Current abundance does not assure long-term wheat food security

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Near record production and higher beginning stocks that added to a comfortable level of world wheat supplies, got the lion’s share of attention in USDA’s first estimate of wheat supply and demand for marketing year 2015/16. Looking beyond the snapshot of today’s situation, however, there are trends and other information that could present unseen challenges — and demand new solutions.Over the past few years, good conditions blessed the majority of the world’s wheat farmers. They produced record yields of 717 million metric tons (MMT) in 2013/14 and increased that to 726 MMT in 2014/15. USDA’s initial forecast for 2015/16 is down, but only to 719 MMT. The International Grains Council forecast is even less optimistic, with production at 708 MMT for 2015/16. The global stocks-to-use ratio of a 28% forecast by USDA matches the five-year average and adds comfort for buyers.However, the trend in world demand is even more impressive. If USDA’s forecast of 717 MMT holds, 2015/16 will be the eighth year in a row of record-setting use. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said annual average per capita wheat consumption is stable at 67.0 kilograms, indicating that demand is growing with population. For 4 billion of the world’s poorest people, wheat provides 20% of their protein. Most of these people live in developing countries with fast growing populations that rely on world wheat trade to source this valuable food ingredient.It will take continued record production every year and increased market access to meet future wheat demand. The “Wheat Initiative,” created by G20 agricultural ministers, expects wheat demand to increase 60 percent as world population nears 9 billion in 2050, and to meet that demand annual wheat yield improvement must grow from its current level of less than 1% to at least 1.6%. U.S. Wheat Associates has argued that global trade volume will have to double to move wheat to where it is needed most.Considering that for 30 years farmers everywhere have been replacing wheat planted area with crops that offer more potential income, the global wheat industry ignores longer-term threats at their peril. That is why farm organizations from Canada, Australia and the United States published a joint statement in 20141 supporting responsible innovation in wheat.As demand for wheat increases, they said, “we must find ways to ensure it remains abundant while meeting the highest quality and nutrition standards.” They noted the value of advanced breeding techniques and research in biotechnology traits aimed at growing “more and better quality wheat safely, responsibly and in a more sustainable manner through the use of less water, fertilizer, fuel and pesticides.”U.S. wheat farmer organizations support the ability of our wheat customers to choose the specific traits they want and need. We are also certain that to continue providing high-quality wheat at affordable prices, we must support research and development in all innovations.last_img read more

Planter attachments aiding in better fertilizer placement

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Fertilizer placement has been a big topic of conversation for farmers across the Midwest. Dale Minyo visited with Gary Fennig of Fennig Equipment about some new tools that are being added to planters to help producers utilize fertilizer better.last_img

Google Brings Hotpot Recommendations to Places, Almost Reinvents Yelp

first_imgGoogle announced this morning that it would be “graduating” Hotpot, the restaurant recommendation engine that it launched last November. By “graduating,” the company means that the once stand-alone product would become an integrated part of Google Places. What will become of Hotpot? Aside from the name disappearing and its merging into Google Places, the company offers little in the way of details. If you look at the past day’s developments, however, it sure looks like Google is reinventing the wheel…or wheels, as it may be. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Google#Location#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… mike melanson Google chronicles the rise of Google Hotpot on its blog, saying that “it’s been incredibly exciting to watch Hotpot grow.”We’ve released an iPhone and Android app, integrated Hotpot recommendations into Google.com and Google Maps, expanded to more than 47 languages and enabled people to share their ratings and reviews to Twitter. While busy iterating on the product side, we’ve also launched marketing and community campaigns in five cities in the U.S.: Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; Las Vegas, Nev.; Madison, Wis.; and Charlotte, N.C.So, Hotpot will officially become part of Places, the location database that provides aggregated reviews and venue information. It had already done so in function, in both the iPhone and Android apps, but now it will do so in name.According to Mike Blumenthal, the company had already achieved quite a foothold in the review market and giving up the name could be “more than bizarre.”Clearly, Google, in democratizing the review process, making it simpler and pushing it out to the cell phone has facilitated a broad expansion of the review process by folks that never left reviews before. In that effort, they were able to achieve a run rate of over a million a month (13 million or so a year). That compares to the roughly 15 million total reviews that Yelp has garnered and an estimated current rate of about 600,000 a month.Now, if only Google would add Google Latitude, its location-based check-in service, with its newly country-wide deals program, it could build…Yelp! (Or Foursquare or Gowalla for that matter!)last_img read more

