first_imgResearchers in North Carolina have updated a risk assessment tool that empowers peanut farmers there to decide when a pest, weed or weather condition threatens yield enough to invest in fighting it.Along with updating the Peanut Risk Tool to be more usable in North Carolina, the work will make the resource available to extension specialists in other countries, as well, giving them the same ability to forecast risk and reward in the field. The project is funded through the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.The North Carolina Peanut Risk Tool pulls together different stresses that might impact yield in a given year, allowing extension agents and farmers to see how threats may interact with one another and to make wise decisions about inputs and other investments. A particular pest might be threatening any time, but combined with other circumstances – late planting and dry weather, for example – could be devastating in a particular year.  Knowing how circumstances will work together to impact the crop can help farmers decide when to take action.The tool was originally developed around 2005 with support from the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association and the USDA.  “We had a written Peanut Information Guide, but as people began having greater internet access and electronic tools became more popular, we asked whether that guide could be incorporated into a risk tool,” said David Jordan, a North Carolina State University peanut extension specialist and principal investigator of the Peanut Innovation Lab’s risk tool project and another to create production packages for peanut in Ghana.Farmers worry about individual pests and problems, but also understand how multiple circumstances working together can make circumstances worse. Weighing the big-picture risk, farmers can consider the cost and benefit of each input, but it’s challenging to see that big picture without a tool.“All of the key elements were in the (older) written guide, but searching through the various chapters for answers to complex questions about how pests and practices interact could be challenging,” Jordan said.The risk tool made analysis easier and was popular for several years, but was limited by the computer language and code used to create it. Extension specialists couldn’t update the information and maintaining the tool became more cumbersome, because only a limited number of computer coders could do it.Jordan had an idea: If scientists could modernize the North Carolina risk tool and make it so that anyone could update it, not only would North Carolina farmers benefit, but the tool also could be exported to other places and used by extension specialists and farmers facing very different challenges.“Now, people like me can update the information regularly and keep the tool current and applicable,” Jordan said. “In the process people at other institutions across theglobe can take the tool and the instructions and make their own tool.”Refining the data to go into the tool – deciding how much weight to give certain pests – can push researchers to think about how stresses compound in the field and agree on the effects.“Making the tool forces scientists to build consensus. A number has to be entered in a category and cooperating scientists have to think across subject matter disciplines and climates. That’s an important intangible that the risk tool fosters cooperation through its construction,” Jordan said.The Peanut Innovation Lab provided funding to update the North Carolina Risk Tool as part of a quick-start project commissioned when the five-year innovation lab program started in 2018.Using the platform developed at North Carolina State University as a starting point, Jordan and other PIs can apply the technology to help develop risk tools for other countries. Work already is under way to develop a risk tool for Ghana, based on good agricultural practice maps and crop calendars for the production systems in two regions of the country. The proposed project will use the experiences with risk tool development in Ghana and North Carolina to develop risk tools for Malawi, Senegal, and Uganda.last_img read more

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Staff members often see strategic planning as unfamiliar and threatening. It means change, and especially in smaller organizations with long-tenured teams, change can be difficult and significantly disruptive. Employees need to understand that change will come whether they plan for it or not and that they have a much better chance of managing the future by considering what it means before it arrives.The key to engagement in planning discussions is the ability to move beyond the day-to-day to think about the bigger picture. Often people who are operationally strong can struggle to move past the way things currently work to think about the way things might be. The critical challenge is creating an environment that supports open sharing of ideas and perspectives without judgment (avoiding the 18-second manager problem, which is the topic of a great video from Tom Peters). Sometimes, those who are comfortable with strategy unintentionally intimidate those who are unexperienced because they push back too quickly or challenge or dismiss new and different ideas.It takes time for teams to form and become effective. That means expectations need to be defined before the process starts. You cannot suddenly bring staff into the process and expect them to be able to immediately acclimate to and engage with a group that has been together many times. The forming, storming, norming, performing stages need to happen, and that takes time. If you are including new people in the planning process, prepare them beforehand and make sure the entire team has experienced being together before the planning session takes place. You can’t just throw everyone into the room, ask them to think about the future and expect them to engage in a meaningful way. continue reading »last_img read more

