Infographic: what you can do to save water

first_imgSmall changes at home and work can go a long way to minimise the effects of the current drought in South Africa. We’ve collected these easy tips so everyone can contribute to saving water.Saving water can be easy by making tiny changes in lifestyle habits. (Image: Pixabay)Words and research: Priya PitamberDesign and infographic: Sandile KhumaloSouth Africa is experiencing a severe drought but we can all do our bit to save water and learn to use it wisely.The Department of Water and Sanitation has urged people to follow water saving measures strictly as dam levels across the country continue to fall.“If we are to secure enough water for each citizen amidst this very real water crisis, we need to pull together and do every bit we can to save and preserve our water resources in our province,” said MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs Paul Mashatile, speaking about Gauteng.Click on the image for a larger view.Source: Department of Water and SanitationWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Ohio Pork Congress highlights

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Pork Congress had the largest attendance in several years since it moved to its Columbus location.“We’ve been blessed to have good participation over the past several years and this is a record for the last 10 or 12 years,” said Rich Deaton, Ohio Pork Council president. “We had over 500 pre-registered and that is due to the event planning committee. It just goes to show that if we get the right program and right presenters here, people will come and benefit from what they have to share.”The event followed the Tri-State Sow Housing Conference held the previous day and the topic was a natural topic of conversation as the 2025 deadline for implementation of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board sow housing requirements draws closer.“One of the things that is on our minds here in Ohio is the magic number of 2025 when the sow housing changes have to be implemented. We have many exhibitors here that will help producers be able to retrofit their barns and make the transition to meet the Ohio Livestock Care Standard Requirements here in 2025. It is a big deal,” Deaton said. “We had good participation at the Sow Housing Conference. We heard from people who have already made the transition either with a new building or retrofitting an existing building. They shared some things that they learned and hearing about that hands-on experience really helps.”Another topic of discussion was the strong demand for pork.“One of the things I have been impressed with over the last year is that domestic consumption is up. It is getting close to 52 pounds consumed per person, that is getting close to a high for us,” Deaton said. “Bacon has always been popular, but it is more popular now than it has been. Bacon has been really hot but loins have dropped off. Loins used to be our leader but now ribs and bacon are the leaders. As we got that pig leaner, we also leaned up the bacon and made it a better, more appealing product than 20 years ago. We have to get used to the shifting consumer demands. My goal is to work to get the loins back up to where they were and keep the bacon where it is.”Ohio Pork Congress attendees also got a legislative update, a PRRS Mapping update, a report on global trends in protein consumption, a water quality update, and an overview of manure application research.For the past five years, Glen Arnold with Ohio State University Extension has conducted research on methods of sidedressing liquid manure. Initially, he used a tanker filled with liquid manure that was applied to young corn fields in several western Ohio counties. But the dragline and manure sidedress toolbar, compared to a tanker, weigh less and are faster and more efficient, Arnold pointed out. Also, the dragline and toolbar cause very few plants to be crushed to death. OSU research has found manure sidedressed fields produced 13 more bushels of corn per acre compared to fields where synthetic fertilizers were applied saving about $80 an acre, Arnold said.“There’s always a cost to the livestock farmer to apply manure to farm fields. By capturing more of the nitrogen in the manure, the farmer can reduce the need to purchase commercial fertilizer and make a bigger profit,” Arnold said.Attendees also heard a National Pork Board Update from Bill Even, CEO, National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa and an entertaining presentation from keynote speaker Rob Sharkey, a farmer and podcaster from Bradford, Illinois. Award winners, including the Industry Excellence Award winners the Surber family, were recognized as well. The Surber family was recognized with the Industry Excellence Award. Jess Campbell accepted the Friend of the Ohio Pork Industry award for Farm Credit Mid-America. Glen Arnold (right) was recognized with the Pork Industry Service Award for his work with manure in 2018. Frank Pizzo accepted an award for City Barbecue for Pork Promoter of the Year presented by Ty Higgins. Frank Pizzo accepted an award for City Barbecue for Pork Promoter of the Year Ben Pitstick, left, was recognized as the Swine Manager of the Year presented by OPC president Rich Deaton. Bill Even with NPPC provided a legislative update, Keynote Speaker Rob Sharkey, Bradford, Illinois covered “Talking About Tough Topics in a Meaningful Way”last_img read more

USDA numbers neutral on July 11

