By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaDespite adverse growing conditions this year, consumers can expect plenty of fresh quality Vidalia onions in grocery stores soon, says a University of Georgia expert.An extreme Georgia winter threatened the Vidalia onion crop earlier this year. On several occasions, temperatures dropped well below freezing for extended periods of time. Though Vidalia onions are winter hardy, there was a question whether or not the sweet Georgia treats would make it through the winter.Barring any more extreme temperature changes, the crop will be good, said George Boyhan, an extension horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Remarkable“The crop has done remarkably well even with the freezes,” he said. “The onions have really grown a lot in the past three to four weeks. The harvest, supply and quality should be very good.”Harvest could begin as early as the first of April, he said. Consumers can expect to see Vidalia onions in the produce section beginning about mid-April, with a hardy supply well into the year.This year, growers had the option of planting seven new varieties, which were tested by CAES scientists and approved to carry the Vidalia onion label by the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture. To become a certified Vidalia, an onion has to be a yellow Granex onion that is grown in a 20-county area in southeastern Georgia. The Vidalia onion is known for its unusually mild, sweet flavor, which is attributed to the low-sulfur content in the soil, the mild winters and the use of irrigation in this region.Disease toughBut late season diseases can still pose a threat, he said.“There has been some disease in spots, primarily Botrytis neck rot,” he said. “This disease can be devastating in onions particularly in storage.”As much as 60 percent of the crop was destroyed by disease last year. This shrank supplies and prices remained relatively high last year, he said.Good supplyBut Boyhan expects growers planted as many onions this year, about 14,000, as last year. Growers report the number of onions sold to the Vidalia Onion Committee as they sell them. This is then translated into acreage through county extension agents and the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service.Considering the winter weather, Vidalia onion growers are pleased with their crop to this point and are ready to get into their fields and harvest it, he said.Vidalia onions are one of Georgia’s most valuable cash crops, worth about $80 million a year.
continue reading » Will credit unions receive more guidance and clarity related to providing financial services to marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) this year? NAFCU Regulatory Affairs Counsel Kaley Schafer, in a new Compliance Blog post, reviews the current landscape and provides insights into how the presidential election could impact the possibility of federal legislation.In conjunction with this blog, NAFCU has released an updated issue brief that provides credit unions with comprehensive, up-to-date information on federal legislative efforts and state-level marijuana laws.Schafer notes that the House last year passed the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, designed to provide a safe harbor for credit unions and other lenders that serve MRBs in states that have legalized the drug. In addition, the NCUA was the first financial services regulator to issue interim guidance allowing federally insured credit unions to provide certain financial services to legally-operating hemp businesses as hemp-derived products became legal at the federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill. Other banking regulators later released similar guidance after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued an interim final rule in October that outlines provisions for legal hemp production.“Despite this movement, the future of a federal safe harbor to bank MRBs remains hazy (pun intended),” Schafer writes. “Given the Senate’s current stance on House-passed legislation, the fact that 2020 is an election year, and there may be bigger fish to fry, we may not see the successful passage of legislation. But, if we see a shift in Democratic control of the Senate, then it is very possible that legislation may be passed in 2021.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
August 26, 2020 Equality, Press Release Governor Tom Wolf joined legislators and Harrisburg area elected and community leaders for the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the state Capital Complex of a monument honoring the city’s Old 8th Ward. The diverse and densely populated neighborhood was razed to make way for an expansion of the Capitol property starting in the early 1900s.The event also celebrated Women’s Equality Day, marking the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment.“The activists of the 8th Ward cared about equality, and they were educated about it and fought for it,” said Gov. Wolf. “The destruction of the 8th Ward disrupted this activism but did not end it. The seeds of change had been sown, and over the decades since, more wrongs were righted, and more people were enlightened.