Press freedom curtailed since Ilham Aliev’s election as president

first_img June 8, 2021 Find out more December 10, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Press freedom curtailed since Ilham Aliev’s election as president News Organisation Most of the testimonies gathered by Reporters Without Borders during a fact-finding mission to Baku on 1-2 December point to a curtailment of press freedom since Ilham Aliev took over as president from his father, Heydar Aliev, Azerbaijan’s ruler since 1993. Ilham Aliev was installed on 31 October following elections on 15 October that were a “step backwards for democracy” and fell far short of international standards, according to the European organisations that monitored them.The elections and their aftermath exposed the lack of diversity in the broadcast media, the many kinds of pressure applied by the authorities on the opposition and independent print media and Azerbaijan’s failure to respects its international commitments on freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders is particularly concerned about the detention of Rauf Arifoglu, the editor of the opposition daily Yeni Musavat, and the violence used against dozens of journalists while they were covering the protests on 15 and 16 October in Baku.Reporters Without Borders calls on Ilham Aliev to change direction in his government’s policies toward the news media and to carry out reforms that would facilitate the development of a free and independent press.The fact-finding mission interviewed representatives of the pro-government and opposition press, journalists’ associations and diplomats. It was able to visit Arifoglu in Bailov prison in Baku, where he has been held since 27 October. It also met the presidential aide responsible for the news media, Ali Hasanov, interior minister Ramil Ussubov and deputy attorney general Ramiz Rzayev. Journalists caught up in the electoral turmoilSeveral thousand persons, mostly opposition activists, gathered outside the headquarters of the opposition party Musavat in Baku on the evening of 15 October to protest against fraud in the elections held that day. Violent clashes broke out between protesters and police. The clashes continued in Azadliq Square in Baku the next day, with a toll of one dead and more than 100 wounded. Around 600 persons were arrested and 107 of them are still being held, awaiting prosecution. According to the figures compiled by the Azerbaijan Committee to Protect Journalists, RUH, 54 journalists were the victims of violence and 16 were detained in the course of the two days. Most of the detained journalists were released on 22 October after being sentenced to several days in prison for “disturbing the peace.”Some journalists undoubtedly took part in the protests as activists. But those who were there covering the events said the police, including plain-clothes police, beat them all the same, even when they knew they were there as reporters from the press cards they displayed or because they told the police as much. Emin Husseynov, a journalist with the independent news agency TURAN who was hospitalised for several days with head injuries, said he was attacked by police on 16 October while with a group who were clearly identifiable as journalists. “I don’t belong to any party. We were just doing our jobs,” he told Reporters Without Borders. Nabi Alishev of the daily Khurriyet said he was carrying a tape-recorder and a press card and told police he was a journalist, but they nonetheless hit him and dragged him along the ground on 16 October in Azadliq Square. AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says Russian peacekeepers deny foreign reporters access to Nagorno-Karabakh June 4, 2021 Find out more RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia Receive email alertscenter_img The testimonies gathered by Reporters Without Borders during a fact-findingmission to Baku on 1-2 December point to a curtailment of press freedomsince Ilham Aliev took over as president in October. The organisation callson Aliev to urgently change direction in his government’s policies towardthe news media and to carry out reforms that would facilitate thedevelopment of a free and independent press. The list compiled by the RUH was sent to the interior ministry, which opened an enquiry to assess whether the police were responsible for abuses against journalists on 15 and 16 October. The Press Council, a body that has the job of dealing with conflicts involving the news media, is carrying out an independent, parallel investigation in cooperation with the attorney general’s office and the interior ministry.The officials Reporters Without Borders met were reluctant to recognise that there could have been abuses by the police. The presidential aide responsible for the news media, the interior minister and the deputy attorney general said it was impossible to distinguish the journalists from the demonstrators, while those carrying out the enquires have not yet issued their findings.No grounds for holding ArifogluArifoglu, who is deputy president of the opposition party Musavat as well as Yeni Musavat’s editor, has been placed in custody for three months. He is charged under articles 220-1 and 315-2 of the criminal code with disturbing the peace and refusing to comply with the authorities, for which he could be sentenced to 12 