By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaPoultry litter usually draws attention for its smell. It’s now attracting more interest because of what it contains – cheaper vital nutrients for crops.Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are key fertilizers used to grow Georgia crops like cotton, corn, peanuts, soybeans, hay and wheat. All three are found in chicken litter, something Georgia – as the top U.S. poultry producer – has a lot of. Commercial nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium prices have skyrocketed in recent years.“It takes a lot of petroleum to manufacture these synthetic fertilizers,” said Jeff Mullen, an economist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “So that’s the big cost. The price of oil has gone up, and that’s been folded right into these costs.”China, India and Brazil have increased their demands for fertilizer and oil, which has also increased fertilizer prices, he said.Nitrogen cost between 32 cents and 63 cents per pound in 2006. It now costs between 50 cents and 93 cents per pound. That’s a 50 percent increase, said Mullen.Phosphorous costs around 92 cents per pound today. In 2006, it was 38 cents per pound. Over the last three years, potassium has jumped from 24 cents per pound to as high as 90 cents per pound.The amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium poultry litter contains depends on what the chicken ate prior to producing it. On average, a ton of litter has 38.5 pounds of available nitrogen, 50 pounds of available phosphorous and 48 pounds of available potassium.Poultry litter costs about $14 a ton in Georgia. “So you’re paying 36 cents per pound of available nitrogen, which is currently cheaper than other nitrogen sources,” Mullen said. “The phosphorous, potassium and other benefits of poultry litter are essentially free after that.” Chicken poop is not exactly the same as synthetic fertilizers, said Dave Kissel, head of the UGA Agricultural and Environmental Services Labs. It can smell bad and be harder to handle and to spread in fields than commercial fertilizers. Also, poultry litter can only be applied prior to crops being planted, Mullen said, not after they are growing. Farmers typically fertilize their crops twice during the growing season. Commercial fertilizer would be needed for the second application after crops are growing.But according to a recent farmer survey Mullen conducted, farmers aren’t just purchasing the litter in spring before planting time. About 15 percent buy it in late summer and 25 percent buy it in winter. Also, the average poultry-litter user in Georgia would pay as much as $21 a ton for it today. “I think what’s really happening here, especially with the recent rise in fertilizer prices, is producers are recognizing that poultry litter is more valuable than its historic price has been,” Mullen said. “It’s a substitute for many fertilizers.”UGA and the Georgia Poultry Federation set up a Web site for buyers and sellers of poultry litter. Visit www.galitter.org for more information.(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
It’s been four years since America’s lunchrooms launched a health-conscious makeover.With less salt, more whole grains and more fresh fruits and vegetables on the menu, new school lunches were aimed at building better eating habits, and it may be working.While anecdotal complaints about the food in school cafeterias are common, research is showing that students are actually eating more of the fruits and vegetables that they are offered at school. That’s a great start, said Alison Berg, a registered dietitian and nutrition specialist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, but students’ eating habits aren’t going to change overnight.“With children, the key is to continue to offer them healthy options,” said Berg, who is also an assistant professor of foods and nutrition in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “It can take as many as 30 offerings before a child learns to like a new foods, but they’re never going to eat a new food if it’s not on their plate.”That is an old truth in nutritionists’ circles, but the data behind the new school lunch changes bear it out as well.In a 2015 study published in the journal Childhood Obesity, researchers studied what students threw away at the end of their lunch periods. They found that, overall, students were not tossing more food into the trash; instead, they were actually throwing away fewer fruits and vegetables than they were before the switch was made.For each new fruit offered to students, total consumption of the new fruit went up 9 percent.“This finding is a good example of how variety can influence selection,” Berg said. “This same study also showed that when students chose vegetables, they were consuming 20 percent more of them than before the new school meals standards were implemented.”Berg believes that, while everyone is thinking about the change in the nutrition standards affecting what children eat, the biggest factor in what they put on their tray and what ends up in the trash may be time. Some students have only 20 minutes for lunch, and that doesn’t leave much time for nibbling and trying new things. Fresh fruits and vegetables take more time to eat, especially if you have loose teeth or braces. Students may be going directly to what they know they can eat in the time they have, and this may result in eating less of the unfamiliar or harder-to-eat foods like fruits and veggies.A study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics this year showed that students with 20 minutes or less for lunch consumed 12 percent fewer vegetables and 10 percent less milk than those with more leisurely lunch breaks. Those with shorter lunch periods were also more likely to throw away their fruit.“Consequently, shorter lunch times may have more to do with food waste and lower consumption of fruits, vegetables and dairy than the nutrition standards themselves,” Berg said.To help children make better food choices during school lunchtime, parents can offer a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains at home. Reduced salt is another big change in the school nutrition standards, so try using low-sodium and no-salt-added products at home to train the palate to prefer less salt. Also, find out if your school allows children to take uneaten food back to the classroom. Saving an apple for later might be a good choice if lunchtime is limited. For more tips on helping kids make better food choices, parents can visit eatright.org.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said Saturday the company’s retail operation outside of China is going online-only for two weeks as part of efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.Cook tweeted Saturday that “Apple will be temporarily closing all stores outside of Greater China until March 27.” He also said the company is donating $15 million to help with worldwide recovery.In a separate online statement, Cook said that Apple’s stores in China have all now reopened, and what the company has learned there has helped it develop “best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response.”
