As the federal government ponders the future of farm programs, one research group is preparing for life with or without price supports. The Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program is finding worldwide solutions now that may help Georgia farmers in the future. “Peanuts are a global crop with global problems,” said John Williams, assistant program director of the Peanut CRSP at the University of Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station in Griffin. “Peanuts have leaf spot wherever they grow,” he said. “Wherever peanuts are grown, used or stored, aflatoxin is a problem. The research we support in utilization has no boundaries. Some of it is focused on small producers, but that’s scale. Those technologies can be scaled up much easier than scaled down.” The Peanut CRSP uses international research to solve the global and domestic problems of growing peanuts. “The Peanut CRSP is the outcome of an act of Congress to deploy the skills and knowledge of the land-grant system for development,” Williams said. “The goal is to achieve peanut technology that helps both developing countries and the United States.” One of the program’s major focuses is creating new peanut products. “Developing products outside the United States promotes consumption, which encourages exports and trade,” Williams said. Scientists at the UGA Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement in Griffin add to the program. They’ve focused on product development in the Philippines and Thailand and post-harvest handling and storage in Jamaica and Belize. In 1996, a new project began in Bulgaria. One of the greatest possibilities for U.S. farmers is oil. “The potential is spectacular for peanuts,” Williams said. “The oil from peanuts, from a health perspective, equals the quality of olive oil.” Olive oil sells for three to four times the price of other oils. “We’re working to help expand that quality market. And we’re going to be promoting these desirable high-oleic oils so people move to frying with healthier oils,” Williams said. “The general peanut oil isn’t as healthy as canola or olive oil. But these new ones are,” he said. “They match very closely with olive oil’s health qualities. Down the road, it’s going to be really important.” The CRSP research also enables farmers to grow peanuts with lower input costs. “On a global scale, a sustained development of technologies has led to better varieties,” Williams said. “There are a number of components of that. One is developing and accessing germ plasm. Many of the problems with peanuts have cheap solutions in the genetics.” That long-term investment into resistance is going to be important. “The people outside the United States have been more concerned up until now, because they’ve had to compete on a world-price basis,” he said. “So for them, cheap technology to control diseases has a greater priority than here.” The long-term survival of the American peanut industry may depend on using such technology. “Certainly it could help reduce chemical inputs,” he said. “And you will have to use other technologies like integrated pest management that use resistance, management techniques and a small amount of chemicals.” One of the CRSP successes is research that takes genes from wild relatives and puts them into peanuts to create resistances. Farmers now can buy varieties resistant to leaf spot disease, which costs Georgia farmers $100 to $150 per acre per year for chemical control. “The opportunity is there through resistances to cut that to $50 per acre,” Williams said. The Peanut CRSP can show a $10 U.S. return for every $1 spent from the release of new varieties, he said. “When the program was started there was a great deal of cry about why Congress was spending all this money to make other countries more competitive,” Williams said. “That probably has changed.”
Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is seen during during a news conference where his contract extension was discussed before a spring exhibition baseball game against the New York Yankees in Bradenton, Fla., Thursday, March 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – Starling Marte wants to be part of what he hopes will be a long run of success for the Pittsburgh Pirates.Less than two years after his major league debut, the 25-year-old outfielder finalized a $31 million, six-year contract with the Pirates on Thursday.“There are a lot of reasons,” Marte said through interpreter Peter Greenberg, his agent. “I didn’t feel I needed to wait because I like where I am. I have confidence in the organization and I feel comfortable.”Marte receives a $2 million signing bonus from the Pirates, who are coming off their first postseason appearance since 1991. He gets salaries of $500,000 this season, $1 million next year, $3 million in 2016, $5 million in 2017, $7.5 million in 2018 and $10 million in 2019.Pittsburgh has an $11.5 million option for 2020 with a $2 million buyout. If that option is exercised, the Pirates have a $12.5 million option for 2021 with a $1 million buyout.If Marte finishes among the top five in MVP in any of the next six seasons, the option prices would increase by $500,000 each. If he finishes among the top five in 2020, the option for the next year would go up by $500,000. The option prices can increase by a maximum of $1 million each.The deal replaces a one-year contract agreed to earlier this month that would have paid him $516,000 while in the major leagues and $300,000 while in the minors. He would have been eligible for arbitration after the 2015 season and for free agency after the 2018 World Series.Marte hit .280 with 12 homers, 35 RBIs and a team-high 41 steals last year, his first full season in the majors. When he made his big league debut at Houston on July 26, 2012, he led off the game with a first-pitch home run against Dallas Keuchel.Marte has a .275 career batting average with 53 stolen bases and a .773 on-base plus slugging percentage.“This is something that’s part of our plan to sign young men who are going to be great players,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “We feel very fortunate Starling was willing to commit to us as we were willing to commit to him.”Marte becomes Pittsburgh’s fourth player with a deal beyond 2014: right-hander Charlie Morton and outfielder Jose Tabata have contracts through 2016 and outfielder Andrew McCutchen through 2017.“It’s an exciting time,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’re not trying to build a house. We’re trying to create a home. This is tangible evidence that we’re creating a place where players want to be, a place where they want to thrive, a place where players want to settle.”Notes: Pittsburgh acquired OF Keon Broxton from Arizona for a player to be named and assigned him to Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League. … The Pirates optioned RHP Brandon Cumpton to Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League.
