Ramos will surely end his career in Madrid – Perez

first_img Read Also: Messi: Real Madrid deserved La Liga title “We have trained well and we have had the mentality to return with the desire to win this title,” he added. “The strength we had has been seen by everyone. It will go down in Madrid’s history.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… “Ramos will surely end his career at Madrid,” Perez told Movistar. Florentino Perez is sure Sergio Ramos will end his career at Real Madrid after leading them to their 34th La Liga title on Thursday. Los Blancos’ 2-1 victory over Villarreal secured their first league title since 2016-17 as they brought great rivals Barcelona’s grip on the trophy to a close. Ramos was influential throughout the campaign, scoring five times in the previous 10 La Liga games, to collect a fifth title-winners’ medal of his illustrious Real Madrid career. The 34-year-old is out of contract at the end of next season and said he would like to finish his career with Madrid, though admitted it was dependent on what Perez wanted. Ramos had been linked with a departure in 2019, with rumours circulating he could head to China, although he has since recommitted his future to Real Madrid. The club president is also keen for Ramos to end his playing days in the famous white shirt, saying that he fully expects him to stay on with the club going forward. Promoted Content2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?6 Great Ancient Mysteries That Make China Worth VisitingThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The WorldTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This Day10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hootCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s Hysterical “Although there is talk of that, it will not change, everyone is calm. He is more than a captain. He has led the team with enormous leadership.” Perez also hailed coach Zinedine Zidane for bringing the title back to the Spanish capital. Zidane won La Liga and three successive Champions Leagues in his first stint as boss and only returned in March last year after answering an SOS from Perez. Though Madrid have not always been as thrilling to watch as in recent seasons, Perez knows the importance of the Frenchman. “He has won a title every 19 games,” he said. “It is a blessing from heaven and that he is with us for a long time. “They criticise him for what they want. We will continue to win titles.” Madrid have been relentless since the restart following the coronavirus-enforced break, winning all 10 of their matches, and Perez has been impressed by the team’s consistency.last_img read more

Power Fully Restored To Baldonnel-Area

first_imgSpokesperson Bob Gammer says a circuit breaker opened in the Fort St. John sub-station at around 10:45 this morning.Crews were sent out to see if they could spot the problem, looking for, possibly, a tree branch on a power line.When they weren’t able to find the issue, they returned to the sub-station, closed the circuit, and electricity to the area was returned.- Advertisement -Gammer says 2,065 customers were affected by the outage.Power was restored an hour after it went out, at about 11:45.last_img read more

Spartans take second at home swim meet

first_imgRed Bluff >> The Red Bluff Spartans swim team hosted Foothill and Paradise Wednesday in a Tri-Meet and the boys finished second behind Paradise, while beating Foothill; the girls finishing second by beating Paradise but losing to Foothill.Six swimmers for Red Bluff won their events. On the boys side Jaxon Balken won both the 100 Butterfly (57.93), the 3rd fastest time in Red Bluff High School’s history and the 100 Breaststroke (1:06.30), which is the 6th fastest time in Red Bluff High School’s …last_img read more

Henderson, Sullivan survive wild fall spectacular finishes

first_imgSubmitted to the Times-StandardIt was a wild and crazy 2018 season finale Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway. The 26th annual Mid-City Motor World Fall Spectacular once again concluded racing at the 3/8-mile paved oval with champions being decided in all of the Acres’ divisions. In addition, the North State Modified Series raced for the third time at RAR this year.The Thunder Roadster cars returned to race with Paul Baker setting fast time with a 17.658. Katina Baker won the trophy dash …last_img read more

