Winter weather outlook

first_imgBy David StooksburyUniversity of GeorgiaAthens, Ga. – There is a high likelihood that Georgia’s winter will be wetter and cooler than normal.The exception will be Georgia’s mountain region, which is near the transition from wetter-than-normal conditions to the south and drier-than-normal conditions to the north. Temperatures in the mountains will likely be below normal.Due to heavy September and October rains, soils are already near saturation. Streams that are usually at their lowest flows during October are at levels normally seen in March, which is the month that generally has the highest flows. Because of this, the potential for winter flooding is higher than normal.The ocean-atmosphere system is currently in the El Niño pattern. This pattern is expected to persist through the winter. Following an El Niño winter, it is not unusual for a drier-than-normal trend in spring.El Niño’s influence is especially strong in the southern two-thirds of the state. The mountainous region of north Georgia and middle and east Tennessee is a transition zone. Depending on where the transition zone occurs this winter, the mountains will experience drier-than-normal, near-normal or wetter-than-normal conditions.While the outlook is for a cooler winter, this does not mean that cold arctic outbreaks are likely. The coolness is primarily caused by the increase in cloudiness. This means that the daily high temperatures tend to be cooler than normal. However, the nighttime lows have a tendency to be slightly warmer than normal because of the increase in cloudiness.It is very rare to experience temperatures in the low teens along the coast and coastal plain during an El Niño winter. Across the piedmont, single-digit temperatures are very rare. The mountains rarely experience temperatures around zero during an El Niño winter.It is not unusual for the middle or late spring that follows an El Niño winter to be drier than normal. Thus, water managers are going to have a difficult time regulating reservoirs for an expected wet winter, knowing that from the middle of spring onward there is a good chance Georgia will experience drier-than-normal conditions.last_img read more

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Critics Urge Suffolk to Drop Proposed Kratom Ban

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Kratom, an herb that Suffolk County lawmakers proposed banning, was likened to heroin and a miracle cure by a dozen people speaking for and against the bill at a public hearing Tuesday.The majority of speakers, including several Long Island residents who use kratom as an alternative painkiller, anti-depressant and anti-anxiety treatment, were opposed to making sales or distribution of the herb a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $1,000 and one year in jail.“This legislation, we believe, is misguided, misinformed and unwarranted,” said Chris Cartar, a 40-year-old Greenlawn man, member of the Botanical Legal Defense and kratom user who maintained it helps him manage pain stemming from a hockey injury. “We think that this is just a kneejerk reaction.”The Food and Drug Administration, which deemed kratom a dietary supplement, banned its importation. The Drug Enforcement Administration termed it a drug of concern, although possession is legal on the federal level. Five states nationwide have also banned the herb, according to the American Kratom Association, and New York State lawmakers are also considering a ban.Suffolk County Legis Steve Stern (D-Huntington), who’s term limited and running for Congress, proposed the ban in March out of concern that it’s a gateway drug to narcotics such as heroin. Cartar was one of eight speakers who urged the Democratic-controlled Suffolk Legislature to vote against the bill at their next meeting on May 10.The four proponents included three local substance abuse experts and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini, who noted that detectives have noticed an increase in online chatter about kratom. Steve Chassman, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, questioned the effectiveness of anecdotal reports that some heroin addicts use kratom to get sober.“This is not an evidence-based practice for opioid dependence treatment,” Chassman said. “Not everything that grows in Mother Earth is healthy.”Proponents and opponents alike suggested that more research needs to be done to better understand kratom, although both sides differed on whether it’s addictive or has medicinal value. Several lawmakers noted that they never heard of kratom until Stern proposed banning it.Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), who indicated that he’s leaning toward voting for the ban, said, “The concern that I have…is this is not regulated.”last_img read more

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Carragher bows out as Reds defeat QPR

first_img Coutinho’s sweet strike provided the only goal but the difference between the two sides was huge and Liverpool should have put a hatful. There was a sense of out with the old and in with the new as 17-year-old Jordon Ibe, signed from Wycombe, made his debut. He was 13 months old when Carragher made his first Liverpool appearance but the youngster was not over-awed by the occasion, and after growing into his left-wing role provided the assist for the only goal Cutting in from the left he teed up Coutinho to fire home a low shot from 25 yards. The Brazilian should already have had one to his name as in the opening couple of minutes his low, diving header from Stewart Downing’s corner was cleared by full-back Michael Harriman but only after it appeared to have crossed the line. Loic Remy provided the visitors’ only threat, firing one shot wide and then mis-kicking from close range trying to convert Armand Traore’s cross. All afternoon the Kop had been urging Carragher to shoot – from a varying degree of ridiculous angles and distances – but he declined them all until just past the hour. The ball dropped to him 25 yards out and he smashed a first-time effort which cannoned back off the post with goalkeeper Rob Green well beaten. Forward Philippe Coutinho was Liverpool’s match-winner but Jamie Carragher was the star of the show at Anfield on his 737th and final appearance for the club as they beat QPR 1-0. The veteran centre-back brought the curtain down on a first-team career spanning 16 years 131 days – the seventh longest in the club’s history. Such is his longevity the 35-year-old has served under six different permanent managers at Anfield but his own influence on the team during that time cannot be underestimated And while the day was rightly a celebration of his achievements, the fact the game had the slight feeling of a testimonial would not have impressed the ultra-competitive, ultra-professional Carragher. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Honours for SA’s finance minister

