View Comments ‘The Prom’ We now have dates for the hotly anticipated world premiere of new musical The Prom. The previously announced production will kick off Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre’s upcoming season, beginning performances on August 18. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, whose Broadway credits include Aladdin, Something Rotten!, The Book of Mormon and Tuck Everlasting, the limited engagement will run through September 25. With a book by Tony winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Chad Beguelin (Aladdin), music by Matthew Sklar (Elf), and lyrics by Beguelin, the show is based on an original concept by Jack Viertel. Casting will be announced later.Emma becomes an instant outcast—and a national headline—when her high school cancels the prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend. Sensing a chance to correct an injustice—and maybe get some good publicity along the way—a group of fading celebrities takes up the cause, and invades Emma’s small Indiana town. But their bumbling attempts at social activism make the situation far worse than they—or Emma—could have ever imagined. Cultures clash and the town erupts in chaos. The community’s reputation, Emma’s future, and the celebrities’ careers, all hang in the balance, until a true hero emerges to save the day. Uproarious and ultimately uplifting, this new musical proves that standing up for yourself—and inspiring others to accept their differences—can make you the star you were always meant to be.Other shows in the upcoming season’s lineup include a re-imagined adaptation of Moby Dick, Lindsey Ferrentino’s off-Broadway hit Ugly Lies the Bone, Jiréh Breon Holder’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket, Mark Kendall’s The Magic Negro and other Blackity Blackness, as told by an African-American Man, who also happens to be Black, Greg Changnon’s Slur, Janece Shaffer’s Cinderella and Fella and the world premieres of Troubadour and The Temple Bombing.
View Comments Lena Hall(Photo: Joan Marcus) Darren Criss Star Files Tony winner Lena Hall will reprise her performance as Yitzhak in the national tour of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, joining the previously announced Darren Criss, who’ll play the titular trangender rocker. But wait! Hall will also play the role of Hedwig for one performance a week in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The touring production of Hedwig will kick off at San Francisco’s SHN Golden Gate Theatre on October 2, where it’ll run through October 30. The show will then move to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in L.A. from November 1 through November 27. Following San Francisco and Los Angeles with Criss and Hall, the tour will subsequently continue across North America. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.”I’m thrilled to be returning to Hedwig and the Angry Inch performing not one, but two iconic roles in Los Angeles and my hometown of San Francisco. I have never been one to shy away from a challenge and playing Hedwig has always been a dream of mine,” said Hall, in a statement. “To be able to play both Yitzhak and Hedwig in the same day presents one of the biggest challenges I have seen to date and I’m so excited! Not only will I get to share the stage with my fellow San Francisco native and friend Darren Criss; but I will also get a chance to begin my own journey as the glam rock heroine Hedwig. To tell her story in my hometown and in Los Angeles is the greatest homecoming I can think of, and I am looking forward to sharing this journey with my friends, family and Hedheads.”(Fun fact: The Breakfast Club star Ally Sheedy was the first woman to play the role of Hedwig in 1998, during Hedwig’s off-Broadway run at the Jane Street Theatre. But Hall’s dual performance will mark the first time in Hedwig’s history the same person will play both Hedwig and Yitzhak.)Hall just completed touring the U.S. and Canada with the Broadway-bound Josh Groban. Prior to Hedwig, she starred as Nicola in Kinky Boots. Hall’s other stage credits include The Toxic Avenger, Tarzan, Dracula, 42nd Street, Cats, Beg Bugs and Green Eyes. She’s appeared on TV and film in HBO’s Girls, Good Girls Revolt and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.Directed by Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of a fictional rock ‘n’ roll band, fronted by Hedwig, a transgender woman from communist East Berlin. Between rock songs, Hedwig regales the audience with both humorous and painful stories about her life, including her botched sex change operation. Trask’s score features “Tear Me Down,” “Wig in a Box,” “Wicked Little Town,” “The Origin of Love,” “Angry Inch” and more.The 2014 Broadway revival of Hedwig ran for over 500 performances and won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival.
