that will be great in yards all over the state,”Ruter said. He expects Somerset to be available in nurseries in 1999. (Photocourtesy the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Georgia homeowners can soon add a bit more of a blaze to the fall colorthat sweeps through the state every year. A Universityof Georgia scientist says a new red maple variety will offer vibrantfall color, even in south Georgia. A new red maple variety called “Somerset” will turn up the heat forfall color in yards all over Georgia. “Somerset is a cross between October Glory, which does well down here,and Autumn Flame,” said John Ruter, a horticulturist at the Tifton, Ga.,campus of the UGA College of Agriculturaland Environmental Sciences. “This tree gives us a deeper, I’d say more of a purplish fall coloralmost magenta as opposed to the more intense red usually seen in an OctoberGlory,” Ruter said. He also likes the unusual silvery leaf backs in Somerset. Whenthe wind blows and the silvery-back leaves flutter around, it’s an attractiveeffect, he said.
Sometimes an important function of your landscape is to screen off objectionable views or create a space for privacy. Plants used for screening are usually evergreen and 15 to 20 feet tall or taller. They should be tough plants that thrive on neglect once established.Here are some choices: Leyland Cypress. It’s widely available but grows to 120 feet and is susceptible to canker diseases and bagworms in stressful weather. Ice storms can be a problem, too. With its size and disease problems, it’s slowly falling from grace. There are better choices. Burford Holly. A durable plant, it grows to 30 feet with an equal spread. Dwarf Burford Holly. Somewhat smaller, it’s still not really a dwarf, growing to 15-20 feet with an equal spread. Little Gem Magnolia. A dwarf magnolia, it reaches about 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It’s a great evergreen screen that tolerates drought. Osmanthus Fragrans. A tough plant for tough sites, it grows 30 feet tall with an equal spread, so it needs lots of room. It has fragrant blooms in November. Yoshino Cryptomeria. A fast-growing evergreen with soft foliage texture, it grows to 40 feet with a spread of 15-20 feet. There have been reports of bot canker and other problems in stressful sites. Foster Holly. This upright, evergreen holly has narrow leaves and brilliant winter berries. It grows up to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Nellie R. Stevens Holly. A tough holly, it grows to 25 feet and 15 feet wide. Loropetalum (white and pink forms). Most cultivars reach 15 to 20 feet at maturity and make a great background plant with showy spring blooms. Small Anise Tree (Illicium parviflorum). This tree grows in sun or shade, but tends to be more compact in the sun. It reaches 15 to 20 feet tall, but requires irrigation during dry periods. It’s a tough, pest-free plant when it’s well-established. Wax Myrtle. This is a great plant in south Georgia, particularly in a moist site. It may have occasional cold damage in north Georgia. It grows 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. Canadian Hemlock. University of Georgia horticulturist Mike Dirr calls it “one of the best evergreens” in his book. It’s a great screen for moist, shady sites, lending a soft texture to the landscape. Thorny Elaeagnus (Elaeagnus pungens). This plant prefers to be used as a background screen plant, since it grows a foot a week in summer. It’s one of the toughest plants going and grows 15 feet high and wide. It’s best left alone, since pruning to maintain a size or shape is futile.Many other evergreens can serve as screens. Pines, for instance, make a fast-growing screen when young, but their lower branches will thin out with age. Pines can be kept as an evergreen hedge with pruning.Bamboo makes a great screen if you select the clumping forms and avoid the more invasive running types.Native red cedar makes a tough screen plant, too. But with a female tree that fruits heavily, seedlings can be a nightmare. Volume XXVII Number 1 Page 12 By Gary L. Wade Georgia Extension Service
By Wade HutchesonUniversity of GeorgiaAny move requires packing to ease the transition. Moving plants is no different. But instead of packing stuff, you have to pack the roots for the move.At Berry College in 1992, I was working at Oak Hill, Martha Berry’s home. I had an opportunity to help transplant native azaleas from a national forest back to Berry.What was sold as an opportunity turned out to be a lot like work. Over two days, three of us dug, tugged, wrapped and toted 35 native azaleas out of the woods to the truck. The truck was always uphill. Each azalea had been carefully dug to keep as many roots intact as possible.At the end of the second day, even my hair hurt (I had some back then). But I knew our effort would pay off and was glad to have been a part.Transplanting successThen we got back to Oak Hill and, of course, our prizes had to be replanted. And as my luck would have it, every planting site was uphill. Fortunately for my aching back, there were more hands to help replant.All 35 azaleas survived and put on a spectacular bloom the next spring, mainly because we had packed their bags.We did this during the week after Thanksgiving, which brings me to this point. If you have a tree or shrub in need of transplanting, now is the time. Digging conditions are as good as they’re going to get.Fall is always perfect for transplanting. And due to our unusually heavy rainfall in October, the soil is in good working shape.The key to successThe key to success in transplanting is taking roots — the more the better. I’ve often heard people describe the process as digging a big root ball, which to some means a lot of soil. If there are no roots in that soil, it really doesn’t matter how big the ball is. The roots need to go