NEW YORK — Major League Baseball executives rarely like to admit when they draft “for need,” but members of the Giants front office may have no choice but to say so this year.For the first time since 1969, the Giants used their first seven draft picks on position players.President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and amateur scouting director Michael Holmes were determined to add hitters to their farm system and they accomplished that goal on the first two days of the draft.The Giants …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jim RuenProgressive Farmer ContributorDavid Castleberg is serious about seed placement in his corn acres and getting more serious all the time.Raising corn and soybeans on 2,000 acres of rolling prairie in southeastern Minnesota, Castleberg knows that every field is different and needs to be treated accordingly. That means matching population to a soil’s yield potential.“You can’t take a C-type soil and expect it to produce at A-type levels,” Castleberg said. “You have to set yield goals in line with a field’s capabilities.”During the past 20 years, Castleberg has flexed his hybrid-selection muscles, pushing populations from 34,000 seeds per acre to as high as 39,000 to meet yield goals above 250 bushels per acre on most fields. He has also paid particular attention to seed spacing and depth.However, placing a priority on holding soil requires leaving plenty of residue. It compounds the challenge of placing seed correctly. It’s one reason Castleberg invested in a new 24-row John Deere 1775 5e planter with hydraulic downpressure and an electric motor on each seed delivery tube. Not going high speed was a reflection of the importance he places on seed placement.“With the vertical tillage I do, I’m not convinced I can make the seed bed smooth enough for high-speed planting,” said Castleberg, who is comfortable planting at 6 miles per hour. “Population and spacing are more important than ever with the improvements I’ve seen in the DeKalb hybrid genetics over the past five-plus years.”This is the fourth of five stories in DTN/Progressive Farmer’s Stand Strong series. Optimizing yields on every acre requires getting corn off to a fast start and establishing a sturdy stand. Stories in this series will offer tips to strengthen standability.SEED DATAAnalysis of 30 years of Corteva Agriscience yield data by Kansas State University (KSU) endorses Castleberg’s emphasis on population. Research carried out by the Syngenta seed division supports that as well as his emphasis on proper placement. Ignacio Ciampitti, a KSU associate professor in predictive agriculture and farming systems, noted that yield increases are generally credited only to improved genetics. However, his independent analysis of Corteva Agriscience’s data correlates increased productivity to increased seeding rates, albeit, increased rates made possible by a variety of improvements in genetics.“Over the past 30-plus years, breeding focused on more plants per field and increasing plant tolerance to higher density,” Ciampitti said.He cited multiple factors that were bred for, including the size of the tassel and the plant, synchrony between male and female flowering for improved pollination, and looking at plant growth, not one plant at a time but as a community of plants. Capturing that yield potential required growers to change management, in particular, plant density. Ciampitti found that over time, the data showed agronomic optimum plant density increased on par with increased gain in yields. Corn productivity decreased in the 1980s if the planting population was too high or too low.“If farmers are not achieving an optimum density, the result is yield drag,” Ciampitti said.He admits the optimum density can change throughout the years depending on moisture availability, nutrients and other factors. However, most of the modern corn hybrids offer a range of response with a spread of about 3,000 to 4,000 seeds per acre (around the optimal density) without the grower being penalized for too few seeds or excess seeds and, thus, wasted dollars. It is this range that added art to the science of finding the optimum density.“Farmers need to look at weather conditions at planting, initial soil moisture and previous yields to think how they can match resources in the field with the right number of plants to capture potential yields,” Ciampitti said. “Our analysis showed plant density is a factor in increasing yield, as is optimum row spacing, singulation, plant structure and fertility utilization. All these factors play a role, and they can be hard to untangle.”EVALUATING YIELD RESPONSEBruce Battles, Syngenta seeds agronomy technical manager, recommended growers start by evaluating their resources, where and how they farm and what a field’s yield history is, and find hybrids that yield well with those environments. Once identified, growers should consider how the top selections respond to seeding-rate increases. He added the response can be significant depending on the hybrid.“We have historical data back to the early 1990s characterizing hybrid seeding-rate response,” Battles said. “While a lot of yield gain has been genetic improvement, there is a lot of interaction with plant population and spacing.”Of the two, he puts his emphasis on population. Battles describes the genetic response to narrow row spacing (15 to 20 inches) versus 30-inch rows as generally hit or miss, and uniform spacing more important than row width. When it comes to seed placement, current planting technology is largely equal to the task, Battles noted.“Avoiding skips and doubles is important, but precision planting available with factory installs plus upgrades dials in a uniformity level better than ever,” he said.Battles points out that variable-rate seeding can be a vital management tool. “The more variability you have in the field, the more important it is to have that prescription for variable seeding rates,” he said. “Even if you aren’t penalized in yield, you pay a big penalty in excess seed cost if you don’t reduce rates in lower-yielding areas.”Matching yield environments to hybrids and their management by spacing and population is an ongoing effort. Battles said Syngenta is increasing its trials and locations where they are held, noting that as new genetics are introduced into current gene pools, they may respond differently to spacing and seeding rates in particular yield environments.Ciampitti is hopeful that his research team and others will find more ways to collaborate with industry as they have been able to do with the Corteva Agriscience data. “We are trying to get into deeper analytics and adding more data, as are the technology companies, developing tools to help farmers make decisions,” he said.PRECISION PAYSWhile Castleberg is confident in his current investments in technology and management decisions, such as matching seeding rates to the potential of a field or areas within the field, he too is seeking more data. The row-crop producer has taken advantage of a new program through his local co-op that includes CHS Agellum, a digital analytics platform.Co-op staff members do stand counts and seed depth placement on each field, as well as soil sampling and other crop-scouting practices, which is all entered into Agellum.“It has already been beneficial with gauging how the planter has performed through population and stand evaluation,” Castleberg said. “Over the year, it will help us quantify and track inputs, field operation costs, grain-handling expenses and yield performance, and adjust the game plan for next year to better achieve profitability goals.”(ES/BAS)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
To encourage organ donation, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced that an annual award will be instituted in the name of a youth from Ganjam district whose organs were transplanted in six persons following his death in a road accident.Mr. Patnaik made the announcement after parents of Suraj Sethi, father Babuli Sethi and mother Gitanjali, met him at the Lok Seva Bhavan here on Monday.Suraj, a bachelor who was working in Surat, met with an accident on October 29. After struggling for about five to six days in hospital, he was declared brain dead on November 2.Six organs transplantedThe parents of Suraj were contacted by a Surat-based non-government organisation. They decided to donate their son’s organs to save the lives of others. Accordingly, his heart, liver, two kidneys and both eyes were transplanted in six different persons.While his heart was carried by plane to Fortis Hospital in Mumbai and transplanted into the body of a woman, his kidneys and liver were transplanted into three persons in Ahmedabad, and the two eyes given to two persons in Surat.Appreciating the noble act of Suraj’s parents, the Chief Minister announced allotment of homestead land and a house under the Biju Pucca Ghar scheme for them. He also announced an assistance of ₹5 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as recognition for their inspiring act. The award to be instituted by the Odisha government will be given to persons and organisations working for promotion of organ donation in the State.
