first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.As harvest is completed across the Eastern Corn Belt, seed companies, universities, and growers will have the chance to compile and analyze data from yield testing. One of the most important decisions a farmer will face all year is deciding what variety to plant and in which field to plant it. To ensure that the best possible decision is made next spring, it is critical to spend some time looking at yield data. While reviewing data is critical, knowing how to determine whether it is accurate and useful is equally important. Below are some tips for using data to make sound planting decisions next spring. Look for replicated dataDon’t rely on yield results from one strip plot on a farm or from a single plot location. Look for data from randomized tests that are repeated multiple times and across multiple locations. Replications in testing increase the reliability of the data.For strip plot data, was a “tester” used?Strip plots planted on farms can cover large areas of a field. In many fields in the Eastern Corn Belt there are several soil types. If a plot crosses several soil types how can you be sure it is accurate? By planting a “tester” variety between each entry in the plot, you can calculate adjusted yields based on the variability of the tester yield across the plot. This ensures more accurate data. Look for consistencyAccording to Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension Agronomist, “Documented consistency in yield performance is still the key to success in selecting hybrids that will perform well in your farming operation.” When choosing a variety based on plot data, it is important to look for consistent performance—across several plot locations and between multiple years. Choose varieties that consistently performed well in 2012 and 2013, in multiple locations, and different growing conditions. Statistical significanceOn published plot data look for footnotes that indicate the least statistically significant yield difference, or LSD. In many plots, the performance of the top five or 10 varieties may not be statistically different. Although there are small differences in yield, statistical analysis of the data indicates that all varieties within the LSD have an equal chance of winning the plot.While plot data can be very useful in making decisions, some plot data is significantly more accurate and reliable. The key to getting the most out of yield data is having the ability to sort through the large amounts of information to identify the data that most accurately and reliably represents crop performance.last_img read more

first_imgThe Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) imposed a ban on Sharepro Services, one of its premier registrar companies, accusing it of committing fraud in its business of share transfer and dividend encashment, an order by the market regulator said.It alleged Indira Kakera, the company’s registrars’ operations head, of siphoning off dividend and transferring shares away from its rightful owners. Kakera along with the senior management and the promoters had transferred funds amounting to Rs 21 crore to their relatives and friends.The ban also extends to 15 executives, including Sharepro Services Managing Director GR Rao.”Preliminary enquiry (PE) prima facie show falsification of records, forgery, repeated printing of new certificates without any request or authorization from the shareholder and irregular transfer transactions,” Rajeev Kumar Agrawal, a member of SEBI, said in an order.The PE said the fraud had taken place over a period of 10 years (2005 to 2015). And, SEBI has asked Sharepro’s clients, including several marquee ones, to change their share transfer registrar immediately and conduct a thorough audit of their records and system.The complaints of Sharepro Services’ irregularities were lodged by Asian Paints, Aptech and Britannia. A first information report was prepared by the economic offence wing of the Mumbai Police.Sharepro’s dubious operation has spurred wider interest in the case. “It makes a case for examining whether this is a one-off case or a widespread problem across the system,” JN Gupta, co-founder and managing director at SES — a proxy advisory firm, was quoted as saying by Mint.The issue has now raised questions on if other companies have paid dividends and transferred securities to the actual beneficiaries.”It appears to be widespread. It is in light of this, Sebi has done the right thing in passing an interim order, looking at urgency of the matter,” Sudhir Bassi, executive director at Khaitan and Co., told the daily.last_img read more