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Doug Tenney, Leist MercantileWhat will USDA give us today? How will they affect my bottom line?That is the gargantuan (adjective for the day) question farmers are asking. They continue to be in shock with the most surprising corn acres number provided with the June 28 Acres Report. This report had U.S. corn acres at 91.7 million acres while soybean acres were estimated at 80 million acres. What happened to prevent planted corn acres talked about for weeks ahead of that report? Corn acres were a huge bearish surprise, with December CBOT corn closing down 19 ½ cents at $4.31 ½ on the June 28 report day. Trader estimates ahead of the report estimated corn acres at 86-87 million acres. Soybean acres were a huge bullish surprise as the November CBOT soybeans closed at $9.23, up 10 ¾ cents that same day. Trader estimates had been 84 million acres.Corn acres unchanged, yield unchanged, ending stocks up but below trade estimates. Soybean acres unchanged, yield lower one bushel, ending stocks lower and below trade estimates. Shortly after report release corn down 2 cents, soybeans up 1 cent, wheat up 4 cents.Today numbers will not be a one hit wonder. All will be looking at acres. In addition, analysts will be considering U.S. exports, U.S. ending stocks, stocks to use ratios, and finally global production and ending stocks. Trading ranges could be brisk and most volatile.Prior to the report corn was down two cents, while soybeans and wheat were down one cent. Many had expected the corn numbers to be bearish with lower exports and higher ending stocks.Weather concerns are not going away with warm and dry seen into the weekend across the Midwest. A tropical storm has already brought nine inches of rain to parts of Louisiana this week. Its remnants may or may not reach into Kansas and Missouri where some of the driest conditions exist.It has been a hard spring for producers in Ohio and across the Midwest. Planting has not been fun at all with the many rain delays and late plantings for corn and soybeans. Producers wanted to forget the wet fall from last year. Unfortunately, it has carried into this year with even more stress and uncertainty. This week Ohio’s farmers are still planting the first crop soybeans in numerous locations. It is easy to see that corn and soybean development is 20-30 days behind normal. Throw in the words, “early frost” to bring on even more uncertainty for final corn and soybean yields.Today and the weeks which follow continue to be the battle of the decade. Demand bears point to U.S. export demand shrinking for corn, soybeans, and wheat. They have plenty of ammunition with huge corn supplies with South America, Brazil exporting more and more soybeans to China while the U.S. exports have fallen off the map, along with big wheat production from Russia which has benefitted from timely rains. Supply bulls continue to point to a record wet spring, the wettest in 125 years. Crop development for corn and soybeans is behind normal.In the eastern U.S. Corn Belt, Ohio’s old crop corn basis levels are at decades’ high numbers. Numerous Ohio locations are September plus 30 to 60 cents. Basis levels have increased weekly by nickels and even multiple dimes from mid-May forward in numerous Ohio locations, especially in western Ohio. Old corn has not moved as expected with producers holding onto corn for more money, especially if they have not been able to plant normal acres of corn. This delayed movement of old corn has contributed greatly to the basis levels currently seen. No producer wants to be left standing when the music stops. When the party is over, those dimes could be multiple dimes lower in just days.The meteorological term “ring of fire,” with the extreme heat seen in the Midwest this week has easily replaced “trains of rain,” which took place in May.Look for weather and yields to once again return to the forefront in price direction. This change could easily be within minutes of the noon Eastern Time report release.last_img read more

2010: The Year of Treasure Hunters

first_imgT he first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and,T he first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and widows were virtually stolen by powerful politicians, bureaucrats and defence officers who abetted construction on disputed army land. Chavan’s relatives owned three flats in Adarsh. He was confident that his mentors-a guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, and Rahul Gandhi-would save him. Chavan was self-delusional. It was the judiciary that forced the political class to move. On December 22, a division bench of Justice B.H. Marlapalle and Justice U.D. Salvi hearing the case noted, “Everybody who was supposed to clear a file has been gifted (a flat in Adarsh).” Adarsh was not the only scandal in the Year of the Treasure Hunter. The total loot of the public exchequer in 2010 is estimated to exceed Rs 4 lakh crore. An analysisreveals that real estate is corruption’s biggest cash cow. According to realtors, 60 to 70 per cent of the price of property transactions in all major Indian cities is in cash. A finance ministry report of December 2009 states: “Of the Rs 4,500 crore seized in income tax raids, around Rs 2,000 crore involves land. Politicians are earning money per sq ft of the floor space index awarded to construct buildings. This is a result of commercialisation of politics,” says former Mumbai High Court Judge B.G. Kolse-Patil. The cbi discovered that it was Chavan, who as state revenue