Start a journey to play with the stars!

first_img Golf clubs in England are being urged to enter the Bridgestone DriveGuard Trophy and give their members the chance to play in the pro-am of one of the European Tour’s biggest events.Club events will be the first step of an adventure which could take players to one of six regional finals on a premium course, before a date in the pro-am of the Bridgestone Challenge event at Heythrop Park, culminating in the pro-am of the British Masters supported by Sky Sports at The Grove in October, hosted by Luke Donald.The club rounds will take place during March, April and May.The six regional finals will be played at Burnham Beeches Golf Club, Buckinghamshire; Ganton Golf Club, Yorkshire (pictured, image © Leaderboard Photography); West Lancashire Golf Club; Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire; Royal North Devon Golf Club; and the London Club, Kent.The top three players at each final will play in one of six teams at the pro-am of the Bridgestone Challenge Tour event in August. The winning team there will go on to play at the pro-am of the British Masters in October.The Bridgestone Driveguard Trophy is supported by England Golf and brought to you by the world’s largest tyre manufacturer. It’s free to enter and open to all club members in England – men, women, boys and girls.Competitors will also receive the following gifts when purchasing four Bridgestone DriveGuard tyres at participating retailers within six months of their club event:• An official British Masters supported by Sky Sports shoe bag• A dozen Bridgestone golf balls• A free MOT for your car after the tyres are purchased.Click here to view a video about the Bridgestone DriveGuard trophy 1 Apr 2016 Start a journey to play with the stars! last_img read more

Amara Konneh Calls for More Resources for Ebola

first_imgLiberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara M. Konneh and delegation have concluded  constructive country-level discussions with the officials of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other development partners, aimed at mobilizing support for the government’s fight against the  Ebola epidemic.In conversations with the World Bank, Konneh requested that the institution and other development partners use their convening powers to assist Liberia in raising additional resources to fight Ebola and also to support the country’s economic recovery plan.For more than a week, Minister Konneh and his  delegation, including Central Bank Executive Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones, the president of the Liberia Bank for Investment and Development (LBDI, John B. S. Davies III, Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood, amongst others, have been in Washington DC working to make Liberia’s case for more support to be provided expeditiously to stop the killer virus and its destructive impacts on the nation.The delegation articulated clearly that Liberia was looking for new avenues of support to fight Ebola and deal with probable associated economic and social issues. The Liberian Team requested bilateral and multilateral partners to not re-program existing commitments but rather provide injection of new funds.Minister Konneh said the discussions were fruitful and Liberia was able to make a strong case for the World Bank to provide additional assistance following the provision of US$52 million of crisis funds last month.“We are aiming to raise around $50 million dollars as direct support and we hope our key projects will be accelerated, including work on the Redlight to Gbarnga road, and feasibility studies on the Ganta to Tappita road.”Minister Konneh also met with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Raj Shah, who assured him that every support will be provided to help stop the transmission of Ebola.Discussions were also held with the Millennium Challenge Corporation over a possible funding window that could be harnessed to accelerate Liberia’s economic stabilization and recovery.Discussions with the IMF focused on additional support beyond the recent US$48 million dollars under the Extended Credit Facility program to be channeled through the Central Bank of Liberia.Representations were also made for additional commitments under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).The Managing Director of the IMF, Madam Christine Lagarde, suggested to her colleagues that there is a need for more budgetary support for Liberia as short-term spending is critical during these difficult times.In the United States, Minister Konneh consummated a deal worth US$27 million dollars with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the rehabilitation of the Roberts International Airport runway. EIB also expressed willingness to work together on future pipeline projects.In meeting with the Swedish International Development Office, Minister Konneh pleaded with the Swedes to increase their support to Liberia, beyond the US $10 million dollars committed through International Non-Governmental Organizations.In a related development, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has agreed to provide an immediate injection of roughly US$15 million to the banking sector for trade financing.The IFC is also actively exploring ways to provide financing to small businesses, particularly in the Agriculture sector.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Diplomacy and Its Practices in the Modern Era: The Critical Analyst

