Pecan Expert

first_imgThe partnership between University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Georgia Pecan Commission yielded a new area pecan agent position for the Southeast District this year.The two entities co-funded the position that will be filled by Andrew Sawyer beginning May 1. Sawyer will work with growers and county agents in southeast Georgia, while UGA Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells continues to serve producers in southwest Georgia and statewide.“I am so excited about this partnership between the pecan industry and UGA Extension. This is a great example of how everyone in the agricultural industry in Georgia works together to identify needs and solve problems,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Extension. “Andrew is the perfect person to be UGA Extension’s pecan expert in southeast Georgia. I look forward to seeing the great things that come from this partnership.”Sawyer has served as the Wilcox County Extension coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent since October 2017. Prior to that, he was the ANR agent in Thomas County for six years.“I think it’s going to be a great experience. It’s going to be awesome working with the pecan team,” Sawyer said. “It’s going to be awesome working with the agents. I feel like I know a lot of them. I’ve met so many growers already at the last two pecan meetings in Tifton.”Sawyer’s addition to the pecan team is timely since there has been an increase in the number of trees being planted in the southeastern part of the state over the past decade. Although the majority of Georgia’s crop lies in southwest Georgia in Mitchell, Dougherty and Lee counties, Tattnall County in southeast Georgia was ranked No. 6 in farm gate value for pecans in 2017 with $16.1 million, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.“The pecan acreage in that part of the state has grown a lot in the last five to 10 years. Some of those areas, it’s a three and a half hour drive one way to get to them and that limits the amount of time you’re able to spend with them on the ground,” Wells said. “It’s going to be very helpful for them and all of us to have Andrew over there and accessible to those growers.”It’s a critical year for Georgia pecan farmers. Hurricane Michael hit southwest Georgia last October, decimating the pecan industry by causing more than $560 million in direct losses. Producers are currently making decisions about whether they should replant, what varieties to plant and how to overcome low market prices.“There probably will be more questions that come up this year, more problems that need to be looked at in the field,” said Lanair Worsham, vice chairman of the Georgia Pecan Commission. “It’s going to work well (having Sawyer join the pecan team).”For more information about Georgia pecans, see https://site.extension.uga.edu/pecan/.last_img read more

MBB : Orange inside game could receive boost with potential of Melo’s return Saturday

first_imgWith Fab Melo and Rakeem Christmas relegated to the Syracuse bench, the reality hit C.J. Fair.If Baye Keita, SU’s lone remaining big man with experience at the center position, picked up one more foul over the final 4:58 against West Virginia, he too would be forced to the sideline with five fouls.And that would push the 6-foot-8, 203-pound Fair to the center spot to battle with the Mountaineers’ 260-pound big men Kevin Jones and Deniz Kilicli.‘I thought about it for a second,’ Fair said, ‘and I’m like, ‘How am I going to play that big guy?’ But luckily Baye, he played his ground well.’Keita managed to avoid that fifth foul and finished SU’s 63-61 win over the Mountaineers on Saturday. Christmas and Keita have taken on much bigger roles on the offensive end and in the heart of No. 3 Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense during Melo’s absence. But in the three games without Melo, at least one of those big men has struggled against the rugged Big East competition.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMelo will return to the SU lineup for the team’s matchup against St. John’s on Saturday after missing three consecutive games for academic reasons, according to The Post-Standard. Pete Moore, SU director of athletic communications, said in an email that he could not confirm whether Melo would travel with the Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) this weekend or his availability for the matchup with the Red Storm (9-12, 3-6) Saturday at noon at Madison Square Garden. Depending on Melo’s availability, the Orange may once again have to make some small tweaks to its game plan.‘We just have to adjust,’ junior forward James Southerland said of playing without Melo. ‘That’s every game, though. You adjust to what’s going on, and you make the best of it.’Melo was a force inside for SU throughout the year and seemed to get better once conference play began. He leads the Orange in blocks and rebounds per game, and his 7-foot, 244-pound frame clogged up the middle of the 2-3 zone.The sophomore is two inches taller than Keita and three inches taller than Christmas, but the major difference comes in his bulk. Melo has roughly 30 pounds on Keita and 20 on Christmas.And though Fair was concerned with how he would handle West Virginia’s big men Saturday, head coach Jim Boeheim said Christmas and Keita aren’t quite prepared for that type of competition, either.‘Those guys, they’re not really ready physically to play in this league,’ Boeheim said. ‘They’re going to have to foul sometimes. We want to foul guys like Kilicli if he’s not making shots, missing free throws. We tried to foul (Cincinnati’s) Yancy Gates the other night. Just use some fouls in that situation.’Christmas and Keita have picked up nine fouls each in this three-game stretch, but the biggest problem has been getting solid performances out of both big men in the same game.Against Notre Dame, neither could stop Fighting Irish forward Jack Cooley in SU’s only loss this year. At Cincinnati, freshman Christmas had his best game of the year, while Keita didn’t score and grabbed just one rebound. And against West Virginia, Boeheim was happy with Keita, but Christmas lacked energy.‘I thought Rakeem looked lost in space today,’ Boeheim said after the win over the Mountaineers. ‘He looked like a freshman.‘I just wondered if he was awake. I wasn’t sure. I just tried to make sure he was awake.’Melo’s return Saturday would be a huge boost for the Orange. But even if he doesn’t play, his presence alone can help SU’s other two big men.He works through things with them in practices but also gave them feedback during the game Saturday. He did not travel with the team on the road trip to Notre Dame and Cincinnati.And whether he plays or is just there on the bench against the Red Storm, Keita knows it will be a major benefit for himself and Christmas.‘Having him on the bench, talking to him all the time will help me,’ Keita said. ‘We do the same thing during games. I’ll be sitting on the bench. Rakeem, too. We keep talking all the time.’[email protected] Comments Published on February 1, 2012 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more