minister in 2000 cleared the society’s ownership conditions to admit civilians along with defence personnel, thereby opening up a real estate gold-mine. “The Congress is the fountainhead of corruption in the country,” says bjp leader Rajnath Singh.advertisementIn 2010, allegations of corruption-referred to by Wharton academic Jitendra Singh as “a kind of shadowy market”-were made against the spectrum of the national establishment. Politicians like Chavan, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Suresh Kalmadi and Mulayam Singh Yadav; senior army officers like former army chief General Deepak Kapoor and Major General R.K. Hooda stole the headlines of the year with a glittering cast of friends, mentors and hangers-on from the media and bureaucracy.Chavan’s personal assets run into hundreds of crores of rupees. In his hometown Nanded, Chavan Inc owns dealerships, real estate worth crores, sugar mills and educational institutions. He insists that his commercial ventures are legal and he has done nothing wrong. For a politician who declared his net worth as Rs 24.61 crore  in 2009, india today investigations revealed that the estimated worth of assets held by Chavan and his family amount to much more. “The politicians in the entire country are corrupt. Why talk only about Maharashtra?” says Kolse-Patil. Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray says, “We are facing a challenge to cure the disease of corruption.” Chavan, however, is defiant. “The investigations will prove my innocence,” he says.   The country has got used to the idea of corrupt politicians. It was shocked to learn that officers of the rank of general and admiral were involved in Adarsh. “Here is a man whom we trusted, here is a person on whose orders we were ready to go to battle,â€? said Chief of Staff General V.K. Singh about his predecessor General Kapoor. In his application for a Rs 80-lakh apartment, General Kapoor lied that his annual income was Rs 2.8 lakh while when it was actually around Rs 7.2 lakh. When this application was turned down, the then Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh used his arbitrary powers to clear it. Adarsh is not the only example of Kapoor’s real estate adventures. The Haryana Government gave him a Gurgaon plot for Rs 36 lakh with a lock-in payment period of five years-a knockdown price for land valued at Rs 7.5 crore. In Sukna, West Bengal, army land was allegedly given to builders at throwaway prices. The military court indicted two army officers for this deal-one of them was Kapoor’s staff advisor Lt. General Avdesh Prakash. Kapoor reportedly used his clout to save Prakash from a court martial. The armed forces have earned the unsavoury nickname, the “Harmed Forces”.Real estate besmirched the reputation of Karnataka’s Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa as well. In June 2010, Yeddyurappa was preparing for a spotlight moment, ordering a bespoke Italian suit from Bangalore fashion designer Prakash Lamba as a change from his usual white safari suit to preside over the two-day Global Investors Meet in Bangalore from which he expected to raise at least $66.3 billion as investments for Karnataka. In private, Yeddyurappa was taking decisions that would blow up in his face. On November 17, 2010, Karnataka Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde announced there was enough evidence to establish a prima facie case against Yeddyurappa. The Opposition released documents-around 2,000 of them-alleging that Yeddyurappa flouted rules to get prime land worth Rs 500 crore allotted to family members; his sons bjp MP B.Y. Raghavendra and Vijayendra became beneficiaries of state largesse after their father became the Karnataka deputy chief minister in 2006. Raghavendra was allotted a government plot in Bangalore under the MP’s quota and paid Rs 10 lakh for the land whose market value was over Rs 2 crore. Yeddyurappa also denotified the Bangalore Development Authority (bda) land which his sons and son-in-law Sohan Kumar allegedly grabbed at throwaway prices. Yeddyurappa’s daughter Umadevi was allotted two acres of government land to set up a bpo. Some of his family members were allegedly allotted five acres in Shimoga to build a hospital, and two acres for a factory in Bangalore. In March 2010, 11 more acres in Bangalore worth crores were denotified in Vijayendra and Raghavendra’s favour against the advice of the bda and the Urban Development Department. Later, his kin returned the land following a judicial inquiry. Five previous chief ministers gave similar deals to their relatives including Dharam Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda’s son H.D. Kumaraswamy who is yet to return the land allotted to him.advertisement”The names of my family members are being dragged into imagined corruption cases to cover up their (Opposition’s) own misdeeds,” says Yeddyurappa, responding to the Opposition’s charges of corruption.The Opposition also alleges that the chief minister took a bribe of Rs 20 crore from the Bellary-based South West Mining Ltd; supporting documents claim that the money was allegedly deposited into the bank accounts of Raghavendra, Vijayendra and Sohan Kumar.If land was exploited by the corrupt, the skies were open to political plunder as well. On November 14, the dmk, unable to withstand the heat from a belligerent Opposition, a hostile Congress and an angry media, ordered Andimuthu Raja to resign as telecom minister. Raja was accused of favouring select telecom companies-Swan