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter August 13, 2020 Governor Wolf Announces Funding for Affordable Rental Housingcenter_img Economy,  Press Release Today’s Funding Will Add Another 1,785 Affordable Rental Units in Pa. Governor Tom Wolf today announced awards totaling $42 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, $6.08 million in PennHOMES funding, and $12.6 million in National Housing Trust Funds for the construction of 36 affordable multifamily housing developments in Pennsylvania. The federal tax credits are administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and were approved by its board.“These investments in housing benefit everyone because communities need housing for people at all income levels if they are to stay vibrant and growing,” said Gov. Wolf. “Demand is high for these tax credits because they make possible the construction of affordable rental housing that otherwise wouldn’t be financially feasible.”When completed, the developments receiving funding today will preserve and create an additional 1,785 rental units for Pennsylvania residents, including 70 for people at or below 30 percent of the area median income supported by the National Housing Trust Funds.“Low Income Housing Tax Credits are essential because they draw on public-private partnerships to achieve the construction of affordable rental housing that might otherwise never be built,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “The allocation of this funding reflects our commitment to address the affordable housing crisis, and the public-private investments that are being made will provide a stimulus to Pennsylvania’s economy.”The 36 multifamily housing proposals that are being awarded tax credits today can be viewed on the PHFA website at:; see the last item listed under “News: 2020” and dated 08/13.Ver esta página en español.last_img read more

first_img“Last spring, NN indicated that it would prefer to place our administration with its subsidiary AZL, but we declined,” said Schuil. “As a result of the tendering process, we had specifically opted for DLPS rather than AZL.”Schuil said DLPS had more modern systems, adding that the scheme was also impressed by the provider’s communication systems and portals.Besided Delta Lloyd’s own pension fund and its new general pension fund Delta Lloyd APF, Houtverwerkende Industrie is the first and only external client of DLPS. The company emphasised that it was open to new clients.DLPS is to replace Syntrus Achmea Pensioenbeheer following the latter’s decision to stop servicing mandatory industry-wide pension funds, as its new IT system could not cope with their arrangements.According to the scheme’s chair, it is still possible that the pension fund will have to transfer its administration to AZL in 2020. In this case the new merger company NN-Delta Lloyd would carry all costs.Last spring, Houtverwerkende Industrie also signed a letter of intent with Delta Lloyd Asset Management, which is to replace Achmea Investment Management.A spokesman for NN said that investors would receive clarity about the integration plans of NN and Delta Lloyd at the end of November.VLEP to outsource administration to AZLIn contrast, the €2.5bn pension fund for the cold meat sector (VLEP) has chosen NN subsidiary AZL to be its pensions administrator. VLEP is another of the 22 schemes affected by Syntrus Achmea’s exit from mandatory sector scheme provision.In addition, the scheme said it had selected Woerden-based pensions consultancy Actor to provide support to its board, effective from 1 September.The pension scheme said it wanted to separate its pensions provision and board support, both of which had been implemented by Syntrus Achmea.VLEP has approximately 23,000 participants and pensioners affiliated with almost a thousand employers.For a full review of the fallout from Syntrus Achmea’s decision and a summary of how pension schemes have reacted, look out for the September edition of IPE.Pharmaceuticals scheme awards LDI mandateMeanwhile, the €250m Pensioenfonds Brocacef has renewed its asset management contract with NN Investment Partners (NNIP).The asset manager said that the scheme’s €130m liability-driven investment mandate would be invested in NN’s Duration Matching Range funds, “which provide a safe and effective way of interest hedge without mandatory additional payments”.Johan Eeken, chairman of the Brocacef scheme – the pension fund of pharmaceutical group BENU – said the new mandate enabled the pension fund “to cover its liabilities in a predictable way” and that it had been offered “flexibility in anticipating changes”.Bart Oldenkamp, head of integrated client solutions at NNIP, said that the asset manager had a long history and “excellent track record” of managing fixed income portfolios.“Flexibility, ease and transparency are key to the implementation of our matching strategies,” he added. The €508m pension fund for the wood-processing and yacht-building industries has chosen to stick with Delta Lloyd as its administrator, according to the fund’s chairman.Peter Schuil said the scheme would not make a change despite the provider being taken over by NN Group last spring. NN has its own administration provider, AZL.Last April, the sector scheme (Houtverwerkende Industrie) picked Delta Lloyd Pensioenfonds Services (DLPS) as its new administration provider, effective from 2018.Schuil told IPE’s Dutch sister publication PensioenPro that it had agreed with both Delta Lloyd and NN that it could keep on using DLPS until at least 2020.last_img read more

