Growing Pumpkins

first_imgHigh temperatures, humid nights and disease pressure make growing pumpkins difficult for south Georgia farmers, according to Tim Coolong, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable horticulturist.Georgia only produces a few hundred acres of pumpkins, and an estimated 80 to 90 percent of those are grown in north Georgia, he said. Most pumpkins grown in Georgia are sold as decorations, and pumpkin growers in north Georgia sell most of those to tourists, Coolong said. Disease plays a major role in the lack of pumpkins grown in south Georgia. Due to the high temperatures in the region, especially in mid-July and early August, when pumpkins are grown, farmers face disease pressure and are often unable or discouraged to produce pumpkins. “During those hot temperatures, sometimes we don’t get very good pollination and fruit set,” Coolong said. “In addition, if there were some virus-resistant pumpkins, certainly people could grow more down here and do fairly well at it. But as of now, it’s limited to just a few growers.” Growers in north Georgia are more likely to grow bigger pumpkins because of the cooler nights in September and October. According to Coolong, in places such as Michigan and Wisconsin, producers can grow pumpkins that weigh more than 1,000 pounds. “In order to get really big pumpkins, you need cooler nights,” Coolong said. “The cooler night weather allows those pumpkins to get bigger. We can certainly grow pumpkins that weigh several hundred pounds in south Georgia, but to really get a lot of size out of them, it would help if you lived in Blairsville (Georgia) or a similar area.”Due to adverse weather conditions in the Midwest, pie and jack-o’-lantern pumpkins have been in short supply. The current pumpkin shortage in the Midwest will likely not have a large impact on the market for Georgia farmers, but Georgia consumers could see an increase in prices in stores, at vegetable stands and in pumpkin orchards, Coolong said.“The conditions in the Midwest have disproportionately affected pumpkins grown for processing compared to traditional jack-o’-lanterns. Therefore, it should not have a large impact on decorative pumpkins in Georgia, which are most common,” he said.(Tatyana Phelps is a student intern on the UGA Tifton Campus.)last_img read more

Colombian President Defends Evidence Value of FARC Computers

first_img Colombian Attorney-General Alejandro Ordóñez plans to file an appeal against the finding by the Supreme Court, since his office based itself on those computers in sanctioning Liberal senator Piedad Córdoba with eighteen years of disqualification for “collaborating” with the FARC. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos defended the evidence value of the contents of the computers seized from the FARC guerrilla group in Ecuador in 2008, after the Supreme Court of Justice rejected them as evidence in a trial. “And what is on the computers is enormously valuable in our fight against terrorism. Therefore, I hope that in the appeal that the attorney-general is going to file, some doubts can be clarified that apparently exist regarding the procedures, and especially regarding the impact that a ruling of this kind might have on the country’s national security,” he added. The computers of slain commander Raúl Reyes were seized by the Colombian military following the bombing of a rebel camp in Ecuador in which the guerrilla leader and a score of other individuals died. By Dialogo May 24, 2011 Córdoba, removed from office by Congress in November 2010, at one time acted as a mediator with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, a communist group) to obtain the release of kidnapping victims, in some cases with the authorized collaboration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. “There are other countries that have already used that evidence, for example Spain, to order arrests,” Santos told reporters, after recalling that when the seizure took place, he was serving as defense minister. “We were especially careful, especially careful to respect the chain of custody and collect the evidence properly,” Santos told reporters in the Caribbean port of Cartagena (in northern Colombia) on 20 May. On 19 May, the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Camilo Tarquino, announced that the court rejected the evidence value of Reyes’s computers, due to their having been seized irregularly.last_img read more

Templeton tells Senate Banking NCUA wrong on RBC2

first_imgNAFCU’s Ed Templeton told the Senate Banking Committee yesterday that credit unions are straining under regulatory burden and told the committee’s chairman of the major disconnect between the views of regulators and the regulated on this score. He used NCUA’s risk-based capital proposal as a case in point.Templeton, NAFCU’s chair and the president and CEO of SRP Federal Credit Union in North Augusta, S.C., testified in the committee’s second hearing this week on regulatory relief. He was asked by committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., whether NCUA had done sufficient analysis on the cost vs. benefit of its latest RBC proposal. Templeton said it did not.“The current proposal is a significant improvement,” he said. However, he added, if the current proposal were applied retrospectively to the financial downturn, 95 percent of the credit unions that would have been problematic came through the crisis soundly. “I think that’s a good indication that it’s not necessary.”Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, asked all witnesses – representatives from the American Bankers Association, CUNA, Independent Community Bankers of America, Center for Responsible Lending and NAFCU – to submit in writing their top five to 10 ideas that would immediately give their financial institutions regulatory relief without upsetting the safety and soundness of the industry. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., made a similar request. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