with it.Start by exploring the soil at least 4 feet away from the trunk. Use a spading fork or other probing tool to help find the major roots.Once you find all the major roots, gently dig, lift and pull them out of the ground. Follow them out as far as you can. And try to leave the big roots intact. Some may need to be pruned to keep the job doable.Then return to the trunk and dig under and around the main trunk at least 2 feet around. You should find roots underneath that will need to be pruned. Rocking and lifting (don’t forget the grunts) will help you identify roots.Keep root mass intactAgain, try to keep as much of the root mass intact as possible. Shave away the soil to help lighten the load.While you’ve worked hard to get to this point, it’s about to get harder. Now the plant needs to be lifted and moved to the new site.You may need to call in a few favors from neighbors. Some will carry the main trunk, and some may be needed to tote major roots. Use a sturdy tarp or heavy burlap to wrap the main root ball with while moving.Try to keep as much soil around the roots as you can, but I’ll trade soil for roots any day.The new planting site should be ready to receive the plant when it arrives, including amending the soil in a large area and not just the planting hole.Incentive to plant properlyAll of your hard work to dig the plant up should be incentive to provide a great new home. Heavily amend an area five times the size of the root ball to be planted. Remove the burlap before planting.(Before you do any of this, think about the new site. Make sure it’s suited for the plant now and in the future. Don’t end up having to move it again.)If all goes well, all that’s left is backfilling soil. You may need to adjust the hole size and shape to accommodate the major roots. Spread them out as they were in the original site. I’ve even dug “ditches” in order to replant some of my transplants’ roots.Water to settle the soil. It shouldn’t need much watering after that until spring. Next summer, it may need weekly watering if rainfall is short.Not moving again is exactly my goal. Plants will travel successfully, however, if you take time to pack their bags first.For more information, contact the University of Georgia Extension Service in your county.
Volume XXXNumber 1Page 12 By Jim MidcapUniversity of GeorgiaMany gardeners enjoy the blue flowers of the summer-floweringhydrangeas. Vigorous plants become covered with large mopheads ofblooms. Established plants seem to bloom forever. However, some of us just can’t seem to get any flowers at all.One year a late frost will blacken all the swollen flower buds onthe ends of the stems. With all the buds killed, there will be noflowers this year.The next year we covered the plants several times to protect themfrom the cold. Everything was looking good, with new leaves andfat flower buds, until a deer stopped by for a snack. She snippedoff every branch tip. And there went this year’s crop of blooms.Aha!Now, I have a solution to these problems. I’ve planted severalremontant, or reflowering, hydrangeas. These big-leafedhydrangeas bloom on new growth as well as old wood.When the weather kills the tender new buds and the flowersinside, the new growth will produce new flowers. Any time theflower buds are killed or removed by feeding or pruning, the newgrowth produces flowers. Removing the old flowers as they fadewill help to keep flowers coming all summer and fall.It’s nice to have hydrangeas blooming in the fall.Several hydrangea selections are remontant. Endless Summer andPenny Mac are the best known and are readily available. Both willhave blue flowers when planted in our acidic soils, where thereis lots of aluminum.The flowers can change to pink when the pH is increased with limeor when grown in containers, where the mix is low in aluminum.Proper careThese big-leafed hydrangeas do best when grown in partial shade.Protection from the hot afternoon sun will help prevent wilting.Keep the plants moist and fertilized to keep producing new growthand new flowers.Hydrangeas need protection from feeding deer. Some of the newerdeer repellents seem to work when applied as recommended.Remontant hydrangeas can be pruned in spring for shape and afterthe first flush of blooms to control size. They’re well-adaptedto container plantings for partial shade. In large containers,they can be combined with annuals and perennials to createdecorative pots of plants that flower all season long.Using remontant hydrangeas in shady borders, beds or containersis sure to increase your enjoyment of the garden. Havinghydrangea blooms from early summer until frost is guaranteed toreward your hard work and intrigue your gardening friends.(Jim Midcap is an Extension Service horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)
Amid a growing epidemic of deep budget cuts to colleges of agriculture across the country, many states have redesigned their teaching, research and extension programs to fit their funding. Each has searched for a perfect model that will serve its clientele as well as the century-old system that made the American agriculture system the world leader in food production. Our system of educating students to lead the industry, conducting robust research to solve problems and enhance agricultural production, and delivering that research to all growers in every county of the state through Cooperative Extension has been a good one. To run smoothly, however, the system depends on solid cooperative funding from federal, state and county governments.Budget cutsAs each level of government has faced economic hardships, land-grant universities watched funding for agriculture shrink. Over the past two years, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has lost 23 percent of its state funding. Due to these cuts, we have eliminated, through attrition and