first_imgA fine ram is auctioned at last year’s event.The Poor Farmers Auction in Ardara has managed to raise another €17,870 – bringing the total money generated in the past nine years to more than €200,000.Everything from sheep to signed jerseys were auctioned at Teague’s Bar in the town this week at what was another hugely-successful and fun event.The auction has now become one of the highlights of the year in Ardara. This year’s theme was ‘Cowboys and Indians’ and many who turned up on the night wore fancy dress, adding to the craic on the night.The €17,870 raised this week was divided between the Killybegs Hospice Suite, Donegal Alzheimer’s branch and cancer Care West.Well done to al who took part on the night.   POOR FARMERS AUCTION IN ARDARA PASSES €200,000 WITH ANOTHER GREAT NIGHT! was last modified: December 31st, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ArdaradonegalPoor Farmer’s AuctionTeague’s Barlast_img read more

South Africa shows us we can change: Obama

first_img On Tuesday, the 94 000-seater stadium was two-thirds full despite torrential rains, as South Africans from all walks of life joined some 70 heads of state and an array of royalty and celebrities for the first major event of a week-long send-off that is set to rival the funerals of JFK, Pope John Paul and Princess Diana.‘The last great liberator of the 20th century’ Addressing the gathering in the early afternoon, Obama described Mandela as “the last great liberator of the 20th century”, saying it would be tempting to remember him “as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men. “But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. Instead, he insisted on sharing with us his doubts and fears; his miscalculations along with his victories. ‘I’m not a saint,’ he said, ‘unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.’ “That is why we learned so much from him; that is why we can learn from him still,” Obama said. “Mandela taught us the power of action, but also ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those you agree with, but those who you don’t. “He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and passion, but also his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. And he learned the language and customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depended upon his.” Above all, Obama said, Mandela understood “the ties that bind the human spirit. There is a word in South Africa – ubuntu – that describes his greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.”Mandela’s passing ‘also a time for self-reflection’ Mandela’s passing was rightly a time both of mourning and of celebration for the people of South Africa and for those he inspired around the world. But it was also, Obama said, a time for self-reflection. “For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease; run-down schools, and few prospects for the future. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love. “We, too, must act on behalf of justice,” Obama said. “We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.” Addressing himself to young people in Africa and around the world, Obama said that, while “we will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again … you can make his life’s work your own”. Addressing the people of South Africa, he said: “[T]he world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.” Obama’s speech in full (as prepared for delivery) SAinfo reportercenter_img 10 December 2013 “South Africa shows us we can change”, US President Barack Obama told thousands of mourners at the official memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg on Tuesday, and millions of people around the world watching the event live on television. “Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done,” Obama said. “South Africa shows us that is true. South Africa shows us we can change. We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes. We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.” Mandela, who passed away last Thursday at the age of 95, made his last public appearance at the same venue, Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium, at the closing of the 2010 Fifa World Cup on 11 July 2010.last_img read more

GMOs are saving Hawaiian farms and forests from extinction

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest More evidence is cropping up all the time to support the environmentally friendly nature of biotech seeds and crops. As we’ve learned in Hawaii, GM papayas are a great example of how biotechnology keeps forests intact and decreases the amount of pesticides needed to grow marketable fruits. I call this “GMOrganic” because it’s earth-friendly, farmer-friendly and good for the consumer.Our three-generation farm has been growing papayas since the 1960s and continues to grow these delicious, highly sought after Hawaiian staple. The papaya is a fruit that many locals buy religiously, every week for years. But for a long time, this local favorite was under constant threat.The papaya ringspot virus was prevalent for decades and managed for a long time by cutting down the infected trees or moving fields. Leaf hopper bugs spread the virus, and no pesticide could stop or control the disease. Once a leaf was bit, the whole tree was infected and would eventually die or become a vector itself. The virus would come and go on the islands, and was managed well for the most part. But with no permanent solution, the virus became more prevalent as time went by. Simply cutting down infected trees or plowing new fields no longer stopped the problem. Some farmers even relocated to other islands to find refuge but they couldn’t fully escape the problem. No matter what farmers tried, the papaya ringspot disease ravaged fields across our state.Then, thanks to biotechnology, a new breed of tree came in to save papaya farms from extinction. The GMO solution saved crops by creating a plant that essentially was vaccinated with a weaker form of the virus. A farmer could now grow crops without having to cut down forests to escape the virus. We could once again plant in existing fields without fearing crop failure. GM papayas saved our businesses and helped preserve our vibrant ecosystem. These stronger trees produce a more consistent supply of papayas, often yielding fruit for up to five years. The trees are also less susceptible to other common fungal diseases and consistently provide sweet, juicy fruit in all seasons.This nutritious breakfast staple is once again on Hawaiian plates, and our customers are happy to have safe affordable fruits available year-round. Lines of eager customers waiting at stores for our papayas are once again a regular occurrence, thanks to biotechnology. Our farm is alive and buzzing, and our fields are green with papaya trees brimming with fruit, ensuring a harvest for years to come.last_img read more