first_imgjmosesgrayUndoubtedly, the landscape of diplomacy and its practices have changed from the old practices to a modern system; beginning with the advancement of technology and education that makes it imperative to adapt to the demands stemming from continuing transformations of the international system. In whatsoever form or shape it may choose, this process will always be marked by well-guided and most often vested interests which may be viewed cardinal or changed in ingredient from country to country, sometime to the annoyance of other nations; shifts in ideas, norms of behavior, and informal practices that create new international customs and conventions.Out of this sphere of unfolding developments and uncertainties a diplomat, in this modern era, should obtain the ‘requisite tools’ of education, skills, and a marketable reputation. The word diplomat has been used in a rather general sense to include all members of the foreign services of all nations, and particularly those acting as chiefs of mission. However, not all diplomacy is carried out by diplomats. In a sense, every citizen of a state who travels to another country is a diplomat, sometimes not a very good or skillful one. However, in a professional sense, diplomats include two main groups: diplomatic officers and consular officers. Diplomatic officials specialize in representation and negotiation, whereas consular official are particularly concerned with the protection of the interests of the nationals of their country. The diplomat in this modern world faces challenges from the global distribution of power.Diplomacy is not an end but a means; not a purpose but a method. It seeks, by the use of reason, conciliation and the exchange of interests to prevent major conflicts arising between sovereign states and other civil organizations. It is an activity which aims to promote the national interest of a country and also a technique for accommodating conflicting interest. But it could also be construed that apart from representing national interests the role of a diplomat includes the bringing about compromises to ensure a greater peace in an age when conflict has more dire consequences.Scholars of diplomacy have identified many new developments that have contributed to the changing nature of diplomatic practice in a contemporary system of global politics, such includes diplomatic representation, with greater emphasis on recognized conduct; engagement of governments in a dialogue with foreign civil societies and a consequent focus on the utilization of public diplomacy since studies show that diplomacy is a continuous process.No doubt, diplomacy forges relations between states and international societies; keeps changing and adapting to its system of practices and international system, but basic functions of the diplomat certainly remain the same. A diplomat, is not one whose focus is deeply rooted in money, materialism, curtail red wine and swanky banquets much more than that should have the ability and knowledge to sense what is especially politically or other obtaining in the environment where he or she is accredited and relates same to the sending government.Former American Secretary of State, Madeleine K. Albright in her book: New American Diplomacy,(2000), pinpointed that  Diplomacy is the art and practice of negotiation between nations, conducted mostly through private conversations and the exchange of confidential documents. According to her, Foreign Ministers and ambassadors use public statements and news conferences to explain their policies, seek support for their governments, and put pressure on other countries in the negotiations of a specify situation.In the much quoted definition of a renowned Liberian author and former diplomat, Dr. Joseph Saye Guanu, he defined a diplomat as an honest Man sent abroad to lie for the good of his country. While in his recent book: Liberian Emerging Democracy, Josephus Gray, (2013) reiterated that beyond representation, a diplomat is expected to possess a good knowledge and understanding of his own country; its geography, history and culture, its economy, political, social and its demographic structure, natural resources, its industry and the determinants of its foreign policy priorities.In the words of Warren Christopher, diplomat is a crisis manager and must possess: A good knowledge of international relations, a good understanding of how international relations function between nations, the confidence and the convincing ability to capture successful negotiations, the ability to establish intimacy and empathy with the adversaries and their aspirations in the negotiations, great moral and intellectual sensitivity, perception, imagination and courage, the ability to make parties feel convincing and grateful for successful negotiation.             In order for a Foreign Service officer especially an ambassador to gain respect on the global stage, one appointed as ambassador should have taste and desire to seek new knowledge by reading and conducting research; must be cognoscente that contemporary diplomacy goes beyond curtails red wine and swanky banquets. While it is true that an ambassador may not always tell the truth, but to be effective the diplomat must be credible to attract the confidence of the government to which he is accredited and be a person of high esteem with unquestionable integrity. Diplomacy serves states in three useful channels of communication including means of negotiating agreements between states, a source of information about what is happening in host states and representing the interest of the sending state.A diplomat especially an ambassador should be acknowledgeable of other states, regions, and of the mechanism and procedures of international intercourse which involves a deep knowledge of the world network of diplomatic missions and consular posts, their functions, their practice and structure. As an added advantage, a diplomat should be crafty in crisis management and damage control and as far as possible without surrender, be well-rounded in performance.  A diplomat should also possess specialist qualities such as: political awareness, personal acceptability, education, intellectual curiosity and intellectual versatility, and not just .An ambassador should level up fully to the new trends of diplomatic behavior and challenge should not come as a surprise, but for others it does, taking into consideration contemporary complexities of the international system, in which a multiplicity of major actors operates, which demand new approaches and solutions for a new demanding challenges.  In order for a Foreign Service officer especially an ambassador to gain respect on the global stage, one appointed as ambassador should have taste and desire to seek new knowledge by reading and conducting research; must be cognoscente that contemporary diplomacy goes beyond curtails red wine and swanky banquets.    