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SA to build on tourist growth from IndiaSA to build on tourist growth from India

first_img28 February 2013 South Africa’s sunny shores saw an increase in visitors from India in 2012, and is hoping to build on this foundation through South African Tourism’s campaigns aimed specifically at the Indian market, says Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Tourist arrivals from India to South Africa between January and September last year numbered 79 000, an 18% increase on the previous year’s statistics. “South African Tourisn has been promoting our destination in India since 2005, focusing on film, fashion, sports and food and wine,” Van Schalkwyk said at the opening of the Travel Agents Federation of India conference in Durban on Monday. “Three years ago we identified India as a core market and capacitated it with a fully operational South African Tourism office.” The two countries also enjoy a healthy trade and business relationship. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first signing of the agreement establishing full diplomatic relations between the two countries. “The bilateral relations between India and South Africa have grown so much stronger since,” he said. “We have developed very close strategic, cultural and economic ties.” South Africa is hoping to strengthen the relationship through numerous campaigns aimed at India. “The more you do, the closer you get” campaign has just been launched, and there is another campaign hot on its heels, to be launched in March. Its recently launched “the more you do, the closer you get” campaign is looking to increase visitor numbers through the message that the more experiences you have, the closer you get to the people you are with and the country you are travelling in. The next campaign will be launched next month and features former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes. South African Tourism is in the process of training 1 000 Indian travel agents and tour operators to enable them to sell the country to the Indian market. “Our goal is to break the 100 000 arrivals mark by 2014 and we are confident we will achieve this,” Van Schalkwyk said. Plans to deepen their partnership as emerging markets. “Emerging markets are important source markets, but even more importantly, we are emerging destinations bound to change travel patterns around the world,” he said. “In our lifetime I have no doubt that we, as emerging destinations, will become the centre of the universe for international tourism flows.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Primary nutrient basics: PotassiumPrimary nutrient basics: Potassium

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Potassium (K) is absorbed by plants in larger amounts than any other mineral nutrient except nitrogen, and is required for nutrient movement in the plant. It is essential for the makeup of over 40 different enzymes and is involved in more than 60 different enzyme systems in plants. Potassium is also important in the formation of sugars and starches in plants. Crops that produce a large amount of carbohydrates (sugars) such as cotton, almonds, alfalfa, grapes, cherries and peaches require large amounts of potassium.Potassium is used by plants to regulate the process of opening and closing the stomatal openings of their leaves. That process influences water use efficiency and carbon dioxide use in the plant. Potassium’s influence on cell turgor pressure and water relations in the plant helps the plants resist the effects of drought and temperature extremes, and aids resistance to many plant diseases.The problemDepending on soil type, 90 to 98% of total soil potassium is unavailable. Feldspars and micas are clays that contain large amounts of potassium, but plants cannot use the nutrient if it is trapped between the layers of those clays. In persistently dry soils, potassium remains unavailable, as there is no water film surrounding the soil particles. Over time, these minerals break down, and the potassium is released. However, this process is too slow to provide crops the amount of potassium needed for optimal yield.Typically only 1% to 2% conventional potassium fertilizers applied to the soil is available at one time. Spotting deficienciesPlants lacking in potassium often display various signs of deficiencies, the most common being discoloration of the older leaves on the plant as compared to the younger leaves on the plant. The stem on affected tissue usually appears weak and is slender in size compared to healthy tissue. Other deficiency signs include inward curling of leaves, discolored leaf tips and marginal scorching. Another common sign of potassium stress is abnormally short internode length. A crop deficient in potassium may also display signs of various crop diseases. The solutionProviding available potassium when the plant needs it is critical in establishing a healthy, vigorous crop that is resistant to disease and pests. According to the USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, “More plant diseases have been retarded by the use of potassium fertilizer than any other substance.” Sufficient readily-available potassium is especially critical.when soil conditions are dry, and water-soluble potassium in the soil is unavailable for plant uptake.While specific management practices for potassium vary by crop, region and specific soil conditions, multiple applications of potassium during a growing season are often beneficial.Soil and tissue sampling is critical to effective management of potassium. Growers should base management decisions on the potassium needed by the plant throughout the growing season and how much potassium is available in the soil. Dependent upon the situation, potassium application may be appropriate at planting time, sidedress, foliar applications, through fertigation, or a combination of those methods.As an essential major nutrient for crop production, potassium needs to be available to the plant at all stages of growth. Most potassium found in soils is unavailable to the plant, therefore the nutrient may need to be supplied to the crop via fertilizer.The need for potassium can and should be determined from soil and plant tissue analysis.Management recommendations for potassium vary by crop, region and specific soil conditions. It is often beneficial to split applications of potassium to match the optimal times of plant uptake in order to increase yield potential and quality. Proper potassium management can increase disease and pest resistance. In addition, this management practice can improve soil quality for sustainability, resulting in an overall increase in productivity.last_img read more

