ASA President Wade Cowan wrote to the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to comment on a new evaluation of prevented planting published by the Agency. The evaluation recommended that no change is warranted in the prevented planting payment factor of 60 percent for soybeans.“We note that prevented planting claims have been 13 percent of total indemnities for soybeans the last 20 years, and that excess moisture/precipitation was the cause of loss for 94 percent of the total,” the comments state.ASA also weighs in against one proposal floated by the evaluators: “We also agree with the assessment that eliminating the buy-up option for prevented planting would probably result in an increase in the prevented planting component of the rate for basic coverage. We see no need to penalize the majority of policy-holders who do not collect on prevented planting coverage by allowing those with greater prevented planting risk to avoid paying a premium for it.”Click here to read the entire letter.
The House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2017 Agriculture and Energy and Water spending bills earlier this week, funding agricultural research and rural development programs important to soy growers.The $147.7 billion agriculture appropriations bill includes $3 million allocated to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promote better understanding of biotech science among consumers. Earlier this week, the American Soybean Association (ASA) and several other ag groups urged the House Appropriations committee in a letter to support the inclusion of funds to better educate the public about the application of biotechnology to food and agricultural production. (Click here to read letter). However, ASA is concerned with a litany of cuts to conservation programs authorized in the farm bill, including $300 million from the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), $113 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and a reduction in the funds available for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program to $46.5 million. The association maintains a policy position opposing cuts to any farm bill program, as well as opposing the opening of the farm bill to restructure such programs.According to Politico, some Democrats criticized the $250 million allocation for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), saying it would underfund the agency. President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposed a 32 percent increase to $330 million for the commission.Among the positives for soybean growers in the $37.4 billion Energy & Water Appropriations bill, is a prohibition on the use of funds to implement the controversial Clean Water Rule, also known as Waters of the United States (WOTUS).Additionally, the bill boosts funding for waterways infrastructure to record levels, including $6.1 billion in overall funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Included in that overall number is $1.946 billion for the USACE Construction account, $3.157 billion for the Operations and Maintenance account, and $1.263 billion for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
American Soybean Association (ASA) industry partner, Syngenta, was recently recognized for their outstanding work in marketing analytics. Syngenta received the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Genius Awards, which recognizes the most innovative work in marketing analytics across the categories of analytics adoption, analytics impact, analytics innovation and analytics science.Neustar, Inc., a provider of real-time information services, in conjunction with the ANA, announced Syngenta as the winner, recognized in the Analytics Innovation category for exceptionally creative analytical approaches taken to solve complex problems or overcome obstacles. Winners in the remaining categories include The Clorox Company, Hilton Worldwide and Turner.The award is recognized as one of the world’s most prestigious accolades in the field of marketing analytics, and this year’s recipients were each awarded $25,000 to be donated to the charity of their choice. Syngenta proudly donated their award to the AI for Good Foundation, a non-profit public charity whose mission is to provide the tools, transparency, engagement, vision and education necessary for Artificial Intelligence technologies to thrive within human societies, both now, and in the future.Last year, Syngenta won the Franz Edelman award for its work in data analytics.The American Soybean Association (ASA) congratulates Syngenta on this recognition and their continued innovation in agriculture and analytics.
BILLINGS, Mont. — A central Montana precious metals mine was under a partial closure order Tuesday as authorities investigated the death of a worker who crashed while driving a piece of equipment 1,200 feet underground.The victim was identified by Stillwater Mining Company as Dale Alan Madson, 42, a lead equipment operator who lived in Bearcreek and had worked at the mine since 2008. Amy Louviere with the Mine Safety and Health Administration said Madson was killed Monday afternoon as he was driving a piece of mine equipment with an enclosed cab that went into a ditch. A rock bolt struck Madson in the neck, she said.It was the mine’s first worker death in more than six years. Stillwater Mining Co. spokesman John Beaudry described the accident as isolated and said further details would come out following a federal investigation.“We are all grieving. Our thoughts and prayers are with friends and co-workers,” Beaudry said.Stillwater Mining is the country’s only producer of platinum and palladium, which are used for jewelry, in catalytic converters for cars and in various industrial applications. The mine near Nye employs about 900 people.
State Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, on Thursday called for a “new direction” on the Columbia River Crossing in a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee.Among other things, King called for a project that incorporates bus rapid transit instead of light rail. He also said a supplemental environmental impact statement study should replace the Record of Decision granted by the federal government in 2011.As proposed, the $3.5 billion CRC would replace the Interstate 5 Bridge, extend light rail into Vancouver and rebuild the freeway on both sides of the Columbia River. But less than two years before the planned start of construction, the project faces significant financial and logistical questions.In his letter, King laid out a five-point plan to support his call for a new study. The project should include sufficient bridge clearance, better traffic flow, no light rail, “fiscally prudent” transit options and enough capacity, he wrote.Bus rapid transit, an enhanced bus system also floated by C-Tran, could be eligible for the same federal New Starts grant program that the CRC is seeking for a light rail extension.CRC leaders are urging both the Washington and Oregon legislatures to commit $450 million each to the project this year. Plans call for the rest of the price tag to be covered by federal funding sources and tolling revenue.
The Downtown Redevelopment Authority, the legal entity that oversees the city-owned Hilton Vancouver Washington, will be able to refinance bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates.The Vancouver City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve the recommendation of Lloyd Tyler, the city’s chief financial officer, which was to approve a revised payment agreement that will allow the DRA to refinance. Tyler said the DRA wants to move quickly, as interest rates have been trending up.In December 2003, $65 million in 30-year bonds was issued for the construction of the hotel and convention center, with an average interest rate of 5.56 percent.Tyler told the council that the DRA’s Board of Directors believes it could save an estimated $15 million over the life of the bonds. The savings, instead of going toward paying off debt, would be used for capital repairs and replacements, which are needed to meet Hilton standards, Tyler said.Only one person signed up to speak during the public hearing.“The Hilton has been a huge asset to downtown,” said Paul Montague, executive director of Identity Clark County. He said the hotel-convention center has spurred redevelopment and said approving the refinancing makes sense.
SEATTLE — Authorities say a natural gas explosion at a North Seattle motel critically injured a man in his 40s.The blast Monday blew the door off a room at the Klose-In Motel in the 9300 block of Aurora Avenue North. The Seattle Fire Department reported natural gas as the cause of the fire and said damage was estimated at $55,000. The man was transported to the burn unit at Harborview Medical Center.The Red Cross of Western Washington was helping find temporary housing for 41 people displaced by the explosion.
Call? Wait? Movies offer little guidanceAstronomers debate whether it would be wise to send signals into the universe, looking for extra-terrestrial life. Some argue we’d be asking for trouble. Such is the dilemma wrestled with in movies, where aliens sometimes come in peace — and often do not:Good alien: E.T. Cute, finger-glowing creature who like Reese’s Pieces. Just wants to phone home.Bad alien: The creatures of “Alien.” Lizard-like with daggers for teeth. With a propensity for protruding from stomachs, they will kill your appetite, too.Good alien: Yoda. Wise, Jedi master. Only a threat to the Dark Side or to the syntactically sensitive, he is.Bad alien: Predator. Ugly, lethal hunters with thermal vision who prey on action stars and return again and again in increasingly questionable installments.Good alien: The blue Na’vi of “Avatar.” Tall, lithe and wondrous creatures, though blurry without 3-D glasses.Bad alien: The invaders of “Independence Day.” Exploders of the world’s metropolises, yet susceptible to chest-thumping patriotism, Will Smith.Good alien: David Bowie in “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” A pale, red-haired lover of women and alcohol. He still lives among us.Bad alien: The spindly machines of “War of Worlds.” Human-vaporizing intruders who will turn Earth red and inspire dubious radio broadcasts.Good alien: Superman. The ultimate space messiah. Questionable fashion sense, though.Bad alien: The Bodysnatchers. They came to consume us and steal our precious resources, like Donald Sutherland.— Jake Coyle, Associated PressSAN JOSE, Calif. — Astronomers have their own version of the single person’s dilemma: Do you wait by the phone for a call from that certain someone? Or do you make the call yourself and risk getting shot down?