Their 17-game losing streak was over. Without a win — or a loss. Nothing to celebrate.“A sour feeling,” quarterback Tyrod Taylor said.More bitterness.Cleveland didn’t take advantage of forcing six turnovers by Pittsburgh and missed a chance at its first win since 2016 on Sunday, tying the Steelers 21-21 in overtime in a game that turned into another emotional roller-coaster for fans who were so close to seeing their team go 1-0 for the first time in 14 years.But the Browns, being the Browns, couldn’t finish the job.“Tying in the NFL is really weird,” left guard Joel Bitonio said. “I never even thought I would be a part of it.”Bitonio could have never imagined playing on an 0-16 team, either, but that’s what happened last season when the Browns went through their entire schedule without posting a win. At least that can’t happen again.Watt capped a brilliant performance by blocking Zane Gonzalez’s 43-yard field-goal try with 9 seconds left to preserve the tie for the Steelers, whose drama-filled week around Le’Veon Bell ended with more theatrics.It was the league’s first Week 1 tie since 1971, and the first time in 133 games the Browns and Steelers couldn’t settle their rivalry on the field.The Browns rallied from a 21-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to stun the Steelers, who blew their own chance to win it in OT when Chris Boswell’s 42-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.Pittsburgh was without Bell, whose contract holdout will carry into the season’s second week. But the Steelers, who sacked Taylor seven times, refused to offer any excuses after falling dangerously close to becoming the first team to lose to the Browns in Week 1 since 2004.“Hell yeah, it feels like a loss,” Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward said. “I’m sorry for using that kind of language, but if we settle for those, we’re going to be an awfully (steamed) off bunch. We didn’t get the job done. I credit T.J. for getting that block, but the outcome was already decided. It just gives you a sick taste in your mouth.”Here are some other takeaways from the league’s first tie in two seasons:BAD BENSteelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hardly looked like a future Hall of Famer, throwing three interceptions in the first half and losing two fumbles. He made some uncharacteristic errors, forcing a pass into double-coverage that was picked off by Browns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward, who had two interceptions in his pro debut.Roethlisberger passed for 335 yards, but he was upset Pittsburgh’s offense couldn’t put away the Browns.“It’s just frustrating that we can’t make the plays down the stretch,” he said. “We just didn’t make them.”GREAT GARRETTBrowns defensive end Myles Garrett seemed to be everywhere. He forced two fumbles, recorded two sacks and rushed Roethlisberger into making some indecisive throws.“I think he is going to have a great year,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “He is showing that he was worthy of being the first player drafted a year ago. A healthy Myles Garrett means a ton to this organization and football team. He just has to do it week in and week out and be this player every week.”The Browns were last in the league with just 17 takeaways last season.WATT A PLAYERWatt already had four sacks and 11 tackles when the made the game’s defining play.“When it snapped, I’m just trying to do my job and get penetration,” Watt said of his game-saving block. “I threw my hand up at the last minute, and it hit my hand — tie game.”GORDON’S GRABJosh Gordon made just one catch — one mesmerizing, jaw-dropping, game-tying catch.With the Browns trailing 21-14, Gordon leaped and snagged Taylor’s 17-yard pass over Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton for a touchdown with 1:58 left in regulation.It was another positive for Gordon, who missed most of training camp to address health issues and was playing in his first season opener since 2012 because of drug and alcohol addictions. Gordon has also been battling a hamstring issue.ROUGH STARTBrowns undrafted rookie left tackle Desmond Harrison had a long day.Harrison, who moved into the starting lineup this week, was penalized for two false starts in the first half and had some other assignment issues.Harrison wasn’t the only offending Cleveland player as the Browns were called for 11 penalties for 87 yards.“Disappointed,” Jackson said of the infractions. “Our team has got to get better. It is not good enough. You take the turnovers, and the penalties that we had and our inability to do some things early offensively, those are huge keys to a tie game. We have to do some things better.”___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL CLEVELAND (AP) — When the ball deflected off T.J. Watt’s left hand and fluttered to a water-logged landing, well short of the crossbar, there was nothing more the Browns could do. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, bottom, cannot hold onto the ball under pressure from Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Joe Haden, top, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
