Recent mission reveals Brazil’s huge production potential moving forward

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On March 11, farmers with the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association embarked on a 12-day market study mission of Brazil, a major competitor of international sales to the U.S. The purpose of this mission was to gain a better understanding of Brazil’s role in the worldwide market of agriculture. The in-person mission allowed first-hand insights of strengths and challenges in Brazil’s agricultural industry. Sustainability in BrazilBy Rachael Vonderhaar, who farms with her family in Preble County and serves on the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff BoardMarch 15, 2016As we start off on our 3- to 5-hour bus drive this morning (the wide time range due to rough infrastructure and heavy truck traffic) to tour Brazilian farms, I realize I have time to review my notes from the last couple of days. Our days have been action packed and long, which equals a migraine for Rachael. I am doing much better now as I am able to read and type on the bumpiest roads I have ever been on. I am definitely appreciating the air conditioning on the bus.Yesterday, we visited with Cid Sanches, Director of Aprosoja, Mato Grosso. Aprosoja is a soybean association formed in 2005 to unify the voices of the farmer to the federal government. Thirteen Brazilian states have Aprosoja Associations. Each state’s agriculture picture is unique and it’s hard to find a unified national voice across all agriculture.Soybeans are first crop here and corn is a second crop, which means, corn is planted behind the harvest of the soybeans. The growing season is long enough to raise and harvest two crops in one season in the same field following each other. Sometimes cotton is grown as the second, or double, crop.Cid mentioned several goals Aprosoja is working on for the farmers:1. Communication with the federal governmenta. Labor Lawsb. Production Lossc. Regulations2. International policya. Land useb. Biodieselc. Infrastructure/ Transportation 3. Educating Farmersa. Agronomyb. Farm Safetyc. Profitability4.  Coordinating ResearchComparatively to the U.S. Ag landscape, Approsoja is doing the work of our checkoffs, The Ohio State University Extension, and farm associations/organizations like Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. Brazil has 22% of the world’s crop producing land and 12% of the world’s water, which is a lot of financial opportunity. However, the lack of infrastructure holds the Brazilian agriculture sector from reaching its full potential. Several groups, including the Chinese government, have tried to work with the Brazilian government to build railroad infrastructure to get crops to the ports more efficiently, but there is a current law that prevent any roads or rail from crossing state lines unless owned by the government.Brazil has partnered on public private partnerships in the past, but only when the government owns the final product. The Brazilian government has allowed several entities to explore rail construction options, but no progress has taken place. Conservation is also a big part of the conversation as to why the infrastructure is a challenge.My take-aways:Aprosoja has a lot of work to do with such a large list of topics.I have a lot of respect for the Brazilian farmers and the patience they have for dealing with lack of infrastructure and government struggle (there were large protests/demonstrations that took place on Sunday demanding impeachment of the current President). Marco Reis joined us this evening for a presentation and dinner. Marco represents Alianca De Terra, a not-for-profit committed to working hand-in-hand with the Brazilian farmer and sustainability in three specific areas:1. Environment — conservation, fireprevention/fire brigade, and soil health2. Social –sharing cattle genetics and agricultural practices with native and indigenous people3. Production — gathering information for research, profitability and traceability Alianca De Terra helps to provide education about conservation to the new farmers. They also work with RTRS (Round Table on Responsible Soy) which represents: the soy value chain, responsible soy production, and works with the European market on negotiations. Alianca De Terra is working hard to educate on the understanding the value of conservation and the long term value of “producing right.” Brazil has strict restrictions on clearing of land for agriculture and the value of conservation. Alianca De Terra helps to make sure all farmers are using good land stewardship practices. The most interesting detail of the night was that small scale ag in Brazil is in the most need for education on good stewardship practices.Marco shared the story of John Carter moving to Brazil and starting his soybean farm in the wilderness of