Former American Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger in his thoughtful new book: New Order: Explained that practically, new actors on the international scene are increasingly using practices employed by states with the aim of furthering their interests in the international arena and putting new issues on the global agenda. Not only do the ‘newcomers’ who are educated in the practices emulate states’ behavior, but they also develop new mechanisms and instruments of reading materials of diplomatic conduct and practices, this usually afford them the opportunities to make impact on the world stage of  recognized diplomatic practices.In the words of the former senior ambassador at large of Liberia, Carlton Karpeh (2010) diplomat presents his or her government policies to the foreign country in a persuasive and persuading tone, not a demanding one, as such, a diplomat always represents the interest of the nation but at the same time cannot ignore the public opinion on national and international issues that go beyond defined borders.The gradual collapse of a long-established hegemonies and the re-emergence of long-neglected enmities have placed a high premium on the work of those well-trained and skilled in mediation, negotiation and representation. The development of instant communications and the advance of science and technology have increased the depth and scope of diplomacy in this contemporary world of civilization, especially with the emergence of new states, nuclear weapons, conflict resolution, terrorism and bad governance. The necessity for a well formulated dialogue in a modern world when relative certainties of a bipolar state system have given way to a disorderly, confused multi-polarity is witnessed by the frenetic pace of contemporary diplomatic activities.However, the revolutionary changes in the nature of relations between sovereign states and even non state actors with international reputation and other civil societies have changed the responsibilities of today’s diplomat which is basically that of mediation and communication of international issues between countries, civil international societies and the public. Evidently, diplomat presents his or her government’s policies to the foreign and domestic publics in a persuasive and persuading tone, not a demanding one, as such; a diplomat always represents the interest of the nation but at the same time cannot ignore the public opinion on national and international issues that go beyond defined borders.Diplomacy goes far beyond swanky banquets and curtail red wine discussion, diplomat should be fully aware of work every day to be able to partner with local businesses and companies in host country to enhance economic growth back home in his country. That is why those tasked with economic activities at embassy must be sharp, cognizant of global prevailing wheeling and dealing; keep check of the financial movers and shakers, be well-schooled and knowledgeable of economic diplomacy which encourages greater cooperation and relations that protect investment and bilateral ties between two states or among companies.But in most instances especially for under-developed nations, inept and half-baked individuals are appointed under the influence of gifts and bribery. It is so shameful that some of these people do not know the different between Micro-economic and macro-economic or fiscal policy and monitory policy either can they distinguish economy and economics.On one occasion I was embarrassed that I wished the grounds that I was standing would open so that I could have plunged beneath and disappeared when a certain flamboyant ambassador was quested by a group of students during a certain occasion. This ambassador couldn’t distinguish foreign policy from international relations and the new world order on one hand and the doctrines of   President Obama and former president George W. Bush on the order hand.  On the stage, this guy became a laughing fun fare among his peers and the students. For every time he tries to escape the question, he was reminded to address the students’ questions and provide answer. After his ineptness became broad, the monitor requested the students to give the ambassador a month to conduct research and address the question. In contemporary diplomacy, the issues of economic interests, trade, protection of nationals, and security  have become much more difficult, with major challenges affecting the practices of diplomacy being influenced by major actors and powerful states, and some time the continued experiment of global, continental and regional groupings. Other factors such as bad political decisions in domestic politics, economic growth, and technological development, among others have greatly affected the international system. But, now new issues such as technical matters are coming to the forefront.These new issues not only reflect the wider interests and responsibilities of government but also narrowly focus on non-state actors (Mohammad Tariqul, 2005). These trends have consequently changed the diplomatic agenda, techniques and practice of diplomatic relations, the rapid growth in the operational activities of international organizations, and changes in the style of negotiating diplomatic matters.In the words of Richard Rosecrance, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, in the extended sense, diplomatic techniques have undergone considerable metamorphosis since the eighteenth century. In his book titled: The Rise of the Trading State”,  Rosecrance propounded that the extensive use of propaganda, subversion on a wide scale, and the manipulation of national economic instruments for foreign policy purposes have greatly enlarged the range of multilateral dealings on the world scene.The role of the diplomat has changed appreciably purely due to the technological breakthrough in a modern world, today, the role of “conference diplomacy” and hi-tech diplomacy in most cases downgrade the role of diplomats especially Ambassadors. In this hi-tech advancement, in some cases diplomats are secondary important, while in a crisis did they act merely as messengers. In an advanced technically era, diplomats sometimes are merely the messengers of their governments rather than important advisers and policy makers, since technology has brought about a psychological warfare and propaganda that has become a powerful weapon to diplomacy and foreign policy.According to a leading twentieth-century figure in the study of international politics, Hans Morgenthau, diplomacy will naturally decline with the onset of modern communication technologies such as the telephone, telegraph, cable and communication satellite. For example, following the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Washington and Moscow set up a teletype system that delivered printed copy from one capital to the other.Furthermore, leader’s willingness to use the telephone has carried communication a step further. In the Persian Gulf crisis of 1991, former President George Bush, Sr., and former President Mikhail Gorbachev conducted an unprecedented 75 minutes telephone conversation including the time needed for translations. Also in recent times the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu made a telephone call to the UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon dissuading him not to go to Iran, former US secretary of State, Colin Powell conducted an unprecedented about 95 telephone calls  under the rubric of diplomacy to his colleagues around the world.Powell by-passed his ambassador and put a call through directly to the Secretary General. Study shows that technology has rendered the difference in time, space and distance irrelevant and meaningless in contemporary diplomatic intercourse. And now the almighty internet with its many sophisticated features including the e-mail segment cannot be denied center-stage in the community of diplomacy.Former Liberian Minister of foreign Affairs, T. Ernest Eastman (2006) stated: The field of international relations is so important that they called diplomacy the ‘master-institution’ of international politics which influenced domestic politics. While in international relations, Eastman (2006) said diplomacy functions through a labyrinth of foreign offices, embassies, legations, consulates, and special missions all over the world. Watch out for part IIShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cop nabbed with ganja in car