For financial institutions, the solution to helping customers during COVID-19 is simple, literally

first_imgThroughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have been inundated with information that is constantly changing and sometimes even contradictory to what we were told previously.The result is a whole lot of confusion, frustration, and overwhelm. Financially, many people are uncertain and afraid, and more than anything, they just want to understand what’s going on.Even outside of COVID-19, money is an inherently complex subject. Part of the problem is cultural: we simply don’t talk very much about money. It’s a taboo subject in a lot of ways, but it’s time for that to change.Financial brands must commit to removing as much complexity as possible from the way they position their products and services. By making things as simple as possible for your consumers, you can reduce their anxiety and increase your conversion rates, both during and after COVID-19.Let’s take a closer look at why complexity is such a problem and how you can simplify.For consumers, money = confusion, frustration, and overwhelmIn the research studies we’ve conducted at the Digital Growth Institute, we’ve asked consumers the question, “How does money make you feel?” More than 1,200 studies later, we’ve distilled the responses down into three negative emotions people tend to have around money:Confusion: “I know money is important, but I don’t know what I need to do to keep it, save it, and make more of it.”Frustration: “I feel like I’m always behind with my money, and there’s nothing I can do to catch up.”Overwhelm: “It just seems like the more in debt I get, the harder it is to get out.”This confusion, frustration, and overwhelming emotions lead to stress. A study by fintech found 62 percent of people find money to be a major source of stress. Another study by Northwestern Mutual found 85 percent of Americans feel stressed about money.This stress has an impact on our physical and mental well-being, with the study also finding that 31 percent of consumers are losing sleep over financial stress.With COVID-19, unemployment numbers have skyrocketed, and people are worried about their financial stability. For many, the stress around money is at an all-time high.Understanding cognitive loadIn this kind of environment, given the level of stress people are feeling, does it make sense, in digitally positioning your financial products, to highlight their complex functionalities?Of course not! Consumers are already dealing with a heavy cognitive load when it comes to money. For those unfamiliar with the term, “cognitive load” simply means the mental energy a task requires for completion. Digitally, we can break cognitive load into three different types.There is the intrinsic cognitive load, meaning the inherent difficulty of the subject. Obviously, there’s already a lot of intrinsic cognitive load built into money and finances.There is also the extraneous cognitive load, which is the complexity added by how we communicate and present ourselves digitally. This is what we’re going to be looking at when it comes to product positioning. The way financial products have traditionally been positioned is around great rates, amazing service, and look-alike laundry lists of commoditized bullet points.Finally, there is the germane cognitive load, the schemas or frameworks helping us organize and interpret information quickly—for example, a website’s user experience and the frameworks in which information is visually constructed, presented, and communicated.Time and time again, our studies have found when a financial brand reduces cognitive load, conversion rates on their website increase exponentially. Similarly, we’ve seen that with any minor addition of complexity, conversion rates begin to drop.The power of simpleSo how do you go about reducing the cognitive load? The answer is simple.A study from Financial Brand found banking websites actually score the lowest for usability and conversions across all industries. A big reason is too much complexity and too many choices.For instance, with one financial brand I worked with, we found a tremendous amount of inherent complexity had been added to the website through the course of its existence. Their website was about four or five years old, and over time, new pages and content were continuously added without any oversight or due diligence from the perspective of the consumer’s digital shopping experience. The website had grown to over 300 different product pages alone!One of our key strategic recommendations was to go through and take a chainsaw to those product pages, chopping away at all that were extraneous and unnecessary. We also recommended consolidating the remaining content, bringing everything together in a more unified and simplified view.With their simplified website, they increased conversion rates by 1,500 percent. From a growth standpoint, their website went from their most underperforming acquisition channel (compared to their branches) to outperforming all of their physical branch locations in just eighteen months.During this global pandemic, an easy way to implement this strategy is to place a link on your homepage that leads to a COVID-19 “help center,” where you have a consolidated, up-to-date list of links to the most relevant information consumers want.Another tip is to transform all those old bullet points and long text paragraphs into headlines and related iconography. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does written text, and 93 percent of all communication is visual. By replacing text blocks with pictures and iconography, you make your website easier to use for consumers.Simplify, Simplify, SimplifyWe’re already overloaded with information in our lives, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, that overload has reached new heights. If you can simplify the inherently complex nature of money, you will differentiate yourself from your competition.Ultimately, people don’t buy financial products and services; they buy shortcuts and solutions to solve their problems. And one of consumers’ biggest problems is the confusion, frustration, and overwhelm they feel around money. By simplifying the way you position your products and services, you can help consumers while also improving your own outcomes.You can find more advice on simplifying how you position your products and services in the bestselling book Banking on Digital Growth. 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,James Robert Lay JAMES ROBERT LAY is one of the world’s leading digital marketing authors, speakers, and advisors for financial brands. As the founder and CEO of the Digital Growth Institute, he … Web: Detailslast_img read more

