National Corn Yield Contest entries open for 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farmers have from May 6, through Sunday, July 31, 2019, to enter the National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC). This year marks the 55th year for the contest that began with 20 entries from four states. Last year 7,258 entries from 46 states made NCYC the premier event of its kind in the nation.“NCGA wants to challenge you to take advantage of this opportunity to explore new ideas and production techniques while gleaning knowledge to enhance your future yield potential,” said Linda Lambur, NCYC manager. “It’s not just about big yields but promoting innovative production methods and sharpening management skills. It’s about being more precise in how we grow each bushel of corn and that ultimately will make corn production more sustainable.”A farmer must have an NCGA membership number to have an entry in the contest which can only be obtained from NCGA. Please call 636-733-5512 or email ncyc@ncga.com to obtain your membership number or to create a new membership number. Your full name, mailing address, phone number and email address are required.Winners will receive national recognition in publications, such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. At each Commodity Classic, state winners are recognized at the NCYC Breakfast, and national winners receive awards at the NCGA’s Evening Awards Banquet. You can find both entry and harvest rules on the Corn Yield Contest website.last_img read more

In the Shadow of the Dam the failure of reconciliation at Muskrat

first_imgNalcor Energy was granted the injunction in October 2016.It was an attempt to quell the rising momentum of Indigenous-led resistance to the Muskrat Falls project.Innu and Inuit wanted key concerns around health and safety addressed. One of the safety concerns is Methylmercury – a naturally occurring toxin that is created when trees and topsoil decompose in the reservoir when flooded.A Harvard study in 2015 predicted the impacts would reach further downstream than first thought.Another fear focused on an area of the dam called the North Spur.The soil in the area consists of what’s called quick clay and many in Labrador worry it won’t support the weight of a full reservoir and could flood communities downstream if the dam gives way.“This issue was and still is way too important to be swayed by a court injunction,” said Marjorie Flowers.The Inuk woman is among dozens facing criminal and civil charges for breaking the injunction.Flowers is one of four land protectors who spent several days in jail after refusing to promise a judge they would obey the court order to stay away from Muskrat Falls.“I am an Inuit woman that lived off the land and continue to live off the land and my lifestyle that sustains me is now threatened. And I’m not allowed to speak,” said Flowers. “And it’s so frustrating. It is so hurtful. It is so painful. It is so despairing.”(Pictured here on July 31, 2017, the three Labrador land protectors had just been released from jail.)Over the last year, it’s been a seemingly endless series of court dates for land protectors in Labrador.Cole, who is also facing charges for breaking the court order, called the injunction “a very heavy-handed tactic to get us back under control.“It says basically that the interests of a crown corporation are way more important than any Indigenous rights,” said Cole. “A right to traditional foods in a safe way. A right to our sacred spaces.”Marshall only came on as Nalcor Energy CEO in April of 2016.Premier Dwight Ball was in opposition when Muskrat Falls was approved and has pointed out numerous times that he voted against the project. In September, he announced a public inquiry to look into the Muskrat Falls fiasco.But the 2016 court injunction happened under the leadership of both Marshall and Ball.(The interim court injunction obtained by Nalcor Energy in October 2016 is still in place a year later. Dozens of people in Labrador have been charged with breaking it during ongoing protests last year.)“I haven’t seen a lot of proof, I suppose, that the government is really into reconciling with Indigenous people,” said Flowers.“In fact, it’s the very opposite. It’s the very antithesis of what reconciliation is.”Bill Gallagher, a lawyer and author of Resource Rulers; Fortune & Folly on Canada’s Road to Resources, agrees.“If you are relying on lawyers and their legal toolbox to put everyone back in their place you’re going in the opposite direction of reconciliation,” he said.Gallagher has a long history of work as a strategist and legal expert in the resource sector, from Voisey’s Bay mine in Labrador to Alberta’s oil patch.He’s been paying close attention to the Lower Churchill project.“You don’t have to speculate on what went wrong with Muskrat Falls,” said Gallagher. “Nalcor is relying on lawyers to do it the hard way. And that makes sense. No schedule. No budget. Lots of lawyers. That’s a perfect formula for a boondoggle.”Gallagher said the resource sector can be the easiest place for reconciliation, as long as governments and corporations follow the right road map; one that includes consent, Indigenous rights, and revenue-sharing.And not addressing Indigenous rights is a big mistake.