Details of Photosynthesis Coming to Light

first_img1Amuntz, Drory and Nelson, “The structure of a plant photosystem I supercomplex at 3.4-angstrom resolution,” Nature 447, 58-63 (3 May 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature05687.2Skourtis and Beratan, “Photosynthesis from the Protein’s Perspective,” Science, 4 May 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5825, pp. 703-704, doi: 10.1126/science.1142330.3The second paper also spoke of the efficient use of quantum mechanical properties of light: “The experimental data reported by Wang et al. also encourage renewed theoretical attention to the early events in photosynthesis.  Models that include quantized nuclear dynamics seem particularly important, because high-frequency quantum modes influence fast electron transfer, producing nonexponential kinetics and unusual temperature dependence.”4“Wang et al. suggest that the slow protein dynamics discussed above may help to overcome reaction barriers produced by membrane potentials or by environmental factors that perturb the photosynthetic reaction center and potentially slow down the electron-transfer rate.  Thus, protein motion could overcome reaction barriers produced by cellular factors that might otherwise perturb the electron-transfer kinetics.”Those who studied high school biology decades ago can revel in these facts about photosynthesis that are now coming to light (pardon the pun).  At the time, our teachers and professors saw light going in, and sugars coming out, but were nearly clueless about what magic was going on inside.  The black box is now opening, and we’re finding out that highly efficient molecular machines were there all along.  So that’s how it’s done!(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 New tools of science are unveiling the secrets of what was long a “black box” in biology: photosynthesis.  A paper in Nature last week1 described the structure of the plant PhotoSystem I complex (PSI) in near-atomic resolution.  Next day, a paper in Science2 described some of the protein interactions that occur when plants turn light into energy for work.  Both papers praised the exceptional efficiency of “the most efficient nano-photochemical machine in nature.”    As is common in the scientific literature, the paper in Nature used engineering language when discussing photosynthesis.  It referred to the “reaction centre” as a “light-harvesting complex” and to certain parts as “antennas.”  The authors used the root efficient eight times in the paper: for example, “This highly efficient nano-photoelectric machine is expected to interact with other proteins in a regulated and efficient manner” – there are two instances in the same sentence.  The paper ended:The complexity of PSI belies its efficiency: almost every photon absorbed by the PSI complex is used to drive electron transport.  It is remarkable that PSI exhibits a quantum yield of nearly 1 (refs 47, 48), and every captured photon is eventually trapped and results in electron translocation.  The structural information on the proteins, the cofactors and their interactions that is described in this work provides a step towards understanding how the unprecedented high quantum-yield of PSI in light capturing and electron transfer is achieved.The authors only referred to evolution once: “The two principal subunits of the reaction centre, PsaA and PsaB, share similarities in their amino acid sequences and constitute a pseudosymmetric structure that evolved from an ancient homodimeric assembly.”  Yet this was stated dogmatically without any explanation of how that could have occurred.    The paper in Science explored photosynthesis from the protein’s perspective.  The authors of this paper also spoke of the “efficient transfer of electrons across biomembranes” and the “high efficiency of the reaction (an electron is transferred for each photon absorbed)” – i.e., there is no loss or waste of input.    The authors discussed how certain protein parts physically move in response to their inputs.  These movements among the chlorophylls and other parts modulate the speed of the downstream reactions.  Rather than quote their jargon about biomechanics and biomolecular dynamics, let’s attempt an analogy that suggested itself from one of the illustrations: it’s like catching eggs dropping out of the sky into a soft, gentle net, where they can be safely transported to the kitchen.  Those who prefer the original jargon can see the footnote.4last_img read more

Sappi unveils R800m empowerment deal

first_imgGlobal pulp and paper group Sappi has announced a black economic empowerment (BEE) deal that will see approximately 4.5% of the company, worth about R814-million, being transferred to employees, black managers, a community foundation and strategic partner companies. The second part of the deal entails the issue of approximately 4.3-million ordinary, listed shares to the participants of the group’s 2006 plantation BEE deal, namely Lereko Investments (who will now hold 0.37% of issued shares), Malibongwe Women Development Trust (0.08%), and AMB Capital (0.12%). 25 March 2010 “The transaction recognises the crucial role that our staff play in making the company a success and builds on the strong relationship we have developed with Lereko.” This transaction also includes qualifying Sappi employees represented by an employee share ownership plan, and follows the unwinding of the rights of all parties from the 2006 deal. New manager, employee trusts “Sappi views broad-based black economic empowerment as a key requirement for sustainable growth and social development in South Africa,” Sappi Limited CEO Ralph Boettger said in a statement on Wednesday. “We believe this investment will show significant upside for the consortium over the coming years. We are also confident that we will be able to assist Sappi in its other empowerment and transformation activities.” The first part of the deal consists of the creation of about 20-million of a new class of equity shares, which will be vendor financed and unlisted on the JSE, which will be allocated to three new trusts that have been created through the deal.center_img “Our relationship with Sappi has been substantive and has created significant opportunities for the consortium,” Lereko Investments executive director Lulu Gwagwa said. “While this work will continue, we are excited by the opportunity presented to us to become Sappi’s strategic partner at the holding company level. Strategic BEE partners “The transaction empowers our South African employees; will help attract and retain staff and in particular highly skilled black managers; and reinforces Sappi’s position as a responsible corporate citizen within the communities where we operate,” said Sappi Southern Africa CEO Jan Labuschagne. The deal translates into the empowerment of approximately 30% of the company’s South African business. “Furthermore, the transaction accommodates the key principles of [empowerment] and maximises the ownership component in terms of the Forest Sector Charter with Sappi moving from a Level Six Contributor to a Level Four Contributor on the Charter scorecard.” These includes an employee share ownership trust, which is for all Sappi full-time employees in South Africa who do not currently participate in a Sappi share scheme (holding 2.81% of issued shares); a management share ownership trust for all African, Coloured and Indian managers (0.67%); and the Sappi Foundation, which will focus on projects benefiting the communities around Sappi’s mills and plantations (0.45%). SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