first_imgA policeman found himself in hot water after he was nabbed by his colleagues on Monday afternoon with a large quantity of marijuana.Reports are at about 15:00h, Police swooped down on one of their own in the vicinity of Aubrey Barker Road, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown.This newspaper was told that a corporal, attached to a police station in Berbice, was in his motorcar when the vehicle was stopped. There was another male occupant inside the car.The cops then ordered that their colleague and his passenger exit the vehicle and proceeded to conduct a search on the vehicle.A large quantity of marijuana was discovered in the trunk of the vehicle.Both men were immediately arrested and are in police custody where investigations are ongoing.This newspaper was told that the men travelled to Georgetown with the illegal substance with the aim of distributing/selling to customers. Berbice and Linden have been identified as two leading areas in Guyana where marijuana is cultivated on a large scale and then sold to various locations throughout the country.last_img read more

Fears Cardiff player Emiliano Sala was on missing plane

first_img0Shares0000Emiliano Sala signed for Cardiff City on SaturdayLONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 22 – There is “genuine concern” Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala was on a light aircraft which disappeared between France and Cardiff.It is feared the Argentine striker was one of two people on board the Piper Malibu, which went missing off Alderney in the Channel Islands on Monday night. Cardiff City, which signed the 28-year-old from French club Nantes on Saturday, said it was “seeking clarification” as to what happened.A search resumed at 08:00 GMT.Guernsey police said “no trace” of the missing aircraft had been found.It left Nantes at 19:15 and had been flying at 5,000ft when it contacted Jersey air traffic control requesting descent, the force said.The plane lost contact while at 2,300ft.Searches were suspended at 02:00 “due to strengthening winds, worsening sea conditions and reducing visibility”, police added.Cardiff Airport confirmed the aircraft was due to arrive from Nantes but a spokeswoman said there were no further details.The Met Office said at the time the aircraft went missing “there were some showers around, but nothing too intense”.“Wind speeds were not too bad – average speeds were around 15 to 20mph,” it added.As the search continued into the evening though, it became wetter and windier.Cardiff signed Sala for a club record £15m after protracted negotiations with Nantes.He has been among the top scorers in France in recent years and had scored 13 league and cup goals this season, third behind Kylian Mbappe and Nicolas Pepe.When his signing to Cardiff was announced, he said: “It gives me great pleasure and I can’t wait to start training, meet my new teammates and get down to work.”Club chief executive Ken Choo said: “I’m sure all Cardiff City fans will join me in that and we can look forward to seeing our record signing in a Bluebirds shirt.”The most recent tweet from Sala’s account was a picture of him and his former team-mates, captioned “ciao”.Sala began his playing career at Argentinian side Club Proyecto Crecer, before moving to French club Girondins Bordeaux in 2012.The flight disappeared off radar near the Casquets lighthouse, infamous among mariners as the site of many shipwrecks, 13km north-west of Alderney.HM Coastguard said the disappearance was not in the UK search and rescue area, but it had sent two helicopters to help.A spokeswoman said they were assisting Guernsey Coastguard with a search for a light aircraft off Alderney.“HM Coastguard helicopters from Solent and Newquay have been helping to search overnight with nothing found,” she said.-By BBC Sport- 0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Box-office flaws showing