Electronic Arts Is The Worst Company In America, Again

first_imgElectronic Arts, the publisher of popular video-game franchises like Madden, SimCity and Mass Effect, has done it yet again. In another highly contested match-up against Bank of America, EA has kept its iron grip on the crown for Worst Company In America.EA’s penchant for micro-transactions, insistence on always-online requirements and overall anti-consumer activities lifted the company to “victory” yet again, with its SimCity launch disaster earlier this year perhaps the most influential of causes. The Consumerist, a popular website owned by not-for-profit advocacy organization Consumer Reports, has held The Worst Company In America poll since 2006. The contest has come to resemble an NCAA March Madness bracket, pitting companies against direct competitors (Apple vs. Google; Comcast vs. DirectTV) before the Sweet 16 round begins crossing industry lines. This year’s Final Four also included TicketMaster and former winner Comcast. EA clinched a surprise victory in 2012 by beating out Bank of America, AT&T and Wal-Mart in the Final Four. After taking an astounding 77.53% of the vote this year, EA kept its crown. Video Game Publisher vs. Utility Companies & Banks?It’s hard to imagine a mere video game publisher beating out the bank that bought mortgage-lending scapegoat Countrywide, not to mention a slew of widely reviled cell service and cable providers. As EA’s COO Peter Moore complained during the semifinals:This is the same poll that last year judged us as worse than companies responsible for the biggest oil spill in history, the mortgage crisis, and bank bailouts that cost millions of taxpayer dollars. The complaints against us last year were our support of SOPA (not true), and that they didn’t like the ending to Mass Effect 3.While a bit snide and self serving, Moore does raise an interesting point. Just how did a game publisher come to be so hated? EA’s Big MistakesOne factor promoting EA’s worst-ness is that BofA is just one hated bank among many, while EA has become the poster child for conglomerate greed and anti-consumerism in gaming. The company’s sins even put it on the ReadWrite DeathWatch list last year. Here’s a rundown of some of the bad decisions and debacles plaguing the company recently:The first SimCity in nearly 10 years was released last month to disastrous performance and near-universal connection issues. The cause: EA’s servers, which must be accessed with a solid Internet connection at all times just to play the game. Refunds for digital copies were not permitted. Microtransaction policies sucking the fun out of various games. Most recently Real Racing 3, a free driving game, included a feature that limits players to 30 minutes of playtime before they are required to pay more. In March, right after the SimCity launch, EA CEO John Riccitiello resigned amid failure to meet operational plans and Wall Street financial forecasts.  EA has also presided over poor endings and seemingly rushed sequels to several highly acclaimed game series. Mass Effect 3’s final act was so poorly received that fans demanded, and received, a revised ending, and EA was sued for false advertising.  Finally, the video game world is not just a niche market any more. It’s become a pervasive, multibillion-dollar industry worming its way onto smartphones, tablets, social networks, television sets, PCs and pretty much anything else with a screen.  Can EA Snag A Three-Peat? Peter Moore’s blog post – titled “We Can Do Better” – was more a rude and careless defense than an acknowledgement that consumers really, really don’t like his company. He even ended it by saying, “The tallest trees catch the most wind. At EA we remain proud and unbowed.” Learning from mistakes is always difficult for big corporations, but EA seems determined not to pay attention to the blow-back on micro-transactions, always-online functionality and customer satisfaction. As The Consumerist put it: When we live in an era marked by massive oil spills, faulty foreclosures by bad banks, and rampant consolidation in the airline and telecom industry, what does it say about EA’s business practices that so many people have — for the second year in a row — come out to hand it the title of Worst Company In America?For anyone interested, here’s a rundown of the contest in bracket form:  Tags:#Electronic Arts nick statt A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

People to know soon if Sena will be in power: Uddhav

first_imgAmid the bitter tussle with senior ally BJP over formation of government in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said people will come to know in the coming days if his party will be in power.He also said that the ₹10,000 package announced by the Maharashtra government for crop damages suffered by farmers due to unseasonal rains was not enough.The BJP and Shiv Sena, which contested the October 21 state elections together, have been locked in a battle over sharing of the chief minister’s post and are yet to start formal talks over government formation.“You will come to know in the coming days if the Shiv Sena will be in power,” Mr. Thackeray said to a query by reporters at a press conference in the state’s Aurangabad district.He refused to further answer any political questions.He visited Aurangabad to take stock of crop losses due to the untimely rains last month.Mr. Thackeray said he interacted with farmers in Kannad and Vaijapur areas of district.“Review of damages cannot be done from helicopter,” he said, in an apparent jibe at the state leadership.“The ₹10,000 crore for crop losses due to unseasonal rains is very less,” Mr. Thackeray said.He said the affected farmers should get ₹25,000 per hectare as compensation.“More assistance should follow. Farmers should get what is their right,” he said.Mr. Thackeray also demanded that the Centre explain to people how the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement will benefit the country.“What are the terms and conditions we are agreeing before signing the agreement tomorrow and how it will benefit the country. I think the issue hasn’t been discussed in Parliament,” he said.The RCEP, comprising 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact.Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the government on the state of economy, saying signing the RCEP agreement will result in “untold hardship” for farmers, shopkeepers and small enterprises.However, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal countered Gandhi’s remarks on the proposed mega free trade agreement, saying it was during the UPA regime when India joined negotiations for this pact.last_img read more