Smriti Mandhana and England captain Heather Knight are hitting it off not just on the sidelines of the ongoing Women’s Cricket Super League in England but they are also finding ways to help each other on the field.Mandhana is the first Indian to be a part of the Women’s Cricket Super League and she announced herself quite remarkably with a 20-ball 48 in the first match of Western Storm against Yorkshire Diamonds.Mandhana achieved the success at the back of some pretty peculiar help from Knight.On the other hand, Knight received some on-field Hindi lessons from Mandhana and helped her bat through.What an incredible innings on KSL debut from Smriti Mandhana! 48 from just 20 balls!Some amazing shots here! #StormTroopers @mandhana_smriti @sachin_rt @BCCIWomen @Anya_shrubsole @legsidelizzy @ECB_cricket @SGanguly99 @VVSLaxman281 @harbhajan_singh pic.twitter.com/JW2dkDzw6CWestern Storm (@WesternStormKSL) July 22, 2018In a video posted by ICC, Knight and Mandhana narrated how one Hindi word that the former learnt on the field helped the Indian bat through.”It was a bit hard for me to call out in English, because we are used to calling out in Hindi, so I was telling her ‘haan’ is yes. So she was like, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll run for that!’,” Smriti told ICC.She further went on to say that it was a good experience for her to play alongside Heather for a change.”I’ve always played against her [Knight], so playing alongside her was fun.”Knight, on the other hand, spoke about how batting with different players from around the world beautifies these worldwide T20 league. Also learning new languages is fun.advertisement”It’s one of the great things about T20 [leagues]. You get to play with different people from around the world and work out how they play their cricket. Also learn new languages, I thought it was good fun.”I’m not sure I’ll be wanting to do it [learn a new language] every week,” she laughed, “but if I can learn ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in Hindi and help Smriti bat there in the middle – because she got off to a great start for us – then that’s great!” Knight expressed.Apart from picking up on some Hindi, Knight also revealed how they are all keeping a keen eye on the way Mandhana bats and perhaps read her game, understand it and learn from it too.”They get to watch how you bat internationally and vice versa. You get to have a look on how they go about things and get a closer look at their game and how you’re going to play against them and get them out.”At the back of our heads, we’re working out how we are going to bowl out Smriti in the World Cup because you’ve got the best players in the world playing here and you want to learn from them as much as you can and pick up those little tips that you can add to you game and improve you own game,” Knight said.Smriti also went on to express that it was a learning experience to be sharing dressing room with world class players.”I think it’s great fun sharing the dressing room with players who we play against throughout the year. It makes us a better player. Learning from experiences we’ll all grow together.”Mandhana and Knight put up an 80-run partnership for Western Storm, where Smriti struck five sixes her her 48-run innings.Some photos from a sizzling knock of 48 from @mandhana_smriti!!!#StormTroopers pic.twitter.com/fuuwoW64SuWestern Storm (@WesternStormKSL) July 22, 2018Even after Mandhana was dismissed, Knight went on to score 97 off 62 deliveries.Western Storm eventually beat Yorkshire Diamonds by seven wickets.
OTTAWA — Canada’s privacy watchdog is warning marijuana users who are worried about their personal information being collected to pay with cash rather than plastic.Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien gives the advice in a statement on his website trying to help pot sellers and buyers understand their privacy rights.The statement says marijuana remains illegal in most countries making the personal information of Canadian marijuana users even more sensitive.Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis, even lawfully.Therrien suggests you can avoid the collection of your personal information by using cash instead of credit cards when buying pot from legal retail outlets.However this option is not available to many Canadians, as some provinces have only a limited number of retail stores and in Ontario, legal cannabis is only available for purchase online for several more months.The Canadian Press
Kolkata: Two drug dealers were arrested with 275 grams of brown sugar here, a Kolkata Police officer said on Wednesday. “Two drug dealers, Sk.A. Latifuddin (37), and Sk. Raja (47), were arrested from 8A Royd Street at around 11.55 p.m. on Tuesday,” Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police Praveen Tripathi said. “They were involved in selling the drugs to youngsters and club-goers in the city.”