first_imgNational home values fell 0.7 per cent in November, according to CoreLogic. Image: AAP/Sam Mooy.BRISBANE home prices are about to take off at a time when the nation’s overall housing market is in its biggest slump since the global financial crisis.The Queensland capital was the only major state capital to record a rise in home values last month, and a leading property expert says the best is yet to come.The CoreLogic November hedonic home value index out today confirms Brisbane home values grew 0.1 per cent during the month, while national dwelling values fell 0.7 per cent — the index’s weakest performance since December 2008. RELATED: Brisbane housing leads the nation CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless.Brisbane’s more affordable prices relative to Sydney and Melbourne were helping prop up that market and it was arguably the country’s most stable market, according to Mr Lawless.Better affordability also meant Brisbane was not as exposed to the current lending climate, where banks were becoming increasingly restrictive in giving out new loans.“There has been strong migration into southeast Queensland, especially from NSW,” Mr Lawless said.“Housing is much more affordable than in Sydney and Melbourne and that’s increasing demand for housing.“In many ways, Brisbane has underperformed in the last decade, but that’s actually made the market more sustainable.” The biggest falls were in Sydney, down 1.4 per cent in November, and Melbourne (-1 per cent).Nationally, home values are down 4.2 per cent since peaking in October last year. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoPlace Advisory residential research director Lachlan Walker.Mr Walker said those factors, coupled with high employment, better affordability than the southern capitals, low vacancy rates and dwindling supply were all in Brisbane’s favour. “These leading indicators place Brisbane in a very strong and positive position to potentially recognise the growth which has been avoiding us for now close to 10 years,” he said.CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said Brisbane was proving more resilient to the downturn because its home prices had never climbed as high and its recent growth was at a more sustainable level. MORE: Footy star tackles property flipscenter_img CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index for November 2018.But while Sydney and Melbourne are suffering, all the indicators point to prices heading north in Brisbane, according to Place Advisory residential research director Lachlan Walker.“Population growth, thanks to interstate migration, is the highest it’s been in a decade,” Mr Walker said.“Infrastructure spend is also the highest in recent history — over 130 major projects totalling upwards of $55 billion.” Sydney is leading the home value falls across the country. Picture: Sam Mooy.Mr Lawless said the weak national result came amid tightening credit conditions, which were spreading to the owner-occupier segment of the market, as well as uncertainty ahead of the next federal election.“Potentially investor sentiment is being weighed down by the potential for changes to taxation policies related to housing should there be a change of government,” he said.“A negative gearing rollback looking to exclude established dwellings could diminish demand across the resale market with less investment demand for properties with low rental yields. “The halving of capital gains tax concessions would likely provide further disincentive to investment, on top of weak prospects for capital gains, premiums on investment mortgage rates, low rental yields and fewer depreciation benefits.”last_img read more

first_img3 News 14 Mar 2013Four National MPs have changed their minds about gay  marriage between the first and second readings of the bill that will legalise  it. The second reading count late on Wednesday night was 77-44,  a majority slightly smaller than the first reading count of 80-40. The conscience vote lists show Gerry Brownlee, Jonathan  Coleman, Murray McCully and Ian McKelvie, who all voted in favour of the bill on  its first reading, opposed it on its second. None of those MPs spoke during the second reading  debate. There was a full slate of 121 votes for the second  reading. On the first reading, Labour’s Raymond Huo didn’t cast a  vote and didn’t abstain. There were two new MPs in Parliament for the second reading  – Carol Beaumont who replaced Charles Chauvel and Aaron Gilmore who replaced  Lockwood Smith. They both supported the bill on its second  reading. fly as MPs vote on gay 14 Mar 2013Parliament has moved a step closer to legalising gay marriage after a resounding vote in support of the law change. Equality Marriage Amendment Bill passes second testNZ Herald 13 Mar 2013Same-sex marriage has inched another step closer after Parliament overwhelmingly backed it at the second hurdle, with only a handful more MPs turning against the bill. Labour MP Louisa Wall’s bill passed by 77 votes to 44 votes late last night in front of a near-full public gallery, a drop in support of 3 votes from the first reading. Cabinet ministers Gerry Brownlee, Jonathan Coleman and Murray McCully and National MP Ian McKelvie voted against after initially supporting the bill. An attempt by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to delay the law change until a referendum could be held at the 2014 general election was voted down by a margin of 83 votes to 33. New MPs Aaron Gilmore, who replaced former Speaker Lockwood Smith, and Labour’s Carol Beaumont, who replaced Charles Chauvel, both backed the legislation. read more

