first_imgYou may not find research in fruit and vegetable diseases to be intriguing, but if you no longer had high-quality fresh food on your plate, you might change your mind. If federal earmark funding is taken off the table for America’s land-grant universities, the safety of our abundant food supply will suffer.For example, phytophothora is a devastating disease for fruits and vegetables grown in the humid regions of the U.S., including Georgia. Nationally, the disease costs farmers $182 million. It costs Georgia farmers $38 million annually. Tomatoes or bell peppers can be healthy one day. The next day, the entire field could be wiped out. Infected fields often are destroyed to stop the disease’s spread. Solutions to this disease are complex, yet hardly exciting, nor thrilling or sexy. Having resources to find the solutions to the problems that plague our nation’s farmers is paramount to our ability to feed, clothe and house our citizens. Often it’s how farmers grow crops that determines the prevalence of the problem. Research into best practices is vital to their success. The scientific community isn’t going to fund studies of solutions to plant diseases like phytophothora. The scientific process mainly focuses on and funds studies that involve high-minded science, usually using molecular tools that investigate fundamental theory and process. Studying the best time of the season to plant bell peppers in south Georgia, while perhaps holding the solution to phytophothora, is never going to win a Nobel Prize. Some might also ask why farmers don’t fund this research directly, much like the Boeing Corporation funds research into the development of a new generation of aircraft. Farming is a diverse industry where no single farmer has the ability to directly support needed research. Some might also ask why multinational pesticide and chemical companies don’t support this research. Since the solution likely doesn’t involve a chemical which can be sold for profit, there is no incentive to develop strategies that don’t make money. Federal earmarks remain the only process for supporting this vital research. Without it, these projects fall between the cracks of the types of studies typically supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Research Initiative and the profit-driven research that pesticide companies might support. The very essence and value of public land-grant university research is that it is free from industrial, corporate, profit-motive influence. It is the closest thing we have to objective research for the good of the nation. Without federal funds, public university research may not have found the solution to the boll weevil, ways to protect and preserve our land and water or effective systems to prevent devastating foreign animal diseases from wiping out our food supply. Or we may have found the solutions, but the information would not be readily available for all to see, use and benefit from.There have been misguided projects amid the system of federal earmarks. There likely will be again. But research projects funded by the USDA support important issues that wouldn’t get the attention of other funding sources, yet are vital to ensuring we all have a safe, abundant and high-quality food supply. University of Georgia scientists are studying ways to fight phytophothora in fruits and vegetables right now. Their work is being funded by federal earmarks.Without this support, no one else would be looking for solutions to this problem. Research funded by federal earmarks may be the only hope we have to continue growing important Georgia food crops.last_img read more

first_img Published on July 23, 2015 at 8:00 am Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+ With Syracuse football training camp just a month away, The Daily Orange beat writers, Sam Blum, Jesse Dougherty, Matt Schneidman and Paul Schwedelson will reveal the top 15 preseason storylines with a new one every other day. Make sure to check dailyorange.com and click here to see all the posts as we count down to camp.Sophomore Ervin Philips is one of the most explosive players on Syracuse’s offense, and now he has a new position to show off his skills.Tim Lester, who is entering his first full season as the Orange’s offensive coordinator, introduced the “hybrid” this past spring and Philips is the frontrunner to start at the new position. The hybrid could line up in the backfield, in the slot or on the line.Philips, who primarily played running back but also moonlighted as a slot receiver and kick returner as a true freshman, could be a solid fit for the role in its inaugural season at SU.As a running back, Philips’ chances were limited behind seniors Prince-Tyson Gulley and Adonis Ameen-Moore. When he occasionally took jet sweeps or played in certain packages, he showed flashes of potential to break out on the ground.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile Lester said during the spring that Philips perfectly fits the running back position, putting him at hybrid allows Syracuse to maximize him on the field.Though Philips totaled just 194 yards rushing and 57 yards receiving on the season, he finished his freshman year with his best three-game statistical stretch of the season, showing positive signs entering the offseason. In those contests Philips ran for 71 yards on 14 carries and caught six passes for 27 yards.The numbers are far from eye-popping, but Philips heads into training camp with a bigger role and likely more opportunities than he had last year. Commentslast_img read more

first_imgThe worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon continued his tour of Ebola-affected countries in West Africa on Saturday.The three countries hit hardest by Ebola have now recorded 7,373 deaths, up from 6,900 on Wednesday, according to WHO figures posted online late Friday. A total of 392 of the new deaths were in Sierra Leone, where Ebola is spreading the fastest.The new totals include confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola deaths. The WHO says there have also been six Ebola deaths in Mali, eight in Nigeria and one in the United States.The total number of cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia now stands at 19,031, up from 18,569.Ban arrived in Guinea, where the outbreak’s first cases were confirmed back in March, on Saturday after touring Liberia and Sierra Leone on Friday. After meeting with President Alpha Conde, he expressed concern about the situation in the country’s southeast forest region, where he said the number of infected people “seems to continue to grow.” The region borders Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, and Ban called for cross-border collaboration to bring the disease under control.He urged all Guineans to commit themselves to eradicating Ebola, saying that the U.N. and its partners “are there to help you.””It has never been so important to work together,” he said.Guinea has recorded 2,453 Ebola deaths and 1,550 cases, according to the WHO. This past week, officials in Conakry, the capital, announced a ban on New Year’s Eve celebrations such as fireworks displays and beach gatherings in a bid to curtail transmission.Ban was expected to travel to Mali Saturday evening.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more