A bill in New Zealand defining match-fixing as a criminal offense subject to prison time is advancing in Parliament with the aim of enacting it into law this year. The measure, drafted with an eye on the Cricket World Cup and FIFA Under-20 World Cup, both of which are coming to New Zealand in 2015, would amend the Crimes Act 1961 to specifically target “manipulation, with intent to influence a betting outcome, of various sporting competitions and events through deception”. Singapore: Match-Fixing Ring ‘Dismantled’ RelatedPosts English Football Imposes Total Betting Ban A conviction would carry jail time of up to seven years.Justice Minister Judith Collins said that while match-fixing is covered under existing offenses, the bill would put it “beyond doubt” that it was covered under the Crimes Act, and citing the recent lifetime ban imposed on New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent for match-fixing, she said the amendment is urgently needed.New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns is also under investigation.“Match-fixing is a growing problem internationally and has been described as the No. 1 threat to the integrity, value and growth of sport,” said Sports Minister Murray McCully. “As we have seen from recent events, New Zealand is not immune to this threat.”In a report released earlier this year, the International Centre for Sport Security estimated that more than US$140 billion is laundered annually through sport betting, and 80% of global sport betting remains illegal.The bill passed unanimously in its first reading late last month and will be sent to a select committee for consideration in the next Parliament, which convenes after the general election on 20th September. Load More England’s FA Seeks Betting Ban
Employee Benefits Live 2015: The gender pay gap stands at 19.1% in the UK in terms of median pay rates for all employees (full-time and part-time), higher than the EU 2014 average of 16.4%.When looking at full-time earning metrics, women in the UK receive 9.4% less than male workers.The different figures are an important factor to bear in mind when considering the government’s plans to introduce gender pay gap reporting for organisations with more than 250 employees, according to Duncan Brown (pictured), head of HR consultancy at the Institute for Employment Studies.What information should be reported (mean or median comparative figures, base pay, bonuses, overtime, hourly rates or annual earnings) is one of the issues on the agenda for the government’s gender pay gap reporting consultation, which was open for comment from 14 July-6 September 2015.Other factors to be established before the reporting regulations come into effect include where the information should be published, when and how frequently, how the data collection process would work in practice and how it would be enforced.During his keynote presentation ‘Addressing unequal pay: opening Pandora’s box’ at Employee Benefits Live 2015, Brown urged employers to take a proactive approach to the gender pay gap ahead of impending legislation on pay data reporting.Tackling the issue could involve measures such as ensuring well-designed job evaluation plans and pay management structures are in place, and assessing performance criteria for bonuses, he said.If a pay disparity is identified and further investigated, organisations could then take a phased approach to address the problem. In addition to considering any litigation, financial or talent risks, employers could conduct an equal pay audit and begin to look at potential solutions.Brown added that addressing the gender pay gap sooner rather than later could provide cost and time savings, as well as foster a sense of internal fairness and improve employee engagement within an organisation.Brown said: “Everybody accepts that this is not any easy issue, it will take time to address, particularly in low-paid sectors such as care, but that’s no excuse to not start [tackling it].”Let’s hope that 20 years down the road having an almost 20% pay gap will be seen as totally ridiculous.”