years in prison. The authorities maintain that he organised and participated in the demonstrations of 15 and 16 October. In particular, they claim that objects used by Musavat protesters during the rioting were stored in his office in the newspaper, which occupies the same building as the Musavat party. No date has yet been set for a trial, and his period of custody could be extended if the investigation lasts more than three months. Deputy attorney general Rzayev said Arifoglu’s detention was justified by the gravity of the charges and the concern that he could become a fugitive from justice and obstruct the enquiry.Arifoglu told Reporters Without Borders: “I was in solitary confinement for the first 32 days. I had to sleep on the ground, in the cold, for 18 days.” Of late he has been sharing a cell with other detainees and has been able to receive several visits. However, Ana Karlsreiter of the office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s representative for freedom of the news media has not been allowed to see him. Arifoglu is suffering from a stomach ulcer.Press Council president Aflatun Amashev said, “everyone knows that his detention is an injustice.” The officials Reporters Without Borders met maintained that Arifoglu is not charged as a journalist but as a leader of the Musavat party. But Arifoglu told the organisation: “For the authorities, it is a piece of luck that I am in prison. They have been trying to put me in jail for years and now they will try to keep me here for as long as possible … I am positive I am being held because of my work as a journalist.” He recognised that his articles called on the population to react to the electoral fraud but he said he “did nothing concrete.” The deputy attorney general said Yeni Musavat columns in September and October were “virtual appeals for violence.”Norway’s ambassador, Steinar Gil, said the authorities had respected the guarantees he obtained from them when Arifoglu took refuge in his embassy from 18 to 21 October for fear of abduction or violence. Arifoglu was arrested according to procedures established by the law and has not been subjected to violence. However, Arifoglu maintained that he had still not been questioned by investigators after 37 days in custody, that the judicial authorities had not told him exactly what he is accused of, and that the investigators were trying to get false evidence and false testimony against him.Arifoglu said he began a hunger strike on 1 December, adding that most of the 107 people held because of the post-election demonstrations had done the same. The hunger strikers are calling for the release of everyone detained as a result of the demonstrations and the implementation of the recommendations of the OSCE electoral observation mission.TV used for government propagandaOfficially, there are 40 TV channels in Azerbaijan, but only five cover the entire country. According to the monitoring carried out by Internews Azerbaijan, the Baku Press Club and the OSCE electoral observation mission, the four nationwide commercial TV channels (ANS, Space TV, Lider TV and ATV) and the state TV channel AzTV did not give the different candidates equitable coverage during the election campaign and the broadcasting council did nothing to correct the problem. The Baku Press Club said 61.1 per cent of election campaign TV coverage from 25 September to 14 October was dedicated to Ilham Aliev and only 4 per cent to the main opposition candidate, Issa Gambar. The people in charge of Lider TV, Space TV and ATV are all associates of the Aliev family, Reporters Without Borders learned. The monitoring reports and many testimonies confirmed that all the commercial TV channels basically reflected the government’s positions. This lack of pluralism is all the more serious as TV is the main source of news for the Azeri public.The state TV channel AzTV was unequivocal in its support for the ruling party candidates and fiercely criticised opposition candidates. According to the commitments Azerbaijan made when joining the Council of Europe in 2001, AzTV should have become a public television channel run by an independent board of governors. A bill was presented more than a year ago, but it did not meet European standards and since then no significant progress has been seen. Under this bill, the president would have chosen the channel’s director and board members, and would have defined its mandate. A broadcasting council supposed to monitor implementation of the electoral code by radio and TV stations was set up on 24 January but its nine members were chosen by the president.Diverse print media, but subject to many forms of pressureThere is no doubt that Azerbaijan’s print media are very diverse. But they are excessively politicised. Most of the dailies are – with varying degrees of proximity – linked to a political party or to the government. The press is not read very much by the public, which does not have enough money to buy newspapers every day. As a result, the newspapers are strapped for funds and depend on their donors, which makes them vulnerable. With a circulation of between 15,000 and 17,000, the opposition Yeni Musavat is the most widely-read daily.The opposition and independent print media are subject to direct and indirect pressure from the authorities that hampers their work at every level. The testimonies