Sugarcane Aphids

first_imgSugarcane aphids have turned their back on their namesake and become a major pest for Georgia’s grain sorghum growers. The pest began infesting fields in the state two years ago and, last year, devastated farmers who chose not to apply spray controls, said University of Georgia small grains entomologist David Buntin. “Farmers who didn’t spray last year didn’t harvest a yield, and others had to spray three to four times,” said Buntin, a UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences researcher based on the university’s campus in Griffin, Georgia. Similar in appearance to the yellow sugarcane aphid, Buntin describes the pest as medium to pale yellow with black feet, black antennae and two black “tail pipes.” The adult aphid has black stripes on the wings, making it very distinctive.The pest was discovered in the United States near Beaumont, Texas. In 2013, it was found in four states and 38 countries. By 2015, sugarcane aphids were found in 17 states.In 2013, the insect shifted from its preferred host, sugarcane, to sorghum. “They’ll attack anything that has sorghum in the name, and Johnsongrass is their main alternative host,” Buntin said. The pest does not like wheat, oats, barley, rye, switchgrass or cool-season grasses.“All the females are born pregnant, and they have a very high reproduction rate. The good news is that they don’t overwinter in Georgia, and they are not known to transmit any viruses,” Buntin said. “They like it hot and dry.”Sugarcane aphids colonize on the undersides of leaves. Generally, by the time a farmer notices the pest, “the damage has been done,” Buntin said. Left untreated, the pest will reduce or prevent the plant’s head from emerging.In addition to destroying a farmer’s crop, they also cause annoying damage. “They create a lot of sticky honeydew that can really make a mess of harvesting equipment,” he said. The sugarcane aphid’s natural enemies include a host of lady beetles, hoverflies, green lacewings and a parasitoid.Studying the pest in research plots on UGA CAES research farms, Buntin determined farmers should apply pesticides as control when 50 or more aphids are found on 25 percent of the crop. “Doing this during preboot or boot stage is critical to control damage,” he said. (“Boot” is when the seed head is developing, but is still inside the stem and has not emerged. “Preboot” is the vegetative stage before the seed head is present in the boot.) Several insecticide seed treatments are available, all of which are equally effective for controlling the pest in the first 30 days. By 51 days, Buntin said, the treatment has dissipated. In partnership with UGA Cooperative Extension entomologist Phillip Roberts, Buntin conducted trials using a variety of chemical treatments. The untreated grain sorghum plots did not produce heads as a result of the aphid damage. The best control method was determined to be Sivanto 200 SL at 4 to 7 fluid ounces per acre. Transform WG at 1 to 1.5 ounces also was effective. Transform was used in Georgia in 2015 under an emergency use exemption to Section 18, which has expired, Buntin said. A new Section 18 exemption will be needed for 2016. “Pyrethroid-type insecticides are not effective against the aphid. They will flare aphid populations, but kill the predators and parasitoids,” he said.Buntin says planting treated seeds are sugarcane farmers’ first line of defense.“I would suggest, once the seed treatment plays out, that farmers apply Sivanto and follow with Transform. Aerial applications need to be in the 5-gallon range. Coverage is critical, and you need to get the spray down into the canopy,” he said.Buntin reminds farmers that no insecticides are labeled for use on sweet sorghum, which is used for making sorghum syrup.“It’s going to be a tough year for sorghum, especially the forage and silage types,” said Buntin, who conducts research on all small grains grown in Georgia. “Farmers should try to suppress the aphids before the crop gets too big and should remember to spray with a ground sprayer.”last_img read more

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Senate passes comprehensive tax reform bill

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dennis Zuehlke Dennis is Compliance Manager for Ascensus. Mr. Zuehlke provides clients with technical support on tax-advantaged accounts (including individual retirement accounts, health savings accounts, simplified employee pension plans, and Coverdell education … Web: www.ascensus.com Details The U.S. Senate, by a vote of 51-49, passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that makes sweeping changes to the tax code, including changes to IRAs and other tax-advantaged saving plans. The good news for credit unions and their members is that the credit union tax-exemption would remain in place and changes to IRAs would be minimal. The Senate vote comes on the heels of the House passing its version of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, by a vote of 227-205. Following is a summary of provisions in the House-passed bill that would affect tax-advantaged savings plans.The ability to recharacterize a Roth IRA contribution to a Traditional IRA, or a Traditional IRA contribution to a Roth IRA would be eliminated. This provision would also eliminate the ability to recharacterize a Roth IRA conversion contribution.The deduction and exclusion for contributions to Archer medical savings accounts (MSAs) would be eliminated. Contributions to MSAs would no longer be permitted and employer contributions to employees’ MSAs would no longer be excludable from income. Contributions to Coverdell education savings accounts (ESAs) would no longer be permitted. Existing Coverdell ESAs would remain in place and existing Coverdell ESA balances could continue to be rolled over to another Coverdell ESA or to a state-sponsored 529 savings program. Under the House bill, state-sponsored 529 savings programs would be enhanced so that assets could be used for elementary and secondary school tuition and for costs associated with qualified apprenticeship programs, up to $10,000 per year.The Senate-passed version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would also repeal the rule that permits recharacterizations of IRA contributions, consistent with the House bill provision. The Senate bill, however, does not contain the MSA or ESA provisions. The Senate bill does include a provision that changes the formula used for calculating the annual cost-of-living adjustments for IRAs, HSAs, MSAs, and the Saver’s Credit. The change would mean that cost-of-living adjustments would occur less frequently than under the current formula. The House and Senate bills both contain a provision to extend the rollover period for certain plan loan offsets and numerous other provisions that would affect employer-sponsored retirement plans. However, neither the House nor the Senate bill contains the “Rothification” provision that was rumored prior to release of the tax bills, which would have treated some or all retirement plan contributions as after-tax contributions, similar to how Roth 401(k) and Roth IRA contributions are currently treated. Many in the industry were worried that tax-advantaged savings plans would be sacrificed to pay for tax reform, given the cost of the plans to the Treasury, which is second only to the cost of employer-provided health insurance. These concerns increased when it was rumored, prior to release of the tax bill, that contribution limits to 401(k) plans and IRAs would be reduced, prompting President Donald Trump to tweet, “There will be NO change to your 401(k). This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!”In the end, House and Senate Republicans were able to advance their respective tax reform proposals and stay within the budget constraints without using deferrals to 401(k) plans and Traditional IRAs as revenue offsets. Surprisingly, neither bill contains easy revenue raisers that have been proposed in the past and have bipartisan support, such as requiring beneficiaries of an inherited IRA to deplete the account within five years of the IRA owner’s death. To pass the tax reform legislation into law, both the House and Senate will work in conference committee to reconcile the differences between the two versions of the bill. Each chamber will then need to vote and pass the compromise bill before sending it to President Trump for his signature. The tax reform package is being advanced under the budget reconciliation process, which requires only a simple majority—rather than 60 votes—for passage. This means that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can lose the support of only two Republican Senators, given that no Democrats are likely to vote for the bill. As House and Senate negotiators work on a compromise bill, they will be constrained by the requirement that the tax reform bill can only increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion in the first 10 years. Any increase in spending will need a corresponding offset, and therein lies the risk that a retirement-related revenue raiser could still be added to the final bill. Although there is much work yet to be done, passage of a tax reform package is likely, given its importance to the Trump administration, but in a politically-correct adaptation of the old colloquialism, “It ain’t over ‘til the President signs the bill.” Stay tuned.last_img read more