“Each passing generation recognized with increasing acuity the injustices present in the very foundation of this country.”Following his remarks, the governor participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new monument on the lawn of the K. Leroy Irvis Building near the intersection of 4th and Walnut streets in Harrisburg. A coalition of citizens, civic organizations and educational institutions created the monument. It features four statues of influential Harrisburg residents from the 1800s: William Howard Day, civil rights pioneer; Frances Harper, abolitionist and suffragette; Jacob T. Compton, sergeant in the U.S. Colored Infantry; and T. Morris Chester, Civil War correspondent.The governor also acknowledged that discrimination and racism still exist in Pennsylvania. During his remarks, the governor described efforts of his administration to create a more just Pennsylvania and dismantle systemic racism.Each year the governor has been in office he has proposed a minimum wage increase to address poverty wages and help more hardworking people enter the middle class. The governor believes too many people are struggling to get by because Pennsylvania has not raised the wage in more than a decade. The majority of states, including all of our neighbors, have a higher minimum wage.The governor also has made criminal justice reform a priority. In 2018, the governor signed the landmark Clean Slate Law that is helping thousands who committed low-level offenses and have paid their penalty to get back on the path to a blemish-free record, removing potential roadblocks to jobs, housing, health care and education. The governor has also signed laws extending the time a convicted individual has to file a post-conviction relief action to one year, from what was 60 days under current law, as well as a law to eliminate driver’s license suspensions for non-driving infractions.Last month, the governor signed two laws in his comprehensive police reform plan created in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. The laws improve mental health and background checks of law enforcement officers. The reform plan also creates a deputy inspector general within the Pennsylvania Office of State Inspector General to detect and end any misconduct among law enforcement agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction. A new advisory commission that the deputy inspector general will oversee will review any allegations of misconduct.To expand opportunities to grow minority businesses and expand opportunities for employment, the Wolf Administration has implemented several reforms to state government. In 2017, the governor launched the Fair-Chance hiring policy for state agencies that removes the criminal conviction question, otherwise known as “banning the box,” from non-civil service employment applications for agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction. The administration also no longer asks job candidates their salary history, so people are evaluated on their skills and experience, rather than a past paycheck.Continuing the governor’s commitment to level the playing field for small businesses and small diverse businesses to compete for state contracts, the Wolf Administration is using new procurement policies to improve opportunities for minority-, women-, LGBT-, veteran- and people with disabilities-owned businesses. The changes are the results of an executive order the governor signed in 2015 to create the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO) within the Department of General Services. The bureau conducted a statewide disparity study, which found disparities in the state’s contracting system which resulted in new policies.To examine issues around how the pandemic is affecting the state’s minority and marginalized populations, the governor and Lt. Governor John Fetterman created a COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity, which released a report earlier this month. The report includes six recommendations focused on these policy topics related to health disparity, ranked in order of urgency: housing, criminal justice, food insecurity, health disparity, education and economic opportunities. The task force report builds on the work of the Department of Health’s Health Equity Response Team, which is battling the pandemic and health inequities that exist beyond COVID.“There’s still more to be done, but I can’t do this alone and I need the help of everyone,” said Gov. Wolf. “I need activists to continue to call on leaders to fight for equality and reform. I need educators to teach community members about injustice, so the next generations continue to be increasingly aware of systemic racism and equality.” Gov. Wolf Helps Dedicate Monument to Old 8th Ward on Capitol Grounds, Highlights Fight Against Systemic Racism SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
GUYANA’S 100 and 200 metres record-holder Brenessa Thompson along with triple jump record-holder Troy Doris were among the string of Guyanese athletes who turned in several great performances over the weekend in the USA.Jeremy BascomThe 21-year-old Thompson, competing at the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) level with Texas A & M, clocked 7.43 seconds to win the women’s 60 metres race, while placing fourth in the 200m at the same event, running 23.70 seconds.Doris (16.35 metres) bested a field of strong jumpers to finish top of the podium at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational.Jeremy Bascom (Open/Senior), who competed at the Ocean Breeze Grand Prix, clocked 6.78 seconds to win the 60 metres race and at the same event, Winston George (Open/Senior) was 3rd in the 300m in a time of 33.78 seconds.Stephan James (Mississippi State) finished 9th in the 400m at the Vanderbilt Invitational with a time of 47.97 seconds and Iana Amsterdam (Open/Senior) fouled her first two jumps and jumped 12.66m and was 9th, at the Clemson Invitational, where Christian Coleman broke the 60m world record.Shenika King (Open/Senior) had a busy weekend, first at Gotham Cup where she was third in the 400m in a time of 56.74 secs and second in the 200m with a time of 24.98. She also competed at the Ocean Breeze Grand Prix in the 60m and ran 7.92 seconds, placing fifth.Ken Nelson (Unattached/Junior) ran 50.25 secs to win the 400 metres at the Terrapin Invitational at the University of Maryland.Jenna McCammon (Open/Senior) was seventh in the 60m in a time of 8.61 secs and 12th in the 60m with a time of 7.87 at the Clemson Invitational.