Vulfpeck was the first band to perform at this year’s LOCKN’ Festival, and they surely impressed with their brand intricate, funky music. Opening with “Conscious Club”, Jack Stratton immediately started the banter as the band kicked into gear, and the fun didn’t stop throughout their hourlong set.The Vulf worked “Fugue State”, “Rango II”, “My First Car”, and “Cory Wong” into the set before inviting out frequent collaborator and explosive performer Antwuan Stanley for an excellent mid-set breakdown. “Funky Duck” got the crowd really riled up, while “1612 and “Wait for the Moment” gave Stanley an opportunity to showcase his impressive vocal range. Perhaps the highlight of the show, Stanley closed out his portion of the set with a fun cover of “Peg” by Steely Dan, a cover in Vulfpeck’s repertoire that really resonated with the classic-rock-appreciating crowd at LOCKN’.After Stanley left the stage, Vulfpeck finished their set with a series of their biggest songs. “Back Pocket” made for a big sing-a-long moment, with Theo Katzman leading the crowd through an impressive three-part harmony. Then, it was finally Joe Dart‘s turn to take center stage, and he absolutely crushed his feature on “Beastly”. Dart is beyond talented on his Fender Jazz bass, and he showed off his talent with an awesome, “Jungle Boogie”-inspired solo on “Beastly”. “Christmas in L.A.” came next, giving and Katzman and the crowd another opportunity to interact by fittingly turning “LA” into “VA” for the song’s chorus, giving the state of Virginia a nice little shout out. Vulfpeck finished their first set with “It Gets Funkier”, giving the excited LOCKN’ audience a chance to funk out one more time before Vulfpeck gave way to Umphrey’s McGee.Watch full video of Vulfpeck’s glorious debut at LOCKN’ below, courtesy of YouTube user micapaw groove.Setlist: Vulfpeck at LOCKN’ Festival, Arrington, VA – 8/25/16Set: Conscious Club, Fugue State, Rango II, My First Car, Jam, Funky Duck, 1612, Wait for the Moment, Peg (Steely Dan cover), Back Pocket, Beastly, Christmas in L.A., It Gets Funkier
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Georgia farmers are using a new way to grow cotton that keeps bugs at baywhile protecting the environment. They’re growing a new type of cotton, called Bt cotton, that fights some insectswhile it grows. Phillip Roberts, an entomologist with the University of Georgia ExtensionService, expects Georgia farmers to plant about a third of the 1997 cotton crop to Btvarieties. Farmers include Bt cotton, Roberts said, in an overall insect-control methodcalled integrated pest management. IPM programs use all sorts of natural controls, including Bt cotton andbeneficial insects, instead of chemicals to keep insects from harming the crop. Cottongrowers may still have to use some pesticides, but only as a last resort. IPM helps farmers stay on friendly terms with people who live around them,too. It can cut down on the number of times farmers must spray pesticides. Neighborslike that. Bt cotton can cut out even more spraying. It produces its own natural toxin thathelps control certain insects on the plant. Scientists took a toxin-producing gene from bacteria called Bacillusthuringiensis (Bt). They inserted it into the new cotton plant that takes its name. The naturally produced toxin helps control insects. “Bt cotton and IPMprograms don’t guarantee ‘no sprays,'” said Steve Brown, an extension cottonagronomist. “But they can dramatically decrease the number of applications required.” Killing bugs with the Bt toxin isn’t new. Many gardeners use it, too.Laboratories collect the toxin and include it in foliar sprays for garden plants. The toxinis the same. Only the delivery method differs. Now that the Boll Weevil Eradication Program has banished weevils fromGeorgia cotton fields, Roberts said farmers can really take advantage of the Bttechnology. “Regular cotton varieties might require six or seven pesticide applications in agiven year to control insects,” he said. “A field of Bt cotton right next to the regularvariety may only need two or three applications for the same amount of insect control.” One concern many people have is that insects may become resistant topesticides. Gary Herzog, a research entomologist at the Coastal Plain ExperimentStation, said IPM and Bt cotton can slow that process. Herzog has studied insect pesticide resistance trends since 1979. “Usually, a particular chemical can be widely used for about 10 years beforeresistance shows up,” he said. Bt cotton can extend that time. Farmers don’t have to spray as often. So insectsaren’t exposed as much to the most commonly used pesticides. So it takes them longerto develop resistance. If the Bt toxin doesn’t kill all the insects, Herzog said, it still weakenssurvivors. That makes them more vulnerable to other insecticides and the beneficialinsects that prey on them. The Bt toxin doesn’t affect the cotton fiber. It’s as strong and long and white asthat of non-Bt varieties. Planting Bt cotton can help farmers’ profits, too. If they can grow cotton withlower cost per acre, they can make more money on the same land. Higher profits lead more farmers to grow cotton. When more cotton is sold,though, the farmer’s prices can drop. Retail cotton clothing prices can drop, too. It costs farmers more — about $33 per acre — to plant Bt cotton. Roberts andBrown said if a grower has to spray a field four or more times for bollworms, he maydo better planting Bt cotton. “Each farmer has to decide if he can control bollworms for less than the cost toplant Bt cotton,” Brown said.
As winter still chills the bones, spring seed catalogs are warming mailboxeseverywhere. Mixed with offers of amazing azaleas and zippy zinnias are more unusual items:bugs. Good bugs. Earthworms, ladybugs and nematodes. Why buy bugs from a catalog? “People buying predators such as lady beetles are often disappointed,” saidBeverly Sparks, a University of Georgia Extension Service entomologist. “They buy them and release them in their garden area,” she said. “And whenthey go back in 30 minutes the beetles are dispersed.” The problem is not getting these beneficial creatures into your garden. It’sgetting them to stay put. “We recommend that people observe their garden and see if they have theinsects there,” Sparks said. “Then preserve them. Don’t buy them and bring them in.” But the beneficial bug game is a real “Catch-22.” “It’s a trick,” Sparks said. “They’re predators, so insects have to be around orthe beneficial ones will leave.” If you don’t have bad bugs, you probably won’t have good bugs either. If you have sprayed for insects using a lingering insecticide, you will also killyour beneficial insects. Beneficial insects such as lady beetles are easy to spot. Nematodes, on the otherhand, are much harder. “There are plant-parasitic nematodes and insect-parasitic nematodes,” Sparkssaid. “You won’t necessarily see the nematodes themselves but can see evidence ofthem.” If you closely examine bodies of dead insects found in the soil, you may see thetiny parasitic nematodes. “One problem with buying nematodes to use in your garden is that they attackmost soil-dwelling insects whether they’re beneficial bugs or pests,” Sparks said. You can test for an abundance of earthworms by digging through the soil. Youshould find either the worms themselves or the channels they dig. If you have goodsoil, you’ll have earthworms. If you don’t have good soil, earthworms won’t stay evenif you put them there. To keep your natural supply of beneficial insects, remember that they need asupply of pests to feed on. “If they don’t have a ready food supply, lady beetles will fly away,” Sparkssaid. “Nematodes naturally occur in the soil and can’t move great distances as ladybeetles do.” If you have pests in your garden, the area will attract beneficial insectsnaturally. Bringing in the insects when the pests aren’t there for the predators to feedon won’t be much help.