Throw a big parade, praises will be made, compliments paid—it’s gonna be great! Tony nominee Rob McClure, who’s leading the national tour of Something Rotten!, is going behind the camera as Broadway.com’s newest vlogger. Once he gets going, he’s never gonna stop, so get ready for Bottoms Up: Backstage at the Something Rotten! Tour with Rob McClure. (Oh, that rhymes!)McClure, who plays Renaissance man Nick Bottom in the touring production of the hit Broadway musical-comedy, will take viewers on the road as Something Rotten! crisscrosses the country. Look out for omelette-sized shenanigans, hilarious road trip hijinks, cameos from McClure’s co-stars, including his wife Maggie Lakis (Bea), Adam Pascal (William Shakespeare), Josh Grisetti (Nigel Bottom) and Blake Hammond (Nostradamus), and so much more.McClure received a Tony Award nomination for his role as Charlie Chaplin in the Broadway musical Chaplin. His other Broadway credits include Noises Off, Honeymoon in Vegas and Avenue Q.Bottoms Up will launch on January 20 and run every Friday as McClure and the whole Rotten! company bring the Renaissance to a new city. Rob McClure in ‘Something Rotten!'(Photo: Joan Marcus) View Comments
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaPoverty plagues Georgia, and it hits no place more than in thesouthwest corner. A University of Georgia conference there will teach that region’s youths financial tools to combat this plague, says one conference organizer.”Growing Your Pot of Gold,” a youth financial literacy conference sponsored by the UGA Cooperative Extension Southwest District, will be May 19-20 at Andrew College in Cuthbert, Ga.Poverty is a complex issue with many contributing factors, said Laura Johnson, the Southwest District 4-H program development coordinator. And poverty-stricken youths often miss out on a basic financial education.”We want to educate and guide the next generation out of poverty,” Johnson said. “The kids attending the conference will learn saving skills and the time value of money and learn the good and bad sides of credit.”Of the 41 counties in the UGA Extension’s Southwest District, 39 have persistent poverty, according to a study by the UGA Carl Vinson Institute for Government. The district roughly encompasses the area from Stewart County east to Peach County south to Clinch County and west to the Alabama line.In more than half of the counties in this district, at least one of every five residents lives in poverty. A family of four living on $19,000 or less annually is considered impoverished.Johnson said 58 percent of those in poverty work “but just can’t make high enough wages to get over that poverty line.”Southwest District county Extension agents targeted and contacted 7th, 8th and 9th graders affected by poverty in their counties. Transportation, meals, room and the conference will be free for the kids. About 100 students will attend, Johnson said.Extension agents and Georgia 4-H high school youth financial ambassadors will teach workshops on “your money personality,” “savings made simple” and “be a savvy shopper.””The kids will also have the chance to become Georgia 4-H youth savers, which will help them make a savings goal to purchase something they want,” Johnson said.The students will be given educational materials, too, to take home to their families, she said.”We want them to develop a better relationship with their local county extension office to become aware of the resources and support available to them,” she said.The kids will have a little fun, too, she said, with a dance, a movie and sports activities.The conference alone won’t pull the kids out of poverty. “But we hope what they learn,” she said, “will help them begin to think about these financial literacy issues.”
Disoriented fake birds flying into a newly cleaned window may make you chuckle on a television commercial. But, in reality, it’s no laughing matter.Every spring, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices receive calls from homeowners who have a problem with birds that seem to be attacking their car windows or mirrors. If we could witness the scene from the bird’s point of view, the real cause of the bird’s behavior would be clear. We would see what the bird sees: its reflection in the windowpane. Guarding their territorySpringtime is when birds are preoccupied with mating, nest building and rearing young. Male birds are trying to establish territories for nesting sites. This instinct sometimes results in them attacking other male birds that are invading the territory. When a male bird flies into a window, it’s trying to attack another male bird. Actually, it’s attacking a reflection of itself. A bird may knock itself out by this repeated window attack. Often, they make a literal “bird mess” of cars and windows.Several types of birds may do this from time to time, and some birds are more territorial than others. However, robins and cardinals are probably the most common and are known to attack house windows, car mirrors, hubcaps and shiny bumpers if they see their reflection in them. The attacks can last for several days or as long as a few weeks until the bird realizes the threat is not real. This behavior is particularly prominent during the breeding season, but can sometimes happen at other times of the year. One option for dealing with this issue is to simply stop washing your car. If your mirrors and windows stay too shiny, they are more likely to attract an angry bird defending its territory. Another option is to place a tarp or protective cover over the car’s mirrors and windows for a few weeks until the angry bird decides to move on. As a last resort, park the car in a different location to minimize reflections on the glass or move it to a garage. One reason not to wash your carFor windows on houses, it may be necessary to apply a non-reflective covering or tinted film to the outside of the window. If you choose to cover the windows, it is the outside that must be completely covered. A medium-weight, plastic painter’s drop cloth, which is available at most hardware stores, works well. The plastic is clear enough to allow light into the room, but it is cloudy enough to eliminate reflections.When the outside of the glass is covered, the bird may go searching for its imaginary rival at other windows. There have been reports of robins attacking as many as 15 windows on both the first and second stories of homes. Do not waste money on fake owls or rubber snakes, which supposedly frighten birds. The rival bird will still be visible in the window, and territorial birds quickly learn that these artificial critters pose no threat.
