Crop Killer.

first_imgIn the midst of their worst losses ever to tomato spotted wilt virus, Georgia tobacco growers need some good news about this killer disease. And University of Georgia scientists are certain they have it. Help, they say, is on the way. Preliminary results from a second year of studies are confirming what the first year’s research revealed. Treating tobacco plants early with a combination of two chemicals will dramatically reduce infections of spotted wilt. In fact, it can almost eliminate it. “We’re quite confident of what we have with this treatment,” said Alex Csinos, a plant pathologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. One of the products, Admire, is an insecticide already labeled to control flea beetles and aphids in tobacco, Csinos said. The other, Actigard, is an exciting addition that isn’t yet labeled for tobacco.Plant Defense Activator “We believe it will be labeled for use on tobacco next year,” Csinos said. “It’s not a pesticide. It’s a plant defense activator. It doesn’t kill anything, but acts much the way a booster shot for flu works with people.” Most plants have natural defense mechanisms to ward off diseases. Actigard boosts those natural defenses. “It gives the plant the opportunity to defend itself,” Csinos said. Because it’s not a pesticide, it’s an extremely safe product, too. Labeled in Europe for use on wheat, grapes and some vegetables, “Actigard has no effect on humans,” Csinos said. Actigard alone greatly reduced spotted wilt in the UGA research. But the one-two punch of the two products together was deadly.Admire, Actigard: Deadly Duo The UGA studies were conducted at four locations each year. Each trial compared plants left untreated with those treated with Admire alone, Actigard alone and a combination of the two. The scientists gave the treated tobacco seedlings a “tray drench” treatment in the greenhouse first. They added three weekly sprays after the seedlings were transplanted to the fields. “At one location, 30 percent of the untreated tobacco plants were infected with spotted wilt,” said Hanu Pappu, a UGA molecular virologist who has worked with Csinos on the two years of research. “With the Admire treatment, the rate was 12 percent. It was 5 percent with Actigard and only 1 percent with the combination.”‘Possibility of True Control’ The second-year figures, Pappu said, are based on plants with symptoms of spotted wilt. His exhaustive studies of plant samples will eventually show the precise percentage of infected plants, with or without symptoms. The early results are enough, though, to confirm what the scientists found in the first year’s results. In every case, he said, the combination was better than either product by itself. “This gives us the possibility of true control for the first time,” said Paul Bertrand, a UGA Extension Service plant pathologist. “All we’ve had to this point is some moderate level of suppression of the disease.”1999 Disease Damage Heavy Suppression certainly hasn’t been enough this year. Bertrand figures the virus has killed 35 percent to 45 percent of the state’s tobacco plants. Tobacco growers are allotted a certain number of pounds of “quota” leaf they can grow. They usually plant 10 percent to 20 percent more than that to be certain they can make their quota. But the buffer hasn’t been big enough this year. “More tobacco farmers are filing for crop insurance than in the past 10 years,” Bertrand said. “The crop isn’t in yet, but I suspect that 50 percent to 60 percent of the growers won’t make their pounds.” Drought and other diseases have hurt the crop, too. “But spotted wilt is responsible for 80 percent of the shortage,” Bertrand said.Could Save Millions of Dollars In 1997 — the worst year yet — spotted wilt cost Georgia growers $12.7 million, or about 8 percent of the $158 million crop. This year, the losses could be much higher. Had growers been able to use the Admire-Actigard treatment this year, though, losses could have been much lower. “If these studies held true, we’d be looking at a 5-percent to 10-percent stand loss and no loss of pounds,” Bertrand said.last_img read more

