Farm Monitor – September 8, 2018


[Announcer]
This is the Georgia Farm Monitor. Since 1966, your source for state and national
agribusiness news and features for farmers and consumers about Georgia’s number one
industry, agriculture. The Georgia Farm Monitor is produced by the
state’s largest general farm organization, the Georgia Farm Bureau. Now, here are your hosts, Ray D’Alessio
and Kenny Burgamy. [RAY]
ALRIGHT, ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER SHOW, AND TIME FOR US TO SHARE THE LATEST AG NEWS AND FEATURES
WITH YOU. HI EVERYBODY, THANKS SO MUCH FOR TUNING INTO
ANOTHER EDITION OF THE FARM MONITOR. I’M RAY D’ALESSIO. [KENNY]
AND I’M KENNY BURGAMY. HAPPY TO HAVE YOU ALONG FOR THE NEXT 30 MINUTES. COMING UP, WE’LL HEAD TO NORTH GEORGIA WHERE
APPLE SEASON IS OFF AND RUNNING. WHAT EFFECT, IF ANY, DID LAST YEAR’ S LATE
FROST HAVE ON THE 2018 CROP? ALSO ON THE PROGRAM, THE APPALACHIAN REGIONAL
PORT, OR A.R.P FOR SHORT. AFTER MUCH ANTICIPATION THE MURRAY COUNTY
FACILITY IS NOW OFFICIALLY OPEN FOR BUSINESS. THE REASON IT’S BEING CALLED A POWERFUL NEW
GATEWAY TO THE PORT OF SAVANNAH AND BEYOND. [RAY]
AND SPEAKING OF POWERFUL, WHEN HE’S NOT TROUBLESHOOTING POWER LINES YOU’LL FIND THIS MAN HARD AT WORK
TENDING TO HIS BEES. BROADUS WILLIAMS ON WHAT BEGAN AS A WAY TO
POLLENATE HIS FRUIT TREES, TO A FULL-TIME BUSINESS ONCE HE RETIRES. THESE STORIES AND SO MUCH MORE STARTING RIGHT
NOW ON THE FARM MONITOR. [KENNY]
Well, it’s the month of September, and that means it’s time for cooler temperatures,
beautiful leaves, and Ellijay apples. In fact, markets are getting ready for the
thousands of people that will soon be packing Northeast Georgia. Our John Holcomb visited one orchard to see
how they’re preparing for the upcoming weeks after a difficult growing season. [Ellijay, GA – John Holcomb, Reporting]
If you take a stroll up through the Northeast Georgia Mountains this time of year, there’s
a few things you’re guaranteed to see: beautiful mountains, and apple market after apple market
ready for you to come in and buy some delicious fruit. It’s officially apple season in Ellijay, and
I visited with one grower that’s getting ready. As you can imagine, this time of year is a
little hectic, especially when you have as many varieties as they do. [Janice Hale – Hillcrest Orchards]
We grow about twenty different kinds of varieties. Some of the newer varieties are becoming more
popular as people taste them, but we still do grow the old standbys, Rome beauty, golden
delicious and all those. [John]
This year has been a challenging one for growers in Georgia, and that challenge has mainly
been dealing with mother nature and her unpredictability. Something they’ve been having to deal with
since the trees started to bloom back in early spring. [Janice]
We started out this spring with a late frost and that’s one thing that apple growers always
fear. We did have certain varieties that had a light
crop on them, but miraculously, most of the varieties like these, as you can see, they’re
really large due to all the rain that we’ve had this summer. [John]
Rain is obviously a good thing, but at times it can be damaging. Since the spring, the Northeast Georgia area
has received eleven more inches than they typically do on average. That, as you would imagine, has caused some
issues. [Janice]
We’ve had an extreme amount of rain this summer, and we’d rather have rain than not have rain,
but it was a little much, so that creates a lot of disease pressure as well as weeds
and grass. So, we’ve been fighting that all spring and
summer, but it does look like we’re going to have a good crop. [John]
Even with a good apple crop, their stress isn’t over just yet. Apples isn’t the only thing they have to worry
about. They also have a ton of activities for families
they have to get ready and run when people do come out to visit their orchard. [Janice]
We’re really big into the agritourism side of the business because we found people can
go buy apples at the grocery store any day of the week, all year long, so we had to have
more than just the apples. So, we decided to have things for kids and
families to do. We have a petting farm, we have swimming pig
races, we’re adding duck races this year, we have wagon rides, peddle carts, lots of
playgrounds. [John]
As you can imagine, getting all of this ready for customers is a lot of work, and has taken
weeks to do. [Janice]
A lot of people think that we just vacation all year when we’re not actually open, but
there’s always something to do on the farm and the summer is extremely busy. We’re mowing, we’re bush hogging, we’re weed
spraying, all these things. Thinning the apples, and right now, the very
last month, we’re really preparing for the opening of the market, the petting farms. [John]