For farmers, the decision to start exporting their products can be daunting or even down right confusing.UGA’s 2013 Farm to Port Ag Forecast economic outlook series will feature local producers and business people who will share how they broke into the export market and the benefits they’ve seen since making the leap. “As we continue to move toward a global economy, there are new opportunity overseas and across our boarders that can provide a positive economic impact on Georgia’s farmers,” said Kent Wolfe, executive director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, which is helping to organize the 2013 Ag Forecast. “However, being aware of these opportunities and the issues associated with accessing foreign markets can be an overwhelming task. “Hopefully, our local speakers will be able to share some insight and their experience in exporting Georgia products hopefully paving the way for others to take advantage of existing and emerging foreign markets.” UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences coordinates the seminars in conjunction with Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The Ag Forecast seminars were made possible through an endowment funded by Georgia Farm Bureau. This is the seventh year the program has been offered. The two-hour programs provide lunch or breakfast and bring together agricultural economists and economic development experts from around the state to give producers and business owners a preview of what they can expect from the market in the coming year. The seminar series will be held January in Athens, Rome, Macon, Tifton, Bainbridge and Lyons. Georgia Department of Economic Development Director of International Trade Kathe Falls will deliver the keynote, and a local speaker will address the specific challenges and benefits of exporting from their region of Georgia. Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and president of the International Poultry Council, will speak at the Jan. 25 Ag Forecast at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens. Georgia farmers are the largest producers of poultry in the U.S., turning out about 1.3 million birds a year. A growing number of those are for the export market, with farmers breaking records for exports in 2011 and on track to break records in 2012, according to Toby Moore, vice president of communications for the council. The Poultry and Egg Export Council represents 220 poultry processing and trading companies across the United States. The council collaborates with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service to promote U.S. poultry and egg products in 13 foreign countries. “As the nation’s leading poultry and egg producer, no state has benefited more from exports than Georgia,” Sumner said. “Since 1990, exports of Georgia poultry have grown from about $93 million to an estimated $790 million in 2012. From a production point of view, Georgia’s poultry industry has grown from exporting 7 percent of its total production to over 25 percent during that same period. That’s a success story we’re very proud of here at (the council).” Maggie O’Quinn, who leads Certified Angus Beef ® marketing efforts in parts of the U.S. and in Latin America, will speak at the Jan. 28 Ag Forecast at the Rome-Floyd County ECO River Education Center. O’Quinn has launched the Certified Angus Beef brand in 15 markets across the Caribbean and Central and South America. She currently serves on the executive committee of the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Al Pearson, owner of Pearson Farms in Fort Valley, Ga., will speak at the Jan. 29 Ag Forecast at Georgia Farm Bureau Headquarters in Macon. Pearson is a middle Georgia peach and pecan farmer who has grown Pearson Farms to include 2,700 acres of peach and pecan trees, a peak season workforce of 200 people and a growing export market. Jimmy Webb, a managing partner with Harvey Jordan Farms Partnership in Leary, Ga., will speak at the Jan. 30 Ag Forecast at the University of Georgia Conference Center in Tifton. Webb, a 28-year veteran cotton and peanut producer, has held leadership roles in a number of cotton and peanut trade groups. He currently serves as a Georgia delegate to the National Cotton Council and to the Cotton Board, as president and director of Cotton Council International, as director of the Southern Cotton Growers group and as president of American Peanut Marketing. Richard Barnhill, owner of Mazur and Hockman Peanut Brokers, will address the Jan. 31 Ag Forecast in Bainbridge at the Cloud (Decatur County) Livestock Facility. Barnhill has worked in the peanut processing industry since 1986, and he is a former president of the American Peanut Council, a former board member of the Georgia Peanut Producers Association and past chairman of the Associate Board of the American Peanut Shellers Association. He will speak on the export market for Georgia peanut products. Jon Schwalls, director of operations for Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetables, will address the Feb. 1 Ag Forecast in Lyons. Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable is a Norman Park, Ga. producer of cucumbers, peppers, squash, watermelons, green beans and other vegetables. In addition to their 3,000-acre farm in Georgia, Southern Valley operates a 1,500-acre farm in Mexico so that they can provide vegetables to their customers year-round. This is the first year UGA has held its Ag Forecast in Bainbridge and Lyons. It is also the first year in several years that a Ag Forecast meeting has been held in Rome. Registration is now open and information about the 2013 Ag Forecast is posted at georgiaagforecast.com and on Twitter through @GaAgForecast. For more information, contact your local UGA Cooperative Extension office at 1-800-275-8421.