Douthat Bear Attack

first_imgA Virginia woman named Laurie Cooksey fell victim to a bear attack in Bath County, Virginia’s Douthat State Park over the weekend.The attack, which took place after a day of hiking and canoeing with three of her four children, left Laurie with 14 stitches in her back and 14 more in her leg.Cooksey and her children were headed down the Tuscaroa Overlook trail when they encountered an adult black bear. By the time they saw the bear it was only ten yards away, peering at them from behind a nearby tree.According to Cooksey, she and her children began retreaing upon seeing the bear, but it caught up with her first.“He was fast. He was just so fast,” Cooksey later told the Richmond Times Dispatch while recovering from wounds sustained during the attack. “I’m very thrilled that it was me and not (my children)…I’m really grateful.” Bear attacks are becoming more and more frequent as human development continues to encroach on wildlife habitat and National Parks like Yellowstone see steady influxes of tourist from around the world.Do you think a bear that kills or injures a human in its natural habitat should be put down? Let us know in the comment feed. Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 4.46.27 PMPhoto Courtesy of Laurie Cookseycenter_img Fortunately, Cooksey was able to knock the bear off balance with several kicks, but not before sustaining severe bite wounds.“The saving grace was it was raining hard and the leaves were slippery,” she said.After freeing herself from the bear’s grasp, Cooksley made a run for it and regrouped with her children at which point the bear approached the family one more time. At this point, Laurie’s 19 year-old son Ellis intervened.He advised the group to “get big” and “get loud”, tactics he’d learned during a recent trip to Yosemite National Park.The strategy worked, the bear withdrew, and Laurie Cookesy was later treated and discharged from LewisGale Hospital Alleghany on Saturday night.According to the Richmond Time Dispatch the “Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation law enforcement officers, along with a district wildlife biologist, tracked the bear to a location near the site of the incident and humanely killed the bear around 4 a.m. Sunday.”They are still unable to say with absolute certainty whether or not the bear they euthanized is indeed the black bear that attacked Laurie. Genetic testing is excepted to return within a week that will determine the bear’s true identity.Back in June, the wrong bear was euthanized as retribution for the attack of a 16-year-old hammock camper in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.This Virginia attack comes on the heels of a Grizzly bear attack that left one hiker dead and “partially consumed” in Yellowstone National Park on Friday. This attack occurred near Yellowstone’s Lake Village on a hiking trail popular with tourists and employees who live and work near the Lake Yellowstone Hotel.The victim, 63-year old Lance Crosby, was an experienced hiker and Montana native who had worked in Yellowstone going on five seasons. The grizzly bear and one of her cubs believed to be responsible for his killing have been captured. If it is determined that the captured sow is indeed the bear that mauled and consumed Crosby it will likely be euthanized and its cub placed in a zoo.last_img read more

Garré Advocates for Argentine Defense System in Her Last U.S. Event

first_imgBy Dialogo September 14, 2009 Argentine Defense Minister Nilda Garré ended her visit to the United States at the Pentagon’s Defense Acquisition University, where she presented her country’s defense system as centered on cooperation in international peace missions. “Argentina maintains a defensive strategic posture, excluding power politics with regard to third states,” Garré emphasized in her speech at the military university, located outside Washington. The minister added that the Argentine model exists “within the framework of a democratic state under the rule of law” and pointed to the regulations contained in the National Defense Act as the principal pillar of defense policy. In addition, she emphasized the country’s interest in participating in peace missions, like those carried out by the UN’s Blue Helmets in countries like Haiti and Cyprus, and the creation of specialized organizations like the Latin American Association of Peace Operations Training Centers (ALCOPAZ). Following her speech, the Defense Minister once again expressed her satisfaction with the agreement she reached yesterday with her U.S. counterpart, Robert Gates, to revise and update the cooperation agreements signed by the two countries in the 1950s and 1960s. The points to be revised will be determined at the next meeting of the U.S.-Argentine bilateral working group, which will be held in Buenos Aires in October, according to a statement issued by the Argentine ministry. According to the Argentine minister, much of the content of the agreements and of subsequent specific conventions “involves topics and activities typical for conceptions associated with the Cold War,” for which reason they have become obsolete. In addition, the agreements touch on matters related “to the country’s internal security, to exchanging intelligence on subjects that the Armed Forces are prohibited from being involved with today, such as drug trafficking, terrorism, and other threats to security,” therefore “requiring” review and modification, Garré added. The minister, who arrived in the United States on Sunday, has also met with the head of the Southern Command, Gen. Douglas Fraser, and the senior director for Latin America of the White House National Security Council, Dan Restrepo. Following the cancellation of planned meetings with peace-keeping officials at the United Nations, the minister will not go on to travel to New York, but will return to Argentina before participating in the Unasur summit to be held in Quito on the 14th and 15th.last_img read more