first_imgA woman casts her ballot during country`s general elections in Chegutu, Zimbabwe on 30 July. Photo: ReutersCounting began in Zimbabwe on Monday in the first election since the removal of former president Robert Mugabe, a watershed vote that could pull a pariah state back into the international fold and spark an economic revival.The election is a two-horse race between 75-year-old President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-time Mugabe ally, and 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who is vying to become Zimbabwe’s youngest head of state.Mnangagwa is viewed as the frontrunner, though the latest opinion polls showed a tight race. There will be a runoff on 8 September if no candidate wins more than half the votes.Voting closed at 7:00 pm (1700 GMT). The official result has to be announced within five days but there will likely be an indication of the outcome on Tuesday.Zimbabwe’s electoral commission said voter turnout had averaged 75 per cent, higher than in the last vote in 2013.Zimbabweans are also electing 210 members of parliament and more than 9,000 councillors.The election winner faces the task of putting Zimbabwe back on track after 37 years of Mugabe rule tainted by corruption, mismanagement and diplomatic isolation that caused a crisis in a country that once had one of Africa’s most promising economies.A credible vote is essential if Zimbabwe is to exit painful sanctions and secure the donor funding and investment needed to stem chronic cash shortages.Chamisa said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was impeding voting in urban areas where he enjoys strong support but gave no evidence to back the claim.“The people’s will being negated & undetermined due to these deliberate and unnecessary delays,” he said in a tweet. The ZEC was not immediately available to comment. It has denied Chamisa’s previous allegations of bias.Reuters spoke to several international observers who said the voting process had been slow at some stations but it did not appear to them to be intentional.Chamisa said his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would win if there was no “ballot mischief”, making it likely he will challenge the outcome if Mnangagwa prevails. A contested result is likely to lead to street protests and possible violence.EU chief observer Elmar Brok said many voters, particularly young women, left voting queues in frustration at long delays. The EU has not yet concluded how to judge the vote, he said.Dozens of people were killed ahead of a runoff in 2008 between Mugabe and MDC-founder Morgan Tsvangirai, who died of cancer in February.Mugabe, 94, led the war for independence and since 1980 has dominated the country’s politics. But since he stepped down under military pressure in November he has lived in obscurity.He emerged on the eve of the election to announce he would vote for the opposition, surprising Mnangagwa who accused him of striking a deal with Chamisa.“Democratic Space “Mugabe made no comment to reporters as he cast his ballot around lunchtime accompanied by his wife, Grace. A huge crowd gathered outside, some cheering, many booing.Mnangagwa, a former intelligence chief, denied Mugabe’s claim that the vote would not be free since it was being run by a “military government”.“I can assure you that this country is enjoying democratic space which has never been experienced before,” Mnangagwa told public television after voting.Mnangagwa, of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), has been president since the military ousted Mugabe in a bloodless coup.Elections under Mugabe were often marred by intimidation, rigging and violence but the consensus is the build-up to this vote has been better than before, although Chamisa complained about a flawed voters’ roll and opaque ballot paper printing.“Victory is certain, the people have spoken,” Chamisa said after casting his ballot in Harare as a cheering crowd chanted: “President! President! The president is here!”“I have no doubt that by end of day today we should be very clear as to an emphatic voice for change.”Chamisa has attracted young and unemployed voters frustrated with nearly four decades of ZANU-PF rule.“I’ll vote for Chamisa because it is a vote for change, it is a vote for the youth. Tomorrow we will have a new president,” said Fabian Matsika, a security guard in Harare.Credibility“ZANU-PF is the only party that I have voted for,” said Elizabeth Kamhunga, 67, after casting her vote in Harare. “We may have made some mistakes but I think president Mnangagwa is the only person who has the interests of Zimbabwe at heart.”The European Union, the United States and the Commonwealth have sent observers.“It is exciting to see so many Zimbabweans casting ballots,” said former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, co-leader of the National Democratic Institute’s observer mission.“However the public’s faith in the secrecy of the ballot is essential for the credibility of the process. We urge the authorities to do everything possible to ensure the secrecy of today’s vote.”Mnangagwa has made a big effort to win over foreign opinion; hosting Western ambassadors, courting investors and patching up relations with white commercial farmers who were violently evicted from their farms under Mugabe.last_img