Telecom, Unitech, S-Tel, Datacom Solutions, Idea, Spice, Systema, Tata and Loop-in acquiring 2G spectrum licences in a valuation game which is estimated to have cost the country a notional Rs 1.76 lakh crore. “As a lawyer, I will abide by the law, not evade it,” Raja said. His slogan during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls was “Oru kilo arisi oru rupa, oru hello 50 paisa” (One kg rice at one rupee, a hello on the phone at 50 paise). The Niira Radia tapes exposed how much his hellos cost the country. Veteran Congress leader of Tamil Nadu EVKS Elangovan says “Karunanidhi must’ve been aware of things.”In power, there is no free lunch. So what did the telecom companies give Raja and Radia in return of the favours? The CBI and the ed are investigating a money trail that leads to the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Mauritius. “Raja represents a front for a number of undesirable organisations. He is a front for anti-national agents,” says Subramanian Swamy, Janata Party president. There may be political exaggeration in the accusation.advertisementRaja stuck to his chair for 400 days after the scam surfaced. A CBI official claims that the minister used this time to manipulate or destroy evidence. No incriminating documents were found when the agency raided his house on December 8. According to one source, documents were also destroyed at Radia-owned Vaishnavi Communic- ations’s office in Delhi. Employees had burned thousands of documents to prevent them from falling into the hands of the CBI. “The Government should constitute an Integrity and Ethics Commission urgently to check corruption and initiate stringent action against corrupt practices,” says assocham President Dilip Modi.The climate of venality spawned a variety of hunters who sought to seize what they could. Public anger began to mount. When Suresh Kalmadi, the most visibly tainted face of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, walked into a Delhi restaurant on a late October weekend, he was surrounded and heckled by diners who called him a thief. The CBI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) estimate that the 66-year-old Congress Rajya Sabha MP caused a loss of Rs 5,000-8,000 crore of public money through financial and administrative malfeasance. In 2003, the Indian Olympic Association estimated the Games would cost the country Rs 1,620 crore. By 2010, the bill had risen to Rs 11,500 crore. With other additional expenditure, the Games expenditure was estimated to be around Rs 30,000 crore, making the 2010 Commonwealth Games the most expensive sporting event ever. CBI sources says that of the Rs 665 crore spent on overlays, around Rs 200 crore was stolen. Following the CVC report on financial misdemeanors, the CBI raided the ioa offices and arrested close Kalmadi aides T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mahindroo and treasurer Jayachandran.Some of the statistics are stunning. The infrastructure cost for the cwg was Rs 2,904 crore but Rs 5,503 crore was released. Where did the extra money go? The CVC investigated 16 Games-related projects totalling Rs 2,477 crore and found that corrupt officials and contractors tampered with initially discounted tenders. The organising committee inflated bills by at least 30 per cent. The CBI raided Kalmadi’s residences in Delhi and Pune. “I am innocent till proven guilty. I have not taken any decision alone,” Kalmadi says.Many more careers and reputations tumbled as other skeletons of corruption fell out of hidden closets. In Mumbai, private financier Rajesh Sharma, chief of Money Matters (India), and senior bank officials were arrested in a bribes-for-loans affair. The arrests have made corporate India uneasy. Though the licence raj has ostensibly ended, lobbyists are still needed for project clearances. “We need to be clear about what is defined as corruption. In an economy where competition and enterprise are driven by individual endeavours, and there is no strong government hand, these things flourish,” says P. Shankar Raman, executive v-p (finance), L&T. Following these arrests, the market value of lic Housing Finance shares plummeted from Rs 10,159 crore to Rs 2,365 crore. Investors lost Rs 2,300 crore in a day. “There are enough regulatory bodies in the country but they don’t have the teeth to enforce regulations,” says Richard Rekhy, ceo, KPMG, one of the largest of audit, tax and advisory services firms in the world   There was one unusual instance of corruption. While Adarsh, the cwg and other scams largely involved powerful cabals, Ketan Desai, president of the Medical Council of India, was the lone ranger of graft. His modus operandi was to ask for bribes in return of government recognition for private medical colleges. After the CBI arrested him for accepting Rs 2 crore as payola for one such deal, raids conducted in Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai and Ahmedabad revealed that Desai and his family owned 10 houses, two commercial properties in Mumbai and gold worth Rs 39 lakh.During the Adarsh hearing, Justices Marlapalle and Salvi asked, “Why has no fir been registered except the one on the missing files in the case? Don’t tell us committees will be formed to conduct inquiries. Committees are formed and dissolved, nothing happens.” Nothing happens because a corrupt system closes its ranks to protect its own. India remains stuck in the purgatory of corruption.with Nivedita Mukherjee, Kiran Tare and Nirmala Ravindranlast_img read more