Long Island Speed Cameras OKd by NY

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Critics call it a cash grab, backers say it’ll protect children and since New York State lawmakers approved Long Island school-zone speed cameras, drivers can call it a reason to slow down.The state Senate voted Wednesday to authorize 69 speed cameras in Suffolk County, 56 in Nassau and 120 more in New York City, where 20 were installed last year. The state Assembly passed the same measure two days prior and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law.“Speed cameras will help keep drivers accountable for the safety of our children,” said Assembly Deputy Speaker Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead), adding that they “will save lives and prevent families from suffering as a result of a tragic traffic-related fatality.”Speed cameras are also in use in Utah, California, Arizona and parts of Canada.When the cameras catch drivers speeding, the registered owner of the vehicle will be mailed a $50 fine—same as the red-light cameras deployed in recent years on LI—and will increase by $25 for failure to pay.The law passed days before the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, that county’s fiscal control board, is scheduled to meet Friday to decide whether to approve Nassau’s agreement with its unions to end its three-year wage freeze, which the speed-camera revenue is supposed to help fund.Critics have said that the revenue projections have been overly optimistic and will decrease over time as drivers correct their behavior, as has happened with the red-light cameras. Questions have also arisen on whether the speed cameras will be set to operate during summer school, during after-school activities when the school speed restrictions run beyond the traditional 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and how much money the counties will actually get after the companies that operate the cameras take their cut.The state Legislature made the speed cameras a pilot program that will require reauthorization in four years. It was not immediately clear when each county will hire a company to install the new cameras.last_img read more

Confronting long-held notions about value of credit card rewards

first_imgI recently had the privilege to team up with Karan Bhalla, managing director for data analytics firm and TMG strategic partner IQR Consulting, to research and write a white paper on the value of credit card rewards.The white paper, “Yes, Credit Card Rewards Really Are Worth It,” refutes misconceptions some card issuers hold about rewards programs and analyzes the data generated by 12 months of activity from 400,000 credit card accounts issued by TMG clients. Below is an excerpt from the paper:“Among credit card portfolio optimizers, few hold a candle to rewards. Yet, age-old misperceptions keep some community financial institutions from adding the lucrative programs to their credit card products. While many card managers innately understand the value of rewards, their colleagues in finance are less inclined to believe they make enough of a difference to justify the investment.The notion that rewards are superfluous generally manifests in one of two positions: continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Facility Solutions: Missing elements of branch design

first_imgWhile branches are expensive to operate, they provide golden opportunities to connect with members. To optimize the investment in branches, we must extract every ounce of opportunity to deliver the brand experience and increase member awareness of products and services. Experience engineering encompasses many aspects of branch planning and design, including location and adjacencies, security (incorporating the FBI’s SafeCatch principles), staff training and constant reinforcement, technology integration, and messaging and merchandising.Messaging and merchandising should be included in early planning alongside other elements of branch design. Weak or ineffective messaging and merchandising diminish the investment in this infrastructure. The cost is developing and integrating effective messaging is relatively low with a potentially high return. Failure to include merchandising as part of experience engineering may result in a subprime final product and/or potentially expensive last-minute changes during construction.Some credit unions focus their branch messaging to present a strong brand experience, as in the example of BECU showcasing photos of real members and Northwest locations to make a visceral connection.Other credit unions have told me they do not need to do merchandising because members already know what they offer. But when we do surveys, we find that members do not know their credit union offers small business banking, investments, or even mortgages. A well-conceived messaging and merchandising program can increase both brand connection and product and service use by 10 percent to 40 percent, which provides a quick ROI. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Compco’s Camden and W1 refurbs

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DTZ firms up Euro network

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Mersey mission

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Swedish institutionals take dim view of Volkswagen’s Scania bid

first_imgAnd a statement from Swedish pension company AMF, which along with AMF Funds owns 0.7% of Scania, said: “Our mission is to ensure good long-term returns for our clients.“Therefore, it is particularly important not to make a decision based only on short-term key performance indicators for 2014 or 2015, but also take Scania’s long-term potential in consideration.“We will not sell any shares until our assessment is completed.”The two institutions have teamed up with the Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund (AP4) and Swedbank Robur to highlight governance concerns at Scania.Under the Swedish A and B share system, VW’s share ownership equates to 89.2% of voting power.The group of investors claims VW used its influence to remove Scania’s nomination committee, reducing smaller shareholders’ influence within the company.Furthermore, they say VW’s ownership of rival truck manufacturer MAN Group, based in Germany, presents a potential conflict of interest.VW intends to merge Scania into the VW group and says this would result in annual savings of €650m through synergies, although this would only be achieved over the next 10-15 years.Meanwhile, Scania said it has set up an independent committee to evaluate the offer. Minority institutional investors in Scania, the Swedish heavy vehicles manufacturer, appear reluctant to accept a takeover bid from Volkswagen (VW), which already owns 62.6% of the group’s share capital.VW first invested in Scania in 2000.On 21 February, it announced the offer for a cash consideration of SEK200 (€22) a share, which it said represents a premium of more than 50% on the share price.But a spokesman for Skandia, one of the largest minority shareholders, told IPE the insurer was “negative” to the offer.last_img read more