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LMC, FIRS Resuscitate NPFL/VAT Wonder Goal

first_imgAhead the start of second round of matches in the Nigeria Professional Football League (2016/17) season, the League Management Company (LMC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) are partnering to resuscitate the Wonder Goal series.At the turn of the second round of matches last season, the LMC had introduced the Wonder Goal to build affinity between players, their clubs and their community of domicile. It aimed amongst other objectives to create an engagement channel between the clubs and their immediate communities through charity work by players who win the award. It will be recalled that the LMC recently offered FIRS, the NPFL as a platform to engage the football community on the benefits of paying taxes and other government charges such as the Value Added Tax (VAT). Tax education messages are since being displayed on perimeter boards at all NPFL match venues.LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko, said the re-launched scheme is now to be known as the VAT Wonder Goal and is going to serve as a further tool for educating the football community on the essence of paying the Value Added Tax when they make purchases.Video of goals scored during a specific match-day will be uploaded on the NPFL website, www.npfl.ng, Facebook and YouTube accounts for fans to vote the most exciting and intelligently executed goal.The player whose goal attracts the highest number of votes wins the award and will be presented monetary reward, 50 per cent of which is to be invested in a charity of the player’s choice within the city the club is located.Dikko also announced that the prize money has been increased by 50 per cent from N100,000 to N150,000 out of which the player will invest N75,000 on the selected Charity.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Jazz’s Rudy Gobert out Game 2, but making progress

first_imgEncore?Saturday was Utah’s first playoff win in seven years, but the Jazz expects the Clippers to play differently in Game 2. As Snyder acknowledged, “Good teams are ready to play.”“We expect the whole team to be a little bit more aggressive,” Favors said of the Clippers. “I’m pretty sure they feel the same way. So we have to come out ready.”Snyder dismissed whether the Clippers might feel compelled to play that way to avoid an 0-2 deficit before facing a hostile crowd in Utah for Games 3 and 4.“I think they’d be ready to play, regardless,” Snyder said. “There’s no desperation in a series. It’s one game. It’s nice that we won it. There’s just two days between games to think about it. But it’s one game. If we think about it the other way, we won’t be as good.” “His focus now is to try to get back. Whether he can do that is another story,” Snyder said. “Players always think that they can come back as quick as they can.”Otherwise, the Jazz sounded nonchalant about losing Gobert, who is among the favorites for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. The confidence is likely because Utah has fielded 23 starting lineups for a roster that missed a combined 167 games because of injuries.“I’m pretty sure for the rest of the team it’s just another day. For me personally, Rudy has been a bully down in the paint while I was out,” said Favors, who missed 31 games this season with knee injuries. “I’m trying to return the favor for him and do what I’m supposed to be doing while he’s out.”Favors returned that favor in the Jazz’s Game 1 victory, contributing 15 points and six rebounds while going 7 for 10 from the field in 32 minutes.“A little bit of a surprise for me,” Favors said. “I wasn’t as ready as I wanted to be, but I had to be ready quick. I had to get my mind right and my body right and just be ready to go.” LOS ANGELES >> Their prized big man moved freely around the court without crutches. He even took a few jumpers and foul shots. In other words, Utah center Rudy Gobert seemed in better shape than when he left only 17 seconds into Game 1 of the Jazz’s first-round playoff series against the Clippers on Saturday night.Gobert suffered a bone bruise and hyperextension in his left knee and was ruled out for Game 2 on Tuesday at Staples Center. Utah plans to reevaluate Gobert later this week, but offered no timetable on a possible return.“He’s out there limping and shooting; that’s like you and me working out,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder joked with a reporter after practice on Monday at UCLA. “Obviously, from what we thought at the moment he was injured, your mind raced. So being able to get out of a crutch, that’s more progress than maybe we thought.”Utah forward Derrick Favors observed that Gobert’s “spirits are high right now” before holding out hope he could return in the “next week or two.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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