first_imgThis combination of pictures created on 8 January shows files photos of FBI Director Robert Mueller (L) on 19 June 2013, in Washington, DC; and US President Donald Trump on 15 December 2017, in Washington, DC. Photo: AFPUS prosecutors revealed Friday that a Russian offered cooperation to Donald Trump’s campaign as early as 2015, declaring that the president’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen had provided “relevant” and “substantial” help to the Russia investigation.In a separate case, federal prosecutors demanded “substantial” jail time of between 51 to 63 months—four to five years—for Cohen for bank fraud and campaign finance violations to which he plead guilty last August.US Attorney Robert Khuzami accused the 52-year-old, who once vowed to take a bullet for the president, of being motivated by “personal greed” and of “repeatedly” using his power and influence for “deceptive ends.”“Totally clears the President. Thank you!” tweeted the US president cryptically as television networks were consumed by the Cohen documents—which the White House dismissed as revealing “nothing of value.”The campaign finance violations to which Cohen pleaded guilty in August concerned hush payments he made on Trump’s behalf to alleged former lovers of the president, including porn star Stormy Daniels.Robert Mueller, the special counsel heading up the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 vote, followed up with a separate filing saying Cohen had made “substantial and significant efforts to remediate his misconduct, accept responsibility for his actions, and assist” the special investigation, a thorn in Trump’s side.Cohen continued to provide “relevant and truthful information” to assist the probe, holding seven sessions with investigators, “many of them lengthy, and continues to make himself available to investigators,” it said.He had provided information about contacts with Russian interests during the campaign, attempts by Russians to reach the campaign and about contacts with “persons connected to the White House” in 2017-2018, the filing added.Around November 2015, some five months after Trump launched his bid for the presidency and well before previously reported contacts, Cohen spoke to a purported “trusted person” in the Russian Federation who offered the campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.”Cohen said the person “repeatedly proposed” a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming it could have a “phenomenal” impact “not only in political but in a business dimension as well.”“Cohen, however, did not follow up on this invitation,” the filing added.Trump claims ‘cleared’The former fixer last week pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in connection with a Moscow real estate deal, which was being pursued as late as one month before Trump officially became the Republican nominee for president.Due to his help, Mueller declined to recommend additional jail time for Cohen for lying to Congress.Recent filings in the Mueller probe have suggested the White House knew that Cohen planned to lie to lawmakers about his contacts with Russians.They also suggest Trump and his family were in the loop on discussions with Russians on a Moscow project, even after the real estate tycoon secured the Republican nomination in mid-2016.Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders dismissed the latest filings in Cohen’s case, saying they “tell us nothing of value that wasn’t already known.”“Mr Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr Cohen is no hero,” she said.But Mueller has been inching ever closer to the White House, and early on Friday Trump fired off a feverish volley of tweets against a probe he dubs a “witch hunt,” accusing Mueller of “big time conflicts of interest” and alleging the prosecutor coerced false testimony from witnesses.The commander-in-chief vowed his lawyers would produce a “major Counter Report” to rebut Mueller’s findings, as and when he delivers them.Attorney general switchShortly afterward, Trump announced his intention to nominate William Barr as his new attorney general—succeeding Jeff Sessions, who he sacked last month.Sessions had angered the president by recusing himself from overseeing the Mueller probe because of his own contacts with Russian officials.Barr—a former attorney general under the late George HW Bush—is considered something of a consensus candidate for the highly sensitive post.He does, however, have a record of endorsing strong executive powers, which could come into play if Mueller sought to compel Trump to testify.Barr has also voiced concerns about a number of Mueller’s team donating to the Democratic Party.Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned Barr must commit, under oath, that the Russia investigation “will proceed unimpeded” and that the final report will be made available to Congress and the public “immediately.”In Washington, Mueller also detailed multiple “lies” that former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort told investigators, leading to a termination of his cooperation deal, which could lead to a stiffer jail sentence for the 69-year-old.A heavily redacted court filing said that Manafort’s “lies” included untruths about his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who US officials suspect is a Russian intelligence operative, and about his contacts with Trump administration officials after striking a plea agreement.The White House similarly dismissed that filing, arguing it “says absolutely nothing about the President.”“Once again the media is trying to create a story where there isn’t one,” said Sanders.last_img read more