“[First Nations] have amassed the biggest legal winning streak in Canadian legal history,” said Gallagher. “At the time we’re doing this interview, they’ve won 247 high-level court cases in the resources sector. And so I call them resource rulers.“Because if you’re trying to bring a megaproject online in Canada today in the face of native opposition, it’s probably not going to happen.”He points to Rexton, New Brunswick and the Mi’kmaq-led fight against fracking near Elsipogtog in 2013.“Keep doing it the hard way and you’ll lose every time. All sorts of injunctions get won by corporations. South Western Resources. SWN won all its injunctions in Rexton,” said Gallagher.“You see any projects happening in Rexton?”U.S. energy giant SWN Resources may have packed up and left New Brunswick, but the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has said the billions of dollars tied up in contracts make Muskrat Falls unstoppable.(The Lower Churchill project at Muskrat Falls is still under construction. The dam will be up and running in 2020. It will produce 834 megawatts of power.)The federal government has backed the project with close to $8 billion, with $2.9 billion of the federal loan guarantees coming from Trudeau’s Liberals in 2016.“The federal interest in this is pretty significant when they are trying to use a project like Muskrat Falls to try and justify a green energy plan,” said Cole. “So in helping the provincial government in a financial way is to hurt Indigenous people in a healthy way, and in a cultural way.”Cole said money talks louder than buzzwords around reconciliation. And that the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission goes much deeper than residential schools.“We’re talking about the justice system. We’re talking about how communities are treated. We’re talking about how resources projects are handled,” said Cole. “And Muskrat Falls for me is the biggest example of that because, of course, it’s right in my backyard.”Gallagher said Canada has been a “slow learner” when it comes to incorporating Indigenous rights and interests in the resource sector. And he said Indigenous leaders called the decade of Harper’s Conservatives ‘dark days’ for good reason.“But [Harper] sets the stage for Trudeau’s so-called ‘sunny ways,’” said Gallagher. “Which obviously are a lot of platitudes. But that heartfelt sentiment he brought in in his first two years had to happen. First Nation leaders had to hear a prime minister say those things as they’re starting to acknowledge and factor in the empowerment of First Nations through these court cases.“They still have a long way to go – but that’s the unfinished business on the road to resources.” Trina RoacheAPTN Investigates On an early morning in late September, Denise Cole led a group of land protectors to Nalcor Energy’s head office in St. John’s to keep workers out – to send a message to the corporation and the province.“To Dwight Ball, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as to Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall,” said Cole, standing at Nalcor’s doors, drum in hand. “It’s not okay to poison people downstream with methylmercury.“It’s not okay to try and bankrupt this province, and it’s certainly not ok to put people in fear of drowning downstream.”Nalcor Energy is the provincially-owned corporation in charge of the Lower Churchill hydro project – a controversial dam under construction at Muskrat Falls in Labrador.Famously called a “boondoggle” by Marshall, the cost of the project has doubled to $12 billion.The land protectors blocked the building’s entrances for a couple of hours. Cole wanted to talk with Stan Marshall. That didn’t happen. Nalcor called the police instead – no one was charged. Nalcor communications manager promised Cole a future meeting with the CEO and after several weeks, she was given a date. On November 29, Marshall will join a sharing circle with the Labrador Land Protectors. Before the group left, Cole read a statement from the land protectors – a sample of what she wanted to say to Marshall face to face.“Drop the court injunction peaceful protectors in Labrador,” said Cole. “Stop acting like you cannot.”last_img read more

Fort St John Ice Slides and Outdoor Rinks are now closed for

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With Spring coming and warmer weather on the way, the staff of the City of Fort St. John have closed the ice sides and outdoor rinks for the season.The staff would like to thank residents of FSJ for their understanding.People are encouraged to check out the Recreation & Leisure Guide to see all the Spring activities that the City’s Recreation Department has to offer.last_img

Premier Horgan releases statement after legislative assembly passes Income Tax Amendment Act