Gary Sable of That Hot Dog Place in Red Bank serves up some soup on a chilly afternoon in Red Bank recently. While soup is popular year-round, demand definitely rises when Old Man Winter comes to town. RED BANK — Bread may be the staff of life as the old proverb goes. But, boy, that cup of soup — especially on a cold day — can brighten a meal and a day.It was damp and rainy last Thursday afternoon as Andy Anderson ran into Readie’s 39 Broad Street, for a quick lunch. On his agenda that day, as it turns out most days, was a container of soup. “I don’t have a lot of time for lunch and it’s fast,” he said, and he likes the health benefits of eating soup for lunch. “I try to watch what I eat,” Anderson said.Red Bank has any number of locations that offer a variety of soups on any given day.“We sell a lot of soup year ’round, but this time of year, look around,” said Readie’s owner Tom Fishkin, as he scanned the small dining area, where indeed most of the customers on hand for a late lunch seemed to have soup containers in front of them and plastic spoons in their fists.Fishkin confided, “Our hope is they’ll eat it year ’round.”Readie’s, which recently moved on to Broad Streert after many years on Monmouth Street, prepares about four different soups daily. Among the four, he said, are two “regular” types, meaning “all purpose” usually chicken based, a vegetarian-style and a seafood-based. Selection. He offers one cream soup every day, “Because it’s popular,” Fishkin said.Though, not for Anderson. “I like anything that is not creamy,” he said. “I have to watch my diet.”Readie’s makes its own soups daily, with some of the most popular being turkey with wild rice and the traditional chicken noodle.The key to a good soup, Fishkin explained, is using “good, fresh ingredients,” and equally important, “Don’t rush it.”“Our soups are not complicated,” he said. “Most of the soups we make, a conscientious homemaker can make it.”The key to success is familiarity. “When people go out for dinner they might be adventurous,” Fishkin said; but for lunch, when they have limited time, people stick to what they know.And the weather plays a role, too. “If I know it’s going to be a rainy day, I’ll have a chili,” he said. “It’s a natural.”“The weather definitely factors into it,” says Gary Sable, owner and operator of That Hot Dog Place/Soupmeister, located at Victorian Courtyard, 30 Monmouth Street.“If it’s a cold, rainy, nasty day you bring out your heavy hitters,” he said, which can be Italian wedding, chicken tortilla or spicy sausage. “People will always eat chicken noodle soup,” he stated matter-of-factly.And he would know, Sable has been operating his small take-out shop for 17 years, arriving before 5 a.m. to prepare his three-five soups daily. “Anyone who has the slightest bit of a sniffle, they want chicken soup.”His selections range from the traditional standard-bearers like chicken noodle to a vegetarian offering and “sometimes a weird one,” like a recent choice of chicken stroganoff or oxtail soup to round out his menu of hot dogs and deli sandwiches.“You go light in the summer, and not just amount,” he adds. Though he does sell less soup in the warm weather, those he does sell tend to be the brothier types. “Cream soups, you can’t give them away in the summer.”But in the winter, “go heavy,” he says, meaning heartier soups and more of them.His favorite? “My favorite was the first soup I ever made: beef barley. It’s still my favorite. I make it all the time.”“Ingredients are the key,” he stressed. “It’s only as good as the ingredients. And it’s important not to be stingy.“It’s just as easy to make a pot of soup with three chickens in it as one.”He also offered a little secret, given him by his mother, for beef stock soups — shinbones. “It makes the best soups, it adds a lot of flavor.”Mike Tierney, who owns No Joe’s Café, 51 Broad Street, agreed that preparation is the key.“That goes for anything,” he said.“If you prepare properly, with all the right ingredients, that’s when you’re going to be a success,” he predicted.No Joe’s use to make its own soups on site for years but has since started having it delivered from Hale and Hearty, a New York City-based company, which does it better than he could, Tierney said.Some of the most successful selections at No Joe’s are chicken pot pie, and a new one, Senegalese chicken peanut, a tomato-based type. “It is phenomenal,” he insisted.He sells soup all year, although he sells more in the colder months. But even when it’s warm, “It always goes. I never throw it out.”And what’s great about soups, is you can experiment, add different ingredients to create a new variation. “It’s a great way to get through your inventory,” Tierney said. “You’re just throwing stuff in. But that’s how soups are made.”The appeal of soup is “comfort, biggest thing,” Sable summed up. Besides, “It’s healthy and inexpensive, and that’s important now.”“It’s certainly comfort food,” said Rob Atkinson, who has been coming to Sable’s for the 15 years he’s worked in Red Bank. “It gets you through the afternoon.”Sable swears by its healthfulness and rejuvenating powers “Did you ever see anyone who eats a lot of soup that’s fat?” asked the railthin Sable. “I eat soup every day and I’m not fat.”
The 2012-13 roster also features Kootenay products Adam Wheeldon (Nelson), Joren Johnson (Shoreacres) and Brenden Heinrich (Kimberley); Wheeldon and Johnson are two of the eight returnees from 2011-12 headlined by new captain Garrett McMullen and starting goaltender Lyndon Stanwood.Trail will begin the season with only five of the requisite six overage spots filled with forwards McMullen, Brent Baltus, Tyler Berkholtz, Merrimack commit Alex Holland and defenseman Djordje Leposavic.Berkholtz and Holland both spent last season in the BCHL on Vancouver Island while Leposavic returns to his home province after playing Junior “A” in North Bay, Ontario last year.All 56 regular-season games will be broadcast live on FastHockey pay-per-view as well as through the Smoke Eaters’ Ustream channel.To find out more information on broadcast options, visit www.trailsmokeeaters.com. The Trail Smoke Eaters kick off the 2012-13 B.C. Hockey League season with a host of local talent Saturday at the Save-On Foods BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.The Smokies will have three Greater Trail products to start the season: 16 year-old forward Mitchell Foyle (Fruitvale) and 17 year-old forward Jake Lucchini (Trail) both join the Smokies from the major midget Kootenay Ice, while fellow 17 year-old Trail product Scott Davidson moves up from the Junior “B” Beaver Valley Nitehawks.