northern Mato Grosso. I am not sure I have the grit to make that kind of leap in life, but what an exciting adventure. The Brazilian government did a social outreach program giving 600 families 100 hectares each so they may start farming. Our presentation was followed with a buffet meal at a Brazilian steakhouse and a lot of good conversation and debate.I am thankful to farm in United States. I am thankful to farm in Ohio. I am thankful for our infrastructure, and now I am even more driven to be vocal for maintaining it. I am thankful for the Extension services, checkoffs, and commodity associations who divide and conquer agriculture obstacles we face everyday. I am thankful for my opportunity to learn first-hand about Brazilian agriculture after reading about it for years in grain market reports.A few in the group snapped a quick photo with the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Fields as far as you can seeBy Eric Neer, who farms in Champaign County and serves on the Ohio Corn Checkoff BoardMarch 18, 2016For our last day in the state of Mato Grasso, our group pulled together for a few new experiences. After waking up and hearing that my roomie didn’t have hot water for a shower at the hotel, I crossed my fingers and hoped that the remainder of my day would be better than the first 15 minutes. I was in luck! I found a hot shower within the first few minutes and currently relax at the hotel after an eye-opening day of visits.Our day started out with our group loading the bus in Primavera do Leste, and driving west to Bom Futuro, a farm near Campo Verde. The farm name stands for Good Future, originated in the 1980s as a partnership between four original members. While we didn’t gather a good indication of their original scale, it was hard to believe that they currently farm over 1 million acres in several states. With 5,300 employees, they grow soybeans, cotton, eucalyptus trees (fuel source for dryer), and corn while also utilizing fish farms, cattle grazing, and hydroelectric energy to balance out their operation.It was easy to feel the shift in scale as we drove past a paved air strip on our way to the farm’s movie theater for our introductions. One of their many agronomists then provided a tour of the 225,000-acre farm in Campo Verde. The 4.5 million-bushel storage site was impressive. Eleven combines prepping for soybean harvest in the same field was also impressive. It became evident that we would have a challenge trying to describe the scale and vastness of the opportunities to our friends in Ohio.Picture yourself driving from Cincinnatti to Cleveland and finding nothing but gently rolling ground, fantastic soils, year round warmth, and acres upon acres of corn, soybeans, and cotton. Keep in mind you are on a two-lane road and haven’t spotted a single house. Now imagine that those crops have the potential to increase yield by a factor up to two times at any given moment.This potential opportunity is the true indication that we better prepare for as farmers in Ohio. While we strive to improve our own farming operations, we must also ask ourselves how we could adapt if world supply of corn increases at a faster pace than we traditionally expect. As we look towards our future, let’s be sure to keep one eye on building demand, serving our customers, and helping nourish the world. Capturing maximum sunlightStacie Seger, Communication Manager, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers AssociationMarch 18, 2016While visiting farms today, the common theme was clear: maximize the amount of energy (sunlight) you can capture. Land never sits idle.The grain farm we visited today was about 3,000 acres and had only been in production for two years. We watched as he harvested soybeans with three combines and across the red dirt driveway planted corn in the field he harvested yesterday. It was fascinating to learn that most of Brazil did not start double cropping until 1990. Although we have actually seen more on-farm storage than we thought we would, this young farmer was storing soybeans in bags until the two new grain bins by his shed were finished.Working to diversity how he captures energy, the 3,000-head beef producer we visited had his farm on a cycle of three years of cattle pasturing on elephant grass and then a year of soybeans as first crop and corn as second crop. His beef-crops rotation is unique and progressive. His 500-hectare farm is currently outlined into 50 to 60 hectare pastures where he moves his cattle on a 7-day rotation. All of the fence posts will be pulled out when it’s time to plant soybeans and corn.The state of Mato Grosso do Sul is currently changing to grains, ethanol (sugarcane), and eucalyptus production from beef cattle region due to land prices. It will be interesting to see how this young grain state looks in a few years.For more from the trip, visit read more