Delhi Belly team launches wacky t-shirts

first_imgDelhi BellyClick here to EnlargeDelhi Belly has clicked with the youth and the team is leaving no stone unturned to keep the excitement going. It has released wacky Tshirts with bizarre tag lines.Delhi Belly boys Imran Khan, Vir Das and Kunaal Roy Kapur launched an interesting range of tees on June 20, 2011, backed by public popularity. Imran disclosed to everyone that it was his mamu Aamir’s idea to have such innovative tees. They will be available at stores shortly.The trio was seen sporting the tees which have tag-lines based on hit songs such as D. K. Bose and Switty Switty from the movie. The movie has been in the news for quite some time now for its bizarre songs.last_img

Concussion- what to ask your doctor- adult

first_imgDefinitionYou have had a concussion. This isa mild brain injury. It can affect how your brain works for a while.Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of your concussion.Alternate NamesWhat to ask your doctor about concussion – adult; Brain injury – mild – what to ask your doctor – adultQuestionsWhat types of symptoms or problems will I have?Will I have problems thinking or remembering?Will I have a headache?How long will the symptoms last?Will all the symptoms and problems go away?Does someone need to stay with me?For how long?Is it okay for me to go to sleep?If I go to sleep, does someone need to wake me up and check on me?What type of activity can I do?Do I need to stay in bed or lie down?Can I do housework? How about yard work?When can I begin to exercise? When can I start contact sports, such as football or soccer? When can I begin skiing or snowboarding?When can I go back to work?What should I tell my boss about my concussion?Can I work a full day?Will I need to rest during the day?Whatmedications can I use for any pain or headache? Can I use aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or other similar medications?Is it okay to eat? Will I feel sick to my stomach?advertisementWhen can I drink any alcohol?Do I need a follow-up appointment?When should I call the doctor?Review Date:11/6/2012Reviewed By:Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA and Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.last_img read more

What Arizonas Rough Start Says About MLB and the NFL and NBA

The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a pretty bad start this season. In fact, it’s been downright wretched: Their 4-14 record ties them for the second-worst 18-game season opening of the past 11 seasons (since 2003, when the Detroit Tigers started 1-17).Putting aside who or what is to blame (hint: not their Australia trip), take another look at that 4-14 record. Also note that the Diamondbacks were 4-12 through 16 games. By Major League Baseball standards, these are notably bad records. But in football, a 4-12 record happens with some frequency. Last season alone, seven NFL teams went 4-12 or worse.Ever since the NFL expanded its schedule to 16 games in 1978 — excluding strike-shortened seasons in 1982 and 1987 — 14.5 percent of all teams have won four or fewer games in a season (throwing out teams who had ties). Similarly, over the same range of seasons (1978-present), an even 13 percent of NBA teams began their schedules with a 4-12 mark or worse.By contrast, only 4.3 percent of MLB teams have started the season 4-12 or worse over that span.This underscores two of the major differences between baseball and other sports — the relative compression of team records and the lack of information conveyed in any single-game result. Baseball famously plays the longest schedule (by far) out of the four major North American professional sports, a 162-game sample size which naturally reduces the presence of outlier performances. But as we saw above, even within a smaller chunk of games, baseball teams have more difficulty pulling away from the pack.This goes back to research I conducted two years ago, comparing the NBA’s season structure to those of other sports. Using an unbelievably useful methodology from arch-sabermetrician Tom Tango, I calculated the number of games necessary in each sport to regress a team’s record halfway to the mean — meaning, we’d know half of its observed outcomes were due to its own talent (while the other half results from randomness). For pro basketball and football, the numbers are similar: In the NBA, it takes about 12 games; in the NFL, 11 games. But in baseball, it takes a whopping 67 games for half of the variance in observed winning percentages to come from the distribution of talent and half from randomness.Perhaps the best way to illustrate these differences is to use them to set up equivalent schedule lengths between sports. For instance, if the NBA wanted to convey as much information in its team records as the NFL does in its 16-game schedule, they’d have to play a 17.5-game slate. (As an aside, this underscores how incredibly long the actual 82-game NBA schedule is; in terms of information provided, it’s almost five times too long relative to the NFL.)MLB’s 162 games provide about as much information as a 27-game football season would (meaning the NFL’s 16-game slate is the equivalent of roughly a 98-game baseball season). That’s nothing compared to the NBA, whose 82-game schedule is equivalent to a 458-game baseball season! (If the NBA wanted its standings to provide as much certainty as baseball’s, its teams would only need to play 29 games apiece.)This matches up with what we saw in the data on 16-game starts to each sport’s season. The NBA and NFL are very similar in the spread of records in a given x-game chunk, meaning the amount of information conveyed by any result is close to being the same in each sport. But MLB is a different animal. Its long season sets it apart, but even within the season, baseball teams are bunched together much more closely than their counterparts in football and basketball.CORRECTION (April 17, 3:29 p.m.): A reader pointed out that an earlier version of this post (which said the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 4-14 record tied them for the worst 18-game season opening of the past 12 seasons — since the 2002 Detroit Tigers started 3-15) was incorrect. Indeed, the 2010 Baltimore Orioles started 2-16 and the Tigers went 1-17 to start 2003. We’ve updated the post. read more