When it comes to choosing fruit, most people reach for the biggest piece. Titan™, a new blueberry variety bred by a University of Georgia scientist, makes that an easy task. It produces berries two to four times the size of average blueberries.“People like big strawberries and big blackberries. Now they can get big blueberries,” said Scott NeSmith, the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences researcher who bred the new variety. The UGA Research Foundation has applied for a plant patent for Titan™.For commercial and homeowner useTitan™ was designed for both commercial and homeowner use. NeSmith says backyard growers will like the berry size and so will visitors at pick-your-own farms. “Common sense tells you that picking blueberries by hand takes a long time. Not with Titan™,” he said.Average blueberries are usually a little smaller than a dime. NeSmith has seen Titan™ berries grow as large as a quarter. A rabbiteye blueberry, Titan™ is well suited for growing in Georgia and produces well in USDA hardiness zones 6a through 9a. Released in 2012, Titan™ hasn’t been added to Georgia blueberry farmers’ fields yet, but it is available in limited supplies for homeowners.“Right now, most nurseries have waiting lists for Titan™ plants. That’s how popular it is,” Nesmith said. “They have more orders than they do plants.”Ask stores to stock TitanHe encourages homeowners to contact their local garden center and request the variety. “If enough people ask for it, hopefully the big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot will start carrying it,” NeSmith said.Titan™ is officially available through the following licensed nurseries: Ken James Greenhouses (www.jamesgreenhouses.com); Cornelius Farms (corneliusfarms.com/nurserydivision.html); andOregon Blueberry (www.oreblueberry.com).No matter which blueberry variety you add to your home landscape, Nesmith says to set aside the first year as a growing year for the plant. “You may see a small amount of fruit the second year, but the third year will bring a good blueberry crop,” he said.While some varieties are self-fruiting, NeSmith advises planting two or more varieties to insure good pollination and fruit set. Two additional homeowner varieties that have been recently released are Summer Sunset™ and Blue Suede®.Award-winning blueberry breederBased on the UGA campus in Griffin, Ga., NeSmith has been researching blueberries in Georgia since 1990. He was recently awarded the UGA Inventor’s Award for his research efforts that include the release of 10 new patented commercial blueberry varieties and two patented ornamental blueberry varieties. The award is presented each year by the UGA Researrch Foundation to recognize an inventor for a unique and innovative discovery that has impacted the community, state and/or world. UGA-developed blueberries are grown around the world on all continents except Antarctica. Blueberry production has surpassed peaches as the No. 1 fruit crop in Georgia. “Nationally, we may be close to number one in acres now, and we are second or third in production,” NeSmith said. Georgia farmers use about 21,749 acres for blueberry production, and the farm gate value was more than $254 million in 2011, according to the Georgia Farm Gate Value Report.For more information on how to add blueberry plants to home landscapes, visit the UGA CAES publication website at caes.uga.edu/publications.
Caterpillar has just launched their new Cat 306 CR Mini Hydraulic Excavator, marking the company’s entry in the 6-ton class offering. According to Caterpillar, the 306 CR mini excavator is built to exceed customer expectations with strong performance, enhanced operator experience and simplified maintenance with extended service intervals.The new mini excavator features heavy-duty main structures, a fuel-efficient engine, load-sensing hydraulics, spacious cab and exclusive Cat Stick Steer system. It shares a similar controls layout and common components with the full line of Cat Next Generation mini excavators to simplify training, offer quick adaptation for operation and lower owning/operating costs.With its long stick option, the 306 CR delivers a maximum dig depth of 162 in (4 110 mm) and 15,821-lb (7 175-kg) maximum operating weight when equipped with the sealed and pressurized cab.Built with a swing boom, this Next Generation mini excavator’s compact radius design provides a low, 58-in (1 475-mm) tail swing with counterweight for working close to obstructions.
