With so many options on the market, growers have had to learn how to manage different varieties. In Terrell County, McGhee used different seed varieties from different companies, planted them in field trials and harvested the crops to see what variety worked best in his county. “We rely heavily on cooperation with our county agents to get these trials planted and harvested,” Whitaker said. “We use the information from these trials implemented by our agents to get an idea of how well varieties perform across the state.” Nick McGhee, Terrell County Extension coordinator, is one of those cooperating Extension agents.“This program is something that a lot of the growers in Terrell County can benefit from. Cotton variety selection is an important decision that they face every year,” he said. With cotton prices plummeting below 60 cents this winter, selecting a variety to plant for the upcoming season is a critical decision for Georgia farmers. The University of Georgia Cotton Variety Selection Program provides growers with the research-based information they need to produce the state’s No. 1 row crop.UGA Extension agronomist Jared Whitaker, who helped start the program, said he has seen the right variety choice add $100 an acre or more to a farmer’s bottom line. In 2014, DP 1252 B2RF, CG3783 B2RF and PHY 333 WRF were the varieties with statistically similar and highest average lint yield when averaged across all 20 trials. With regards to consistency across those trials, those same varieties had yields within the top three of 12 varieties evaluated in at least 45 percent of the 20 trials. For more information about variety performance from this program, contact your local county agent or visit the UGA Cotton Web page at ugacotton.com.The data produced from the cotton variety selection can be seen at ugacotton.com/cotton-variety-selection/.According to UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia produced more than $1.2 billion in cotton in 2013. “We started the program so that we could evaluate a small set of promising varieties across a large number of locations and environments to observe performance in various situations and get an idea of where varieties perform best and which are most consistent,” Whitaker said.Jeff Davis County cotton farmer Wayne Herndon has helped with the program since its inception. Whitaker uses Herndon’s land to plant and test different cotton varieties. “The program allows us to see what variety works best in different types of soil and environments,” Herndon said. “And it has helped me decide what varieties to plant.”Rather than growing cotton in just one part of the state for the UGA program, Whitaker aims to grow cotton in different counties across Georgia to see how the different varieties perform in various environments. Cotton seed can be expensive, and yields can be attributed to the variety that farmers choose. According to McGhee, cotton producers have the potential to increase their gross revenue by more than $3.5 million annually in Terrell County if they choose the right variety. “They were all planted in the same field and managed the same way, which determined what variety yielded the best,” McGhee said. (Jordan Hill is an intern with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
Emily and Ben Gawley and their three children used social media to research Gainsborough Greens at Pimpama on the Gold Coast.The couple and their three children were living in Melbourne when Ms Gawley put out a call through Facebook for recommendations of family-friendly communities on the Gold Coast — that is when Gainsborough Greens resident and mother of four, Michelle Drummond, stepped in and offered her advice and contact details. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoFast-forward three months, and the two families now live just one street away from each other.“I joined the Gainsborough Greens Community Group on Facebook to hear more about whether it was a family-friendly location and Michelle contacted me to let me know the ins and outs of the community,” Ms Gawley said. “I had never met her before but the response we received via Facebook was extremely helpful and informative. It can be quite difficult to grasp the feel of a community from a different state, so the advice was really invaluable to us. “Michelle’s insight and support made the move here so much easier and from there a friendship between our families formed.”Ms Gawley said since the move their two sons have ended up in the same class and become best friends and all of the two families children play together.Ms Drummond, husband Aaron, and their four children moved to Gainsborough Greens in June last year. Social media is becoming the platform of choice for land estate buyers to research communities before buying in.SOCIAL media is becoming the new driving force behind land estate sales as an increasing number of home buyers research the livability of communities before committing to a purchase.Mirvac Queensland residential general manager Warwick Bible said a growing number of purchasers at their Gainsborough Greens masterplanned community in Pimpama, were reporting the use of social media as a decision making tool.“It is no secret that buyers and prospective residents often do the research online at home, before visiting a new community,” Mr Bible said.“But we are finding what and how they are searching for this information is evolving.“They are no longer just looking for property analysis in terms of the fundamentals like property values and access to amenities, but the more intangible benefits, such as community atmosphere and whether an area is ‘family-friendly’.”Gainsborough Greens residents Ben and Emily Gawley reached out via an online community group to find out about life in the estate, before making the move from interstate. Aaron and Michelle Drummond and their four children befriended the Gawley family through the Gainsborough Greens Facebook page.“We have lived at Gainsborough Greens for almost a year and we love it. When I saw that Emily was interested in moving here, I knew I had to let her know how great it is, as I can imagine it would be quite a stressful experience moving interstate with a family in tow,” she said. “The minute I spoke to her, I knew she would love the community and how family-friendly it is. They are such a lovely family and now that our kids are at the same school, we catch up with them socially.” Gainsborough Greens community engagement manager, Suzanne Guastini, said it was heartwarming to hear that members of the community were so happy living in Gainsborough Greens that they were spreading the word online. “Something that sets Gainsborough Greens apart from other communities is our regular social activities that are designed to create an engaging and welcoming environment where everyone knows each other’s names.”Gainsborough Greens will eventually have more than 2200 homes, along with retail and recreational amenities.