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LAS VEGAS – Movie exhibitors and distributors gathered for the ShoWest Convention are in for a somewhat sobering but hopeful State of the Industry address today as they grapple with how to stop a drop in movie attendance and navigate changes in movie technology. The Motion Picture Association of America has released its annual theatrical market statistics report in advance of MPAA Chairman Dan Glickman’s morning address, and it notes that attendance was down 6 percent in the United States and 7.9 percent worldwide last year. But Glickman said he is confident that, despite increasing competition for consumers’ time and entertainment dollars, movie-going remains a regular part of people’s lives. The MPAA head will speak at what is the largest annual convention for the motion picture industry. The film industry “can’t bury our heads in the sand,” Glickman warns. “We have to do more to attract customers and keep regulars coming back. It’s no secret that our industry faces new challenges, but with every challenge there is an exciting opportunity.” Looking back to 2005 when 1.4 billion tickets were sold in the United States, releases by the major studios grossed an average of $37 million, and domestic releases increased by 5.6 percent. Movies rated PG and PG-13 accounted for 85 percent of last year’s most popular releases, led by “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” The MPAA, citing a nationwide survey conducted last August by Nielsen Entertainment/NRG, said 81 percent of moviegoers who had seen at least one movie in 2005 thought the experience was a good investment of time and money, and just 15 percent preferred watching the movie on DVD. The survey showed that owners of such home-theater technologies as a large-screen television, digital recording devices and DVD players were actually more avid moviegoers, and nearly half made a decision to buy a movie on DVD after seeing it in a theater. Other points expected to be covered by Glickman include the average cost of production and marketing, which dipped slightly to $96 million. Only one 2005 major studio release, “Munich,” was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, and it had a production budget of $75 million. The other four nominated films, including winner “Crash,” were independently produced for budgets ranging from $6.5 million to $14 million. Overall production budgets for the studios were down by 4 percent from 2004. But the cost of marketing the movies rose by 5.2 percent, with the studios putting more dollars on network television and Internet advertising and less on newspaper ads and local television spots. “Technology has not just changed the way people are able to view movies; it has changed the way our industry produces and advertises movies,” Glickman said. “We are exploring new ways to reach more people using innovative methods of communication and distribution.” greg.hernandez@dailynews.com (818) 713-3758 last_img read more

