24 November 2010The United States Mission to South Africa has organised a number of activities in support of this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, including free performances of the one-act play We Are Here by American actor Antonio David Lyons.The play, comprising 16 sketches expressing the diversity of male voices within the issue of woman and child abuse, is supported by the US Consulate in Johannesburg, and runs at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein from 25 to 30 November.All performances are free, although donations will be accepted. The doors open at 7.30pm, with the show beginning at 8pm from Thursday to Saturday. Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday performances are at 3pm.From 28 November to 7 December, US Minister in the United Church of Christ and founder of the FaithTrust Institute, Rev Marie Fortune, will be taking part in discussions on the role of faith and community leaders in ending gender violence. The events will be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town.The US Embassy Pretoria’s Political Working Group will host a meeting focused on gender-based violence on 2 December. The embassy is inviting panelists from civil society and government to address questions concerning the causes of gender violence in South Africa and strategies for eliminating it.USAid also funds a number of projects aiming to root out gender-based violence, including Brothers for Life, which aims to reduce violence by encouraging changes in gender norms and personal behaviour.Another project is the Greater Rape Intervention Project, which operates 26 facilities in Mpumalanga province and offers services to survivors of rape and abuse, many of them children from communities with minimal infrastructure and police protection.The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention South Africa and the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief are also collaborating with the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union and the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union to raise awareness of the connection between gender violence and HIV transmission through a workplace campaign.This year marks the 11th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence against Women and Children in South Africa.Source: BuaNews
It takes a community when it comes to recycling and green initiatives, says Kabega Primary School, winners of the Plastics|SA 2016 Clean Up & Recycle competition.Learners at Kabega Primary School in Port Elizabeth celebrate Earth Day. The school won the Plastics|SA 2016 Clean Up & Recycle competition. (Image supplied)Melissa JavanA grandmother who brought in newspapers that she had collected at her old her age home is one of the contributors to the recycling project at Kabega Primary School in Port Elizabeth. The school recently won the Plastics|SA 2016 Cleanup & Recycle Competition.Educating peopleJacques Lightfoot, the sustainability manager at Plastics|SA, said that the initiative was founded in 2005 as The Fantastic Plastics SA school competition. In 2016, a total of 2,500 learners participated. The competition began in July and ran until October 2016, with final judging in November.“The purpose of the competition was to encourage schools, businesses and community members to get involved with Clean-up Month in September,” explained Lightfoot. “Only the projects get evaluated and we do not conduct any monitoring of the schools, as we let their projects show their success.”Participating schools had to write a short report about their initiatives and submit photographs. Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part initiative is a partner in Cleanup & Recycle, which last year had the theme “Play Your Part … Let’s Clean-Up South Africa!”One of Kabega Primary School’s initiatives is cleaning up the river and the beach. Gideon Labuschagne and Bianca Deysel are part of the initiative to collect water for farmers in the Free State, during drought. (Image supplied)The winnersThe top three schools were Kabega Primary in Port Elizabeth, Vaalpark Primary in Vaalpark, and Kragbron Primary in Witbank, Mpumalanga.Winning organisations were Clean-up & Recycle Klerksdorp in North West, Fichardt Park Neighbourhood Association in Free State, and Greater Tygerberg Partnership in Bellville, Western Cape.Lightfoot said in a press release that entries were judged based on how many participants were involved in the respective projects. “[We judged] whether they managed to involve their community.”Kabega Primary School principal Andrew Jonas (left) with Grade 1 learners Natalie de Jager, Cloe Jantjies, Gareth van Heerden and Tanya de Kock, as well as deputy principal Corrie van Eck; the school received a bench from Plastics|SA as winners of the Plastics|SA 2016 Cleanup & Recycle Competition. (Image supplied)Lightfoot added: “Kabega Primary was a clear winner and stood out for us because of the amount of recycling and other environmental and sustainability work it does … It is an amazing school that is clearly dedicated to making a difference in its environment as it organised clean-ups in Baakens River Valley, Willows and Seaview.”It’s not about the competitionAdele Botha, co-ordinator of the green projects at Kabega Primary School, said they had been undertaking green initiatives for the past four years. The school, for example, used a solar geyser.It had an enviro-committee consisting of teachers who organised the projects and wrote regular reports on the initiatives. “The whole school takes part in our green initiatives,” said Botha.Learners collected things such as bottles, lids and plastic bags, which they brought to school. “We have a group of Grade 6 learners who are in charge of making sure the recycling station stays clean,” she added.Recycling should be a lifestyle, which was why the school got the parents and the community involved. “The older generation are being taught by the children to do the right thing. This is really life-changing. We are not doing this to be in a competition.”Botha said the surrounding community got involved in their initiatives, even the police. They were trying to get better at cleaning up their environment every year. “We also do regular beach and river clean-ups.”AchievementsThey had been working with The Waste Trade Company in Port Elizabeth for four years, Botha said. “They have 230 schools that do recycling. For the four quarters of 2015 and 2016 we were the winning school. For the last quarter of 2016, we recycled material of 12,990kg.”In November 2016, they won the Eastern Cape’s Top Green Award for small business. “For the past three years we have represented the Eastern Cape in the Sasol Enviro Quiz in Gariep.”Kabega Primary has also undertaken a project with the Sweethearts Foundation. For this, the learners and community collect plastic bread clips. For every 50,000 of these bread clips, one wheelchair is donated to a child in need.