What’s cooking?

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Turkey hitting Syrian regime positions after soldiers killed in Idlib: Presidency

first_imgThe latest incident means a total of 42 Turkish security personnel have been killed this month in Idlib.Ruling party spokesman Omer Celik told CNN Turk broadcaster on Friday that Turkey was “fed up with condemnations and statements,” adding Ankara sought “concrete” action from its international partners.”The regime elements are now an enemy element for the Turkish Republic,” Celik added. “This is not just an attack on Turkey, but an attack on international law, the international community.”Some soldiers were injured after the latest incident and taken to hospital in Turkey for treatment, local officials said, without giving exact figures.Topics : “We cannot stand by and watch as past events in Rwanda, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are repeated today in Idlib,” Altun said.Turkey’s activities on the ground in Syria would continue, he added.Syrian rebel supporter Ankara has 12 observation posts in Idlib, set up after a 2018 deal with Damascus ally Russia in a bid to prevent a regime offensive.But despite the agreement, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has pressed ahead with an assault to retake the last rebel-held bastion, backed by Russian air support. Turkey was retaliating against the Syrian regime after 22 Turkish soldiers were killed in an air strike blamed on Damascus, an official said Friday, as he urged the international community to fulfil its responsibilities.”All known targets of the regime have come and will continue to come under fire from the air and ground,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said in a statement.”We urge the international community to fulfil its responsibilities,” Altun added, to stop the regime’s “crimes against humanity”.last_img read more

​AP7’s default fund lags premium pension private funds in first half

first_imgOver the last 10 years, Såfa has produced an average annual return of 13.5% however, easily beating the average annual 7.8% return of the private funds, according to AP7’s interim report.Because Såfa is a life-cycle fund, AP7 explained that the distribution between equity and fixed income differed for different cohorts, so the return varied for savers of different ages.Total risk for the default fund – standard deviation over 24 months – had been 14.5% compared to 10.2% for the average private premium pension fund, the fund reported.“AP7 Såfa’s higher risk is largely due to the fact that AP7 Såfa has a high stock market exposure for young savers,” the pension fund said, adding that because the proportion of savers over the age of 55 in the default fund was still low, so was its proportion of interest-bearing instruments.AP7’s equity fund – by far the larger of its two building-block sub-funds – ended the first half with a 7.8% investment loss, while the bond fund produced a 0.75% gain, which was 0.05 of a percentage point below benchmark.Although the equity fund staged a strong recovery in the second quarter following dramatic market falls in March from the COVID-19 shock, AP7 said this bounce back had been dampened by the strengthening of the krona against the dollar.“In Swedish kronor, the American market is down by about 3.5%. Emerging markets that make up almost 17% of the equity fund have developed somewhat more weakly where the decline measured in Swedish kronor amounts to about 5%,” the pension fund said in the report, referring to the half year ending 30 June.In the reporting period, AP7 said its operations had focused on portfolio management and the strategic work to increase the fund’s diversification, for example through investments in small companies and risk premiums.AP7’s combined assets of both funds declined to SEK629.4bn at the end of June from SEK674.2bn at the end of 2019.AP7 is facing a major overhaul as the current broad reform of the premium pension system in Sweden rolls on, with a bill including changes to its overall target as well as its investment rules due to come into force next April.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. The equity-dominated default fund run by AP7, the largest of Sweden’s national pension funds, underperformed its benchmark in the first half of this year, and made twice the loss suffered by private funds in the premium pension system.In its interim report for January to June, the Stockholm-based fund revealed an average 7.2% loss for the default fund, Såfa – a result it said was 1.4 percentage points worse than the benchmark.In the same period, AP7 said the privately-operated premium pension funds produced an average return of 3.2%.The premium pension system is the defined contribution portion of Sweden’s state pension, in which individuals can choose from a range of private investment funds or be included in AP7’s default fund.last_img read more