AIB BOUGHT SECRET INFORMATION PASSED ON BY LETTERKENNY CIVIL SERVANT

first_imgThe AIB bank employed two private investigators to get information from a civil servant based at the Department of Social Protection in Letterkenny.The bank as well as well as three insurance companies and six debt collection agencies all used information passed on by the civil servant from the offices at Oliver Plunkett Road.The government employee has since been suspended from his position and according to sources is “very likely” to face charges. The investigation, the biggest carried out by the Data Protection Commission into the information leak, was sparked when Garda raided the home of a private investigator.They found social security files on a number of people and when they traced them back it led to one employee at the Government offices.It is understood that the records of more than 1,000 people were accessed and passed on to the two PIs who are both based in Dublin.It is understood the information was being accessed by the banks to find out more about people who owed them money. The insurance companies also accessed the information but their motives were apparently to find out if people had been telling them the truth when applying for insurance.The employee at the centre of allegedly supplying the information from the Donegal office has not been seen at his desk since January and is unlikely to reappear.A source at the Department of Social Protection told donegaldaily.com “All of a sudden we arrived one day and his desk had been cleared. We were sure what had happened even though there had been rumours of some kind of irregularities.“But when this broken everyone was shocked. He seemed a very straight guy but you just don’t know what is going on.“We have all been asked to check out something small for someone but you just can’t do it. It’s just more than your job’s worth. “But the scale of this accessing makes it seem like there was certainly something very organised going on between a few people,” said the source.The Department of Social Protection has more than 4,000 staff and processes payment on behalf of almost one million people each week.The AIB has refused to admit publicly that they are involved in the investigation but it’s believed they are helping the DPC.Spokesman for the Commission Gary Davis confirmed to donegaldaily.com that a number of banks are involved in the investigation but refused to say which ones. The Gardai have also composed a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions and a criminal charges may also be brought.EndsAIB BOUGHT SECRET INFORMATION PASSED ON BY LETTERKENNY CIVIL SERVANT was last modified: April 18th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Civil servantDepartment of Social Protectionletterkennylast_img read more

A HAPPY TAIL! THE JACKSON FIVE FIND HOMES IN DONEGAL

first_imgThe pups are fit and healthy today after being dumped to die just a month ago.All five pups which were abandoned in a cardboard box in a forest in Ballybofey have now been rehomed.The week-old pups were just hours from certain death when a walker heard their cries.The pups, Labrador crosses, were handed over to the Donegal Pet Rescue group in a suitcase by the man who found them. The group then found a foster bitch in a bid to try and help the pups survive.The pups, dubbed the Jackson Five, all made it and they have been booked by new owners.Ryan McCauley from Donegal Pet Rescue said it is great to think that all dogs have found loving homes despite being left out to die.  A HAPPY TAIL! THE JACKSON FIVE FIND HOMES IN DONEGAL was last modified: December 9th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:abandonedDonegal Pet RescueJackson Fivepupslast_img read more

