What hasn’t improved are management costs. Culpepper said during the past decade, Georgia growers spent more than $1 billion fighting the weed that competes with cotton plants for water and nutrients. Costs often range between $75 and $100 per acre for adequate control. With approximately 1.4 million acres grown annually in Georgia, the costs have skyrocketed past $1 billion in 10-plus years. “We’re looking at pre-emergence herbicides when we plant the cotton, coming back with post-emergence treatments when the cotton is 2 inches tall and then on throughout the season,” he said. “Cotton’s a slow-growing crop that requires time to become established and then compete and outgrow the weed. That’s why herbicides are required as part of a systems approach to achieve this goal.” Concerns over low cotton prices and high treatment costs have University of Georgia Extension weed scientist Stanley Culpepper fearing Georgia farmers might be tempted to become conservative in their fight against glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth.One of the numerous weed scientists speaking at the annual meeting of the Southern Weed Science Society in Savannah this week, Culpepper is encouraging producers during winter meetings to resist that temptation.“You have done a great job. We know prices are tough, but you have got to stay at it. One lax year and we will go back to where we were,” Culpepper said.From 2008 to 2011, Georgia cotton farmers struggled to manage Palmer amaranth (pigweed) and were suffering economically as well. With improved management strategies, led by Culpepper’s research on the UGA Tifton Campus, farmers are handling this weed better now than any other time since it was discovered eleven years ago in Macon County. With current cotton prices low, Culpepper fears farmers are no longer willing to spend the money needed to effectively manage Palmer amaranth.“It’s a stressful year because of prices and cash flow. Cash flow is an issue for many of our growers,” Culpepper said. “It may be difficult and economically challenging to keep implementing our management systems when cotton prices are at 60 cents or 65 cents; I really hope our growers are able to look at a more long-term view.”Culpepper credits growers for diminishing the weed’s seed bank, or the amount of seed per given area. However, due to the weed’s physiological makeup, that could change if management doesn’t continue or is curtailed in any way.“These farmers have really done a great job in bringing the populations down. But if they skip one year or they try to cut the corner on one year, then you’re back to ground zero because the female plant produces half a million seed,” Culpepper said.Much-needed help in the form of new technological advances could soon be introduced this year. UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences weed scientist Timothy Grey has spent the past three years researching and analyzing different chemical treatments in Tifton, Georgia. These improved management strategies will work if used properly, Grey said.Grey’s role at UGA entails working with chemical companies as they introduce new technologies. He has been studying the use of dicamba herbicide in cotton and researching answers to questions like: Is the cotton tolerant to dicamba? What is the cotton’s level of tolerance if dicamba is applied at planting or when the cotton is 2 inches tall?Though dicamba is yet to be registered, Grey’s study treatments have proven to suppress the weed when included in a sound weed management program. In an effort to not overuse the herbicide, Grey limited the application to two or less treatments during the growing season. Reducing the treatments will eliminate the potential of resistance becoming an issue in coming years.“The agricultural chemical industries want to have knowledge that tells them, when they say there is crop safety in putting out these herbicides on these tolerant crops, that there are no issues. The only way for them to do that is to come to people like me and Stanley and others and evaluate these new technologies. The only way they know is to test it in different environments across the state,” Grey said.To effectively manage what Grey calls the “top weed concern” for Georgia cotton farmers, growers need to incorporate old technologies and chemical treatments into their management system, he said. Becoming too reliant on one set of chemicals will lead to resistance, which is what occurred with glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth.