Reporting in Ellijay for the Farm Monitor, I’m John Holcomb. [RAY]
JOHN, THANK YOU SO MUCH. NOW TO ATLANTA AND THE FERNBANK MUSEUM OF
NATURAL HISTORY. THAT IS WHERE WE FOUND THE GEORGIA FORESTRY
COMMISSION HOSTING A DAY OF LITERATURE AND LEARNING FOR AREA SCHOOL CHILDREN. GUESTS OF HONOR INCLUDED FIRST LADY SANDRA
DEAL, AS WELL AS MUSICIAN, AUTHOR AND FOREST LANDOWNER CHUCK LEAVELL. FOR MRS. DEAL, IT WAS A CHANCE TO READ FROM HER SOON
TO BE RELEASED BOOK, ENTITLED “THE FOREVER TREE”. AND FOR THE CHILDREN, IT WAS A UNIQUE WAY
TO HEAR ALL ABOUT GEORGIA’S ABUNDANT FORESTS AND THEIR IMPORTANCE IN OUR DAILY LIVES. [Sandra Deal – First Lady of Georgia]
Each school has different personalities just like different children. And, I love going to the schools. I’ve been welcomed at all of the schools and
I hope thy understand; I’m not there to critique, I’m there to encourage. And so, that’s what I do when I go to the
schools. [Nat Sound]
“I’m also responsible for helping to keep nature in balance”
[Chuck Leavell – Musician and Forest Owner] I think children have a great appreciation
for the outdoors, for nature. And you know, at Charlene Plantation where
we live, often times we’ll have children’s groups come out and I can tell you…ya know,
they just light up like a light bulb when they get out there and walk amongst tree’s
and experience nature first hand. [RAY]
Meantime, chances are very good you’ll find them on the menu at weddings, tailgates, and
other family gatherings around the state. A Southern delicacy known as cheese straws. [KENNY]
Oh yeah and – as the Monitor recently found out – one family run business in Columbus
has expanded from making this unique item in their kitchen to shipping them nationwide. [Margaret Amos – Southern Straws]
Well, it was a hobby for many years, probably when I was around 20 years old, I started
making cheese straws, gifts for family and friends, just doing it as a hobby for years
and people loved the cheese straws and it became one of those things where you can’t
come to the party if you don’t bring your cheese straws. So, when we started and had this little press,
the challenge was how do you take what was meant to be a home product that a mom or whoever
would make and scale that up to something from a business prospective. It was me at first by myself, just laying
the groundwork with the business licenses, building out a kitchen, learning about being
in the food industry, making some connections. I’d never done anything like this and then
a couple of years later, my oldest son was graduating from the University of Georgia
with a finance degree, and he, I can remember the day he called me up and he said mom, I
wouldn’t mind coming to work with you and doing the start up. And I said boy, do I have a startup for you. [Neal Amos – Southern Straws]
I love it. I mean, every day is a challenge. Every day you just wake up and you don’t know
what the day has in store for you. You might get a new project. Every Christmas there’s something else, something
else comes up. We work a lot with weddings. Those are always fun. Just going to different farmers markets and
shows and just meeting people is kind of rewarding to meet somebody that’s bought your cheese
straw from a shop and recognized the brand and walks right up to you and says these are
delicious, I got to buy some of these. [Margaret]
That’s honestly the best part. For me to get to work with my son, I would
have never dreamed that I would have that opportunity. It’s fun, but we’re not mother/son when we’re
working. We are partners. And it’s really great. I get to go to festivals with him. We go to the market. We make decisions. There’s sometimes you can come in here. My husband will be in here, all three boys. My nephew is working right now. I mean, it’s a family business. [Neal]
Demand, it just keeps growing and growing and growing and now we’re up to between 500-600
pounds a week. During the holiday times, we’ll reach 900-1000
pounds of cheese straws a week. So, we’re just always cranking them seven
days a week here. [Margaret]
You know, in the south, cheese straws are just a southern thing and they make folks
think of their childhood, memories, their relationships, it is just such a cultural
food. So, it’s hard to explain sometimes what a
cheese straw is. We say it’s not a cookie, it’s not a cracker,
but it is, it’s just a southern icon. [Neal]
We take our cheese. We cut it down. We grate it ourselves and we use all-natural
cheese, butter, flour, salt and some spices. And it gives our original flavor a good kick
at the end. And we blend that all up into a dough and
put it in what we call an extruder. And from the extruder it comes out of our