Each summer, military youth from across the nation travel to north Georgia to attend the Joint Reserve Component Teen Leadership Summit, a Georgia 4-H camp designed especially for children of military reservists. Some 120 kids from 42 states attended the camp July 7-12 at the Wahsega 4-H Camp in Dahlonega, Ga.The camp grew out of the two Air Force Reserve/Air National Guard Teen Summits held in Dahlonega, Ga., and Estes Park, Colo. Georgia 4-H in collaboration with the Air Force Personnel Center in San Antonio and the Office of Secretary of Defense organized all the camps.Started five years agoThe first national scope Georgia 4-H military kids camp was held in 2008 for Air Force youth. This is the fifth year the program has offered the camps and the third year for the camp geared for children of reservists.“To my knowledge, the Joint Reserve Component Summit is the first camp that brings together reserve-component military teens from all branches of service and from states and territories across the nation,” said Casey Mull, Georgia 4-H’s military specialist. “The camp focuses on reserve youth who don’t live on or near a military installation and aren’t around other military youth. At home, these kids may be the only ones in their community that are from a military family.” At the camp, the military teens attend workshops on personality identification, healthy lifestyles, proper etiquette and leadership. They also learn about the different branches of service: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.Just like traditional campsLike traditional 4-H camps at Wahsega 4-H Center, the campers climb a rock wall, zoom down the camp’s zip line, hone their archery skills and ride the flying squirrel. “Picture a sideways bungee jump,” said Wahsega camp director Travis Williams, “that’s the flying squirrel.” Using the creek that runs through the camp, Georgia 4-H counselors teach stream ecology, gold mining and fishing. They also lead the students on nature hikes and take them through a team-building ropes course.The daily rainfall that fell across Georgia during the week didn’t dampen camp activities. It actually made for a more thrilling whitewater rafting trip on the Ocoee River, said Kasey Bozeman, the Georgia 4-H agent in Liberty County and co-director of the camp. “The water level was really high so it made for a much more intense trip,” she said.Bozeman has been involved in the Georgia 4-H military camps since the first one, when she was a 4-H lead counselor at Wahsega. Building boats builds teamsThis year, Bozeman and Mull taught the youth teambuilding through a cardboard box boat regatta. Each team was given a cardboard box and duct tape to build a boat. The boats were then raced across Wahsega’s pond. “We gave awards for the best time, best design and best Titanic — which was really the one that sunk the quickest,” Bozeman said.In a just a week’s time, Bozeman said she saw an immediate change in the students. “They gain a sense of belonging. They become more independent,” she said. “You can see a change in them from Sunday to Friday. The ones that were standoffish are often the ones that get all teary eyed and give you hugs when they leave. It really shows you what a difference one week can make in a child’s life.”Mull said in most ways military youth are no different than traditional 4-H’ers. Respectful and quick to bond“They’re just like the other youth we work with, but their parents wear a uniform to work,” he said. “But one of the reasons I like working with military youth is that they serve, too. They are very respectful and very appreciative of the support they get from their communities.”Williams says military youth seem to “jell better as a group and have a certain comfort level with each other that other groups don’t exhibit.”“Even though the kids don’t know each other before they arrive on the first day of camp, they often act like they have been in school together all of their lives,” he said. “They seem to have something in common that makes them enjoy each other’s company more.”Each year, more than 700 military families and youth participate in Georgia 4-H camping programs specifically designed for military families. Three weeks of camp are geared to younger children (Operation Military Kids and Camp Corral) and four weeks are for older youth (Teens Summits). To learn more about Georgia 4-H’s military programs, visit www.georgia4h.org.