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. – Premier John Horgan has released a statement after the legislative assembly passed the Income Tax Amendment Act.The Income Tax Amendment Act sets out the final pieces of the Province’s fiscal framework for liquefied natural gas projects in B.C.According to Horgan, the Act will secure the largest private-sector investment in Canadian history. Horgan says his government has set four stringent conditions for LNG in B.C. that will fit under the CleanBC plan.“Our government set four stringent conditions for LNG in B.C.: a fair return for our natural resources, jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians, partnerships with First Nations, and the project must fit within our CleanBC plan.”According to the Government, the LNG Canada project will create jobs and opportunity for Kitimat, the Haisla Nation and people in the North, and is expected to generate $23 billion in government revenues to support public services for all British Columbians.Horgan also says reconciliation with First Nations is vital to the project’s success.“The benefits of LNG Canada’s investment will require government’s full commitment for many years. A continued focus on reconciliation with First Nations, particularly those on whose territory the project will be built, is vital to success.”last_img read more

Cops bust students gang of bike thieves

first_imgKolkata: Police arrested seven persons, including five juveniles, allegedly for stealing motorcycles here on Thursday. These youths were studying in schools and colleges and they confessed that learnt the techniques of stealing motorcycles on the YouTube.Two accused persons have been produced before the Barasat Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court and were remanded to police custody for five days while, the five juveniles have been produced before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in Salt Lake and were sent to a home. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe youths confessed that they stole the motorcycles to meet their expenses. According to a source, since the past few months Baguiati police station received several complaints of bike thefts from the area. While probing these cases, police officers interrogated several bike thieves. During one of the interrogations, a bike thief gave some lead to the police about a new gang operating in the area. Based on the information provided by him, police officers identified a man and kept him under observation. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayPolice officers found a gang comprising students of schools and colleges were stealing motorcycles. On Wednesday night, police raided their homes and arrested all seven of them. During interrogation, they said they learnt about bike stealing techniques on YouTube. According to the police, Aditya Gupta and Ajay Mallick, who are college students, were the prime accused in the case. During interrogation, Gupta told the police that he had no idea about stealing motorcycles and he learnt on internet how to start a bike without ignition key and the trick to break the handle of bar lock without drawing attention. Before stealing the motorcycles these youths made sure no one was looking at them and one of them sat on the bike as if he owned it and quickly broke the handle bar. After that the wire to the ignition was cut off and joined to the battery to start the bike. The parents and family members of these students said they had no idea that their children were involved in bike thefts. The father of one of the accused persons said: “My son worked as a delivery boy at an organisation that delivered food to people. He returned home late and complained about work the pressure. We had no idea what he was doing.” Police suspect that some persons more are involved with the gang. They are interrogating Gupta and Mallick in this regard. Cops still don’t know where these students sold the stolen bikes. On Thursday, three stolen bikes were recovered by the cops.last_img read more

Nonfilers of GST returns for 2 months to be barred from generating

first_imgNew Delhi: Non-filers of GST returns for two straight months will be barred from generating e-way bills for transporting goods effective June 21, the finance ministry said. Businesses under GST composition scheme, however, will be barred from generating e-way bill if they fail to file tax returns for two consecutive filing periods, which is six months. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has notified June 21, 2019, as the day from which any “consignor, consignee, transporter, e-commerce operator or courier agency” would be barred from generating electronic way or e-way bill for failure to file tax returns for the stipulated time period as mentioned in the GST rules. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details As per rules, a composition scheme taxpayer who has not furnished the returns for two consecutive tax periods and a regular taxpayer who has not filed returns for a consecutive period of two months would be restricted from generating e-way bill. In the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, businesses have to file monthly tax returns by the 20th day of the subsequent month. However, businesses opting for composition scheme have to file quarterly returns by the 18th day of the subsequent month following the end of a quarter. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has put in place the IT system so that businesses which have not filed tax returns for the stipulated period would be barred from generating e-way bills. The move, officials believe, would help check GST evasion. During April-December, there were 3,626 cases of GST evasion/violations, involving Rs 15,278 crore. Touted as an anti-evasion measure, e-way bill system was rolled out on April 1, 2018, for moving goods worth over Rs 50,000 from one state to another. The same for intra or within the state movement was rolled out in a phased manner from April 15. Transporters of goods worth over Rs 50,000 would be required to present e-way bill during transit to a GST inspector, if asked. With almost two years into GST implementation, the government is now focussing on anti-evasion measures to shore up revenue and increase compliance. AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said with this suppliers, transporters and e-commerce operators would be forced not to sell or transport goods to non-filers. “E-commerce, logistics, FMCG companies, and businesses working on the franchise model, would have to immediately develop and implement an automated workflow whereby defaulting business partners are moved out from the supply chain on real-time basis,” Mohan said.last_img read more