gathered by Reporters Without Borders revealed problems with access to public information, newspaper distribution, printing and advertising. The testimonies stressed that newspapers are subjected to abusive libel prosecutions with disproportionate fines. The more insidious forms of pressure are all the more obstructive, especially as it is hard to complain about them. Many of the observers Reporters Without Borders met thought the situation had got worse since Ilham Aliev took over.Beginning on 17 October, two days after the presidential election, the Azerbaijan state printing works refused to print five opposition newspapers: Azadliq, Yeni Musavat, Baki Khaber, Khurriyet and Yeni Zaman/Novoye Vremya. According to Azer Ahyan, Yeni Musavat’s marketing director, the management of the printing works said: “The employees won’t work because you oppose the government.” The management also said these newspapers owed too much money, but the press continued printing other – government and pro-government – newspapers that are just as indebted.These opposition newspapers could not be published from 14 to 20 November because of a shortage of newsprint. Cap Evi, the only privately-owned printing works that was ready to print them, had used up all its newsprint stocks. The newspapers’ editors accused the authorities of artificially creating this shortage by doubling the price of newsprint.Opposition journalists maintained that the state distribution company Qasid regularly held back copies of newspapers that it was supposed to distribute throughout the country. Khurriyet editor Vugar Mamedov also said Qasid held back proceeds from the newspaper’s sales and owed Khurriyet about 80 million manats (13,000 euros). Police often harass street vendors and confiscate newspapers from them.Opposition newspapers moreover complained that it was impossible for them to get advertising from many Azeri and international companies because these companies feared government reprisals if they placed their ads anywhere other than the pro-government press. Reporters Without Borders believes that an independent body tasked with monitoring newspaper sales would help rein in this kind of pressure by allowing companies to decide where to place advertising on the basis of readership. The staff of opposition newspapers also told Reporters Without Borders that the authorities also put pressure on the owners of the premises they rent. A lack of transparency in the criteria used for assigning state aid and the amounts assigned is another source of discrimination.Arifoglu’s lawyer, Mazahir Shahmanov, said Yeni Musavat was sued for libel more than 15 times in the 12 months ending in October. Reporters Without Borders believes that the lack of professional ethics shown by some journalists, whatever their political affiliation, in no way justifies the disproportionate size of the fines and damages imposed on newspapers when the libel suits are brought by government officials or associates of the Aliev clan, as is the case in 90 per cent of the suits. The law on defamation and insult provides for prison terms, in violation of international standards. Under article 147 of the criminal code, defamation is punishable by up to three years in prison. Under article 148, offending a person’s honour and dignity in the press is punishable by up to six months in prison.RecommendationsReporters Without Borders asks the authorities of Azerbaijan to:- ensure that the official and independent enquiries into the violence against journalists on 15 and 16 October are carried out with complete transparency and within a reasonable period and that their findings are make public;- punish the police responsible for any abuses against journalists who were just doing their job;- to arrange for the Press Council and interior ministry to give joint consideration to the coverage of demonstrations by journalists and to the possibility of establishing ways for journalists to be clearly identifiable;- to provisionally release Rauf Arifoglu while he awaits trial;- to respect the undertaking given to the Council of Europe by turning the state TV channel into an independent public television service with a board of governors that is independent of the government;- to transform the broadcasting council into a body that is independent of the government;- to refrain from using bureaucratic measures to restrict the freedom of the news media, or from using public companies – printing works and distributors – as a way to put pressure on news media; – to refrain from putting any pressure on advertisers;- to clarify the criteria used in assigning aid to the news media and to distribute this aid with complete transparency;- to implement the recommendations of Reporters Without Borders and the OSCE on defamation, in particular, to repeal the insult laws, decriminalize defamation and to ensure that fines and compensation awards are in proportion to the damage done.Reporters Without Borders asks the news media to:- respect the articles of the electoral code that concern the news media, act responsibly and observe the rules of professional ethics in their work in order to limit the possibilities for the authorities to apply pressure. RSF_en News Help by sharing this information Reports April 9, 2021 Find out more to go further Follow the news on Azerbaijan Newslast_img read more