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Last year was more proof for Andy Rodefer of the value in placing a high priority on getting soybeans off to a good start.“We think you should be getting beans out there just as early as corn, if not earlier. On most occasions beans can take a lot of stress. Sometimes they don’t always look good but they can still come back after a lot of cold, tough weather and yield really well,” said Rodefer, who farms in Preble County. “In a lot of years planting early helps, but you have to protect the seed and roots as the plant comes out of the ground. In our area we hope we don’t have the rainfall like we did last year and that we get a good start for 2016.”And Rodefer hopes that is the case not only for his farm, but also the numerous area farms he works with as a Syngenta seed dealer and a soybean seed treatment facility owner.“We have been involved in the seed business for a number of years and now seed companies have a lot more to offer in seed treatments than what they used to. We had an opportunity to put our own treater set up in here at the farm to give farmers more choice in treatments and offer options that some of the seed companies don’t offer. By adding these treatments it can take good genetics and really get them to perform by protecting that yield,” Rodefer said. “We do some custom treating, but mostly we do true bulk and we usually run three to four main varieties. We normally start treating around the first of March all the way through planting season. We offer a lot of different treatments, including treatments Syngenta may not offer. There are also a lot of inoculants that can only be on the seed 60 to 120 days before you plant and that shelf life can limit what seed companies can offer. This puts things at the farmer level rather than the company level to open up the door for some different things.”The process starts with the arrival of untreated seed beans in a semi on the farm.“We put them in our storage tanks. Then, starting at the tank the seed goes to a conveyor belt that runs it into a scale hopper and weighs it. Everything is certified on the scales. Once we have a stamped weight, we run the seed down another conveyor that runs it into a treater and out the other end of it into another conveyor where it will go into a box, wagon or tender,” he said. “The system is pretty much automated. We have a computer screen in the building. We type in the variety and how many units and it is automated from there.”There are a number of different options with seed treatments, starting with untreated seed.“We have several farmers who get untreated beans because they don’t know if the treatments make a difference or not. The difference happens underground and sometimes you can visually see a difference and sometimes you don’t. When you get damp, cold conditions in the spring, though, seed treatmentsRodefer’s seed treatment facility is designed to be gentle on the seeds to provide a high quality end product.can really shine and in good conditions they can help maximize yield,” Rodefer said. “We add inoculant to some of those. There are all kinds of inoculants and I don’t know that there is much difference in performance between them, but we feel like inoculants are worth one to two bushels pretty easily. In terms of seed treatments, the biggest difference I look at is the active ingredients on the label. When you look at that you can separate the good from the bad and what you are really getting. Sometimes you get what you pay for.“We start out with CruiserMaxx and Vibrance, which is our low-end treatment from Syngenta. We start there and go up. CruiserMaxx has been on the market for a long time and Vibrance is a fungicide. We then move up to our biggest sellers, which are Clariva Complete beans that help with soybean cyst nematodes (SCN). The SCN are in the fields and they are definitely affecting yields. With a corn-bean rotation I think it is worth three or four bushels per acre pretty consistently. If you are soybeans after soybeans you can see eight or 10 bushels in some circumstances. We’ve seen in our own situation, if there is any early stress at all, seed treatments can be really valuable. We don’t recommend anything until we have seen the results on our farm.”Ohio State University Extension specialists agree, particularly in fields prone to wet, cold conditions early in the season. Seed treatments should be considered in fields where replanting has been needed more than once in the last 10 years and if there is a history of head scab in wheat (Fusarium) or Gibberella stalk rot in corn. Fields with a history of Phytophthora, Pythium, and Rhizoctonia can also typically benefit from fungicide seed treatments, according to Ohio State University Extension.“Host resistance is the primary means by which we manage many grain crop diseases, but there is little effort put into screening for resistance towards Pythium spp., Fusarium spp. (other than F. virguliforme which causes sudden death syndrome of soybean) and Rhizoctonia solani in comparison to other diseases. This is where seed treatments aimed at watermolds and true fungi can play a big role for fields which are high risk for these seed and seedling pathogens,” wrote Anne Dorrance and Pierce Paul in a CORN Newsletter article this winter. “This protects the seed and seedling when they are the most susceptible.”From Rodefer’s operation, the range of seed treatment options leads to a differing range of costs.“Our lowest treatment is around $14 a unit and our most expensive treatment package is in the low $20 range,” he said. “I know cost is a big factor now and it can be hard to make those decisions, but somewhere between 70% and 75% of our sales are from the most expensive seed treatment we offer. That tells me that, in our area, guys feel like they are worth it.”Along with using seed treatments, Rodefer believes there are several other important steps to take for getting soybeans off to a strong start.