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid

first_img1. Not Using Motion BlurMotion blur allows you to easily make animations appear natural. Plus, motion blur is a great way to enhance your animated graphics.2. Thinking You Need Plugins to Do Great WorkAfter Effects is a powerful tool that allows you to do practically anything in the worlds of motion graphics and non-3D VFX. It’s important for you to visualize what you are looking to create and be able to solve problems each step of the way.3. Using Linear Keyframes Instead of Easy EaseSometimes it makes sense to use the regular linear keyframes. However, using “easy ease” keyframes allows you to quickly create natural movement within your animation.4. Forgetting to Feather Your MaskWhen compositing, feathering your mask is critical. You need your images to blend together and appear as one. Forgetting to feather your mask will not yield a convincing composite.5. Using Solid Layers for ShapesWhen you need to create shapes for motion graphics, and you use a solid layer with a mask, you are totally missing out on shape layers. Shape layers allow you to neatly organize shapes, and they open up many ways of animating shapes.6. Not Using Video Scopes for Color CorrectionColor correction is its own art with its own rules and creative techniques. While you may not need to be a color correction expert, it is vital that you understand video scopes if you do need to color. Without video scopes, you are practically judging the images based off of your display. What looks good on your monitor may not look good on someone else’s.7. Bad OrganizationYou’ve worked on a project that has hundreds of layers, and then your client asks you to change some titles. You then have to dig through your project, changing multiple titles that have been duplicating many times. With proper organization using “pre-compositions,” you can change the title once, and the entire project updates in a second.8. Using The Transform Menu to Animate TextWhile this isn’t a bad thing to do when it makes sense, if you are not using the animate menu with text layers, you are missing out on control. The animate menu allows you to use advanced parameters to animate your titles, individual characters, and much more.9. Centering Objects By HandIf you use your mouse to center titles (or any other object in After Effects), you are bypassing the align tab. The align tab allows you to center or align layers to the left or right with a click of a bottom. Start being accurate with the align tab.10. Using The Stroke EffectThe stroke effect is great at creating outlines if you have the mask. If you have the text layer or vector object, you can convert them into shape layers and apply “trim paths.” Trim paths allow you to cleanly animate strokes.Looking for more After Effects tutorials? Check these out.Create a Responsive Infographic in After EffectsAfter Effects: Create a Modern Slideshow AnimationHow to Create a Motion Graphics Template in Adobe After Effects3 Typography Motion Graphics Tips | After Effects TutorialCreate An Animated Website Presentation Using After Effects In this video tutorial, take a look at ten Adobe After Effects mistakes that can really throw off your project if you’re not careful.Adobe After Effects is powerful motion graphics and compositing software. Understanding each and every aspect of its features can take years. However, there are some fundamentals that even beginners should know. In this video, I go over ten mistakes that After Effects users should avoid.last_img read more

In NHL Playoffs Plan For a Quick Overtime

As the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings were locked in an epic double-overtime struggle Wednesday night, I wondered about the likelihood of such a prolonged NHL battle. What are the odds of an OT playoff game ending after a given number of minutes had elapsed?I dug into’s Game Finder tool (using goalie minutes to determine how long a game lasted) and gathered the numbers on all playoff games that went into sudden-death mode since 1988. Here are the results over that span, tracing the probability that a game will have ended by the time a certain duration into OT is achieved:Of course, the thrilling end-to-end playing style of Wednesday’s game would seem to make goal-scoring more likely, thereby increasing the chance of the game concluding earlier. To that end, I speculated that the amount of total scoring by both teams through the end of regulation might clue us in to the overall offensive environment of the game, and therefore play a role in whether “death” would come more or less suddenly.That hypothesis is true, although the difference is fairly small. The red curve in the chart above represents games where the total number of regulation goals by both teams was six or greater; the blue curve represents games with four or fewer combined goals in regulation. That the red line is higher than the blue for most of the chart means that, at a given number of elapsed minutes of overtime, a higher-scoring game was more likely to have ended than a lower-scoring one. (This isn’t exactly surprising, but it’s still interesting to prove it with data.) Whichever type of overtime game we’re watching, though, there’s a better than 50-50 chance that it will end less than 10 minutes into the extra frame, and more than a 75 percent probability it will end before double OT.And that’s another sense in which Wednesday’s Blackhawks-Kings game was a rare treat. Based on history, there was only about a 17 percent chance that an OT game between two teams that had been high-scoring in regulation would last 22 minutes before someone scored. It was exciting, unlikely extra hockey, and hopefully we see even more drama in Game 6 on Friday night. read more

Oil Prices Continue to Positively Impact Power Bills

first_img Hotels clean up four islands for Earth Day Recommended for you Related Items:fortis, fuel factor, Oil prices Electricity Supplier says fuel factor down again FortisTCI reports 60% decrease in electricity bills Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 24 Dec 2014 – Oil prices continue to fall around the world, the Turks and Caicos experiences some relief at the pumps and some relieve on electricity bills. Yesterday, Fortis TCI confirmed that the November Fuel Factor Rate will drop yet again; now .2203.last_img read more