By today ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Mo Bamba heard his name over Orlando’s public address system for the first time during introductions, and waved his arms to the crowd asking for their cheers.Then the game started.He didn’t have to solicit noise anymore.Welcome to the NBA, rookie class of 2018-19. There were 31 newcomers who got their first official playing time Wednesday, the initial hectic night on this season’s schedule. Some of those debuts were forgettable, some barely noticeable, but a few — like No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton in Phoenix, the No. 6 overall pick in Bamba and even undrafted rookie Allonzo Trier in New York — stood out.“Felt pretty good,” Bamba said. “It was everything I expected it to be.”He wasn’t the only rookie smiling Wednesday.Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) shoots against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Phoenix. The Suns won 121-100. (AP Photo/Matt York)Ayton made his first three shots and finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as Phoenix eased past Dallas. Bamba was clutch for Orlando, putting together a 13-point, seven-rebound, two-block effort in the Magic win over Miami. And maybe it was fitting — Ayton and Trier had plenty of big nights together at Arizona as collegians last season, and they had another one Wednesday, albeit about 2,400 miles apart.Trier had 15 points for the Knicks in their easy win over Atlanta, two of those points coming on a down-the-lane dunk where he went either past or over four Hawks players, a play that even had New York coach David Fizdale celebrating.“Some things happen in a game sometimes and you just go, ‘Whoa,’” Fizdale said.After two nights of this season, 35 players have made their NBA debuts. That’s just the first of many waves; 119 rookies got into at least one game last season, a figure helped mightily by the emergence of two-way contracts. Last season’s newcomer total was the league’s highest since 1949-50 when 120 debuted — in large part because what was the 12-team BAA the year before became the 17-team NBA that season.Atlanta’s Trae Young, the No. 5 pick in the draft, made his first NBA shot. The make was a notable event for Young, who said that he airballed his first shot attempt in high school, in college and at the NBA Summer League in July.Progress, indeed.“This is just one of many,” Young said, not sounding worried about the Hawks’ rocky opener.None of the rookies so far have had monster numbers, but then again, those are rare in debuts.The record for points by someone in his first game is held by Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 43 for the Philadelphia Warriors at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks on Oct. 24, 1959. A year later, Oscar Robertson’s first NBA game resulted in his first triple-double – 21 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists. LeBron James had 25 in 2003, two months shy of his 19th birthday.Those were the start of great careers.But bad first games don’t doom anyone to a life of mediocrity, either.Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and Dennis Rodman combined for zero points in their debuts. Kobe Bryant went scoreless his first time out as well, and he’ll be joining that foursome in the Basketball Hall of Fame soon anyway. Michael Jordan shot 5 for 16 to start his career. Kevin Durant went 7 for 22 in his opening game with Seattle.“You never forget the first game,” said Miami’s Dwyane Wade, who scored 18 points in his debut in 2003 and still recalls how he spent some of that night being guarded by Allen Iverson. “You’re going to get better. You’re nervous. You can’t change that. It’s going to be a big moment in your life, and you’re going to grow from that moment. And then you’re going to have a lot of other moments.”Ayton might have looked ready on the court, but in the locker room he’s going to be reminded of his newcomer status all season.The Suns’ Trevor Ariza interrupted Ayton’s first NBA postgame interview. “Where are the towels, rook?” Ariza asked, reminding the rookie of one of his rookie duties.Ayton stopped, stepped out and returned with a tall stack of towels. Lighthearted hazing notwithstanding, the Suns know what they have.“I knew he was something special,” Phoenix guard Devin Booker said. “I think people are always nervous for their first game. That’s usually three trips down the court and then it just comes back to basketball. When you are that talented and have the abilities that he does, the game is just going to come to you.”Some of the openers on Wednesday were statistically nonexistent — three debuts were logged officially at lasting less than one minute, seven of the rookies on the floor didn’t attempt any shots, and the average per-rook was less than 5 points per game.Ayton and Bamba dazzled. No. 3 pick Luka Doncic had 10 points and eight rebounds, but misfired on 11 of his 16 shots. No. 11 pick Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 11 points for the Clippers. It wasn’t just lottery guys who stood out – second-round pick Bruce Brown started for Detroit, and Trier made MSG take notice.The challenge now for Trier, Bamba, Ayton and every other rookie? Getting ready for the rest of the season.“Now it’s just a matter of doing that 81 more times,” Bamba said.___AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney in New York and AP Sports Writer Bob Baum in Phoenix contributed to this story. Orlando center Mo Bamba celebrates during an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won the game 104-101. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
TERRY “TANK” SMITH celebrates as the Indians claimed the WPIAL 5A Championship. Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier PENN HILLS LEGEND—Former Indians player and current NFL star defensive lineman Aaron Donald was at the game, watching his high school team claim the WPIAL 5A Title. Donald plays for the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. PENN HILLS’ ANTHONY GRIMES THE CELEBRATION—Penn Hills players Dante Cephas, Hollis Mathis and Corey Thomas hold the WPIAL 5A Championship Trophy after defeating West Allegheny, 28-18, at Norwin High School, Nov. 23. (Photos by Courier photographer Will McBride) HOLLIS MATHIS threw three touchdowns and ran for 49 yards on eight carries, as his Penn Hills Indians claimed the WPIAL 5A crown. PENN HILLS’ DEVYN BEST brought the heat—in the form of a smoke bomb—onto the field as he was introduced prior to the contest.