Latest: Chelsea 0 Man Utd 1 – United within sight of victory at the Bridge

first_imgJesse Lingard’s goal put Manchester United ahead at Stamford Bridge shortly after Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma was stretchered off.Wayne Rooney nudged Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s cross towards Lingard, who cleverly turned away from Cesar Azpilicueta and smashed past Thibaut Courtois.Courtois was called upon twice in the opening 15 minutes, comfortably gathering low-range efforts from Borthwick-Jackson and Michael Carrick.Blues keeper Courtois then produced a fine save, diving to his left to push away Anthony Martial’s curling shot.Chelsea skipper John Terry was given a predictably rousing reception on his first appearance at the Bridge since announcing that he is not being offered a new contract and will leave when his current deal expires at the end of the season.There was nothing rousing about the home team’s start, but midway through the half they suddenly clicked into gear.Nemanja Matic’s header from Willian’s right-wing corner was saved by United keeper David De Gea, and Diego Costa fired narrowly wide after being put through by Oscar’s clever through-ball.Oscar then had two chances in quick succession, but he shot over after exchanging passes with Azpilicueta and was just unable to connect with Willian’s low cross.And in the final seconds of the first half, Chelsea felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Willian sent the ball in from the right and Daley Blind blocked Terry’s shot with his arm.United made a blistering start to the second half and Rooney and Lingard had shots saved by Courtois, while Martial fired wide of the near post.It prompted Guus Hiddink to bring on the fit-again Eden Hazard and a couple of minutes later the Chelsea interim boss was forced to make another change after Zouma landed worryingly awkwardly after going up for a header.Worse followed for Hiddink’s side on the hour mark when Lingard broke the deadlock.De Gea then produced stunning saves to deny first Branislav Ivanovic and then Cesc Fabregas as Chelsea, unbeaten since Hiddink was placed in charge, pushed for an equaliser.Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Terry, Zouma (Cahill 59), Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic (Pedro 66); Willian, Fabregas, Oscar (Hazard 54); Costa.Subs not used: Begovic, Baba Rahman, Loftus-Cheek, Traore.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Zach Profit, Sept. 24

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are pretty happy. We are 10% done with corn and 15% done with soybeans. We got started last Monday Sept. 17 in some corn. The moisture starting off was 21% to 23%. We had a small patch that was an earlier hybrid that came in at 18.5%.We haven’t really seen anything under 190 bushels and the sky is the limit the other way. We have seen up to 230 and we have only run the earlier hybrids with 103- and 104-day corn. It has met our expectations and it is definitely going to be good. It will be right at the yields we had last year. I’m not sure it will be much better than last year but I think it will come off at a lower moisture.The soybeans, I think, are the big story in the area with yields anywhere from 60 to 80 bushels with the majority of the yields I have heard around 70. The beans are doing really well. We have had some pretty marginal ground do really well so far.In our 30-inch row experiment, those beans looked tough but I think they will yield better than we were expecting. They were podded up really well. Our regular 15-inch beans we normally do are 70+ bushels.We had quite a bit of wind Thursday and Friday. There was some corn going down in the area. It seems to be extremely hybrid specific. There are fields that are a quarter to half snapped off laying flat on the ground. There were gusts of 25 or 30 miles per hour.We have seen good test weight and quality corn. Vomitoxin does not appear to be an issue.There have been rumors about soybean seed issues with a mold or fungus actually on the seed. There was quite a bit of it coming into one elevator.We have had no rain and everything is going pretty well, but it looks like it is going to rain. We are keeping up with the maturity of the soybeans as they ripen. I think there is a big crop out there.last_img read more

