SA heritage on show at Tourism Indaba

first_img9 May 2013 South Africa’s heritage and cultural stories will take the spotlight with the debut of the South Africa Heritage and Culture Pavilion at the 2013 Tourism Indaba, taking place in Durban from Saturday to Tuesday. The pavilion is a collaboration between South African Tourism, the Department of Tourism, and natural, historical and cultural attraction guide the Moja Heritage Collection, to make the country’s tourism experiences more accessible to global travellers. It aims to build on the record-breaking year South African tourism enjoyed in 2012, when tourist arrivals increased by over 10% and over nine million international tourists visited the country. “Indaba 2013 is going to be the indaba that unlocks the enormous potential of our richly diverse, fascinating and warm hospitable culture, our intriguing stories, our history and that unique combination of people and place that makes South Africa an extraordinary and unique destination, and one of the fastest growing and most popular holiday destinations in the world today,” South African Tourism CEO, Thulani Nzima, said in a statement on Wednesday. The pavilion will also highlight South Africa’s eight Unesco World Heritage sites. These are the Cradle of Humankind, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Robben Island, Cape Floral Region, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Vredfort Dome and the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape. “The unique majestic setting and physical location of the World Heritage Sites, chiefly in untapped prime rural and semi-urban economies, resonates with the strategic choices of the Tourism Department of initiating programmes and projects that seek to respond to the national outcomes and priorities of governemnt, namely economic development and job creation, rural development and regional integration,” said the Tourism Department’s Leonore Beukes. “In this context, it is crucial that tourism serves as a catalyst to unlock the socio- economic potential of heritage and cultural tourism products for sustainable livelihood at local community level.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Hot Mess Pests

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Emily UnglesbeeDTN Staff ReporterROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — Weather extremes are a major threat to U.S. row crops, as 2019 demonstrated vividly. But some insects and diseases actually thrive in the chaos of flooding, drought, hail and heavy rainfalls, and they are poised to prosper in the years ahead.Diseases that prefer overly wet seasons, such as sudden death syndrome (SDS) and Physoderma brown spot, or overly dry seasons, such as charcoal rot, are posing greater challenges to Midwest farmers, said Iowa State University Extension plant pathologist Daren Mueller.Mueller hosted a webinar for the North Central Climate Collaborative (NC3) this week, where he highlighted how climate change — and the extreme weather it brings with it — may affect field crop pests.Other winners? Heat-loving insects, like thrips, and the diseases they vector, are on the rise, Mueller noted. Traditionally “Southern” diseases like Southern corn rust and frogeye leaf spot, are also becoming yield-challenging staples in the Midwest in recent years. And diseases with origins in equatorial regions and the Southern Hemisphere, like tar spot and bacterial leaf streak in corn, are suddenly surfacing in the middle of North America.The development and life cycles of diseases and insects are notoriously complex, and many factors influence their rise and fall in agriculture, from economic pressures to evolving pest management and farming practices, Mueller stressed in his presentation. But for many of these pests, the weather changes associated with climate changes can be linked to their ascent as major agricultural pests, he said.So let’s take a look at some of these climate change opportunists.THE EXTREMISTS: SDS, PHYSODERMA AND CHARCOL ROTSudden death syndrome is well known for the abrupt and highly visible interveinal yellowing and necrosis that occurs during the reproductive stages of a soybean field, usually in late July or early August. Entire patches within a field can turn brown and die, causing substantial yield loss.Long before these symptoms surface, the disease is already present, Mueller noted. The fungus, Fusarium virguliforme, thrives in cool, wet soils and infects plants’ roots during the seedling stage of development. When rainfall events occur later in the season during early to mid-reproductive stages, a toxin caused by the disease is flushed up into the plant, causing the dramatic symptoms and yield loss.SDS has become an extremely prominent disease in recent years, Mueller said. “It is now the No. 1 soybean fungal disease as far as yield loss across the north-central region and really across the U.S.,” he said. “It is now a major disease in most soybean-growing areas.”Physoderma brown spot in corn, caused by a fungus called Physoderma maydis, is also thriving in recent years, Mueller added. The disease’s swimming spores infect when heavy rainfall and flooding causes standing water in the whorl of a corn plant — a common phenomenon in the spring and summer of 2019. The fungus causes lesions to form on the leaves and stalks and can lead to a stalk rot later in the season, as well. “This is one where we’ve really seen an uptick in the last five years or so, and this is one that is directly related to having heavy rainfalls very early in the season,” Mueller said.On the other end is charcoal rot, a disease that thrives during hot, dry seasons. Tiny structures called microsclerotia grow inside the soybean’s taproot and stems, clogging the plant’s ability to move nutrients and water, and causing them to turn yellow and brown and wilt. Plant pathologists expect charcoal rot to become more prominent as extreme weather events like dry growing seasons become more common, Mueller said.“Extreme examples — one too much water, one too little water — and there are diseases ready for either condition,” he said.THE INSECT OF THE HOUR: THRIPSThrips love heat. These plant-sucking pests prefer to reproduce when temperatures rise into the 80s Fahrenheit, and they do best in dry conditions. During the drought of 2012, their populations swelled across the Midwest as they assaulted already stressed crops with their feeding, Mueller recalled.But thrips do more than bleed precious moisture from plants; they also vector viruses such as soybean vein necrosis virus, tobacco ringspot virus and tobacco streak virus. Between 2013 and 2017, plant pathologists have seen outbreaks of these viral diseases — a good indicator that thrips are doing very well, Mueller noted.In contrast, viral diseases vectored by another common pest, the soybean aphid, such as the soybean mosaic virus, have been on the decline. One factor seems to be that soybean aphids do not do well in hot, dry conditions — their reproductive abilities slow dramatically as temperatures push into the upper 80s, and they die within days when temperatures surpass 95 degrees, Mueller said.THE SOUTH IS RISING: SOUTHERN CORN RUST AND FROGEYE LEAF SPOTSouthern corn rust has been defying its name in recent years, sneaking into the Midwest as early as July, in time to infect cornfields and threaten yield loss. (See some DTN stories here: https://www.dtnpf.com/… and here: https://www.dtnpf.com/…). This year was no exception, as the disease arrived in Midwest states like Iowa and Nebraska in time to cause yield loss in 2019, Mueller said.The disease usually gets its start each year in Mexico and the Caribbean, but the disease may be overwintering farther north in recent years. Plant pathologists have responded by creating a tracking tool to help growers stay aware of the fast-moving disease during the growing season: https://corn.ipmpipe.org/….Likewise, frogeye leaf spot, long the bane of Southern soybean growers, is becoming a regular Midwest invader, Mueller said. The Crop Protection Network, a research collaboration by U.S. and Canadian university crop scientists, has developed a disease loss calculator for corn and soybeans. It shows that, on average, farmers lost around 460,000 bushels per year to frogeye leaf spot in the Midwestern states between 1996 and 2000 — a 4-cents-per-acre economic impact. In contrast, from 2013 to 2017, Midwestern growers lost 7.6 million bushels — or $1.15 per acre — to the disease. See that calculator here: https://loss.cropprotectionnetwork.org/….“So you can see a very dramatic increase in frogeye leaf spot in these Midwestern states over the last five years,” Mueller said.GLOBETROTTERS: TAR SPOT AND BACTERIAL LEAF STREAKYou have to look even farther south to find the origins of two new invaders — tar spot of corn and bacterial leaf streak of corn.Tar spot of corn was first discovered in the U.S. in 2015 in Illinois and Indiana and has since been documented in eight states, where it can cause serious yield losses in susceptible varieties. The disease’s arrival in the U.S. remains a mystery, as it was previously only found in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. See its spread in the U.S. this year here: https://corn.ipmpipe.org/….Likewise, bacterial leaf streak of corn surfaced in Nebraska in 2013 and has since been found in nine other states. The bacteria that causes the disease, Xanthomonas vasicola, was previously most common in the Southern Hemisphere, in places like the Caribbean, Central America, Africa and Australia. (See more from the University of Florida: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/…).How are these distant southern invaders getting here? Scientists are still hunting for answers to this question, but one prominent theory is that they may be moving north on the increasingly severe tropical storms that form near the equator in the Atlantic Ocean and besiege North America each year, Mueller noted.“There is a lot of aerobiology that needs to be sorted out,” he said. “But we are certainly continuing to see new or invasive disease and insects.”See more from this webinar here: https://northcentralclimate.org/….Emily Unglesbee can be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee(PS/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Twitter Headquarters