Bonnaroo Wants To Expand To Four Annual Events

first_imgDuring a speech in front of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, AC Entertainment‘s vice president for community relations Jeff Cuellar discussed the property that Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has been held on since its inception being used as a multi-purpose festival and special events site, with multiple events being held on the property each year.While Cuellar’s speech received an initial positive reaction with a standing ovation, there will be several major hurdles that need to be faced before this idea can come to fruition. While the Great Stage Farm has received million of dollars in infrastructure upgrades, there is still more work to be done, particularly in the area of water and sewage.Pearl Jam Brings Neil Young, Pink Floyd Covers To Bonnaroo Headlining SetAccording to The Tennessean, when looking at the current deal between the festival and the city, “Bonnaroo pays a flat $30,000 payment each year in addition to $3 on each ticket sold, which has pumped around $280,000 annually into Coffee County’s coffers. Bonnaroo also covers the cost of overtime pay for Coffee County and Manchester law enforcement and public safety officers.” Bonnaroo officials and controlling partner Live Nation will seek to have the structure of that deal changed moving forward, so some of that money goes towards future upgrades.Cuellar went on to say, ““Our grand vision for Great Stage Park is not yet complete, and there is still plenty of work to do to the site in order to create the kind of infrastructure overhaul to allow for a diversity of events to take place on the site….That’s right — Bonnaroo is just one of a series of annual events that we’d like to host at Great  Stage Park. It is not unreasonable to think that we could be hosting two, three, four events (at the Bonnaroo site) annually by 2020.”A study of the 2012 event showed that the festival generated $51 million in economic impact and $36 million in direct spending for the local Coffee County areas, especially Manchester, which boasts a year-round population of 10,000. And with more events, that brings in more tax dollars and spending for the community. We’ll see how this all pans out in the end.[via The Tennessean]last_img read more

The String Cheese Incident Releases 30-Minute “Rollover” Space Jam Hula Encore [Pro-Shot Video]

first_imgOnce again, The String Cheese Incident took the jam band custom of donning “Musical costumes” for Halloween to new heights during their Suwannee Hulaween Saturday night themed set, bringing together a bevy of legendary voices for “Women of the Galaxy” and taking fans on an epic “Space Jam”. With a selection of cover tunes by icons like Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Pat Benatar, Heart, Cream and more with special guests Jen Hartswick, Rhonda Thomas, Lisa Fischer and, amazingly, the original singer of a couple of the featured tunes, Heart’s Ann Wilson. All this came before an epic mash-up encore featuring a reworked “Rollover” which served as the musical spine to a wild assortment of space movie themes stretching from Close Encounters to the dueling Star Wars and Star Trek franchisees before finally mixing in iconic scores from Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey.Today, The String Cheese Incident has shared pro-shot video of their “Space Jam” encore for fans to relive the glory.[Video: Produced, directed, and edited by C2 Design & Drafting See Less]Setlist: The String Cheese Incident | 10/27/18 | Suwannee Hulaween | Live Oak, FloridaSet I: Birdland, Sweet Spot, Sing A New Song > These Waves > Djibouti Bump > You’ve Got The World, Colorado Bluebird SkySet II: Desert Dawn, Get To You^, Hi Ho No Show, The Big Reveal, Jellyfish, RosieSet III: Women of the Galaxy: Gimme Shelter (1), Rock Steady (2), Proud Mary (3), Killing Me Softly With His Song (4), Respect (5), Valerie (6), Heartbreaker (7), Politician (8), Baracuda (9), Get Up Stand Up (10)E: Rollover > Close Encounters Jam > Star Wars Jam > Cantina Jam > Imperial March > Star Trek Next Generation Jam > Original Star Trek Jam > 2001 > Rollover^- w/ Rhonda & Tony on vocals1- Rolling Stones cover, Lisa Fischer on vocals2- Aretha Franklin cover, Jen Hartswick on vocals and trumpet3- Tina Turner cover, Rhonda Thomas on vocals4- Roberta Flack cover, Lisa Fischer on vocals5- Aretha Franklin cover, Rhonda Thomas on vocals6- Amy Winehouse cover, Rhonda Thomas on vocals7- Pat Benatar cover, Jen Hartswick on vocals and trumpet8- Cream cover, Ann Wilson on vocals9- Heart cover, Ann Wilson on vocals10- Bob Marley, cover featuring everyoneFeaturing the Mofro Horns, Rhonda Thomas & Tony White,Jen Hartswick, Lisa Fischer, & Ann Wilsonlast_img read more

