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University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells fears Georgia’s pecan crop will fail to meet initial production projections by as much as 20 million pounds.Instead of the 110 to 120 million pounds projected more than a month ago at the start of the harvest season, Georgia is now expected to produce between 90 and 100 million pounds of pecans, said Wells.Wells’ forecast comes on the heels of the start of the pecan harvest, when weather conditions were less than ideal. Georgia producers prefer cooler temperatures and drier weather, which help to preserve the crop for as long as possible on the tree. This fall’s warmer temperatures combined with recent rain showers led to a deterioration in the quality of this year’s Georgia pecans.“We’re starting to see some quality issues to the point that the percent of the kernel (that’s filled) is running a little bit low, lower than normal. The size of the pecans is good, but to some extent that could be part of the problem. Any time you have a large nut size with a heavy crop load on the tree, it’s hard for the tree to fill those kernels, even under the best conditions,” Wells said.The average pecan typically has 50 percent of its kernel filled. The Desirable variety—Georgia’s most widely grown pecan variety—usually has as much as 53 percent of its kernel filled, but has dropped to 47 percent this year in many orchards, Wells said.The UGA Extension expert blames cloudy weather toward the end of September for the reduced kernel fill.“Any time we get extended periods of cloudy weather during kernel-filling time, that can cause some problems for us and make it harder for that tree to fill the nuts out,” Wells said. “I think that’s a lot of the problem we’re seeing with the quality being lower than we’d like to see.”Wells said unseasonably warmer temperatures this fall—above 80 degrees Fahrenheit during October and November—followed by heavy rainfall also led to sprouting, or premature germination, in the Stuart variety. Sprouting is germination of the seed while it is still on the tree.“If you see a lot of the Stuart variety in the trees that have not opened up yet, a lot of times those nuts may have already sprouted,” Wells said. “The pecan itself is a seed. When you have high moisture conditions and warm temperatures, it will stimulate that nut to germinate and sprout.” In addition to weather-related problems, Georgia pecan growers fought late-season aphids and spider mites in September. Producers had to apply additional spray applications to preserve their crop, he said.“If you’ve got that much pressure, even if they’re spraying them, that creates a lot of stress on the tree,” Wells said.Wells recommends growers shake the trees and harvest the nuts as soon as weather conditions allow. For the latest on Georgia’s pecan crop and UGA Extension pecan research, follow Wells’ blog at blog.extension.uga.edu.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:U.S. electricity demand last week plunged to a near 17-year low as government travel and work restrictions to slow down the spread of the coronavirus led to business closures, according to analysts and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) trade group.EEI said power output fell to 64,061 gigawatt hours during the week ended April 18. That was down 4.2 per cent from the same week in 2019 and was the lowest in a week since May 2003.The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected economic slowdown and stay-at-home orders would reduce electricity and natural gas consumption in coming months.EIA said it expected power sales to the commercial sector to drop by 4.7 per cent in 2020 as many businesses close, while industrial demand will fall by 4.2 per cent as factories shut or reduce output.Electricity sales to the residential sector, meanwhile, will only decline about 0.8 per cent in 2020, EIA projected, as reduced heating and air conditioning use because of milder winter and summer weather is offset by increased household consumption with many people staying home.Overall, EIA said it expects total U.S. power consumption to decline by 3 per cent in 2020 before rising almost 1 per cent in 2021.[Scott DiSavino]More: U.S. power demand falls to 2003 low as coronavirus cuts use by companies U.S. power demand fell to 17-year low for the week ended April 18, trade group says
Press Association Woods has not won a major since the US Open in 2008, with injury problems and a sex scandal which cost him his marriage to Swede Elin Nordegren prompting many to write off his chances of overhauling the 18 major titles of Jack Nicklaus. Unsurprisingly, Woods does not share those views, with his close friend Notah Begay telling Sports Illustrated the 14-time major winner wants to win at least six more. “He is focused on 20,” Begay said. “That may be a little hard to believe given what’s transpired in the last three years, but that’s where his focus is. He thinks he is capable of winning 20 majors.” At the age of 37, Woods has won 14 majors from 60 starts as a professional, exactly the same as Nicklaus at 37. For his part, McIlroy has two major championships under his belt, winning the 2011 US Open and 2012 US PGA Championship by eight shots, and stated last week he would not care if he missed 10 cuts in a row as long as he won a major every year. In four previous Masters appearances he has missed the cut once and finished 20th, 15th and 40th, but his performance in Texas suggests he is finding form at the right time after a poor start to the season. Rory McIlroy can return to world number one with a third major title in the Masters this week, providing Tiger Woods does not finish second on his own. McIlroy closed the gap to Woods slightly by finishing second in the Valero Texas Open on Sunday, carding a closing 66 in San Antonio to finish two shots behind Scotland’s Martin Laird. And the 23-year-old can reclaim the top spot he lost last month by claiming his first Green Jacket at Augusta National, scene of his final-round meltdown in 2011 when he led by four shots before collapsing to a closing 80. The Northern Irishman has to finish inside the top three to have any chance of passing Woods, who has won three times already this season and is seeking a fifth Masters title.
Rodgers will now turn his attention to improving his squad over the summer ready for next season’s attempt to qualify again for the Champions League. “I knew the expectancy of the club but, going into next season, I am a much better prepared manager for that,” he added. “We want to make significant improvements next year in the points total because the reality is we are 30 points behind the leaders and 11 points behind the top four. “But I’ve seen enough and, if we improve our mentality in the summer – by signing players who have that consistent winning mentality – we can then improve again, like we have done in the second half of the season. “That’s the job of the recruitment team and the club to identify those types of players. “They might not always be the best players but what we need in the second year of this project is to find a great level of consistency. There is a process of getting into the top four and becoming champions and that is consistency. “I’ve loved every minute of being here and the small steps of where we want to go. But now I want to make bigger steps.” The Northern Irishman left Swansea to take over from Kenny Dalglish last summer and has endured an up and down first season at Anfield. Although the Reds will finish some way adrift of the European places they have bettered last season’s points total with one game still to go in the Premier League and their form over the second half of the campaign has been encouraging. “This year has provided a great learning curve for me and I look back and see that it was learning that I needed,” the Reds manager told the Liverpool Echo. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes he and the club are in a better place to mount a top-four challenge next season. Press Association