On-farm cooperation facilitating OSC research and marketing efforts

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The research efforts of Ohio agriculture certainly include lab testing, university plot work and data analysis, but every farmer knows that the most dependable crop production research also includes extensive work in real, on-farm fields.The real world of crop production simply cannot be duplicated in a lab. For this reason, farmer cooperators with various agricultural research projects are absolutely essential in developing relevant conclusions and solutions for challenges on farms. And, it just so happens, that some of those farmer cooperators are the same ones making decisions about which research projects should be funded by Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) checkoff dollars at the state and national levels. Dan Corcoran, Pike County farmer, OSC and United Soybean Board memberWith its misty mornings, rolling hills and steamy river bottoms, the Corcoran farm faces perennial disease challenges — a nightmare for farm management but a dream come true for plant pathologists like Dr. Anne Dorrance with Ohio State University Extension.“In southern Ohio we have a blessing and curse that it gets foggy most every morning. That allows us to get some moisture in here when it is dry but we also get more disease issues. We run into disease pressure from the time we plant the seed through harvest,” Corcoran said. “Anne likes to evaluate what is going on in these fields so we can learn more about how to grow better soybeans. Whenever Anne comes down here she gets a big smile on her face because of the disease levels we have. Our disease is good for her and bad for me.”As much as he does not appreciate the disease problems, Corcoran does recognize the value of this kind of research both for his farm and the farms of other Ohio soybean farmers.“Her research looks at some unique disease scenarios which will provide important information to farmers in the region. We hear from a lot of companies selling fungicides alerting us to problems, but with this university work we can get unbiased, real data on what works and what does not,” he said. “Anne has put out plots for three or four years. We have graduate students doing studies out here from the time we plant through harvest. They get an idea of the plant cycle and disease problems. They can also get an early start on finding disease here. Then, Anne has the ability to work with many people in the state and around the country. Through that collaboration, those researchers are looking at multiple things to help us as producers better manage things to produce a better crop.”Learning from the research taking place on his farm, Corcoran has modified his management techniques to improve profitability.“Because we have these plots, we talk about putting fungicide on a little earlier. The plot work has really helped us evaluate fungicides. We have learned that it is tough to make fungicides pay on soybeans. We use genetic selection to get good disease resistance,” he said. “Charcoal rot is more prevalent in southern Ohio. You need high temperatures and in some years we are seeing it on our sandy soils. We start see plants start to wither. They go from beautiful green to dying out just like that. It is a grey fungus that grows up the stem and takes over the whole plant. Those zero yields really hurt your average.“We are also watching frogeye leaf spot closely this year. We occasionally see it really affecting the perimeter and we will hit the outsides of fields when it gets bad, especially in seed beans that we grow. We like to do test strips every year. We will try different timing of spraying, with and without insecticides. The soybeans do look pretty when you spray them but it doesn’t always show up in the yield. The later it gets in the season, the less likely we are to spray.” Terry McClure, Paulding County, OSC Board memberThere are few issues more pressing in Ohio agriculture than the countless questionsTerry McClureregarding water quality. McClure has opened up his farm to researchers to get some answers through on-farm, edge-of-field testing with water collection stations for surface and tile runoff.“You have to take time to do these kinds of things. There is nothing wrong with farmers taking a little time to try to learn more about what is happening in our fields,” McClure said. “This really started several years ago with a presentation from Kevin Elder from the Ohio Department of Agriculture about these water quality problems we were seeing. He kept saying, ‘We don’t know.’ That got to be unacceptable. For agriculture, not knowing is not an answer. Since then, it has really turned out to be a much bigger thing than anybody thought it would be.”The sampling equipment for the water collection sites around the state costs $1 million and it costs another $500,000 a year to collect the samples. The funding efforts got started with OSC, Ohio Corn Marketing Program and the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program in an effort to gather information to help farmers better manage phosphorus (P) on their farms to improve economics and water quality.The project is still ongoing, but McClure said there are some clear lessons already coming from the data collected.“There are some early things the researchers have learned that have become obvious. If you apply P right ahead of a storm, it moves off the field. Some of this is about cementing the things we thought we knew. Small grains make a difference in the whole crop rotation and cover crops do too. I don’t think we have enough data to understand the placement and some of the smaller details yet but we need to learn more by trying different practices. This will give us clues about the many small changes of how we do the 4Rs,” McClure said. “We have made some changes already on our farm. Historically we would apply all of our P and K as a wheat starter for our full rotation. We have started breaking up our phosphate applications. We have continued to use cover crops as much as we can. Oats after wheat really works for us and we have been seeing some really nice things with the cereal rye.“I have been surprised at the interest that farmers have in this knowledge and the understanding that can be generated by this. They want to know if the things they’re being asked to do are really making a difference.”McClure said the information gathered from this year’s extreme weather pattern should be particularly interesting.“This year has been unprecedented. Since planting in the middle of April we have had just shy of 40 inches of rain,” McClure said on July 21. “It will be interesting to see what dynamics there are coming out of that kind of water flow. We have to have had more particulate matter loss with this. I think we will be able to learn a lot from this challenge. Who would have ever plugged this weather event into a model? This has to be a one in 200 kind of year. This is real.” Keith Kemp, Preble County farmer, OSC and United Soybean Board memberWhen it comes to improving Ohio soybean production, there is no better place than on-farm soybean fields to study management practices.Keith Kemp“There is tremendous value to doing things on Ohio farms for Ohio’s farmers. It gives us an edge because we have the research right here,” Kemp said. “ It is so valuable to do this on Ohio farms rather than through national projects. We are getting good results that can really be used in Ohio to make our soybean industry more profitable.”Plots on Kemp’s farm are set up for a wide variety of research projects.