The Impact, Profile, and Reputation of South Africa on the African Continent

first_imgEY Africa Attractiveness Survey 2015SA is the top destination for FDI projects – the country attracted 121 projects in 2014/15SA was the favourite destination for Chinese projects, securing 34.4% of total Chinese investment on the African continentNorth Africa rebounds as inflows to Southern Africa falter: Egypt comes second with 71 projects; Morocco comes third with 67 projectsThe above are actual greenfields investments, and does not account for flows in the financial markets – which – if included will show that SA is the top destination for FDI and financial market activity in AfricaContext: Africa’s share of global FDI grew from 3.6% in 2003 to 7,7 in 2012, and the continent more than doubled its share of global FDI flows from 7.8% in 2013 to 17.1% in 2014Global FDI flow indicators on SA: OutboundEY – Africa Attractiveness Survey (2015)South Africa is the second largest source of FDI into the African continent (53 projects launched in 2014).SA is the leading intra-regional investor in the financial services sector (16 projects launched in 2014.Outbound Investment2013 budget speech of then minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, indicated that during the 2008-2013 period the South African Reserve Bank approved nearly 1000 large investments by South African corporations into 36 African countriesNDP underlines critical importance of boosting intra-African trade and integration of regional marketsJohannesburg Stock Exchange currently ranked the 19th largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalisation and the largest exchange in AfricaIndustrial Development Corporation (IDC) has investments in 60 projects across 20 countries that creates a cumulative African investment portfolio of R7.5 billion by March 2014With so many SA and multinational corporates that operate from Joburg into other African markets, the city’s logistical, air, inland port, and related soft infrastructure provides a solid base for corporates to establish regional headquarters.Brand SA Fieldwork ResearchTHE SA INC SERIESRationale:SA’s reputation is shaped by foreign policy; trade interactions as well as a divergent sets of relationships & interests (governmental, non-governmental, and business)Objectives:Development of framework of analysis that considers all elements of SA’s strategic economic, diplomatic, multilateral, and peace & security engagements on the continentIntegrated view of SA’s footprint on the continent for strategic marketing, communications, and reputation management projectsThe SA Inc. Project: FieldworkCycle 1 – 2014/15: Kenya, Nigeria, GhanaCycle 2 – 2015/16: Russia, Angola, DRC, SenegalBrand SA’s Africa strategy: development of SA presence & reputation in select markets/multilateral environmentsSouth Africa In(c) series research reports based on:direct fieldwork studiesdesktop researchSA Inc. Project: Kenya – South Africa Bilateral TradeTotal Bilateral Trade (2015)Kenya Imports from SA: R 7 778 157 829SA Imports from Kenya: R 214 882 875Total Bilateral Trade: R7 993 040 704SA Inc. Project: Kenya Key FindingsChallenges & opportunities for interaction between the countries:SA’s reputational strengths:SA democratic transition, strong institutionsMajor interest in SA music & cultureSA’s reputational challenges:SA seen as losing competitive edge, & not promoting internal developmentSA character/personality perceived as imposing & aggressiveSA companies losing to local competition due to poor market entry strategies and ‘know it all’ attitudesSA Inc. Project: Nigeria – South Africa Bilateral TradeTotal Bilateral Trade (2015)Nigeria Imports from SA: R 7 524 647 002SA Imports from Nigeria: R 35 016 713 902Total Bilateral Trade: R 42 541 360 904SA Inc. Project: Nigeria Key FindingsSA’s reputational strengths:SA highly visible & respected (more than 150 companies active in market)SA’s democratic transition, institutional & infrastructural profile appreciated & referenced as key attractiveness featureInterest in business & investment interactions as well as cultural, music, tourism & related experiencesSA’s reputational challenges:Despite major business & investment footprint, concerns about SA character & business cultureWith Nigeria’s rebased GDP, SA considered to be losing competitive edgeSA character/business persona can be perceived as imposing & aggressiveSA co’s losing to local competition due to quick adaptation & learning and not woking with local partners in market entry, maintenance & expansion strategiesSA Inc. Project: Ghana– South Africa Bilateral TradeGhana Imports from SA: R 4 102 457 867SA Imports from Ghana: R 175 234 249Total Bilateral Trade: R4 277 692 116SA Inc. Project: Ghana Key FindingsSA’s reputational strengths:SA’s corporate governance, managerial, technical, & other expertiseStrong people-to-people relations & potential for expansion in creative spheres, e.g. design, music, visual artsSA corporates & their products & services widely known & utilised in marketGhanaians prefer ‘international brands’, incl. those from SAPotential in building deeper social & cultural relations via music, arts, design and cultural diplomacySA entrepreneurs use Accra as regional base/hub for West African business operationsSA Inc. Project: Angola– South Africa Bilateral TradeTotal Bilateral Trade (2015)Angola Imports from SA: R 8 034 823 695SA Imports from Angola: R 15 372 088 529Total Bilateral Trade: R23 406 912 224SA Inc. Project: Angola Key FindingsSA and Angola have a ‘bi-polar’ history…Therefore critical that interested parties carefully select expats and South African experts to be deployed in the marketAngolans describe themselves as arrogant, and South Africans are also criticised as being arrogant – need for increased cultural contact and building of mutual understandingUnderstand political & administrative context and “do homework”! Invest adequate resources (time and money) in preparing to enter the marketTake time & invest in relationship-building; identify reliable local partnerRecognise importance of language and (business) culture, e.g. Portuguese South Africans play a constructive role in several SA corporates in the marketLeverage off strong bilateral political relationsApproach Angolan government with ‘what can we do for you’ rather than ‘we are great at this and will bring it to you’SA Inc. Project: DRC– South Africa Bilateral TradeTotal Bilateral Trade (2015)DRC imports from SA: R 11 925 581 263SA Imports from DRC: R 1 145 732 485Total Bilateral Trade: R 13 071 313 748SA Inc. Project: DRC Key Findings‘The Congo is open for business!’ – unlike other markets, former colonial power doesn’t enjoy privileges in terms of exploiting business opportunitiesAcknowledge local business culture & need for “courting” – relationship-building is key, both with government and business, if one is reap any rewards from engaging in the market.When entering DRC, SA corporates must take caution not to be perceived as arrogant by expecting host to adapt to their ways of doing businessAgriculture is key competitive strength – SA recognised for its expertise in sector. Given that DRC only utilises ≈10% of its 80m hectares of arable land, there’s enormous potential for SA to play a role hereSouth Africa’s Lieutenant General Derrick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi, Force Commander of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO)“The Congo is a big country with a relatively small budget and many priorities”Great expectations, ample opportunities and overwhelming prioritiesSA to utilise well-established footprint in DRC to promote SA investmentsOnly one, albeit critical challenge:Political instability and insecurity and continued conflict in the KivusSA Inc. Project: Senegal – South Africa Bilateral TradeSenegal imports from SA: R 1 296 609 007SA Imports from Senegal: R 238 916 730Total Bilateral Trade: R1 535 525 737SA Inc. Project: Senegal Key FindingsAt political, business, art and societal level, Senegal is extremely open to the idea of increased interaction between the countriesRelatively low level of knowledge about South Africa, particularly about the country’s development post-1994;Potential for significant linkages such as the twinning of Goree Island and Robben IslandOpportunity to focus on 30 years since the 1987 meeting on Goree island between the ANC and a delegation of AfrikanersSenegal challenges SA to play more pro-active & leading role in promoting Africa’s developmentExpanded business interaction through increased contact with chambers of commerce, e.g. Dakar Chamber of CommercePotential for expanded agriculture sector interactionsAcademic contact and exchange, esp. Universite Du Sine Saloum Elhadj Ibrahima NiassThe SA Inc. Project: Key Findings 2014The Nation Brand concept & marketing strategy depends on stakeholder interactions, and challenges Brand SA to be open to changing domestic and international environmentsUnique nation brand reputational strengths: culture, music, business sophistication, infrastructure, political management of democratic transitionsChallenges: South Africans perceived as imposing, aggressive, and unwilling to listen to local adviceSA business to adopt market entry strategies that pay more attention to soft factors, e.g. local business culturePolitically, SA seen as progressive, with strong institutions, & democratic credentials.Internal developmental challenges cause for concern, e.g. xenophobia, misplaced perceptions about African expats in SA (esp. Kenya & Nigeria)SA music, art & cultural products well-received & followed, with continued interest in expanded interactionThe SA Inc. Project: Russia / BRICS 2015Activities and OutputsFieldwork Russia, July 2015Research Report, The Ufa Declaration and its Implications for the BRICS Brand, published 30 September 2015Dissemination at Roundtable, 30 September 2015Theme: Deepening the relationship between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South AfricaPanellists:Prof Garth Shelton, University of WitwatersrandMs Catherine Grant-Makokera, Tutwa ConsultingCounsellor Eric Sogocio, Head of the BRICS Section, Embassy of BrazilMr Yaroslav Shishkin, Deputy Head of Economic Section, Embassy of the Russian FederationMr. Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India‘The Ufa declaration and its implications for the BRICS brand’Highlights:Successes of BRICS in implementing Summit decisionsImplications of increased formalisation/institutionalisation for development of BRICSDevelopment of BRICS reflects positively on global governance capability of the five member statesThe SA Inc. Project: Publications (2014-2015)A lesson for Brand SA from Nigeria – Be bold, keep it real, and make it quick – a conversation on the art of Nollywood success. 23 August 2014, Brand South AfricaResearch Note. By: Dr Petrus de KockResearching the Nation Brand – background to the concept, and initial findings from fieldwork in Kenya and Nigeria. 18 September 2014. South Africa In(c) SeriesResearch Report #1 By: Dr Petrus de KockAfrican market entry strategy – learning to listen & listening to learn. 12 December 2014. Brand South Africa Research Note #2. 2014. By: Dr Petrus de KockDeveloping an SA Inc strategy for the Nation Brand, 28 July 2015, Brand South Africa Research Report, By: Dr. Judy Smith-Höhn & Dr Petrus de KockThe Ufa Declaration and its Implications for the BRICS Brand, 30 September 2015, Brands South Africa Research Note, By: Dr. Petrus de KockSA Inc Project: Angola Fieldwork Research Report, 16 November 2015, Brand SA Fieldwork Report, By: Dr. Petrus de Kock & Dr. Judy Smith-HöhnPrepared by Brand SA ResearchContact:Dr Petrus de Kock, GM – [email protected] Judy Smith-Höhn, Research [email protected] Petersen, [email protected]last_img read more