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#news#Real World#web The Westboro Baptist Church, home of the best known anti-gay protest organization in the US, led by Pastor Fred Phelps, has a new target for its public outcry. This Thursday afternoon the organization will be picketing outside the San Francisco headquarters of Twitter.NBC Bay Area reporter Jackson West unearthed the schedule for the group’s trip to the Bay Area and writes that after a day of protesting outside Jewish organizations, the congregation will travel to Twitter’s brand new office. The organization says that they aren’t protesting against Twitter, rather encouraging the organization to do its duty in serving God. Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Pastor Phelps, tweets: Don’t be silly! We’re not protesting Twitter as a platform; that’s like picketing television! =) We’re picketing the people who run @Twitter, who don’t use their position & voice to warn a generation of rebels of the consequences of their rebellion. Same goes for those at Foursquare & Gowalla (tho I personally find their products useless — at least relative to Twitter. =)Westboros, we’ve tried to browbeat the people at Twitter HQ into using the service in a different way, and it just doesn’t work. Besides, Facebook is right down the road and 10 times as big. Thankfully social media technologies like Twitter and Facebook are making it easier than ever for marginalized people, like young gay people, to have a public voice. As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg often says, accurately if perhaps cynically, more open communication on these kinds of platforms will bring about more understanding between people, more empathy and a more peaceful world. Maybe the Westboro Baptist Church ought to be protesting these platforms themselves after all, then. We’ll limit our comments on this noxious organization to that. Good luck on Thursday, folks at Twitter. I’m sure if you’d like some support, a Tweet-up wouldn’t be hard to [email protected] did not respond by press time to a public reply on Twitter requesting comment on this story. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

BJP leader Mukul Roy appears before CBI in Narada sting video case

first_imgBJP leader Mukul Roy on Saturday appeared before the CBI in the Narada sting video case. Mr. Roy arrived at the agency office at Nizam Palace at around 2.15 p.m. The agency had issued summons to him after they made the first arrest in the Narada case by taking into custody IPS officer S.M.H. Mirza on Thursday. The agency had asked Mr. Roy to appear before it on Friday, which he had declined, citing political preoccupations. The CBI is probing the Narada video tapes in which several Trinamool Congress leaders were purportedly seen accepting cash on camera. The videos, shot in 2014 and made public ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal, showed senior Trinamool leaders accepting bundles of cash from journalist Mathew Samuels, who posed as a representative of a fictitious company, Impex Infrastructure. In March 2017, a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court ordered the CBI to take over the Narada case. While Mr. Roy, an influential Trinamool leader then, is not seen accepting any cash in the purported videos, he can be heard saying, “You talk to Mirza”. Sources in the CBI said Mr. Roy will be questioned in the presence of Mr. Mirza, who has been granted CBI custody till September 30 by a city court.last_img read more