Ag producers say financials stronger than 2016 but predict missed financial targets in 2017Ag producers say financials stronger than 2016 but predict missed financial targets in 2017

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. agricultural producers indicated their farm operations’ financial positions are stronger than at this time in 2016, but expressed concerns that they might not meet their 2017 financial targets, according to a monthly producer survey conducted as part of the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.The barometer, which is based on a survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers, read 131 for the month of June — virtually unchanged from the April and May readings of 130.“Although the Ag Economy Barometer has not changed appreciably the last couple of months, it’s important to note that it remains well above levels recorded prior to November 2016,” said Jim Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture.In June 2017, 13% of survey respondents indicated that their operations were financially better off than a year before — the highest reading since Purdue researchers first started surveying producers in October 2015. Only 3% of producers expressed that same positive sentiment a year earlier. However, farmers’ positive sentiment regarding their operations’ financial conditions improved steadily during the last half of 2016, before weakening somewhat this past winter. In the last three months, producers became more optimistic about their farms’ financial positions, with 13% of surveyed producers indicating in June that their farms were financially better off than a year earlier.“Several factors likely contributed to the long-term shift in producers’ attitudes about their operations’ financial conditions, Mintert said. “Revenues on many farms increased as a result of record — or near record — crop yields in 2016. Also, corn and soybean futures prices strengthened from late summer through early winter while production costs, especially fertilizer, moderated when compared to last year. Farmland rental rates also continue to soften as part of the farm economy’s long-term adjustment to tight crop operating margins.“All of this contributed to improved current financial conditions for many farm operations. Our survey data suggests that for some farm operators, financial conditions have bottomed out,” he said.While the barometer survey indicated the current financial situation for many farm operations had stabilized, 28% of producers said they expect their farms’ 2017 financial performance to be worse than they had projected earlier in the year. That concern could be connected to adverse planting and growing conditions in the Eastern Corn Belt this spring, as well as recent declines in corn and soybean prices.The survey also revealed an uptick in producers (52%) expressing concerns that extreme weather events could have widespread adverse impacts on crop yields over the next 12 months.“Compared to June 2016, producers expressed more concern about the possible impact of extreme weather on crop yields,” Mintert said. “One-third of producers in our survey said they had changed their marketing plans in response to weather concerns, up from just 22% in March of this year when we last posed the same question.”Read the full June Ag Economy Barometer report at http://purdue.edu/agbarometer.The Ag Economy Barometer, Index of Current Conditions and Index of Future Expectations are available on the Bloomberg Terminal under the following ticker symbols: AGECBARO, AGECCURC and AGECFTEX.last_img read more

Funding available for farmers through Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement ProgramFunding available for farmers through Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Division of Soil and Water Conservation is making farmers aware of funding available to farmers through the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).CREP is the country’s largest private-land conservation program. Administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency in partnership with the ODA and local soil and water conservation districts, CREP targets high-priority conservation concerns in exchange for removing environmentally sensitive land from production. In return for establishing permanent resource-conserving plant species, farmers are paid an annual rental rate along with other federal and state incentives as applicable per each CREP agreement. Participation is voluntary, and the contract period is typically 15 years.“Farmers are continually looking for innovative ways to practice conservation on their farms,” said Dorothy Pelanda, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “This program provides great opportunities to make positive contributions to our state’s water quality while allowing farms to remain productive.”New for 2019 is the $200 bonus offered by the state of Ohio for all newly-enrolled filter strip and riparian area practices. For current CREP participants with expiring contracts, re-enrolling and expanding the width of filter strips or riparian areas will earn you the bonus dollars on those new added acres all the while expanding the environmental protection of these practices.The Lake Erie CREP is available in 27 Ohio counties including; Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Lorain, Marion, Medina, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood and Wyandot counties.For more information and to sign up visit your local soil and water conservation district or contact the ODA Division of Soil and Water Conservation at [email protected] or 614-265-6610.last_img read more