dye right onto our pans and we hand cut our cheese straws, then cook them in the oven. They go through a little cooling process and
they’ll be ready to pack from there. [KENNY]
AFTER THE BREAK, WORKING AROUND ELECTRICITY AND WITH BEE’S. IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE, BUT FOR BROADUS WILLIAMS
OF ROBERTA, GEORGIA IT’S A WAY OF LIFE AND SOMETHING HE SAY’S HE WOULD DO FOR FREE…WORKING
WITH THE BEE’S THAT IS. HIS STORY WHEN THE FARM MONITOR CONTINUES. [Bryan Blalock]
We were not looking in this area until we talked to the GPA and found out that
this was happening. [Eddie Church]
I’m blown away I’ve been in transportation for 32 years and this is the most exciting
time in my 32 years. [Harriett Stokes]
We are so excited to be able to bring some jobs to this site and they were local jobs. [Music]
[Illya Copeland] Market reach is a huge advantage for being
up here in the northwest Georgia region and Murray County. You can reach approximately 75% of the continental
United States and less than a two-day drive. [Marilyn Helms]
We are so excited about the port being here because it brings jobs to the area. Distributors, warehouse jobs. So, people who import goods and export goods
from this area will all benefit. we see a lot of growth to a new venture creation
because of the presence of the port. [Harriett Stokes]
To have the Appalachian Regional port here will also bring Dalton Calhoun
Chattanooga Cleveland maybe even Atlanta someplace in Kentucky it will bring the
resources here and allow Murray County to develop in a great way. [Eddie Church]
It’s gonna bring diverse opportunities to our transportation community that we
haven’t had in the past. [Harriett Stokes]
The opportunities for distribution centers… we have spoken with some we know Ilya gets
calls constantly from distribution centers that want to move to this area. To be able to have job availability for the
residents here in Murray County that they can live here and stay here and make an excellent
living. [Music]
[Bryan Blalock] Our business would not be here if the Appalachian
port was not here. That’s for sure. [Marilyn Helms]
We see this as a boot to our growth for a student’s and who to the people in the area
who will be our employers. Were very excited about it. [Juli Byington]
The Georgia Ports is an amazing company to work for we are going to grow. I feel it my bones; we are going to grow here
and there’s gonna be a lot of opportunity here for jobs. [Roberta, Georgia, Georgia – Ray D’Alessio,
Reporting] For Broadus Williams, a 17-year veteran of
Georgia Power and trouble shooter for the company, the constant hum and buzzing of power
lines has become the norm. Somewhat soothing in one sense. [Ray D’Alessio – [email protected]]
BUT LIKE MANY OF US, ONCE HIS WORK IS COMPLETE AND THE POWER’S BEEN RESTORED, BROADUS WANTS
TO RELAX AND VENTURE INTO HIS HAPPY PLACE. AND FOR BROADUS THAT MEANS TRADING-IN THE
SOUND OF BUZZING POWERLINES FOR A DIFFERENT TYPE OF BUZZING NOISE. THE ONE YOU GET WHEN THOUSANDS OF BEES ARE
WORKING TOGETHER. [Broadus Williams – Private Beekeeper]
Well you know, I started years ago cause I had fruit trees and my fruit trees wasn’t
producing. And I cleared a bunch of land off and started
planting trees and the trees were growing and they would blossom every year, but I’d
never got any fruit. And I started doing research like, ‘Why? Why?” And I found out that I needed bees. [Ray D’Alessio]
AND SO BEGAN HIS PASSION FOR THE BUSY LITTLE CREATURES. AFTER BUYING HIS FIRST HIVE, BROADUS THEN
JOINED A LOCAL BEE CLUB. HE TELLS ME THAT ONE HIVE TURNED INTO NINE,
NINE TURNED INTO 49. TODAY, HE’S NOT EXACTLY SURE HOW MANY BEEHIVES
HE HAS. LET’S JUST SAY, THERE’S A LOT OF THEM. [Broadus]
I used to get the bees for my trees and now I plant trees for the bees. Or I plant plants for the bees. [Ray]
“Have you found now that it’s really a second business for you?” [Broadus]
Yeah, it’s pretty much so. I do really good selling honey and I’m selling
queens. Beekeepers get involved in bees and then they
found out really fast that they need queens. They wanna grow more or they lose a queen
and then they want, they need one really quick. And so they will contact me from time to time
to get queens. So, it’s been good. It’s been good both ways. I sell honey and I sell queens, and eventually
I’ll eventually start selling bee boxes with bees in them. [Ray D’Alessio]
ADDING TO THAT, BROADUS SAYS HIS LONG-TERM PLAN IS TO EVENTUALLY RETIRE AND MOVE HIS
OPERATION TO THE WEST COAST. FOR NOW THOUGH, HE STILL HAS SOME UNFINISHED
BUSINESS HERE IN GEORGIA. IN MACON, WHEN SOMEONE NEEDS A HOUSE CLEARED
OF BEES – BROADUS IS ONE OF THE EXPERTS THEY CALL. HE ALSO TEACHES BEE KEEPING CLASSES AT YOUNG
HARRIS COLLEGE. AND OF COURSE, THERE’S HIS MAIN JOB AT GEORGIA