first_imgVINTON, Iowa – The paydays get even better this week for a trio of IMCA Sunoco Late Model feature winners.  IMCA will announce mid-week before the dates bonuses are to be awarded at each track. It begins Wednesday evening at 300 Raceway in Farley as the IMCA Late Model winner pockets an extra $250 courtesy of Sunoco Race Fuels. Sunoco bonuses are being presented at IMCA Late Model sanctioned weekly tracks this year. Drivers are eligible for only one bonus during the 2020 racing season. Previous winners were Jeff Aikey at Independence Motor Speedway, Matt Ryan at 34 Raceway, and Joel Callahan at Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway.center_img Thursday night the bonus moves to Davenport Speedway, and the night begins with last Friday’s make-up feature. Then the pot gets richer as the next $250 Sunoco Race Fuels bonus of the season will be paid to the scheduled June 25 IMCA Late Model winner. The final bonus of the week will be presented Friday night at Marshalltown Speedway. Double Late Model features are also on the card at Marshalltown, with the $250 Sunoco bonus presented to the night’s second feature winner – the evening’s originally scheduled feature.last_img read more

first_imgSenior Katinka Hosszu broke a school record in the 200-yard free in a lead-off swim of USC’s third-place 800-yard to highlight the Women of Troy’s first night at the 2012 Pac-12 swimming and diving championships in Federal Way, Wash., on Wednesday.Final push · The Women of Troy are currently tied for third place at the conference championships. The meet will continue until Saturday. – Anna Wierzbowska | Daily TrojanUSC finished third in a three-way tie with Arizona and Arizona State with 104 points for the first night, which consisted of just two relays. California is currently first (128 points), while Stanford is in second (112). The three-way tie is followed up by UCLA (96), Oregon State (90), Utah (88) and Washington State (86).USC’s 800-yard free relay quartet of Hosszu, junior Haley Anderson, senior Amanda Smith and sophomore Lynette Lim took third in 7:01.76, behind California’s first-place time of 6:57.86 and Stanford’s 6:58.82. USC’s time was a season-best and NCAA “A” cut, and fell just short of the 2010 school record of 6:59.48.Hosszu led off the relay with a 1:43.19, cutting almost a full second off of her school record of 1:44.01 over 200 yards.USC’s 200-yard medley relay took fifth as the foursome of junior Yumi So, sophomore Kasey Carlson, junior Christel Simms and Hosszu finished the tight race in 1:37.77. California’s relay team won with 1:36.77.The championships continue through Saturday with prelims beginning at 11 a.m. and finals starting at 6 p.m.last_img read more

first_imgThe outcome of the mock version was revealed by English football legend Lineker via his official Twitter handle.He also revealed that his beloved nation England was drawn alongside Belgium during the mock draw. 2018 FIFA World Cup draw host, Gary Lineker, has stated that the Super Eagles of Nigeria was drawn alongside former world champions France and Argentina in what is the group of death when a mock draw took place on Thursday.The mock version of the World Cup draw was done as a dress rehearsal ahead of the main draw slated for the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia on Friday, December 1. Related7 World Cup Legends To Assist Lineker For Russia 2018 DrawNovember 21, 2017In “FIFA”Eagles Have A 50-50 Chance – NFF President Amaju Pinnick on World Cup Draw (Audio)December 4, 2017In “Africa”Lineker To Conduct World Cup Final DrawNovember 18, 2017In “FIFA”last_img read more

first_imgFabrizio Ravanelli has been sacked as coach of Ajaccio, the French Ligue 1 club have confirmed. The Italian only took up the reins at the start of the season but the Corsicans have failed to fire and lie second from bottom with just one win from 12 matches.A 3-1 defeat at home to Valenciennes on Saturday marked a fourth successive league loss for Ajaccio and club president Alain Orsoni felt he had no other choice than to let former Juventus and Middlesbrough striker Ravanelli go.”We have decided to stop our collaboration with Fabrizio Ravanelli and (his assistant) Giampiero Ventrone,” Orsoni told the media. “This is a decision that was not easy to make from a human point of view. I like these two men, I wanted it to work. During my presidency I have never seen staff work so hard, not to mention the hours they put in. They took their task to heart. However, I was forced to make a decision in the interests of my position as club president.”The result (against Valenciennes) has not influenced my choice. This is something that has been thought through and was decided after the defeat to Nantes (on 19 October). I’m not saying this is necessarily the right solution, only time will tell, but I had to do something.”Ravanelli himself hinted all was not well within the camp as he spoke of his departure.”I’m really disappointed, it hurts,” he told Canal+. “But that’s life in football. I worked and tried to make sure it worked, but it did not work. I’m not angry. We had a lot of problems, I never had the whole team.” Ajaccio will hold a press conference on Monday morning where they are expected to announce an interim coach.last_img read more