Back to overview,Home naval-today Colombian Navy Members Attend ONC Conference Share this article Authorities View post tag: Navy View post tag: americas View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Naval May 27, 2015 Colombian Navy Members Attend ONC Conference Rear Adm. George Ballance, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO)/U.S. 4th Fleet, welcomed members of the Colombian Navy to Naval Station Mayport in Mayport, Florida, for the annual U.S. Navy and Colombian Navy Operational Naval Committee (ONC) conference, May 20 – 21.During the ONC conference, participants engaged in face-to-face discussions regarding their involvement in various exercises and theater security cooperation events for the upcoming year.ONC Colombia resulted in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed this year by Ballance and Colombian Rear Adm. Mario German Rodrigues Viera, commander, Eastern Naval Force of the Republic of Colombia. The MOU outlines U.S. and Colombia’s interactions for the coming year.Colombia and the U.S. have a strong partnership, evidenced through their focus on maritime security and enhanced through joint exercises and events. Cooperation and training events in the past have included PANAMAX and UNITAS series of exercises. These exchanges resulted from work done at previous ONC meetings.ONCs provide a platform for the U.S. Navy to engage with partner nations and identify efforts that will enhance relationships and mutually beneficial goals. The agreements they produce and engagements they lead to directly support the U.S. Navy’s new maritime strategy, which emphasizes cooperative relationships with international partners.[mappress mapid=”16077″]Image: US Navy View post tag: conference View post tag: ONC View post tag: Colombian Navy
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia peach trees are on track to get enough chilly winter weather to make a sweet summer crop. But there are some concerns, says a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension expert.Peach trees go dormant in winter. During this time, they need chill hours (hours below 45 degrees) to properly bloom in spring and produce fruit in summer, says Kathy Taylor, a UGA Extension peach horticulturist. Depending on the variety, trees need between 400 and 1,100 chill hours in Georgia.About 90 percent of Georgia’s 15,000 acres of peaches are grown in middle Georgia. The area has received about 800 chill hours this winter, she said. Peach trees there need about 1,000 chill hours to produce a good crop.”It looks like we’ll get around 150 more chill hours over the next 10 days, based on the forecast,” Taylor said. “If that happens, we should get the hours we need for middle Georgia.”Chill hours aren’t counted after Feb. 15.The forecast is less certain for farmers in south Georgia, who grow about 8 percent of the state’s peaches. Most varieties there need 500 to 650 chill hours. Right now, the area could use about 100 more hours.There’s a good chance they’ll come over the next few weeks. “We should make it,” she said. “But by the skin of our teeth.”There’s another problem for south Georgia growers. The weather has been springlike, with daytime temperatures reaching well into the 70s in recent weeks.Some trees are starting to wake from their winter naps about three weeks ahead of normal. Buds are starting to swell and some are even flowering. This puts them at risk. Freezing temperatures can kill these fragile buds.But each year, farmers routinely thin the buds from each tree, which can hold 3,000 to 7,000 buds. Depending on the variety, they’ll leave only 250 to 700 fruits on a tree. This helps the tree direct its resources to growing good-tasting, well-sized peaches.Most farmers would prefer to thin the crop without Mother Nature’s help, she said.It’s hard to say how the harvest will turn out this year, she said. Georgia peach farmers worry each year as winter and spring play tug-of-war with their crop. A freeze in April or early May can damage a crop.”But at this point,” Taylor said, “we’re on track to have a pretty good crop.”Georgia’s peach harvest starts in late April and runs through September. Early-maturing varieties can yield about 7,000 pounds per acre. Later varieties can yield three times that, she said.A cool, damp spring hurt Georgia’s ’05 peach crop, which was about 40 million pounds, about 25 percent less than in ’04.Georgia’s peach crop is worth around $35 million annually.