Rice, Mullins named USILA All-Americans; 3 earn honorable mention

first_imgFive Syracuse men’s lacrosse players were named United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-Americans Thursday.Attack Kevin Rice and defender Brandon Mullins received second-team honors. Attack Dylan Donahue, close defender Matt Harris and midfielder Billy Ward earned honorable mentions. Syracuse’s five selections gave SU the fourth-most selections of any team this season.Rice, an All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and Tewaaraton Award nominee, started all 18 games this season and led the Orange with 80 points and 44 assists. The junior also set the ACC Championship tournament records for points (15) and assists (11) with standout games against Duke and Notre Dame. Harris, one of SU’s four captains, picked up 27 ground balls and caused a team-high 21 turnovers. The senior finished his career second in SU history with 68 career caused turnovers. Mullins started every game at close defense, often guarding the opposing team’s top offensive player. The redshirt-sophomore collected 36 ground balls and caused 17 turnovers. Published on May 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] Ward, one of SU’s captains and its top scoring midfielder, finished the season with 18 goals, including a double-overtime game-winner against North Carolina on April 12. Comments Donahue scored a team-high 37 goals and finished third on the team with 54 points. Donahue also currently ranks fourth in the country with a .529 shooting percentage. Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Shooting shift carries Wisconsin over Indiana, 69-58

first_imgWisconsin is a scary team when it shoots well. The Badgers are also a scary team when they shoot poorly. It’s just a different type of scary, one the Badgers can’t prefer.That polarization was on full force at the Kohl Center, defining the two halves of basketball between Wisconsin and Indiana Tuesday night. It wound up being strong enough in the Badgers’ favor during the second half to lead Wisconsin in its 69-58 victory over the Hoosiers.In doing so, it was another rendition displaying just how the Badgers (23-5, 10-5) win games at this point in the season. For Wisconsin, with an improved defense from the doldrums that garnered five losses in six games, winning games in February seems to depend almost directly on the Badgers’ shooting tendencies.Although it ended well for UW, it didn’t begin pretty. That ugly pole of horror was on display for the first 20 minutes as Wisconsin netted just 19 points — trailing Indiana’s 29 — on seven buckets for a first half rate of just 25.9 percent.The frustration could have prompted a furious Bo Ryan in the locker room, with his team down 10 to the unranked, struggling Hoosiers (15-12, 5-9).“The halftime talk had nothing to do with threats, violence, none of that,” Ryan said. “It was, ‘We know what we can do, we’ve just gotta do it.’”They did, and then some.With their most prevalent three-point shooter Ben Brust continuing to struggle in the first half, it was almost too perfect that his spark lit the fire under the lifeless Badgers.After missing all four attempts from beyond the arc in the first half, a trend of Brust bricks had swelled. Wisconsin’s sniper had made just one of his last 17 tries from distance over his last five halves of basketball.But then he made one.“I knew it was only a matter of time,” Brust said. “I knew it was going to start, so I was just like, ‘Can it just start now?’”Just 45 seconds after he hit the first one, Brust squared away and connected on another. Thoughts of that scoreless first half were far from the Kohl Center.No more than two-and-a-half minutes passed by before Brust hit his third triple of the second half. This one put Wisconsin up 41-38, a lead it would never surrender, largely because its shooting took off even stronger.“It was definitely good to get a couple to go down,” Brust said. “I think it ignited this team and just trickled down to everyone else … It just kind of got us going and opened things up.”Following Brust’s triad of triples, Wisconsin made six of its next nine shots, extending its lead to its highest point at 58-43, and just about everyone got involved.Sam Dekker and Bronson Koenig found a few layups before Josh Gasser and Traevon Jackson found three pointers. In sum, Wisconsin shot nearly 62 percent in the second half — going 13-for-21 from the field. After just a 1-for-10 performance from beyond the arc in the putrid first half, the Badgers made six of 11 threes in the final 20 minutes.When a team is clicking like the Badgers were in that second half, pressure was sure to increase for the visiting Hoosiers. An array of Badgers’ buckets can seemingly tighten the rim on the opposite end of the floor as Indiana tried to keep pace.Then as they rushed to get stops on the defensive end, Wisconsin’s end of the floor seemed a little more wide open each time. Their shooting percentage justly followed suit.“A lot of times you’re getting ready for one or two guys to be very good passers. Their whole team is,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “The bottom line is: They got some good looks because we were in rotation a little bit.“They got hot. The basket started looking pretty big for them.”Coupled with a defense that didn’t allow a single 30-point half — which they did twice when in losing fashion during the January game in Bloomington, Ind. — Wisconsin’s hot shooting now seems good enough to take them wherever they please.“When the ball goes through the hoop, it makes a lot of things easier,” Dekker said. “People think it’s some crazy magic that happened, but no. We made shots and made some plays … we just ran our plays and it worked.”last_img read more