first_img14 October 2013 South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was on Saturday evening named sub-Saharan Africa’s Finance Minister of the Year by Emerging Markets, a website that provides news and analysis on international economics and global financial markets. “The prudent fiscal policy led by Pravin Gordhan, who became finance minister in 2009 at the height of the global economic crisis, has been praised by analysts, especially since South Africa is more exposed than other emerging markets to dangers stemming from an eventual pullback of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve,” read the citation by Emerging Markets. In his acceptance speech in Washington, DC, where he has been attending the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Gordhan thanked Emerging Markets for its recognition of South Africa and its economic team, which has kept the South African economy on track during a very difficult time. “Together with our Nigerian and other colleagues, we hope to make Africa a much greater economy.” Gordhan was critical of the sudden change in the narrative on emerging markets, which until the second quarter of this year were praised for managing their economies very well, contributing more than 50% to global economic growth, and for lifting large numbers of people above the poverty line. “Three months later, we are apparently fragile and we are terrible managers of our economies. We, the emerging markets, are here to stay. We live in an interconnected world, and more importantly, we live in an interdependent world. There is no decoupling from you, the advanced economies, and there is no decoupling from us, the emerging markets,” Gordhan said. In his address at the 28th International Monetary and Financial Committee meeting, Gordhan warned that while stronger economic activity in advanced economies would have a positive impact on global growth, it would also have negative spill-over effects on emerging market and developing countries. “Going forward, downside risks remain elevated. In the euro area, recent indicators point towards a re-emergence from the recession, but with its weak banks and high sovereign debt, the euro area remains fragile and vulnerable to sharp shifts in sentiment,” Gordhan said. “The United States has seen several quarters of relatively strong economic activity, and this had a positive impact on global growth. At the same time, however, uncertainty regarding the unwinding of unconventional monetary policies and the threat of potentially devastating budgetary challenges continue to pose serious risks to the global economy.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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TripAdvisor names SA’s top 10 destinations

first_img1 April 2015As part of their Travelers’ Choice Awards 2015, TripAdvisor recently released a list of the top 10 places to visit in South Africa, nine of which can be found in the Western Cape.The only destination outside of the province is Johannesburg, which features in the fifth position.The destinations were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, attractions and restaurants in destinations worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.Cape Town Central tops the list, followed by Knysna in second position and Franschhoek at number three.The Mother City also found itself in the 10th position among TripAdvisor’s to 25 places to visit in 2015, beating popular urban destinations such as New York City, Barcelona, Dubai and Hong Kong to the top 10.Cape Town “glistens at the southern tip of the African continent”, TripAdvisor said, offering “picture-perfect views at Blaauwberg Beach and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.”TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest online travel community in the world, with more than 315-million unique monthly visitors, and more than 200-million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.5-million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, operating in 45 countries worldwide.The top 10 destinations in South Africa, according to these users, are:Cape TownKnysnaFranschhoekPlettenberg BayJohannesburgConstantiaCamps BayHermanusPaarlStellenboschSource: traveller24.news24.comlast_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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Plus the Value You Add

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Despite how common it is, of the toughest challenges a sales person (or sales organization) can face is having a product or service with the same cost basis as their competitor’s. You each pay the same price for the component parts that make up what you sell, whatever that may be. The difficulty is caused by the fact that your prospective clients know that your cost basis is the same, resulting in a lot of pressure on your pricing.Costs + The Value You AddBut the difference between your price and your competitor’s price is only one thing: the difference in the value that you add. Your price is X plus the value that you add. Your competitor’s prices is X plus the value that they add.Your job as a sales person (or as a sales organization) is to focus on creating the value that makes you worth paying more to obtain.This doesn’t mean that it’s ever easy to compete in this situation. But it does mean that some of your competitors will choose to subtract value in order to capture market share. Instead of trying to be best-in-class, world-class, or exceptional in any way, these sales organizations will subtract value in an attempt to be just good enough. They treat their offering as if it’s a commodity, and so some segment of your market (probably too larges a segment) will choose to believe that you sell as a commodity.The UpsideThere is an upside to this problem. The subtraction of value creates dissatisfaction.If your prospective clients suggests that price is most important, you can test that theory by asking them if they’re willing to give up service, support, the business results they really need, or any of the things that make you a strategic partner. Invariably, mature business people will answer that all those other factors are important to them, and probably more important than price.But you will run into the rare few who will say the price is the most important factor of all. They suffer under the persistent delusion that they can have all of the things that come along with the higher price by still choosing the lowest priced provider. These dream never come true, and the people and companies by this way suffer from an equally persistent dissatisfaction. And when the pain is great enough, they mature and make the necessary investments.Your price is X plus the value you create. It has nothing to do with your competitor’s price. The case that you need to make is that you can and will create the additional value you are trying to capture.last_img read more

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