Fight to the finish line

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Andy WesthovenBy Andy Westhoven, AgriGold Regional AgronomistThe 2019 growing season has certainly been one for the ages (and the record books). It has been both memorable and forgettable. I know many growers who have said this year they had to throw out the rule book. I can empathize with any grower, as I too did some things that made me embarrassed. However, this was, and still is, a year of audibles. We’ve had Plan A, B, C, D, etc. We had to be quick on our feet whenever the slightest window opened for fieldwork. Sure, many times it was questionable at best, but it’s what had to be done. Now if you’re fortunate to have a crop planted and still actively growing, I believe you have to fight to the finish line.There are many factors now out of our control. Many crop roots are average at best, which is a major challenge. It’s critical to first analyze the crop potential in the field, set realistic expectations, and if economically feasible or justifiable, protect the crop. I understand some are willing to write off the year. Others may look at this crop as an opportunity to capitalize.Much of the corn crop is 5 to 6 weeks behind schedule. Unfortunately, the insects and diseases are right on time. Insects such as Japanese beetles are ferocious eaters and have been spotted in several locations. Gray leaf spot is just one disease that is popping up on all sizes of corn. There are others such as northern corn leaf blight, tar spot, etc. that might creep in later. Additional insects may also rear their ugly head. This is not meant to frighten but instead enlighten the opportunity to protect your bushels. There are many factors to consider when weighing the option to spray a pesticide. The first is yield potential. Keep realistic expectations in mind. If a field has 180 to 200 bushel yield potential or more, there is enough incentive to spray and protect that crop. Other than yield, factors such as planting date, hybrid(s) planted and health packages, crop rotation and/or tillage, field history, etc. should also be considered.Lastly on corn, two years ago I conducted a trial planted on June 2 with a 113-day corn hybrid sprayed multiple times with a fungicide. During a field day in August, I questioned if the trial would even reach black layer as that season was experiencing a very cool August. To my surprise, the plot yielded extremely well and reached black layer! The area sprayed with fungicide was over 20 bushels better than where I sprayed nothing. Additionally, the moisture was in the low 20s with exceptional test weight. It was harvested in early November that year. My take home from this story and trial was not to give up on June planted corn – if you feel there is potential.Turning the leaf over to soybeans, their story is similar to that of corn. If you have a good stand and good crop potential then fight to keep and protect those bushels. We all know the soybean story is written in August and September. If we have good weather, then we typically have good yields. Like corn diseases, soybean diseases have also begun their movement into the fields. I have commonly observed 8- to10-bushel gains or more from a fungicide application made between R2 and R4 growth stages. We have certainly experienced the “right” environment for diseases to impact our soybeans. Be sure to give a fair assessment to each field, run through a similar list of factors like variety, planting date, crop rotation, tillage, etc. to help make the best-informed decisions.The planting season is over, but we’re only in the middle of the growing season. This year has been about weathering the storm in so many ways, but it’s worth repeating, if you have a growing crop, fight to the finish line!last_img read more

Geo-Awareness & the Cloud

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Analysis#cloud 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Just because your data is housed “in the cloud” doesn’t mean that earthbound geography can simply be ignored. And while the World Wide Web promises a global and ubiquitous technology, location still matters.Obviously, data is still housed in a particular place, even if that place is “in the cloud.” And while major cloud providers have data centers worldwide – often with locations across several sites in Asia, Europe, and North America – the specific location of these cloud centers as well as the location of the end-users remain important – and complicated. Already location is often used to help address performance: where someone resides can be used to determine which data center is utilized. Location can also be a factor to restrict or enable access in order to comply with certain export laws, blocking access to applications for residents of certain countries, for example. But in addition to questions of performance and of access, there can be substantial legal ramifications based on location as well. Different countries tend to have varying requirements and restrictions for the privacy and security of information stored there. Argentina and Germany have very restrictive privacy laws, for example, while Hong Kong and South Africa have minimal restrictions. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… One of the promises of cloud technology is the ability to scale infinitely and on demand, but clearly location needs to be part of the equation – not just to ensure performance, but to ensure compliance with local laws.The relationship between location and the cloud has been the subject of several Forresterreports. And CloudSleuth offers a service so you can do your homework about cloud providers, geography, and performance. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting audrey watterslast_img read more

This Year’s Fashion is Last Year’s Flavor

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Image by Jordan Tan.More and more, I notice how much sales development is a fashion business.New ideas are attractive because they are new and sometimes novel. There is a long line of magic bullet answers being offered for deep, systemic problems. Shiny objects are trotted out one after the other, each offering some hope that selling can be made easier, salespeople more effective.Many of the ideas presented are good, and many have a foundation in some truth. Many more are attempts to deal with complex and complicated problems with seemingly easy answers.It’s fashion. Every season is a new line, or maybe a new play on an old line that finally comes back into fashion.The real path to improvement lies in the fundamentals. It always has. The real path to improvement is difficult. It always has been. The easy answer is that the answers aren’t easy—at least executing on what really needs to change isn’t.If you are a salesperson, you need to know that the improvement you need is gained through learning and practicing the fundamentals of effective selling. There is no new set of clothes that you can put on that will make you more effective without you having done the work.If you are a sales manager, your team’s success depends on you helping them to execute on the fundamentals of effective selling—and your executing the fundamentals of good sales management. There isn’t any single answer to what ails you and your team that can’t be solved through the fundamentals, through blocking and tackling.If you are a sales leader, your sales organization’s path forward to your goal is through the disciplined execution of the fundamentals of effective selling. There is no magic bullet, no shiny object, and no easy answers. If you want your team to outperform their peers, then build the sales force with the greatest command of the fundamentals.QuestionsWhat is your fashion right now?How much of your  fashion is based on improving the fundamentals?Are you easily drawn in by seemingly easy answers to complex and complicated problems?What has to be underneath the new fashion for the new fashion to succeed? What’s timeless?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