Former Liverpool defender dismisses Premier League return rumours

first_imgMartin Skrtel has ruled out a return to the Premier League, amid reported interest from Newcastle, Stoke and Swansea.The former Liverpool defender, who spent eight years at Anfield, has been hotly tipped to return to England this summer, with a number of Premier League clubs interested.However, the Fenerbahce defender has poured cold water on talk of a potential move, insisting he is happy with the Turkish giants.The Slovakia international told Turkish newspaper Sozcu: “I don’t want to leave.“I have settled in and want to remain at Fenerbahce.”The experienced defender joined Fenerbahce from Liverpool in a £5m switch last summer and still has two years remaining on his current contract. Martin Skrtel [right] insists he is happy at Fenerbahce 1last_img read more

Education: SA’s biggest investment

first_img“Education spending has grown by 14 percent a year for the past three years and accounts for R140.4-billion in the spending plans of provinces and national government for 2008/09,” Manuel said during his 2009/10 Budget speech. South African state spending on education remains its single biggest investment, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel told Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday. A further R330-million would go towards to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, while funding was also available for the establishment of a new National Education Evaluation Unit, which would evaluate a new salary dispensation for teachers, linked to school and teacher performance. An additional R700-million would be allocated for higher education subsidies and to accommodate anticipated growth in student enrolment from 783 900 in 2008 to 836 800 by 2011. There would also be a strengthening of training colleges and a recapitalisation of technical schools over the next three years, Manuel said. 11 February 2009 The President also raised concerns about the drop-out rate, particularly at secondary and tertiary levels, and challenged the country’s education system to produce the kind of skills needed by society.center_img “Trends in performance, both in terms of teaching and learning, show a worrying persistence of the social divisions of the past,” he said. “Ironically, precisely where education is most needed to help break the cycle of poverty is where infrastructure, administrative and teacher capacity are least impressive,” Motlanthe said during the opening of Parliament. The government’s key priorities in education included extending the no-fee school policy from the current 40 percent to 60 percent of schools, expanding the school nutrition programme, reducing average class sizes in schools, serving lower income communities, and increasing expenditure on school buildings. President Kgalema Motlanthe, in his state of the nation address on Friday, said he was concerned at a trend of schools in rural and impoverished areas lacking infrastructure and capacity. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