Peanut acreage may have reduced in 2013 but the high-quality nut being planted remains the same.Due in large part to research conducted by University of Georgia scientists on the Tifton campus, in particular the development of the Georgia-06G variety, Georgia peanuts yielded an astounding 4,430 pounds per acre last year. Those high yields came on the heels of 2012’s state record of 4,580 per acre. The high yields were produced on 430,000 acres, down 41.5 percent from 2012.UGA Extension peanut economist Nathan Smith attributes the high yields to a variety of factors. “I think it’s a combination of variety, management and weather that really helped us produce those second best yields,” Smith said.Georgia-O6G is a high-yielding peanut cultivar developed in Tifton by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The variety was released in 2006. According to Smith, Georgia-06G is the most common peanut variety produced. “Its yield potential is a lot better than what growers have grown before,” he said.Smith said proper management played a key role as well, as farmers were able to overcome wet weather most of last summer. They were also benefited from good harvest weather, which allowed the peanut crop to be harvested in a timely fashion.“Being able to harvest at the right time, not too early and, particularly, not too late, improves yield and quality,” Smith said.Despite high yields being produced, peanut prices are still hovering around the $425 per ton mark, far below the $500 per ton level farmers crave and were able to achieve a couple of years ago. Much of the price decline is linked to a decline in exports to China, which is importing the bulk of its peanut crop from India.“It would help if they were buying again this year but they aren’t right now,” Smith said. “We’re still seeing strong exports, it’s just not to China. We’re competitive with Europe, and we’re still seeing strong exports to our No. 1 customers; Canada and Mexico.”Peanut production is supposed to be king in Southwest Georgia but prices are not living up to those lofty standards.“We have an overabundance of peanuts so the peanut prices are not great,” said Rome Ethredge, UGA Extension agent for Seminole County. “2013 was a tough year, mostly because we had so much rain in July. It hurt our crops,” he said. “We didn’t have the top yields like we had in 2012. Prices aren’t great but if we can make top yields (in 2014), then that will help the bottom line.”Smith expects acreage to increase this year by about 15 percent with farmers bringing peanuts back into their crop rotations.
When breeding a new crop variety, plant breeders often have to collect data from dozens or hundreds of seedlings to determine which plants have the traits they are looking for.Crunching all that data can be complicated, but new bioinfomatics systems, which track traits and make projections on future plant peformance can make the process quicker, less expensive and more productive.Late last month the the Feed the Future Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation Lab (PMIL) at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences hosted a workshop on one of these systems with the developers of the Breeding Management System. Fifteen breeders working with a variety of crops including peanut, millet, soybean, cacao and watermelon attended the workshop.The Breeding Management System (BMS) is a software suite designed by scientistis to increase the efficiency of plant breeding by reducing the time and cost needed to develop improved cultivars. It combines data management, analysis and decision-support tools that accommodate common breeding schemes, from conventional breeding through increasing levels of marker use.Breeding management programs are the next step in advancing genomics research in the next decade according to Peggy Ozias-Akins, who helped to organize and attended the BMS training.Ozias-Akins, a lead scientist for the PMIL Plant Genomics project, works on the International Peanut Genome Initiative and is director of the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics.“Breeding advances will have a large impact on crop production over the next few decades and will be essential to feed a growing population with limited impact on the environment,” said Ozias-Akins.The BMS software is the centerpiece of the Integrated Breeding Platform, which provides other products for researchers such as diagnostic markers, germplasm and trait dictionaries, genotyping services, educational resources and various online communities for plant breeder discussions.