retirement, 88 county extension agents and 26 specialist and administrator positions. With lawmakers predicting even deeper cuts in the 2012 state budget, we can no longer sustain our current education delivery model. In March, we began gathering information from those we serve, our employees and other states to help us formulate a new plan for how we can continue to support Georgia agriculture and keep the largest sector of our state economy growing. With just 113 agriculture agents, 36 family and consumer science agents and 90 4-H agents remaining, and 159 counties to serve, we knew we couldn’t continue to fully support every county. The planUsing a range of criteria specific to each county, we developed a new structure that will work best to continue to bring vital education from the university to the Georgians who need it. The framework for the new delivery model will be based on tiers of service, meaning services in a county will depend on the needs and available funding in that county.As we implement this plan we will add to our catalog of online materials and work to create a more active virtual community for educating consumers and growers. We will offer more multi-county programs, too, especially in specialized crops and training areas. We are working very hard to ensure some level of 4-H program for every county to support leadership and youth development for our young people. For many schools, 4-H is a vital part of their hands-on, applied science curriculum. We want to strengthen that support to help school systems, which are struggling with their own budget problems, to meet science education goals.When you buy a new car, it takes a while to get used to the new look and feel of how it handles. There are new features and gadgets to figure out. As we roll out this new model, Cooperative Extension may take on a new look and feel in your county. We will have some new features. Some old ones will be phased out. But we will do our best to continue delivering the reliable service and education across the state that you know and trust.
U.S. farmers and farm experts knew they’d soon lose a popular chemical used to control major crop pests. But the end has come sooner than they expected.Bayer CropScience announced last week that it would end production of methyl isocyanate, or MIC, at its factory in West Virginia. It will close this factory and one in Georgia. MIC is used to make Temik, which Georgia farmers have used for four decades to control insects and nematodes on major row-crops like peanuts, cotton and soybeans.Last summer, the company agreed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to phase-out Temik production by 2014 and its use by 2018. The agreement followed a new dietary risk assessment conducted by the agency.But an on-going lawsuit surrounding the Bayer CropScience plant in West Virginia has delayed production at that plant, enough to prevent the company from producing MIC for this year’s growing season, according to a prepared statement by the company.Farmers now will only be able to use the Temik that is stockpiled. And there is likely only 40 percent available of what would be needed in a typical year, said Bob Kemerait, a plant pathologist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, located in Tifton, Ga.“Though I understand what has happened, it’s a very difficult situation for our growers, who are now scrambling and pressed to find alternatives (to Temik) as we quickly approach planting time and decisions,” he said.Nematodes, which are tiny worms that feed on and clog plant roots, cost Georgia farmers $100 million annually in damage and control measures, Kemerait said. Planting for cotton, peanuts and soybeans will begin in a month. Farmers knew they’d have to switch from using Temik, Kemerait said. And they, the agriculture industry and land-grant institutions like UGA were working to find economical alternatives. “We certainly would have liked to have the time we thought we would,” Kemerait said. “My fear is many growers will make decisions out of desperation instead of careful research-based studies.”There are alternative treatments that can be applied directly to seeds prior to planting. But the availability of such treatments in time for planting is not certain. A fumigant called Telone II can be effective, too, but it is already in short supply, he said.Kemerait is telling farmers to target what Temik they have on nematode control, especially if they can find an alternative means to fight insects like thrips, which feed on plants. “But it is unfortunate to lose a product like Temik. It is a unique, broad-spectrum product with a high level of nematode control and longer window of protection for thrips control.”
The peanut industry learned a lesson last year: Farmers don’t feel they have to drop peanut seed into the ground unless the price is right for their efforts. Georgia farmers last year planted the fewest peanuts in three decades. By harvest, this move pushed prices to more than $1,000 per ton, the highest in recent history. But that was last year. What about this one?“2012 is looking better, at least the start of 2012. Prices are better than they were last year going into spring. … We should see a better year or better outlook for peanuts. There’s a lower supply, so we need more acres,” said Nathan Smith, a farm economist with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.Early contracts for 2012 peanuts are going between $650 and $750 per ton, still good prices. But if farmers plant without securing contracts first, they are taking a risk this year, Smith said. In this episode of In the Field, Brad Haire, news director with UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Smith talk about what farmers should do to wisely market this year’s crop.Watch Peanut prices hold strong, 2012 acreage still question.