“Laura Lindsey from The Ohio State University and her team of researchers are looking at fungicides, insecticides, seed treatments, some biologicals, and they looked at gypsum last year. They are doing the fertility work with Steve Culman in the same plot and they have non-GMO varieties over there too,” Kemp said. “The plot is between four or five acres. Their plot work is very small, but they can get quite a bit of good information from that. It is fun to watch the plots grow and keep an eye on what is happening. Some things work and some things don’t and that is what we want to see.”Having the plots on the farm is convenient and of real interest for Kemp.“They do everything for the plots. All we do is supply the ground. They have their own planter and they harvest and put the beans in our truck,” Kemp said. “It is really valuable for us to see the new things out there and the end results. There are more plots than just here so you have some comparison from other parts of the state. You can see how the varieties perform out here, which is nice. These plots are so valuable because you have a third party out here doing this research and not a company.”And, with his perspective of the checkoff funding decisions at both the state and national levels, Kemp sees how these Ohio efforts can be leveraged with national funding.“It is nice that we have this data to take to the national level as well. The more of this kind of research we do, the more funding we can get from the national level,” he said. “That helps build the research infrastructure in our state. I am excited with where OSU Extension is now. We have some top caliber researchers for soybeans in Ohio. There is tremendous work being done and it ends up making soybean farmers more profitable. We are investing for our future with this.” Dale Profit, Van Wert County farmer, OSC and United Soybean Board memberDale ProfitMore of the world, most notably South America, is figuring out how to efficiently produce soybeans in a cost-effective manner. Rather than watching as the competitive advantage of soybean growers in the United States erodes away to foreign competitors, Profit is doing something about it.“We’ve all recognized that we are all in a worldwide situation raising soybeans. In the future, South America will probably be able to raise soybeans with less expense than we can. We have to look for a niche or a product that adds value to our soybeans and we need to start adapting to this philosophy,” he said. “Not all of us will be raising commodity beans in the future. There will still be commodity beans out there but there will also be some opportunities for the high oleic soybeans and other things that are in the development stage at the present time.”High oleic soybean varieties, including Plenish from DuPont Pioneer and Vistive Gold from Monsanto, offer farmers a unique opportunity to regain soybean oil market share they lost because of trans-fat labeling. Food customers have been clear that they would like to use soybean oil, but they need new properties that offer health advantages over products with trans-fats. To prove that they can meet the potential demand, farmers need to show that they can provide a consistent supply of high oleic oil.“A few years ago, we had been raising seed soybeans for DuPont Pioneer and I asked them if they were going to handle Plenish and they said, ‘yes.’ I asked to be on the list. They called me up when they were asking for acres and that is how I got started,” Profit said. “We have always looked at opportunities and once in a while they come up short but if you aren’t looking for opportunities they pass you by. It is always best if you are on the front end of an opportunity. We generally raise three different varieties of Plenish — medium, short and longer season. They have always been right in the middle of our production for three years now and there has not been a spread of very many bushels in between. We think they are very competitive and we are happy with what they are doing for us.”Profit sees high oleic soybeans as a potential solution to the competitive challenges of the future for Ohio soybean farmers.“Farmers are primarily interested in yield. If varieties are developed with traits that yield they will be adopted fairly quickly,” said. “As long as the yield is there and there is some premium, we can use those opportunities to increase or maintain our income.” Bill Bayliss, Logan County farmer, OSC Board memberWhile efforts in growing soybeans more efficiently and profitably are crucial moving forward, there is no point in growing them if they cannot be marketed at a profitable price. With this in mind, Ohio’s soybean farmers are regularly working to connect the buyers of Ohio soybeans with Ohio farms.“We are not only looking at how to increase yields but also how to move forward in the marketing area. We are looking at who our best customers are, what they want and how we can adjust and adapt what we are doing to better serve them,” Bayliss said. “The Asian customers are our biggest food grade customers. We have found that they really value face-to-face conversations. They want to see the actual farmers they are doing business with. That is important to them.”With this in mind, there have been stepped up efforts in recent years to get Ohio’s soybean farmers over to meet their Asian customers in person, and to bring those customers to Ohio soybean farms. These encounters serve to build important relationships and also provide clues about how to better serve purchasers of Ohio soybeans.“The different countries in Asia have different opinions on genetically modified crops. Some are very interested in GMO-free soybeans but others are not really concerned if they are GMO or not,” Bayliss said. “Ohio farmers are lucky because we have soil types and a climate that creates a particular texture for the food grade soybeans that is preferred by the Asian customers.”It is also important to consider the needs of domestic customers.“High oleic soybeans are one of our premier factors in marketing because of their ability to improve the health of fried foods,” Bayliss said. “We are really working extensively to better serve the people who are buying our soybeans and soy products because that is what will ultimately pay off down the road.”For much more on the soybean checkoff, visit the Soybean Rewards web page at http://www.soyohio.org/council/for-ohio-farmers/soybean-rewards/.last_img read more

Delayed burndown and soybean planting

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Soybean burndown has been a hot topic for DuPont Pioneer Account Manager Bradley Ott’s territory of Darke, Preble, Montgomery, Butler and Hamilton Counties. What needs to be done once the cool wet weather moves on to get a good burndown on and still be timely with planting? Ott shares his opinion on that and discusses corn emergence in his area with The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins in this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report.last_img