Ohio’s strong livestock genetics shine through Israel trade mission

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The American livestock industry is looked at worldwide for its vigor, experience, and genetic command. Such expertise is valued internationally, as demonstrated by a recent trade mission to Israel by representatives of the Ohio Livestock and Genetic Export Council.Darke County’s Larry Baker, director of the Ohio Livestock and Genetic Export Council (OLGEC), recently helped lead a goodwill trade mission to Israel in November to observe livestock agriculture and help improve genetic practices of the desert country. He accompanied embryologist Dr. Emily “Em” Mowrer, DVM, as the two followed a batch of Ohio embryos headed for use in the country.The embryos were some of the first U.S. genetic material in the country since new health protocols had been established — a goal for Baker over a decade in the making. He first made a trade trip to Israel 13 years ago alongside Fred Dailey, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture at the time. That helped to open the doors for further talks about the need for genetic improvement.“Finally, 13 years later, we have a health protocol for semen, embryos, breeding and slaughter cattle, so that just shows us that sometimes it doesn’t happen overnight. It can take years to see a return on the investment,” Baker said.Israel boasts a nationwide dairy herd of 100,000 cows and 50,000 head beef. The country currently imports a heavy amount of feeder cattle due to their populations not being self-sustaining. Baker hopes to change that and, as a result, increase genetic business between Israel and Ohio — an international powerhouse in livestock breeding.“People in our state have no idea for the most part that Ohio is either number one or two every year in genetic exports,” Baker said, remarking how the value was clearly evident through the recent mission.These rocky fields of Golan Heights, close to the Syrian border, can make grazing a challenge.The mission was hosted by Erez and Katcha Cahaner and Thierry Moens through facilitation by the Negev Foundation. The three originally visited Ohio in May of 2016, buying a number of embryos for use in Israel.Baker said they took a liking to a number of Ohio cattle herds, including longhorns of Dickinson Cattle Co., a decision he was curious about until visiting Israel firsthand.“After I got there, I could see they have trouble with predators and harsh conditions. Longhorns may be able to help more in that way versus other breeds,” Baker said.High percentage Simmental are popular in the arid region, and Baker hopes further use of genetic science can help improve their beef heeds.“The embryos the group bought when they visited the U.S. were from the Ryan Ludvigson Red Angus Ranch in Montana plus two Ohio farms — Dickinson Longhorns and Maplecrest Farm through John Grimes,” Baker said.The main project of the nine-day mission began when Baker and Mower took delivery of the 59 embryos that were shipped from the U.S., valued at nearly $50,000. The following days found Mower educating livestock veterinarians and technicians on the proper technique for embryo transfer as well as artificial insemination. Education in this area is lacking in Israel, something the team hopes to improve in order to bring the Israel market to a healthier place for international genetic purchasing. By the end of the mission, Mower said approximately 40 cows had been implanted.One of the many highlights of the trip was a visit to the farm of Ariel Sharon. Sharon was best known as the Prime Minister of Israel from 2001-2006. He passed away in 2014 and his sons now run the operation.In a release, Dickinson Cattle noted the trip as the fulfillment of a longtime dream by Sharon to introduce Texas Longhorn genetics to the arid, rocky regions of Israel. The dream wasn’t fully realized before Sharon’s stroke in 2005.“The benefit of Texas Longhorn cattle genetics for the arid hills of Israel was first considered by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon,” the Dickinson Cattle Co. said in a release. “Unlike the Sharon plan for importation of live cattle, the Cahaner’s plan was to import a good number of frozen Texas Longhorn embryos. The embryos would be placed in their indigenous Israeli cows and full blood Texas Longhorn calves would be the result.”Baker and Mowrer also played host to agricultural specialists from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and Dr. Nadav Galon, director of veterinary services for the Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Baker felt the ag leaders were impressed by their visit and would help open the door for further work.In their visits to various farms, Baker said the group found some key differences in the Israeli cattle trade from that of stateside. Most breeding lineage is unknown and many farms are working toward better understanding of rearing practices. Baker also noted differences in the slaughter process.“Their system of marketing beef in Israel is totally different than that of the United States,” according to the official report from the mission. “The dissecting of the carcass is completely different than that of the U.S. For the Kosher market, the animal has to be harvested under the direction of the Rabbi. They only utilize the front quarters.”The team also found proper vaccination protocol was lacking in some herds they visited. Certain illnesses that were having a major impact on herd health could be easily contained with correct inoculations.In addition to differences in livestock practices, the trip was unique in a number of other ways, including their accommodations. The group stayed in a kibbutz — pronounced ki-boots, they are collective communities of Israelis that live and work together. Originally, all kibbutzim were based in agriculture, though many have adopted high-tech manufacturing facilities over the years or other types of industry. Kibbutzim remain popular living-working situations in Israel and were a major part of the trade mission.Concepts of property ownership are also different in the Holy Land than in the U.S. The government oversees the entrusting of each piece of land.Following the trip, Baker said he believed Israel will never be a “huge market, but it will be a constant market for semen, embryos, and possibly feeder cattle in the future.”“I’m very optimistic about this mission to Israel and what benefits it may have in the future,” he said.last_img read more