Those who are ready to take their “famous” barbecue sauce recipes or farm stand cheeses to the next level should make plans to attend the next Farm to Fork workshop, May 22-23 at the University of Georgia Campus in Griffin. The workshop, hosted by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, will be a crash course in the basics of starting and growing a food business in Georgia. “Sometimes attendees are people who just have an idea kicking around in their head and need some information about what it would take to bring to market in terms of regulation, marketing and production,” said Tommie Shepherd, an agricultural economist with the CAED. The workshop will also include sessions designed to help existing food business owners invigorate their marketing plans, improve packaging and find that precious space on supermarket shelves. “Anybody with just an idea for a product or those who have a product line that they would like to expand will benefit from this workshop,” said Sharon P. Kane, a CAED food development economist. Registration is $139 registration, but a limited number of $100 scholarship are available. For more information about the workshop’s schedule and the presenters visit www.areg.caes.uga.edu or call the CAES conference office at (706) 542-0808.
As part of the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program, two visiting researchers are working to ensure the safety the peanut crop in Africa with the help of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.The college’s Office of Global Programs hosted the researchers, Agnes Mwangwela from Malawi and Joelle Kajuga from Rwanda, for two months this fall and introduced them to UGA researchers who are working to solve the problem of aflatoxin contamination in peanuts.While in Georgia, both researchers studied aflatoxin sampling methods in crops and in the human body. Aflatoxin is a carcinogenic by-product of naturally occurring fungi that contaminate food through the soil — either during growth or during processing. The fungi and toxin contaminate numerous crops, but is often linked to peanuts and maize.“Agnes and Joelle are working on aflatoxin detection. Aflatoxin is a very serious issue where they are from. It is not as much of a threat here in the U.S., not because we don’t have aflatoxin, but because we have more systems in place to protect human health,” said Vicki McMaken, assistant director of the college’s Office of Global Programs.In developing countries such as Malawi and Rwanda, where peanuts are a large part of the daily diet, processing and sampling protocols are inadequate to prevent aflatoxin exposure. As a result, up to 4.5 billion people are exposed to aflatoxins each year.The United States Department of Agriculture’s Borlaug Fellowship Program is designed to provide research opportunities to early career scientists from developing or middle-income countries—with a focus on building food security and economic growth in the scholars’ home.“If I gain one technology, then I go back and we will have that for the benefit of my country,” said Kajuga, an award-winning agricultural researcher who leads a team of scientists as part of the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) Horticulture Program.In Malawi and Rwanda, nearly 60 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and agriculture is their economic mainstay, employing over 80 percent of the population. Cash crops such as groundnuts, known as peanuts in the U.S., are grown for consumption and for income.But processors do not purchase aflatoxin-laden peanuts and contaminated peanuts cannot be exported. This creates a food safety issue and limits the value of cash crops.”Most Malawians sort the groundnuts and will keep the low quality for consumption, and the good quality goes to the market,“ Mwangwela explained.Mwangwela hopes to change this. She is the senior lecturer in food science and dean of the faculty of food and human sciences at University of Malawi, Bunda College of Agriculture in Lilongwe.“When I go back to Malawi, I will be working with students from the university to equip farmers and small scale groundnut processors with the skills to sort out contaminated peanuts from the food supply,” said Mwangwela. “It is also important to educate the families.”This is one of the key elements of the Borlaug programs, according to McMaken. “The Borlaug program is very good at selecting scientists who are going to take what they learn and use it for the betterment of their country,” she said.The Borlaug fellows are selected each year based on research proposals submitted to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. When a (request for applications) is announced, U.S. universities bid to host the fellows at their institution. Host institutions identify research mentors and arrange logistics and the Borlaug program covers the costs.“We review the (request for application announcements) to see where there is a fit. With these fellows, because the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab (PMIL) is located here at UGA, we knew we could connect these scholars with many different collaborators,” said McMaken.All of the Mwangela and Kajuga’s mentors are PMIL project collaborators.They were mentored at UGA primarily by Manjeet Chinnan, food science and technology professor emeritus, and J.S. Wang, professor and department head of the department of environmental health science. A third mentor, Kumar Mallikarjunan, professor of biological systems engineering, hosted the fellows at Virginia Tech during their visit.Before becoming a Borlaug fellow, Mwangwela was already working with PMIL lead scientist Rick Brandenburg on a Southern Africa Peanut Value Chain Intervention Project.Dave Hoisington, director of PMIL, escorted the scholars to the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. They also traveled through southwest Georgia as part of the annual Georgia Peanut Tour, visited JLA Testing Laboratory and Birdsong Peanuts Shelling Plant in Blakely and spent time at the USDA – Agricultural Research Service National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson.“This Borlaug program is beyond my expectations,” said Kajuga. “When I go back to Rwanda, I will be working on linking our scientists with the U.S. scientists working on aflatoxins.”As part of the Borlaug Fellowship Program, the mentors conduct follow up visits to Rwanda and Malawi to further ensure what was learned during the program at UGA is transferred back to the home countries.McMaken says that the Office of Global Programs plans to bring more Borlaug fellows to UGA to continue to further internationalize the campus.