What is the value of wheat straw?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Wheat harvest will soon be underway; we often get questions about the nutrient value of straw. The nutrient value of wheat straw is influenced by several factors including weather, variety, and cultural practices. Thus, the most accurate values require sending a sample of the straw to an analytical laboratory. However, “book values” can be used to estimate the nutrient values of wheat straw.In previous newsletters, we reported that typically a ton of wheat straw would provide approximately 11 pounds of N, 3 pounds of P2O5, and 20 pounds of K2O. Michigan State University reports similar numbers for a ton of wheat straw: 13 pounds of N, 3.3 pounds of P2O5 and 23 pound of K2O. A 2013 analysis of wheat straw collected at the OARDC farm in Wooster contained 14-18 pounds of N, 3-4 pounds of P2O5, and 20-23 pounds of K2O. These values were across four wheat varieties and three spring nitrogen application rates (60, 90, and 120 lb N/acre). The 2013 values corresponded fairly well with the previously reported “book values.” Nitrogen values in 2013 were slightly greater than “book values” which may have been a result of wheat height/size. If plants are shorter/smaller, percentage nitrogen tends to be greater than taller/larger plants due to a dilution factor as the plant grows. Regardless, the 2013 analysis provides validity to the nutrient value of straw given in previous newsletters.The nitrogen in wheat straw will not immediately be available for plant uptake. The nitrogen will need to be converted by microorganisms to ammonium and nitrate (a process called “mineralization”). Once the nitrogen is in the ammonium and/or nitrate form, it is available for plant uptake. The rate of which mineralization occurs depends on the amount of carbon and nitrogen in the straw (C:N ratio). The USDA reports a C:N ratio of 80:1 for wheat straw which means there are 80 units of carbon for every unit of nitrogen. Mineralization rapidly occurs when the C:N ratio is ≤ 20:1. At a C:N ratio of 80:1, mineralization will be much slower. (For comparison, corn stover is reported to have a C:N ratio of 57:1.) Rate of mineralization is also influenced by soil moisture and temperature. Since mineralization is a microbial-driven process, mineralization will be slowed (halted) in the winter when temperatures are cold. Thus, no N credit is given for wheat straw since it is not known when the N will mineralize and become available to the following crop.Besides providing nutrients, straw has value as organic matter, but it is difficult to determine the dollar value for it. Removal of straw does lower soil potash levels. If straw was removed after heavy rainfall, some of the potash may have leached out of the straw, lowering the nutrient value of the straw. However, a soil test should be done to accurately estimate nutrient availability for future crops.last_img read more

Hit India hard from ball one: South African coach Fletcher to his boys

first_imgWary of an Indian backlash after their humiliating loss in the series opener, South African batting coach Duncan Fletcher on Friday asked his players to hit visiting team “hard” from ball one in tomorrow’s second cricket one-dayer here.South Africa had crushed India by a huge margin of 135 runs in the first one-dayer at Durban on Wednesday.But going by India’s performance in the tour so far, South Africa cannot afford to relax as Mahendra Singh Dhoni and company have made a strong comeback in the three-match Test series, drawing it after losing the first Test by an innings.”Just got to be very wary that this happened in the Test series. But I don’t think it will. There seems to be a very good attitude amongst this one-day squad. They seem to have learnt their lesson. It’s just important that they go in there and hit India hard from ball one again,” Fletcher told media on the eve of the second ODI of the five-match series.”And make sure they don’t get complacent. India are quite an experienced side. Although they’ve got young players, if but they are pretty experienced. You got to be wary this fact.They know how to play out of these situations. South Africa have to be careful,” added the former England coach.Fletcher, however, is not happy with the home team’s handling of the Power-plays.”I’ve always believed they haven’t really believed when they have taken it. If sides or captains want, there are a lot of possibilities on how to take them.advertisement”It’s just been a misinterpretation as how you play within the Power Play. Sometimes you’ve got to look at it as there are other advantages of taking it at a certain time,” he said.Talking about the changing face of the game in the wake of Twenty20 cricket, Fletcher said: “It (T20) had an influence right through cricket. The players are going to be more attacking, but 50 overs is a lot of cricket.”If sides think they can go out there and adopt a Twenty20 attitude from ball one, sure on a given day they might be successful, but not over a period of time. They got to be very wary that in 50 overs there will be periods when you have to be more patient.” .Fletcher also said that international teams should have the ability to adjust to different conditions and playing surfaces and was satisfied with the Proteas team on this front.”I believe South Africa matches everyone as far as one-day cricket is concerned. They haven’t been fooled by the wicket they bowled on. They won’t bowl on that wicket very often, but when they get on it they play very very well.”When they go to India the wickets may be a bit slower and a bit flatter, but they just have to get used to it. They have to adapt a bit quicker. Bowlers at the international level have got to do that. They’ve got the skill and the ability to do that,” he said.Fletcher made no bones about the fact that South Africa was missing Jacques Kallis but said the upcoming all-rounders are really bright.”Obviously they’re going to have a problem with the all-rounder. South Africa always had plenty of all-rounders which has given them depth. They’ve got into the area that without Jacques Kallis they might need a bit of depth but the backup batters are good enough. All it needs a little bit more experience I guess,” he said without taking any names.last_img read more