Project grain fill

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By John Brien, AgriGoldGrain fill is a critical part of a corn plant’s life, but is often overlooked because it is kind of slow, boring and uneventful to watch. What is actually occurring soon after pollination is utterly amazing considering an acre of corn has to “build” over 11,200 pounds of dry matter to equal 200 bushel of grain yield. Therefore grain fill is anything but boring and is vital for high yields.Grain fill is the period of corn growth and development between pollination and black layering (or physiological maturity). During grain fill the corn plant is using their leaves to capture sunlight to drive photosynthesis that in turn produces the sugars the plant needs to build yield. The corn plant also uses its roots to acquire moisture and nutrients to build the dry matter. Therefore the more sunlight a corn plant can intercept and the more nutrients and water it can aquire, equates to more optimal grain fill and therefore higher yield potential.What conditions lead to optimal grain fill? Optimal grain fill begins with having a long window of opportunity. The typical grain fill period for a corn crop is 45 to 60 days. If a grower is able to keep their corn fields in grain fill mode for 60+ days, the chance for high yields increase exponentially. The overall conditions growers should seek for optimal grain fill begin with mild daytime and night time temperatures. Temperatures in the mid 70s during the day and mid 60s at night are ideal. The closer to 90 degrees during the daytime the sooner the corn plant will shut down and shorten its grain fill window. Likewise nighttime temperatures over 70 degrees never allows the corn plant to rest and keeps the engine running and speeds the corn plant right through grain fill.Another component to an optimal grain fill window is maintaining a healthy upper canopy in the corn plant. The goal is to keep the upper third of the corn plant green and healthy as long as possible. A grower can keep the upper canopy healthy by limiting the amount of leaf diseases the corn plant has on its upper leaves and by reducing stress caused by nutrient deficiency, tillage layers, compaction layers and/or sidewall compaction caused by the corn planter that often leads to premature death as witnessed by the corn plant dying from the top down.The third factor in extending the grain filling period is ensuring the corn crop is not starved for any nutrients, especially nitrogen after pollination. Corn plants that have adequate nutrients will be able to fully capitalize on the captured sunlight used for photosynthesis. Also nutrient deficiency causes the corn plant to cannibalize itself to ensure the ear has everything it needs and can therefore lead to root rots that lead to premature death and a shorter grain fill window.The final component to a long grain fill period is adequate moisture. Water is the driving medium of all portions of grain fill. Without water, the corn plant is unable to acquire nutrients via the soil and cannot perform most metabolic reactions in the corn plant that are responsible for growth and grain fill. Rainfall is unpredictable and most growers have no control over when, where and how much they will receive. Therefore to help the corn plant not to shorten its grain fill period during short periods of dryness, growers need to concentrate on establishing a deep and robust root system that will help “weather proof” their corn fields. Deep roots and ample soil oxygen can help reduce stress during grain fill and allow the corn plant to maximize yields under all conditions.Grain fill is complicated and involves many different factors. Some of the factors are out of a growers hands, such as temperatures and rainfall events, but the job of a corn grower is to evaluate the factors they can impact, such as keeping the canopy green and growing along with establishing a deep, robust root system, and then put a plan of attack together to help lengthen grain fill as long as possible to maximize their corn yields.last_img read more