More than two thirds (70%) of employee respondents would like access to their employee benefits from a mobile device, but only 51% are currently able to do so, according to research by Thomsons Online Benefits.Its Global employee benefits watch 2016-17 report, which surveyed 448 global HR and reward professionals and 1,120 employees globally, also found that 70% of employee respondents in global organisations want to hear about benefits around key life stages, such as marriage or home purchase, however, only 46% of employers are utilising these opportunities to engage staff.The research also found:18% of employee respondents are unhappy with how they have to interact with benefits.17% of employee respondents are unhappy with the way benefits are communicated to them.43% of employer respondents cite difficulty in scaling local benefits solutions for multiple markets as the main challenge facing global organisations, 43% cite a lack of employee understanding about the value of total reward, and 37% name difficulty reporting globally on total reward costs as their top challenge.27% of employer respondents are unable to report on their global benefits costs.37% of employer respondents use benefits analytics to control costs, and 28% use analytics to increase benefits take up.65% of employer respondents cite talent attraction and retention as the main objective of their global benefits strategy, followed by maintaining a competitive employee proposition (47%), and enhancing employee engagement (38%).Matthew Gregson (pictured), consulting director at Thomsons Online Benefits, said: “Global employers spend a significant amount on benefits, on average 31% of employee salary, but there’s a real risk that they won’t see the full return on this investment. HR professionals understand the link between benefits engagement and broader workplace engagement, but they’re stumbling at the first hurdle; engaging employees in their reward schemes.“Organisations with the highest performing benefits schemes have shown that overcoming this obstacle isn’t impossible, but depends on unlocking the power of data to take a more personal approach to benefits. Using data analytics, employers can create a global benefits strategy based on quantifiable insights into how employees are interacting with their schemes and the benefits they really want.”
Although over 60% of manufacturing organisations carry out a physical risk intervention, less than 15% currently assess risks to mental health, according to research published by Westfield Health and manufacturers’ organisation, EEF, and carried out by the Institute of Employment Studies (IES).The Unlocking employee productivity: The role of health and wellbeing in manufacturing report also found that improving mental health at work can boost productivity by up to 10%, and that 70 million working days are lost each year due to mental illness. It found that individuals who are supported psychologically are more capable of handling increased demands.However, of those respondents that invest in employee wellbeing, only 2% do so to support employees with mental health problems. More prominent reasons include improving employee engagement (32%) and reducing sickness absence (29%).Improving productivity was recognised as an important reason to invest in employee wellbeing by 80% of respondents, but only 8% saw it as the most important reason.Steve Jackson, director of health, safety and sustainability at EEF, said: “More and more [organisations] are recognising the benefits and opportunities of promoting the wider wellbeing of their employees. This can bring significant benefit to [organisations] with employees who are better motivated and engaged. Giving employees support and a positive psychosocial work environment has a proven impact on productivity and means that employees embrace the challenges and demands of work with more energy and commitment.”Richard Holmes, director of wellbeing at Westfield Health, added: “Workplace-related stress, illnesses and mental health issues are becoming a bigger concern than ever. When workers’ minds aren’t completely on the job it can potentially lead to costly mistakes, accidents and health and safety risks. When [employers] believe in the physical and emotional wellbeing of staff, it can completely transform the face of [a] business, improve productivity and create a positive working environment. But it needs to start from the top down, business leaders need to create a culture where people’s health and wellbeing is prioritised.”Stephen Bevan, head of HR research development at the IES, said: “This research shows that there is a clear business case for investing in workforce wellbeing. This goes beyond saving money and extends to issues of product quality and customer service too.”
NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) – An exit ramp off Interstate 95 was shut down, Tuesday morning, after a dump truck overturned.The truck flipped over and spilled sand near Northwest 160th Street and Seventh Avenue, around 11 a.m.No one was hurt in the crash.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
VIRGINIA KEY, FLA. (WSVN) – Local breast cancer survivors spent a day with dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium.The park partnered with two nonprofit organizations to give 14 local cancer survivors a chance of a lifetime, Tuesday. The women were invited to come out to swim and spend the day with the dolphins.“What a great experience that was,” said breast cancer survivor Bonnie Parks. “It was just a coming together for all of us who have something in common. We’ve all been through a long journey, so for all of us to get together and experience something like this, it was really fun.”Miami Seaquarium has been hosting the event for more than 10 years.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Two people are in police custody after crashing a vehicle into a Deerfield Beach home and taking off.The Broward Sheriff’s Office and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue responded just after 10:15 p.m. to the scene near Northwest Second Avenue and Eller Street, Friday.Both people occupying the vehicle took off moments after crashing into the home, but police were able to catch up with them, according to a Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.Nobody inside the home was injured, while the collision only caused minor damage to the home.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Newly released surveillance video footage shows an armed robbery at a Northeast Miami-Dade auto parts store.The video shows the suspected robber leaving the scene of an Auto Parts store, Saturday.The store owner said the thief got away with almost $8,000.The robbery took place at Mory’s Auto Parts Store near Northwest 79th Street and 32nd Avenue.If you have any information on this armed robbery, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.The medical examiner will have to determine the causes of death.If you have any information on either case, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Authorities are investigating after a person’s body was found near the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier and a woman’s body was found in front of a park in Oakland Park.Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the pier near Northeast 21st Avenue and Second Street, at around 8:30 a.m., Saturday.Officials said a group of people noticed the body after a fisherman initially spotted the victim in about seven to 10 feet of water.“We were out on the pier, and one guy yells that he sees a body at the bottom,” said witness Chris Little. “It appeared to be a young guy with a white T-shirt. That’s all we saw.”The BSO Dive Team recovered the body.Investigators have not released the victim’s name.About an hour earlier, BSO deputies and Oakland Park Fire Rescue units responded to reports of a woman found dead on a sidewalk in the area of Northwest 55th Street and Third Avenue.