ELLSWORTH — The New England Patriots will attempt to win their third NFL championship in four seasons and sixth overall when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4.New England (15-3) clinched a berth in the game in Sunday’s AFC championship game when it came back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars (12-7) 24-20. Tom Brady completed 26 of 38 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns in the win.Later Sunday evening, Philadelphia (15-3) defeated the Minnesota Vikings (14-4) 38-7 to win the NFC crown. Quarterback Nick Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, and the Eagles’ defense forced three turnovers and held the Vikings to just 70 rushing yards.The Super Bowl showdown will be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX on Feb. 6, 2005, which the Patriots won 24-21. The game is set to kick off at 6:30 p.m.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text
Jennifer Kreuger (4) is one steal away from tying the Wisconsin mark for stolen bases in a season.[/media-credit]After being thrashed by both thunderstorms and a ranked Michigan team over the weekend, the University of Wisconsin softball team faces nonconference foe Northern Illinois Wednesday.The game marks the end of a nine-game homestand in which the Badgers have gone just 1-7.In Northern Illinois, Wisconsin faces a different opponent than it has the past few weeks. After a one-week stretch where the Badgers struggled against some of the Big Ten’s best pitchers, they get some relief facing a Huskies pitching staff with a combined 6.31 ERA.“See, that scares me because traditionally, we don’t do well against [weak pitching]. Good pitching we handle,” UW head coach Chandelle Schulte said. “But I think we may have turned a corner in that, the last couple weeks at practice, I just see [the UW players] in a whole different zone.”Schulte’s apprehension about playing a 14-33 NIU team may be warranted. Earlier in the season, Wisconsin split series with North Dakota and Indiana, who at the time had just 2 and 4 total wins, respectively.“Good teams play at a high level all the time. … Teams that struggle, like we are, play at their opponent’s level,” Schulte said. “If we fix that, we’re gonna have a lot more wins.”The Huskies on paper are a much better matchup for the Badgers than UW’s recent opponents. NIU is just 2-17 in away games and 5-24 in nonconference matches.UW freshman Karla Powell said she doesn’t expect the team’s intensity to let up against NIU.“Coming off a big win against Minnesota and playing well against Ohio State and then going into tomorrow, I think we’re going to do really well,” Powell said. “Our confidence is up, we had a great practice today with a lot of hitting, so I think everyone’s ready for tomorrow and to get some runs on the board.”If the Badgers can manage to score some runs, UW pitcher Leah Vanevenhoven looks to have an advantage. Northern Illinois’ offense is nearly as weak as Wisconsin’s, with the Huskies averaging 3.13 runs per game to the Badgers’ 2.15. NIU has just a .218 team batting average and no regular players hit over .275.Vanevenhoven will make her sixth consecutive start and hopes to lower her 3.46 ERA against an NIU team that’s just 1-4 against UW in its history, including 0-2 at Madison.“Hopefully it will be nice [to] get some better control on some of my pitches and just throw my game and see if they can hit it,” Vanevenhoven said. “It’s a little bit more relaxing going in knowing that it’s not Michigan, it’s not Ohio State, Illinois. Teams that like, you leave anything in close, you’re screwed.”The Huskies’ best hitters this season have been sophomore Andrea Colosimo and Bailey Ouellette. Colosimo leads the team with a .275 average, while Ouellette has a team-high five home runs and 23 RBI.Both teams have base stealing threats in UW’s Jen Krueger and NIU’s Jenna Roberts. The pair are tied with 18 steals on the season. Krueger is one steal away from tying the Wisconsin single-season record for stolen bases.“Hopefully I will. I mean, if I get on base [I could do it],” Krueger said of tying the record.Krueger still leads the Badgers with a .316 batting average and .389 on base percentage. Powell is second on the team with a .248 average, though she went hitless in the Michigan series as she battles a shoulder injury.Wisconsin will try to improve its offensive stats against Northern Illinois pitchers Morgan Bittner and Joreigh Landers. Bittner has a 4.84 ERA, while Landers owns a 7.63 ERA and allows opponents to hit .333 off of her.“We all have pretty good confidence going into it, so we just have to keep [the intensity] up,” Krueger said.Schulte is adamant that Wisconsin doesn’t let down against Northern Illinois like it did earlier in the season against North Dakota and Indiana. The teams are evenly matched in many ways, and both squads dealt with long losing streaks. NIU had a 12-game losing streak, while UW topped out at 11.If the Badgers can avoid playing to their opponent’s level, many of the players said a win over the beatable Huskies team could provide some momentum going into the last week of the season.“It’s crazy — we only have seven games left. Hopefully we’re able to do our thing and go into the rest of the Big Ten season confident,” Vanevenhoven said.