Persons with disabilities aged 50years old and above also availed of free pneumonia and flu vaccination duringthe activity dubbed “Bakunado si Lolo at Lola, Iwas Pulmonya” with vaccinesprovided by the Department of Health in Western Visayas.(With a report from PNA/PN) Dr. Jovy Vergara, assistant cityhealth officer, said pneumonia ranks second and third in terms of morbidity andmortality, respectively, among those 60 years old and above. In 2010 alone, 57,809 deaths due topneumonia were recorded – making it the top five leading causes of death in thecountry, reports said. Pneumonia causes inflammation of theair sacs in one or both lungs. It can be caused by a variety of organismsincluding bacteria, viruses and fungi. Symptoms may include breathingdifficulty, coughing, fever, and weakness. BACOLOD City – Around 1,000 seniorcitizens here received vaccination against pneumonia and flu as part of thecity government’s efforts to protect them from respiratory infections. Aside from weakened immune system,elderly patients with pneumonia are more prone to severe complications,hospitalization and death due to pre-existing health conditions and illnessessuch as diabetes, chronic lung disease and kidney or heart conditions, amongothers. The disease could be lethal orlife-threatening for senior citizens, Vergara added during the immunizationactivity at the Bacolod Arts, Youth and Sports Center on Thursday. In the Philippines, pneumoniaaccounted for over 57,000 deaths among Filipinos annually in the past decade,according to authorities. Vergara added most elderly patientsseek treatment only during the last stage of the disease. Vergara said pneumonia is avaccine-preventable disease, noting that the government is putting a premium onvarious programs like free vaccination especially among the elderly. “Among the elderly, especially thosewith chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia is more dangerous astheir immune system is weaker,” he said.
Press Association The French defender was forced off with a hamstring injury at half-time of Sunday’s victory over Manchester United and will definitely miss Saturday’s trip to Southampton. By the weekend Everton hope to be in a position to know the extent of the injury but the worst-case scenario is the season is over for the 36-year-old, who up until the weekend had completed 90 minutes in every one of his previous 31 league starts. Everton centre-back Sylvain Distin faces an anxious 48 hours to find out whether his season has been prematurely ended by injury. “Sylvain had to come off against United on Sunday and he won’t be fit for this weekend,” said manager Roberto Martinez. “It is a little bit too early to know how long he is going to be out. “I do think that over the next 48 hours we will have a clear idea of whether he will be available before the season ends.” With Phil Jagielka still not ready to return from a hamstring injury which has sidelined him since the end of February it leaves Martinez with youngster John Stones, who has impressed deputising for Jagielka, and Antolin Alcaraz – who has played just five times since making his debut in December following an injury-troubled start to life at Goodison Park following after his summer move from Wigan. Jagielka is expected to return next weekend when title-chasers Manchester City visit. Midfielders Steven Pienaar and Darron Gibson (both knee), strikers Arouna Kone (knee) and on-loan Lacina Traore (hamstring) and defender Bryan Oviedo (broken leg) are all still sidelined.
An underground gas pocket exploded at a residence in Diamond, East Bank Demerara on Thursday afternoon when construction workers were drilling a hole for “domestic” purposes.The incident occurred about 17:30h at Lot 1200 Section A, Block X, Great Diamond. The house is located in a cross street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.An official from the Fire Service told Guyana Times that the owner of the house was drilling a hole for “domestic use” (reportedly a well) when the workers hit the gas pocket causing the explosion.The family was immediately ordered to vacate the property, but they returned later and were seen talking to officials from the Fire Service and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.According to residents, the gas was spraying as high as 200 feet into the air for about an hour and a half.“After the gas stopped, a water and mud mixture started shooting up, but it stopped for like a 15 minutes and was barely spewing up. Then this thick mud substance start shooting up,” one resident said.When this publication visited the scene, the murky substance was spraying about 20 to 30 feet into the air.As the spillage continued late into the night, a shed attached to the house was torn down and the building began shaking heavily.As news of the incident spread, persons from the area began flocking the scene, with some complaining that the explosion was heard from some distance. A few years ago, a similar incident occurred in the Grove section of the scheme while homeowners were drilling a water well.