Another way the legislature has been looking to cut costs for Alaskan school districts is trying to find other options for health care, a top cost for districts. For those who’d like to be involved but can’t make the KPBSD’s budget sessions, Jones pressed the importance of contacting state legislators since about 70% of funding comes from state allocations. During the KPBSD Facebook Live Q&A on Feb 1, Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones asked that parents and community members, “do your homework before you come” to the upcoming budget sessions. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is estimating a $3.3 million budget deficit by students’ start date in August and they’re looking for ideas from the community to combat that. Assist. Super. Jones: “[With] the legislators currently trying to put together a fiscal plan, if people not only tell them that the expenditures on education are important but they’re willing to support those through a sales tax, an income tax, some sort of additional revenue the state can use to fund the education, that’ll go a long ways to helping with it.” Story as aired: Audio PlayerAshley-on-school-budget.mp3VmAshley-on-school-budget.mp300:00RPd Assist. Super. Jones: “There needs to be some accountability on the healthcare side so I think on the cost side that could help. And then I think one of the things that the legislature has looked at is if we take all of the people that work for the state, school districts, municipalities, and we all were in the same pool, bargaining-wise with the medical community we’d be in a lot different position than we currently are if we all go individually to them.” Assist. Super. Jones: “That’s why we’ve posted the information we’ve given to the board, as we did in January with them. We have a 3.3 million deficit, the board’s committed to use 1.3, that means we’re looking at how are we going to deal with 2 million. so what we’re asking people to do is loook that information that we’ve provided, talk to your principals, get educated before that meeting, and we’re going to start this time, not with a review of where we’re at revenue and expenditure wise but we’re going to start with what can we do.” Jones says another impactful way to the importance of funding for the KPBSD with legislators is by sharing success stories of local children to demonstrate how the funds allocated by the state are used.
State transportation officials say the crew of the Columbia spotted the smoke in the bow thruster room after the vessel docked Friday in Bellingham, Washington. Crew members did not see flames. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska state ferry was evacuated after crew members saw black smoke in a room. The ferry website says it’s designed to carry 499 passengers and has vehicle capacity of 2,660 feet (811 meters), equal to about 133 20-foot (6.1-meter) vehicles. The crew deployed a carbon dioxide firefighting system. They said passengers would be notified if the Columbia’s schedule would have to be modified. The Columbia at 418 feet (127 meters) long is the largest vessel in the Alaska ferry fleet. Ferry officials say no one was injured and all passengers were accounted for.
Music magazine the Fader today announced the formation of Fader Media, an umbrella organization for current and future Fader-related products and properties.At its launch, Fader Media includes Fader and its accompanying Web site, indie/alternative music site theTripwire.com, hip-hop site 1200Squad.com, the Fader music label and Fader Films. Additional products are under development, the company says.Also as part of the announcement, Fader has announced thatpublisher Andy Cohn has been promoted to vice president and group publisher. According to Cohn, “by combining all of these exceptional properties under one moniker we’re able to effectively build scale through niche. Each lives and breathes on its own-combined we have an arsenal of incredible talent and loyal readers, benefiting us and our advertisers.”