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Listen to the Land — 9

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jim PatricoDTN Contributing EditorBrian Martin slid a spade into a patch of cereal rye planted in corn stubble. He pried out a chunk of dark soil topped by green leaves then crumbled a bit of the dirt between his fingers. New roots, old roots, mellow silt loam. He crumbled some more dirt and gave a satisfied chuckle. “Earthworm,” he said and pointed to a shiny, wiggling creature.From the grin on Brian’s face, you’d think he’d just discovered gold.Brian is a soils geek. Finding earthworms at the entrance to a field — where heavy-equipment traffic over many years has compacted the soil — has made his day. It means his work to improve his family farm’s soils is paying off.This is important because the Martin family farm, near Centralia, Missouri, was not blessed with the best soils. As a result, yield potential sometimes is limited, especially for corn. Improve the soils, improve the yield potential. Brian thinks he can do that.To that end, the 33-year-old employs several soil-improvement strategies, including a no-till regime and a cover-crops program he hopes will build soil health and fertility. He is a member of the Soil Health Partnership and is enrolled in one of its five-year field trials. If Brian’s strategies work, they could strengthen both the farm’s economic and environmental futures.“It’s important that we leave the land better than we found it,” Brian said. “As producers, we are a steward of the land, and it’s our responsibility to take care of the resources we’ve been given.”FAMILY HISTORYBrian’s interest in the soil comes naturally. His grandfather, Kenneth Martin, who founded the farm, helped draw soil maps of northern Missouri for the government after he came back from serving in World War II. He passed his interest in soils to his son Nathan and his grandson Brian, who followed him in the farming operation.“Being cognizant of soil, erosion control and saving the ground for future generations is something he instilled in us,” Brian said.Kenneth is gone. Brian and his father, Nathan, farm together — yet separately — on 1,500 acres of cropland plus 300 acres of pasture and hay ground. They share equipment and labor, but own different business entities. Along with raising corn, soybeans and wheat, Nathan runs a 225-cow Angus seedstock and commercial operation named Martin Angus. Brian owns Martin Row Crops. The pair also does custom work.Brian has off-farm income in the form of a Pioneer seed dealership and a consulting business named Martin Agronomic Services. He also works part-time as a crop-insurance adjuster so he can afford to build equity in the farm, buy machinery and — in these low-commodity price times — “keep things in the black and not in the red,” he said.SOILS HISTORYBrian’s fascination with soil got an early start as a member of an FFA soils judging team in high school. “You get pretty good at being able to ribbon a soil sample and know the textural class just by feel,” he remembered.That high school experience served him well when he joined the University of Missouri’s (Mizzou) soils judging team. As a sophomore, Brian placed sixth nationally. “The stuff in the pits, getting down there where it counts. That’s what carried me,” he said.Soil science was a minor for Brian at Mizzou. He earned a bachelor’s degree in ag systems management (agricultural engineering) with a second minor in ag economics. He used the ag engineering background to land a job with CNH Industrial doing development work for Case IH and New Holland combines.But farming always was Brian’s long-term career choice and he came back to the farm full-time in 2012.Soil improvement was on his mind from the beginning. The Martins farm over a clay pan that starts 15 to 24 inches below the surface. Above the clay is “loess over residuum or glacial till,” said Brian the soils geek, using the taxonomic name for the soil type. A more common name is silt loam.That’s generally good soil for Midwest row crops, but the Martins’ relatively thin layer of silt loam contains only 1 to 3% organic matter. That — and the clay below it — mean the soil can’t usually hold enough available moisture for great corn yields, especially in dry growing seasons like 2018.“I’d be tickled to death if we were raising 200-bushel corn consistently,” Brian said, but 2018 yields varied from 130 to 190 bushels per acre.If the Martins’ fields had greater available water capacity, they could produce better and more consistent yields even in dry years. Organic matter and infiltration are key to available water capacity, Brian said.STRATEGIESPlanting cover crops is one of his strategies to build organic matter. It’s a strategy that works especially well on a crops and livestock operation because the Martins can rotate a wide variety of cover crops that can both feed the cattle and improve the soils. As a bonus, cows grazing cover crops in a postharvest crop field make their own organic matter contributions.Here’s a sample of the cover crops the Martins have planted in the last few years: winter barley, winter wheat, cereal rye, annual rye, crimson clover, radishes and sunn hemp. Each year, 30 to 35% of the Martins’ fields are in cover crops.The Martins use a Kinze split-row planter and a Krause drill for most of their cover crops. Brian’s first preference is the Kinze because of its accuracy. “You can get by with a reduced seeding rate if you get good seed-to-soil contact,” he said.The Martins have tried ground-broadcasting seed mixed with dry fertilizer. That can lead to streaky stands, Brian said.They also have aerially seeded into standing corn. “We have had success, and we have had complete failure,” Brian said. “It really depends on the amount of soil moisture you have. If it’s not quite moist enough, the seed won’t stick and germinate.”However the Martins plant, “as much as anything, we use cover crops to increase soil structure and water-infiltration rates,” Brian said. “They also increase organic matter and reduce erosion in the few spots that are erodible.”A 1% increase in organic matter can translate to an increase of about 1 inch of available water capacity, Brian said. That, in turn, can translate to a significant increase in corn yields. “If we can gradually build up our organic matter, a lot of this ground would be more sustainable and more profitable,” he continued. “If we could bump that (organic matter) up to about 4%, there is no reason some of these fields couldn’t raise 325- to 350-bushel corn.”That would be on top of already-good soybean yields: “I think (with more organic matter) we can improve soybean yields exponentially, even without major alterations like tiling or irrigation.”All of these soil-improvement plans are long-term with the next generation in mind. “We’re looking for incremental changes,” Brian said. “If you can improve the organic matter in your soil a little every year, eventually, you will get there.”TILL NO MOREAs for tillage, don’t even talk to Martin about it. He is not a fan.He admitted that, in some areas of the country, it’s necessary to break up and redistribute heavy residue. But, not in his area, where lower yields produce less residue. There also are long frost-free periods during winter when residue can decay. Here, he said, “Recreational tillage is not as common as it used to be, and tradition is not an excuse to continue to till. It’s not ideal, and it’s not the way I operate.”And, don’t even suggest to a soil geek that it’s occasionally necessary to use a moldboard plow for anything. “We are trying to improve filtrations rates with changes in soil structure, not destroy structure,” Brian said.The closest the Martins come to tillage is to repair ruts from fall harvest or in heavily compacted areas. They also occasionally use a three-point ditcher on their flattest ground to get water to move off the field as fast as possible. No worries about losing soil in the process: “When the slope is zero to 1%, erosion is not an issue,” Brian said.(AG/SK)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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The Warriors Can Breathe Easier — For Now