Rain slows harvest efforts Between the Rows

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest AJ Baltes, Mahoning Co.We got about 200 acres of beans off and about 150 acres of wheat planted. We also ran about 100 acres of corn. We still have quite a ways to go but we got started. We finished up planting wheat on Oct. 19 and we planted it all on the 17th 18th and 19th.The beans started out pretty good at 12% or 13% moisture but this last week the air never dried out. We didn’t get the sun and they were running around 16%.The yields have been decent for what these crops went through. The beans are averaging from the mid 40s to around 50 bushels. The corn is running around 175 bushels and the moisture is running around 20% and 25% moisture. If we found any fields with mold or anything in them we were taking those off first. For the most part grain quality has been pretty good. We didn’t get docked for anything we had so it hasn’t been too bad. The only corn I have seen going down was corn that I think was supposed to be silage corn.We got about 3 to 3.5 inches of rain this weekend. There was a strip up through here that got quite a bit. We either need a really long dry spell or it is going to have to freeze. It looks like it will be almost 60 tomorrow and rain on and off for the next 10 days.Most guys still have a decent amount out yet. There are a lot of beans still out, especially to the north. There is more corn off around here but still quite a bit in the fields. We have to just wait now. We are no-till and we don’t want to cut anything up. I quit looking at the weather.Friday afternoon it started raining. We were spreading fertilizer on the wheat ground and we didn’t get that done and it rained off and on all weekend. There is not much we can do now. There are guys who haven’t been able to get manure hauled either because they haven’t been able to get out.There was not a lot of standing water in the wheat yet when I looked. Some of it hasn’t even sprouted yet. We have a lot of people buying straw right now for their dogs because it is starting to get cold, so at least we have something to do.For the rest of this week’s reports, click here.last_img read more