Exit poll results indicate Congs poll planks fail to attract voters

first_imgNew Delhi: If predictions of Exit Polls are to be believed, it appears that people have rejected all the key issues raised by the Congress to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the election campaigning.As per political experts, the poll predictions, which are in favour of the incumbent government, indicate that the issues of alleged corruption in the multi-crore Rafale fighter plane deal, an increasing number of farmers’ suicide cases, unemployment among youth, etc have failed to impress the voters during Lok Sabha election campaigns. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadEven though the NYAY scheme that was aimed at weeding out poverty from the country too failed to convince the voters, the experts said, adding the exit poll results also suggest that Congress not only got its poll plank wrong, the grand old party made several strategic mistakes such as late in announcing Priyanka Vadra Gandhi as in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, late in stitching an alliance in Bihar and failing to be a part of the ‘gathbandhan’ of Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka GandhiThe BJP’s thrust on nationalism, performance and delivery seem to have scored heavily over the thrust of the Congress campaign to primarily target the Prime Minister and raising questions over economic issues. Congress president Rahul Gandhi repeatedly raised the issue of alleged corruption in Rafale fighter jet deal, unemployment and Modi government’s ‘attack’ on Constitutional institutions even as the Prime Minister kept changing approach to keep a fresh line of attack and set the narrative with a focus on nationalism and ‘strong government’. As per the experts, Gandhi was in the belief that he may ‘destroy’ the clean image of PM Modi by raising the Rafale issue, but the exit poll results reflect that it didn’t work in the favour of Congress and it boomeranged. The Congress’ campaign against the Modi government on the Rafale deal was also suffered a major setback when Gandhi misquoted the Supreme Court for which the top court forced him to apologise, the experts have opined. The experts have also stated that Gandhi’s NYAY scheme, an ambitious plan that promises to provide Rs 72,000 every year per family to 20 per cent of the country’s population too failed to make a stand against PM-KISAN programme that was announced by the Modi government. Under the PM-KISAN scheme, the government is providing direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year to vulnerable landholding farmer families.last_img read more