“The (platform) provides a one-stop-shop for many of the analytic and data management tools required for breeding,” said Dave Hoisington, Director of PMIL and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Integrated Breeding Platform.The software was developed through the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development, a global consortium of 15 agricultural research centers, thousands of scientists, and hundreds of partners, carries out research programs in 96 countries in pursuit of the scientific, policy and technological advances needed to overcome such complex challenges as climate change, water scarcity, land degradationand chronic malnutrition.The software and its annsilaries were first developed through an initiative of the CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme. The concept for the Integrated Breeding Platform is to support the optimisation of plant breeding programmes by disseminating knowledge and providing broad access to breeding technology and best practices, particularly for breeders working in developing countries.“The management of information is a critical component for an efficient and successful breeding program. This is especially true with the massive amount of genomic data that is being utilized by many breeding programs,” said Hoisington.Tuesday began with an open presentation and overview of the platform, followed by a demonstration conducted by Integrated Breeding Platform trainers Shawn Yarnes and Mark Sawkins.On Wednesday and Thursday, the focus shifted to hands-on individual instructions for selected breeders, who received information on how to load their data into the system and use it in their own particular breeding programs.The training will allow the breeders to fully incorporate the software into their current programs this year.PMIL scientists plan to provide more training opportunities to even more plant researchers in the coming years.“Ultimately, PMIL and the (Integrated Breeding Platform) are interested in providing similar training to our partners in developing countries,” said Hoisington.
Proper management of a pine stand requires thinning in order to prevent disease and insect infestation and to maximize profit. Thinning is the process of cutting or removing certain trees from a stand to regulate the number, quality and distribution of the remaining trees.Commercial pine timber is typically grown for pulpwood, chip-n-saw lumber, saw timber and, less commonly, veneer. The growing process takes between 30 and 40 years, depending on the manager’s end goal and the quality of the site where the trees are growing.Harvest time for pulpwood and veneer depends on a rotational age and site index. Stand age for a pulpwood harvest is between eight and 10 years. This is the age at which canopy closure often occurs and young trees compete for light and nutrients, causing stress. Stands at this stage are not often thinned due to the low or lack of market value of pulpwood.Chip-n-saw timber harvest generally occurs when trees are between 15 and 20 years of age. The first thinning that occurs in a stand happens during this harvest age and usually has commercial value. Saw timber is harvested last and it is often the final cutting that occurs in most commercial stands.Thinning, whether it is precommercial or commercial, benefits the timber stand and the owner of the stand. Reducing stand density reduces competition for nutrients, space and light and improves the vigor, growth rate and overall quality of the remaining trees.Decreasing competition within the stand also reduces the likelihood that trees will be stressed due to lack of resources. Stressed trees are more susceptible to diseases and insects.The landowner benefits from thinning because growth is concentrated in fewer, faster-growing trees. The time required for trees to reach harvestable size is reduced. Larger trees bring higher stumpage prices and only quality trees are permitted to grow to final harvest. Eliminating the number of low-value trees maximizes profit.Trees that could stagnate or die before final harvest can be profitable, too. Intermediate harvests can provide periodic income, enhance fire protection and benefit wildlife.Beyond thinning, prescribed fire is a wonderful management tool within a timber stand. Prescribed fire controls thick underbrush, reduces fuel loads, recycles nutrients and provides forage for wildlife. After thinning, foresters should apply forestry-grade herbicide and perform a winter burn to free nutrients and reduce fuel loads in the stand. Fuel-load reduction is essential because it reduces the intensity of wildfires that can damage trees.Commercial timber represents 87.4 percent of Georgia’s forestry and forestry products, according to the 2015 farm gate value report from the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. Forest industry production and processing accounted for an economic contribution of $17.7 billion and over 73,300 jobs in 2015.Proper management practices must take place to protect timber stands from disease and insects and to maximize their value. While precommercial thinning is often not profitable, it should be used to cut stand density to reduce stress. This practice can save money and can increase the value of the timber in the long run. For more advice on managing pine stands, contact a professional forester or your local UGA Cooperative Extension agent.