Updating an Antique Heating System

first_imgThe multistory brick home in Frederick, Maryland, is an “amazing property that deserves to be lived in and preserved,” says a Green Building Advisor reader who calls himself Joe Schmo. Its Achilles heel is a heating and cooling system that costs thousands of dollars a year to operate.The system consists of an oil-fired boiler that supplies radiators with steam, two air-source heat pumps that provide air conditioning, and back-up electric resistance heat. There’s a 4-ton unit in the basement for the first floor, and a 3-ton unit in an attic that serves the second floor.The 4,200-square-foot house is “surprisingly tight (relative of course), considering its age,” Schmo writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor, “but my objective is to use the steam radiator/oil system only as a back up due to the large costs and safety concerns associated with using it.”Adding insulation in the exterior walls doesn’t look like an option, although Schmo may add insulation in the attic. But more efficient heating and cooling equipment is definitely on his list. Schmo plans to replace the older air-source heat pumps with new 5-ton models.“In this day and age, I think a well-distributed, high-efficiency system — e.g. dual unit, dual zone heat pumps — should be able to save us money over the oil-fired boiler and electric back up, no?” Schmo writes. His question is the topic for this Q&A Spotlight. Sell the house and move? Nope.Faced with daunting heating bills, Schmo could always sell the house and buy something less expensive, AJ Builder says. Or consider a ground-source heat pump that, while expensive, might be eligible for subsidies. “Did you know that your utility bills were going to be $20,000 annually when you purchased?” he asks. “And you figured when you purchased that somehow after the fact you could add in the cost of changing to heat pumps?”According to AJ Builder, whole house air-source heat pumps are not going to save Schmo a lot of money. “Your best way to save would be to sell that home and buy something that has lower costs,” he advises.That’s not on the table, says Schmo. “I could live in a shipping container, too, but I won’t,” he replies. “I could do a lot of things, but selling a dream home that I just purchased is hardly a prudent move… It is an historic property that has stood many times longer than most houses being built today will. It’s a challenge, but one worth attempting, considering it really is a matter of transitioning it from 19th century thinking to today’s.”Schmo is a little surprised at some of the suggestions he’s been given at GBA. “For instance, we might able to install two new high-efficiency 16-SEER air-source heat pumps and a rooftop solar array for less than or about the same as a geothermal system and reduce both the electric expense overall as well as fossil fuel usage,” says Schmo. “I guess my question is whether anyone has a better idea.” RELATED ARTICLES Sharpen your pencil and do the mathDorsett would start with a heat load calculation. Otherwise, he says, Schmo won’t know whether the heat pumps he has in mind will do the job.On a mid- or late-winter oil fill-up, look up the number of heating-degree days that occurred since the last fill, Dorsett says. That information should be available from a website called Degree Days.net. “Then we can figure out from fuel use against degree-days and the boiler’s efficiency approximately how much heat pump it takes to get you there,” he says.With Schmo reporting extremely inexpensive electricity (5.4 cents per kWh vs. $4.30 a gallon for fuel oil), Dorsett says he’d save money by replacing the steam heating system with electric resistance heat.Electricity at $0.054 per kWh is $15.91 per million BTU (MMBtu), Dorsett writes. If Schmo were paying the Maryland statewide average of $0.1348/kWh, it would be $39.51/MMBtu.A ducted heat pump system with an average coefficient of performance (COP) of 1.5 would mean heating costs of $26.34/MMBtu, he adds, while a “better class” ductless minisplit with a higher COP could reduce costs to about $10/MMBtu.At the price Schmo is paying for oil, and assuming a burner operating at an efficiency of 85%, it costs $36.66/MMBtu, “That’s barely cheaper than resistance-electricity at the average Maryland price.”