Stay Connected with Our Military Caregiving eNewsletterStay Connected with Our Military Caregiving eNewsletter

first_imgDo you want to learn more about what the Military Caregiving concentration area of the Military Families Learning Network has to offer? If so, get connected with us by subscribing to our monthly email newsletter. The eNewsletter provides resources to current caregiver literature and includes links to upcoming educational events for learning opportunities. The eNewsletter is an easy way to get an outline of what the Military Caregiving concentration areas has to offer that month, as well as a place to find all of the links you need to access information.To subscribe to the monthly eNewsletter, click here! This post was written by Carlee Latham of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Military Program. Latham is a member of the MFLN–Military Caregiving Concentration team. This blog was posted to the Military Families Learning Network site on May 9, 2014.last_img read more

NAB 2016: ARRI Purchases the Artemis Trinity, Announces New Lenses, and MoreNAB 2016: ARRI Purchases the Artemis Trinity, Announces New Lenses, and More

first_imgARRI purchases one of the coolest stabilizers out there and showcases other new technologies at NAB 2016.Exciting news from ARRI out of NAB 2016. The company will now be the exclusive seller of the Artemis Trinity stabilizer. Plus, new SkyPanel updates make coloring a set a breeze.ARRI Artemis Trinity and MaximaOne of my favorite rigs at IBC 2015 was the Sachtler/Vitec Artemis Trinity stabilizer, which has since been acquired by ARRI. The company announced a production version of the Trinity and is currently demonstrating the latest improvements on the NAB floor.Trinity stands out from other systems by combining well-established mechanical camera stabilization with modern, 32 bit ARM-based gimbal technology. This combination enables uniquely fluid, wide-ranging and precisely controlled movements for unrestricted shot-making and total creative freedom.Curt O. Schaller, who developed Trinity and – together with Dr Roman Foltyn of FoMA Systems – invented the Maxima gimbal that functions as the head of the system, is joining ARRI as Product Manager Camera Stabilizer Systems. His long-term colleague Jörg Pitzing is also moving to ARRI and will oversee service support for the product range. The Trinity works wonderfully with the ALEXA Mini, but can even accommodate film cameras like the ARRIFLEX 235 and 416. Users can even use telephoto lenses on the Maxima gimbal, controlling movement with a joystick.Image via FoMA SystemsARRI is also taking over sales of the Artemis Maxima standalone gimbal head was well. The Maxima features weight compensation, meaning users will not have to rebalance when changing lenses. Initial shipments are scheduled for May 2016.ARRI/Zeiss Master Anamorphic LensesARRI and Zeiss have introduced two new lenses — the MA28 and MA180 — at NAB 2016. The MA28 is a 28mm lens with T1.9 aperture speed, ideal for low-light work and shallow depth of field. The MA180 is a 180mm lens with T2.8 and a front diameter of 95mm, optimized for use with the ARRI LDS Extender 1.4x to extend focal lengths to 250 mm or the LDS Extender 2.0x to achieve focal lengths of 360 mm.The prototypes can be seen on the NAB floor at the ARRI booth.ARRI SkyPanel Firmware UpdateARRI has also announced an update to the popular SkyPanel series of lights. Here are some of the most exciting new capabilities.Rosco/Lee Gel LibrariesEmulate a variety of well-known lighting gels in seconds via the onboard controls or through DMX.Low End ModeGenerate accurate CCTs with high color rendition and smooth dimming at very low-light levels. Tungsten ModeMimic the dimming curve and strike on-and-off effect of a traditional tungsten lamp. The CCT warms as the light is dimmed. When the intensity drops to zero quickly, there is a short afterglow of warm light.Dimming CurvesSkyPanel dimming allows different behaviors for specific applications. The exponential curve provides fine control at the low end of the dimming scale, while the logarithmic curve allows for better control at the high end. The ‘S’ curve gives both high and low-end dimming fidelity, but limited control in the middle, and the linear curve gives a one-to-one translation of the output to intensity level.DMX Fan ControlFor added control and to eliminate any sound, the SkyPanel fans can now be set to different modes (or even turned off) for short periods of time. The SkyPanel will protect itself from damage by turning the fans back on at a very low level if the LEDs get too hot. Save/Load Presets via USBStore and recall up to ten different user presets. Save these presets to a USB stick and transfer them to easily change another SkyPanel. Camera ShowreelsAs the standard camera of so many major motion pictures, ARRI had plenty of footage to show off — including the work of three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubeski (Birdman, The Revenant), Roger Deakins’ stunning cinematograpy in Sicario, as well as plenty of commercial shoots.The Looks of AlexaAmira NAB ShowreelAlexa NAB ShowreelAlexa Mini NAB Showreellast_img read more