POWER. [Broadus]
Well Georgia Power seemed to think that it’s pretty cool ’cause you know at one time it
was a lot of talk about the bees in decline and so you know Georgia Power was truly aware
or fully aware of that and they kinda was concerned about it as well. Got involved in it. We also have bees at our headquarters in Atlanta,
our main headquarters. So, they’re dedicated towards us being stewards
in our neighborhood and the community. And this is a great way to be a part of it. Biggest thing is how do you do it? How do you do so much of this? You work full-time there, and you work full-time
with your bees and you got a family. How do you do it? How do you manage it all? Well it’s just me wanting to do it. You’re wanting to do it, you’ll find the time,
make time to do it. You can’t take away from my family time. I have to dedicate a lot of time to that,
my family. And then of course you know, my Christian
background, you know. Dedicate time to that. And then work is eight hours or more. Depending on storm situation, depending on
what’s going on in the weather. And then this. This has…this has been more than … It’s
not work. It’s kind of like therapeutic and it’s fun. So when it’s fun and therapeutic, it’s not
like work, you know? I just … It’s something I really enjoy doing. I think I would do it for free. It’s just I get paid to do it. [Ray D’Alessio]
IN ROBERTA, GEORGIA, I’M RAY D’ALESSIO FOR THE FARM MONITOR. [KENNY]
RAY, THANK YOU SO MUCH. AND FOLKS DON’T FORGET. IF YOU MISSED ANY PART OF RAY’S STORY OR
OTHERS ON TODAY’S PROGRAM YOU CAN STILL SEE THEM IN THEIR ENTIRETY AT OUR YOU TUBE CHANNEL,
THE GEORGIA FARM MONITOR. PLENTY OF STUFF TO CHOOSE FROM. IN FACT, THE ARCHIVE GOES ALL THE WAY BACK
TO 2009. UP NEXT, IT’S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS
OF STARTING A GARDEN OR RE-DOING YOUR LANDSCAPE. WHY GARDENING EXPERT PAUL PUGLIESE SAY’S “WITHOUT
IT, YOU’RE JUST WAISTING TIME AND MONEY”. [Music]
[Paul Pugliese – UGA Bartow Extension Agent/Coordinator] Hi, I’m Paul Pugliese with the University
of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Today we are going to talk about soil testing. Soil testing is one of the most important
things you can do before you plant a garden, if you are taking care of a lawn, or before
you even design a landscape around your home. Soil testing tells you what the nutrients
are going to be in your soil and what the pH is. The pH is the measure of the acidity of that
soil and whether or not you need to add limestone to adjust that soil pH. I would emphasize that pH is something that
a lot of people tend to overlook, and the reason why is that pH is so important to make
sure you have the right pH to unlock the nutrients in your soil. I always say the right pH is like having the
right key to start your car or start that fertilizer in your soil. If you don’t have the right key or the right
pH you are wasting your time and money on fertilizer. There are a couple of different tools you
can use to sample your soil in your garden or in your lawn. Your local county Extension office will a
lot of times will have a t-probe that you can check out for a couple of days. This is one of the more accurate ways to test
the soil. If you have a large farm or a lot of acreage
that you need to sample, this is really the best way to sample your soil. The other way is to take a shovel, you can
actually use a spade or a shovel in your garden. It is very important you sample in a way that
is similar to the t-probe that we have here. Notice that the t-probe makes a nice vertical
slice into the ground. What you don’t want to do is make a cut right
off the surface because that is going to skew the results of your soil test. So, when you pull a sample make sure you dig
into the ground, pull back that soil a little bit and again make a nice vertical cut of
that soil and put that into your bucket. Now the next question is well how deep do
we need to go? It depends, for most lawns you only need to
go 4 or 5 inches deep. For a vegetable gardens, you need to go down
to your plow depth which maybe 6 to 8 inches deep. So again, the depth is going to vary depending
on the situation. With a t-probe you can see this t-probe actually
goes in about 4 or 5 inches deep is all we need for a lawn and we have put it into the
bucket and go on to our next spot. It is really important when you are sampling
that you sample at several spots maybe a dozen spots at random across your entire lawn or
across your garden depending on what you are sampling. The more spots you pull from the more accurate
the results are going to be because what we are looking for is an average across that
entire lawn. If you did a really good job taking your soil