How Our Womens World Cup Model Works

3/11/15Faro, PortugalFriendlyFrance2-00.284.3-0.3 DATELOCATIONCOMPETITIONOPPONENTSCOREWEIGHTOFF. RATINGDEF. RATING 7/28/12Glasgow, ScotlandOlympicsColombia3-00.803.10.1 Check out FiveThirtyEight’s Women’s World Cup predictions.Women’s sports don’t have the same rich data that men’s sports do. So what do you do if you want to forecast the Women’s World Cup? You gather up everything you can get.We put together a database of about 8,000 international women’s soccer matches since 1971 — as many games as we could find. And we used these to develop a set of women’s national team ratings — we call them WSPI (Women’s Soccer Power Index) — and projections for the 2015 World Cup. The United States and Germany enter as front-runners, and you can read more about all the elite teams, the dark horses and the players to watch in our colleague Allison McCann’s World Cup preview. We’re here to take you through the methodology behind these projections.WSPI ratings are based on a simplified version of the Soccer Power Index (SPI), a system that Nate developed in conjunction with ESPN in 2009 to rate men’s soccer teams. Men’s SPI is based on two components: a team rating derived from scores of international matches and a player rating, which is primarily based on results from club play for the individual players on each national team’s roster. For WSPI, we use only the team ratings component because detailed data on club play is not readily available for women’s soccer.Otherwise, the major features of WSPI are similar to the team-rating component of SPI:Ratings account for the final score of each match, including whether the match went into extra time or a shootout, and the location of the game.Ratings also account for the importance of the match: A World Cup match counts far more than a friendly.A team’s rating varies continuously over time. For example, China had a considerably stronger WSPI in 1999, when it played the United States in the World Cup final, than they do now.WSPI ratings, like SPI ratings, are broken down into offensive and defensive components. The offensive rating can be interpreted as how many goals we would expect the team to score in an average competitive international match,1In the past, we’ve sometimes referred to SPI ratings as indicating how many goals a team would score and allow against an average international opponent. But that’s not quite accurate: The way SPI ratings are designed, they indicate a team’s performance in an average international match, controlling for strength of schedule and weighting by match importance. The same is true for WSPI. The distinction matters because stronger teams tend to play more matches than weaker ones, especially in women’s soccer. The average international match, in other words, is typically against a considerably above-average opponent. while the defensive rating is how many goals it would concede in such a match, controlling for strength of schedule. Higher offensive ratings are better. Lower defensive ratings are better.The offensive and defensive components are combined into an overall WSPI rating, which reflects the percentage of possible points we would expect the team to score in a hypothetical round-robin tournament against every other team in the world.Let’s look at a more detailed example of how a team’s WSPI rating is calculated. Here are some of the United States’ recent results, along with the ratings the team received for each match and the weight WSPI gives to the match: 10/15/14Kansas City, KansasWorld Cup qualifierTrinidad & Tobago1-00.960.30.4 10/24/14Chester, PennsylvaniaWorld Cup qualifierMexico3-00.963.10.1 7/25/12Glasgow, ScotlandOlympicsFrance4-20.808.11.3 You can see some of the key features of WSPI in these examples (a team’s overall offensive and defensive ratings are a weighted average of these game-by-game ratings). The USWNT’s March 11, 2015, match against France receives relatively little weight, even though it was played fairly recently, because it was a friendly. The 2012 Olympics still receive quite a lot of weight, however, given their importance.2Unlike in men’s soccer, women’s Olympic soccer teams don’t have any age restrictions. The Olympic tournament tends to be almost as competitive as the World Cup. (The maximum possible weight for a match, in case you’re wondering, is 1.68.)Meanwhile, you can see how much strength of schedule matters in WSPI. The USWNT gets a higher offensive rating for beating France 2-0 than for beating Mexico 3-0 because France has a tougher defense. It’s not uncommon for a team to win a match against a weak opponent but receive poor adjusted ratings because it didn’t win by as much as WSPI expected. Conversely, a team can receive a good offensive rating just by scoring on a very good team, even if it loses. The location of a match is also important: Home advantage in competitive matches has historically been worth about 0.35 goals and would make the home team about a 60-40 favorite in a matchup between two equally rated teams.Once we’ve generated WSPI ratings for every team in the world, we can estimate the probability that any team will beat any other team.3This part of the model is “trained” on all non-friendly matches between two teams in the WSPI top 50 — matches that roughly approximate World Cup competition. More specifically, we first calculate the expected number of goals that each team will score in a given match and then convert these into a matrix of possible outcomes using Poisson distributions. Thus, in any given match, we’ve estimated the probability that it will end in a 0-0 tie, a 1-0 victory, a 2-3 loss or any other possible scoreline. Knowing this distribution of possible scores is important because the tiebreaker to advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup takes goals scored and allowed into account.With these individual match probabilities in hand, we can calculate the chance that each team in the tournament will advance to the knockout round or eventually win the tournament. To do so, we simulate the tournament 20,000 times: If the U.S. has a 28 percent chance of winning the tournament, this means that it won in approximately 5,600 out of 20,000 simulations. As simulations are played out, each team’s WSPI is updated to reflect its results in that simulation. Loosely speaking, this accounts for the possibility that a team will “get hot” during the tournament and considerably outperform its pre-World Cup WSPI.4For a more technical discussion, see here.Matches in the knockout round continue into extra time if they are tied at the end of regulation and a shootout if tied after that, so we’ve spent some time making sure our simulations handle these cases accurately. Extra time is treated as a shortened match in which teams score at a slower rate than during regulation.5Historically, teams have scored at a rate about 25 percent lower during extra time. Shootout win probabilities are also derived from WSPI instead of being treated as random. There is evidence that shootouts are skill-based — the team with the better WSPI rating has won 58 percent of shootouts in our database — but good teams don’t tend to be as dominant in shootouts as they are in regular time. For example, the USWNT would be more than a 90 percent favorite to beat Thailand in a regular game, but only a 71 percent favorite to win in a shootout. For this reason, it’s usually in the interest of the weaker team to play for a shootout even though it’d be an underdog if one occurred.Have any more questions? See Nate’s 2009 article and FAQ for more of the technical details and philosophy behind SPI, most of which also apply to WSPI. Or drop us a note here. We hope you’ll enjoy following the women’s tournament with us. read more