Iran Denies Kenya Terror Links

first_imgThe Iranian government through its embassy in Kenya has denied any connections with the two men arrested on suspicion of planning terror attacks in the country.Kenyan police had alleged that the two men had been recruited by an Iranian group to plot attacks in the East African country.The country’s police chief on Saturday said that they believed the men, Abubakar Sadiq Louw, 69, and Yassin Sambai Juma, 25, had travelled to Iran several times.Iran’s ambassador to Kenya, Hadi Farajvand, said that even though the men might have visited Iran, neither of them was linked to the country’s security agencies.The Iranian mission however said that it was “ready to cooperate” with the Kenyan officials.last_img read more

Dominica moving towards CCJ

first_img Sharing is caring! Share 5 Views   no discussions Share LocalNews Dominica moving towards CCJ by: – February 14, 2012center_img Tweet Share Photo credit: caribbeancourtofjustice.orgDominica is expected to place the matter concerning the Caribbean Court of Justice on the table for further discussion.Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit recently attended an OECS meeting where regional countries were called upon to support the Trinidad-based Caribbean CCJ by making it their final court.He says Dominica should move in that direction, however public opinion is important before a final decision could be made on the matter.“Is a matter that we will bring back to the public and discuss with them. We believe that we should recognise the court. The UK has been saying to us for years that we are really inundated with our own national request and our ability to listen to cases in a timely fashion and all of this places an additional burden on the system,” he explained.According to the Prime Minister, a cabinet decision was taken in 2006 for Dominica to recognise the court but Dominica’s concern has always been that this would create some difficulties.He explained; “we share in the OECS the same Supreme Court arrangement, this is why we would like to see all of countries go this year or sometime sooner”.The CCJ was established in 2001 by regional government to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court.The CCJ also acts as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas which governs the regional integration movement and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

How Man Utd could line-up at Chelsea with Odion Ighalo

first_img Loading… Odion Ighalo  is in line to make his Manchester United debut in tonight’s clash against Chelsea. Promoted ContentBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Who Earns More Than Ronaldo?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market Value7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The World5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks8 Fascinating Facts About Coffee7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Much6 Stunning Bridges You’ll Want To See With Your Own EyesA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs9 Great Actors Who Will Always Be Defined By One Role But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side remain without Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay for the trip to Stamford Bridge. Solskjaer confirmed last week that former Watford striker Ighalo will travel to London with the squad. He said: “He’ll travel with us and let’s see if he’s involved or not. “He’s done his [training programme] and it was always going to be a case of him having to integrate into the group anyway after having been out in China. “He needs to get used to the players and the team and up to speed as quick as he can.” Ighalo made his first appearance at United’s Carrington base on Sunday following his Deadline Day move from Shanghai Shenhua. The 30-year-old had been training alone as a precautionary measure amidst coronavirus fears. But he could lead the line for United as they look to bounce back from the bore draw with Wolves at the start of the month. De Gea looks set to start between the sticks with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw ahead of him. Nemanja Matic is likely to start alongside Fred – who jetted off to the Maldives for his second honeymoon earlier this month. And Bruno Fernandes is in line to make his first appearance for the club away from home. United’s squad flew to Marbella in Spain for a warm-weather training camp during the Premier League’s winter break. McTominay and team-mate Axel Tuanzebe travelled with them, but will not be fit for the clash against Lampard’s side. Pogba remains out of action with an ankle injury while Rashford continues his recovery from a back problem. Solskjaer added: “I don’t think we’ll get anyone back for the Chelsea game. “Because Scotty, Axel, Tim, they didn’t join too much so they’re not ready to play that game. And Paul is not ready, of course. “How do we go about playing without Marcus, Paul, Scott? You deal with it. Read Also:Odion Ighalo arrives at Man Utd’s Carrington HQ for first time “We’ve got players who are going to get a chance. They’ve now had a rest, a great rest.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more