“We plant beans with a John Deere Air seeder. We started with a 750 no-till drill years ago and have been running the air seeder for a while now. We have done some studies against split row planters to see if the spacing helps with yield. We found that usually at the end of the day the yield is about the same, but you definitely have a more consistent drop and you use less seed with the planter. The disadvantage is that they are a lot heavier. They both have their pluses and minuses,” he said. “Most of my guys in 15-inch rows will be in the 170,000 to 180,000 range for a planting rate and the guys drilling will be closer to 200,000 to 220,000. We need to have a final stand around 140,000 or more I think so we can maximize soybean yields.“I think some vertical tillage in the corn stalks in the fall can help add a little yield. We also recommend fungicide and insecticide late in the season. We think in most cases it is worth a payback. All those little things can help protect the yield.”Of course, with soybean production, good weed control is essential for high yields.“We have been working on our weed program for the last couple of years and we use a pre- program and come back with Roundup and it has worked pretty well,” Rodefer said. “The vertical tillage in our cornstalks in the fall has really helped with the marestail. You don’t have to move much dirt to get some control there too.”Rodefer also thinks it is increasingly important to monitor SCN more closely on many farms.“We are in a corn-bean rotation and we have taken samples for SCN and we are right at the threshold of populations that can hurt yield,” he said. “We don’t see SCN and don’t consider it every year but maybe it is doing more damage than we think.”By working on the details, and getting the crop off to a solid start, soybeans can overcome quite a few obstacles.“Last year everything came up really well, but things deteriorated as the season went along. They snapped out of it and the bean height was not very tall, but they still ended up yielding pretty well for some people in this area,” Rodefer said. “There is nothing better than a seed customer telling you they had their best beans ever at the end of the year. That makes you proud to be able do something to help them.”
A team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday reached Bhopal to probe the blast in a train, suspected to be a terror attack.The blast occurred near the Jabri railway station under Shajapur district, about 60 km from Bhopal.NIA officials would interact with the Madhya Pradesh police personnel and verify leads available with them to ascertain whether the explosion was a terror attack, official sources said.Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh on Tuesday said the initial investigation suggested that the blast was a terror attack and investigation was underway to unravel the conspiracy behind the incident.Ten people were injured, three of them seriously, in the blast on the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train.Madhya Pradesh Inspector General (Intelligence) Makrand Deoskar had said the blast was carried out “by planting an improvised explosive device (IED)”.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen thinks Australia are still “very vulnerable” despite levelling the Ashes series and claims the hosts’ new verbal aggression shows they are “under huge amounts of pressure.”In an interview with English media, Pietersen escalated vocal sparring between the teams, describing England’s 267-run third Test loss at Perth as a “hiccup” and saying they were still confident of an historic series win.Australia have credited their third Test win to their return to a more aggressive approach, shelved after their 2008 Sydney Test against India sparked a public and official backlash against “sledging” – the slang for verbal assaults on an opposing team.In recent days, Paul Marsh, head of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, said fear of the consequences of sledging had affected Australia’s form and opponents had been quick to exploit its “weakness.”Marsh said Australia’s win over England in Perth, which followed their innings and 71 run loss in the second Test at Adelaide, had resulted from a return to its “natural instincts.”Verbal sparring between the teams has noticeably increased. England wicketkeeper Matt Prior criticised Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle for giving him a verbal “send-off” after his dismissal in the third Test.Siddle responded by saying England only complained because they lost.”We won the game. That’s why they’re making such a big deal of it,” he said.Pietersen increased the ante on Thursday. “When you’re under extreme amounts of pressure, you talk a lot more,” he said. “And the good thing about our team is we’re on a plateau. We do what we do.advertisement”We made a hiccup last week. Yes, we were constructive in the criticism that we chucked around the team meeting about preparation and whatever. But we haven’t come out and made any bold, huge statements about this and about that.”Pietersen said the English squad is aware of Australia’s vulnerabilities.”There are a lot of areas in their team that are very vulnerable and we just need to do what we do and wipe the slate clean and forget Perth,” he said. “Think about Adelaide, think about how well we did there, and how well we did in (the drawn first Test in) Brisbane. We’re absolutely fine.”England haven’t won an Ashes series in Australia since 1986-87 but Pietersen said the current team remained confident of revising history.”I just think we’ve got a wonderful opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done for 25 years,” he said. “That’s driving us all on to do something amazing.”Australian captain Ricky Ponting looks increasingly likely to play in Melbourne after breaking the little finger on his left hand attempting a slips catch in Perth. Pietersen said he was not surprised.”I’ve played in a series with a finger broken,” he said. “You just ring-block it. It’s not a huge drama. You just numb it so you don’t feel the pain.”Ricky Ponting might bat without gloves he’s so tough!”
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