sample, you will have about a half a bucket full if you did it right. You want to mix that up really good again
we are trying to get an average and from that mixture you want to pull out any rocks you
know we can’t test rocks and any sticks that might be in there and get a nice uniform mixture
there. Again, the more you mix it the more accurate
your results are going to be. Then you put your sample into your soil test
bag, you need about a half a bag full. If you don’t have one of these bags from your
local county extension office, you can use a zip lock bag to bring it to your local county
extension agent. Make sure you put all of your information
on here and what you are trying to grow. If you are growing vegetables put vegetables
on here, if you are growing a lawn put Bermuda grass or fescue whatever your lawn type is
and we will customize the results based on what you are trying to grow. So, for more information contact your local
county extension office or go to our website at ugaextension.org and continue to follow
us on the Georgia Farm Monitor. [Music]
[RAY] Finally this week… people from all over
the nation, dedicated to helping America’s farmers, came to Chattanooga, Tennessee this
year for an important gathering. [KENNY]
UT Extension hosted the annual meeting of the National Association of County Agricultural
Agents. Charles Denney has more on how agents in many
states learn from each other [Chattanooga, Tenn. – 2018 NACAA Conference]
[Speaker] “When Peyton Manning played for the University
of Tennessee, he wore number 16. Kind of a nice coincidence that Tennessee
is the 16th state.” [Charles Denney]
A parade of flags, the proud colors for each of the 50 states. But in the audience – also carrying the banner
for their home state – agricultural extension agents from across the country. Chattanooga played host this year to the National
Association of County Agricultural Agents, representing land grant universities nationwide. Tennessee Extension agents spent four years
planning the conference, and say hosting was a source of pride. Alan Galloway from Putnam County served this
year as the organization’s national president. [Alan Galloway – UT Extension Area Specialist]
The whole purpose — and the idea — is this is a professional improvement association. We hopefully enable our members to be better
at what they do and that’s helping their clientele back home. That’s what it’s all about. [Charles Denney – UT Institute of Agriculture]
This was a well-attended conference, more than 13-hundred people registered – and 160
some odd agents attended this gathering for the first time ever. Extension agents work with farm families to
keep them in business, providing unbiased, research-based information about crops and
management practices. The conference draws agents together to share
ideas, recognize achievements and learn from each other in workshops and tours. [Janet Schmidt – Washington State Extension]
We represent so many different crops across the nation. There could be insect issues, there could
be plant disease issues, but yet we come together, we share challenges, we share solutions, we
share creative, innovative ideas. [Charles Denney]
The future of agriculture will have its challenges, but veteran agents here say they’re excited
about the group of young experts who will eventually replace them. [Henry Dorough – Alabama Extension]
What’s really encouraging is these young folks today are extremely talented. Some of the new technologies out there, they’ve
adapted to it well. The millennials and others they have grabbed
on to that technology – they’re experts at it. [Nat Sound Singing]
“Who’s broad stripes and bright stars” [Charles Denney]
The goal for the conference is for agents to grow personally and professionally, and
for Tennessee to show off a little too. It’s hoped folks will enjoy their time in
Chattanooga. Because when they get back home, they have
an important job to do. This is Charles Denney reporting. [RAY]
CHARLES, THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND FYI – NEXT YEAR’S COUNTY AG AGENTS MEETING WILL BE IN
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, FOLLOWED BY VIRGINIA BEACH IN 2020. AND WITH THAT, WE WILL SAY SO LONG FOR NOW
– NEVER GOODBYE. [KENNY]
YEAH, HERE’S A REMINDER. FOR ALL THE LATEST AG INFO REGARDING FOOD,
GREAT RECIPES AND WHAT’S HAPPENING DOWN ON THE FARM. BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR TWITTER, FACEBOOK
AND PINTEREST PAGES. YOU’LL STAY INFORMED AND SEE WHAT’S UP IN
THE WORLD OF FARMING PLUS WITH US HERE ON THE SHOW. [RAY]
TAKE CARE EVERYBODY. WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK, RIGHT HERE ON THE
FARM MONITOR. [KENNY]
HAVE A GREAT WEEK.

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