“In reality with the standby and distribution losses of the steam system, it would probably be slightly cheaper to go with resistance electricity at the state average price,” Dorsett says. “With 5-cent electricity you’d be paying well under half for heating than you are with oil. At a more typical 70-75% net operating efficiency, your output per gallon is really more like 100,000 BTU/gallon, or 10 gallons/MMBtu, for a heating cost of about $43/MMBtu.” Green Heating OptionsHeat Pumps: The BasicsCooling OptionsInsulating Old Brick Buildings Zoned heating can help, tooDan N.’s experience with an old house in New Jersey of roughly the same size as Schmo’s also suggests that zoned heating can lead to big savings.Dan N. swapped his oil boiler for a natural gas unit, and increased the number of heating zones from one to five. “I heat the rooms I need to heat, when I need to heat them, and the smaller loops are a lot more efficient and heat a lot more evenly,” he says. “When the house was on one loop, the last few rooms on the loop were barely warm and the first few rooms were hot.”His heating bills went from as much as $6,000 a year to less than $1,000. Get natural gas if you canKevin Dickson recommends that Schmo look into a conversion from oil to natural gas, especially if there’s no way of adding insulation in the walls. “Gas looks to be cheaper than conventional heat pump heat for now and many years to come,” Dickson writes.He suggests that Schmo take a look at an online forum called HeatingHelp.com. The site has thousands of threads, and whole sections devoted to steam and oil heating.Schmo says that natural gas is not currently available at the house, and even if it were, it would mean combustion products inside the house, which he’d like to avoid if possible. But if saving money is the object, converting to gas is indeed attractive.“If your house is on the gas grid, the cheapest solution would be to install a conversion burner,” writes Dana Dorsett, “which would cut your source-fuel BTU cost by half. The efficiency as a system may still be pretty low, though — some steam systems operate at less than 50% net efficiency.”Dan N. adds that gas suppliers can sometimes be convinced to run new lines to neighborhoods where demand is high. “I know they did in my parents’ neighborhood after enough people on the block made a commitment to convert to gas,” he says, “but it takes someone on the block to get people interested in change. Something to think about.” Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost had to say:It certainly is a beautiful historic home. And I bet all that heat that has been pumped through the building enclosure all these years is a significant part of its drying scheme.If there was ever a candidate for a comprehensive, detailed, building performance audit, this is it. It’s very tough to make sound recommendations when we don’t know the real performance properties of the building, especially when possibilities mentioned involve both mechanical (space conditioning system) and building enclosure (attic insulation) options.I can’t tell you the number of older homes with performance problems I have been asked to look at where a building performance audit before the energy upgrade would have resulted in a completely different and more successful energy upgrade.And just about number one on the problem list is adding attic insulation without resolving sources of moisture and big air leaks connecting the attic and basement. I can’t of course say this applies to this home given just the two photos, but it also would not surprise me to find sources of moisture in a stone foundation and either a dirt or concrete floor without capillary break or vapor barrier and multiple full-building height chases.In any energy upgrade, both mechanical and building enclosure improvements should be part of a quantitative evaluation. But just as important as assessing the home’s energy performance is evaluating the way it handles moisture and this hygrothermal approach (combined heat and moisture) is exactly what a whole building performance audit entails.So, include both building enclosure and mechanical options in any energy upgrade and evaluate both heat and moisture flows to ensure that the energy upgrade solution includes and manages moisture as well.last_img read more