The Rockets-Warriors series has provided a steady diet of haymakers from both sides over the past week and a half, with two of the NBA heavyweight clubs duking it out for supremacy again.But the fight, and the future of the proverbial championship belt as a whole, seemingly hung in the balance late Wednesday when superstar Kevin Durant came up limping after hitting a jumper with just over two minutes left in the third quarter of Game 5 at Oracle Arena. The fact that he hadn’t been touched by anyone escalated fears even more: His reaction — to grab the back of his lower right leg — suggested that he might have severely injured his Achilles tendon. Durant walked gingerly to the locker room with Golden State clinging to a 3-point lead after holding a 20-point cushion just a quarter earlier. As he left, the basketball world wondered whether Golden State’s chances of adding on to its dynasty had exited with him.The Warriors staved off that more existential question for at least a couple of nights, digging deep for a gutsy 104-99 win without Durant to take a 3-2 series lead over Houston. They also got a reprieve in the sense that Durant avoided an Achilles injury, which would have ended his postseason and possibly jeopardized his next season. Instead, the club deemed the injury a right calf strain; Durant is set for an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury — and how much time he may have to miss.If Durant misses the rest of the series, at least some will compare his absence to that of Chris Paul a little less than a year ago, when the Rockets took a 3-2 lead but lost Paul to a hamstring strain for Games 6 and 7 of the conference finals. (Houston would drop each of those games, along with the series.) Yet losing Durant — the best player in the series, if not the world at this point — could have an even bigger impact, even though the Warriors have played without him before.Consider that Golden State has outscored opponents by 79 points this postseason with Durant on the court and has been outscored by 14 points in the minutes he’s been sidelined. Before leaving Wednesday’s game, he had led the Warriors in scoring for eight consecutive contests. His 34.2 points per game this postseason rank second1Among players who’ve logged at least 10 games in a single postseason. over the past 25 seasons, trailing only LeBron James’s 2009 playoff run, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group.The Warriors’ reliance on Durant as of late left many of us wondering whether Stephen Curry and Golden State could step up and take out a tough opponent without Durant there. Both Curry and teammate Klay Thompson had struggled mightily with their jumpers earlier in the series, but Curry answered the bell, hitting 5 of 9 from the field for 16 points after KD’s injury, a vast improvement from the 9 points on 4-of-14 shooting he logged before Durant went down. (Thompson’s 27 points, after having 27 over the two prior games combined, were also huge — especially his bizarre turnover-turned-layup that sealed the game with four seconds left.)On the other side of this, Houston is going to have a handful of regrets from Game 5 — usually a bellwether when it breaks 2-2 series ties, as 82 percent of Game 5 winners advance — if it fails to get past the Warriors yet again. In many ways, this felt like the Rockets’ chance to pounce.In Game 4, P.J. Tucker terrorized Golden State by dominating the offensive glass. But on Wednesday, Kevon Looney seemed to come up with just about every key rebound, including five offensive boards. Meanwhile, Tucker was whistled for a particularly brutal out-of-bounds call with just under three minutes left in the game, when his heel was on the sideline just before he drained a shot that, had it not been waved off, would have cut Houston’s deficit to 2 points.It didn’t help that, at just 3 of 14, Chris Paul had the worst shooting night of his playoff career.And perhaps most noteworthy and mind-bogglingly: Houston’s James Harden, the reigning MVP and back-to-back league scoring champion, largely took a backseat, with just one shot attempt — a layup with 18 seconds left — over the final seven-plus minutes of action in the loss. The Rockets performed just fine offensively as a club despite that, scoring 18 points over that stretch. But it was still somewhat shocking to see Harden not even touch the ball on a number of fourth-quarter possessions. (He finished the period with just three shot attempts — down from the eight he’d averaged in fourth quarters in the first four games of the series.)With Durant sidelined, Harden was free of the much longer, taller defender who had limited him over the course of the series.2Of the six Warrior defenders who have matched up with Harden at least 20 times on defense, Durant has held Harden to his second-lowest scoring average per 100 possessions (after Andre Iguodala) and forced him into more turnovers than any of his teammates have, while limiting his assist totals more than anyone, according to data from Second Spectrum. So to not see him take advantage, or even really try, was surprising, given that he finished 7 of 7 from inside the arc, and with an efficient 31 points on just 16 shots.Still, much can and probably will change with a day or two of game-planning, especially if Durant is forced to miss time. The things that Harden and the Rockets didn’t attack in the moment during Game 5 could become points of emphasis in Game 6, while the Warriors figure to retool their thin rotation in hopes of mitigating Durant’s absence.There’s plenty we still don’t know yet. But one thing is clear: With Game 5 in hand, the Warriors can at least breathe a sigh of relief for now, knowing their backs won’t be against the wall, on the road without Durant, in Game 6.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

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