The £11.6bn (€15.7bn) West Midlands Pension Fund outperformed its benchmark by 1.7 percentage points last year, citing strong performance from its private equity and other alternatives holdings.The UK local government pension scheme (LGPS), however, reported losses across nearly all equity holdings, the notable exception being its North American portfolio, reflecting an overall decline in stock markets during the 2015-16 financial year.The fund’s equity portfolio overall underperformed its benchmark by 2 basis points, losing 2.67% in value over the course of the year, with particularly steep losses of 7.5% from emerging market holdings.The scheme’s global equity portfolio, which grew by £500m last year after it decided to actively manage a portfolio internally, lost 2.2% compared with a benchmark loss of just 0.49%. West Midlands hailed the in-house move as part of an attempt to be more cost-effective.In the forward of the scheme’s draft annual report, Geik Drever, head of the pension fund, said: “[The] restructuring of our portfolio has continued during the last year, including the introduction of an in-house, actively managed global equities portfolio.“This, along with other changes to the portfolio over the last few years, has yielded ongoing savings of almost £25m per year.”The remaining developed-market equity holdings were largely passively managed.The best performing asset class was private equity, which returned 15.8%, followed by an 11.3% return on property and a 9.9% return on real assets and equity holdings.The fund’s 2.4% return was significantly down from the 2014-15 return of 15.5% and also below its 10-year annualised return of 5.6%.Because inflation stood at 1.5% last financial year, however, the fund still managed an absolute return of 0.90%.
THE best four teams in the Petra-organised Limacol/GT Beer Round-Robin/Knockout football tournament will be on show this evening at the GFC ground. In the first affair, an all-Georgetown battle, Western Tigers will have their hands full when they take on the unpredictable Santos FC.Following their run in this year’s tournament, the Tigers have shown time and time again that they are not just talking the talk, they are walking the walk.They boast a record-winning streak so far of four, and their ability to get in even behind the sturdiest of defences will be put to the test this evening. Their hopes of moving on hinge primarily on players like Andrew Murray Jr. Devon Millington, Randolph Wagner, Jamal Pedro and Linden Picketts.Conversely, there is the obvious under-dog feeling that must be on Santos FC mind, considering the fact that they have been steadily improving throughout. Their star men include O’Kenie Fraser, Keith Caines, Job Caesar and Orin Yarde and their fans are hoping that they can overturn what many feel may be an easy game.Meanwhile, the two early games are no bench-warmers either with Police having to play Linden’s Winners Connection (WC).The leadership of Dwain Jacobs has proved to be sound so far for the boys in blue and while the unit may take a while to get into their groove most teams would like to avoid them due to their ability to take it to another level.Persons cannot count out Quincy Holder as well, one of the better players in the side to secure game-changing results whenever the conditions are right.WC, on the other hand, are a known physical team who will no doubt let Police know early that they are in for a tough 90 minutes and after Sunday night’s performance, Rene Gibbons has shown that all he needs is half a chance to make that difference.Kick-off time is 18:30hrs.