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Agriculture and climate

first_imgFarmers can’t control when drought, a late freeze or violent crop-wrenching storms will affect their fields, but they can be prepared when those disasters come knocking. That’s where newly minted University of Georgia agricultural climatologist Pam Knox comes in. Knox, who has been studying climate at UGA for 11 years, started her new position as Extension agricultural climatologist July 1. She’ll be working with a team of researchers in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences who are studying changes in Georgia’s climate and helping farmers find ways to adapt to those changes. Knox will also serve as a clearinghouse for information about current and historical weather patterns and offer some analysis of how those conditions may affect Georgia’s largest industry — agriculture. “If Extension agents are helping someone with a crop insurance claim, then I can provide them with the data that they’ll need to process that, or if a researcher in the college needs data for a crop model that they are running — I can provide that,” Knox said. “It’s my goal to really be a resource for Extension agents and the college in that way.” Another part of this new job includes keeping abreast of research concerning the relationship between agriculture, climate change and climate trends and relaying that information to Extension agents in Georgia’s counties. Knox is one of a handful of researchers working under a USDA grant program to try to find ways to help livestock and poultry producers adapt to new weather patterns that might emerge because of climate change. “In the Southeast, we are more interested in how our animals will respond higher temperatures as well as changes in water management with more extreme droughts and floods,” said Mark Risse, a UGA agricultural systems researcher who his leading UGA’s agricultural climate team. “As a region, the South is predominately poultry, so we will look heavily at the poultry industry and how climate changes will impact that industry. Then we will focus on how to best equip producers with management practices to adapt to these changes.” Risse, Knox and their team are working with the Southeast Climate Consortium to develop climate projections that may affect animal agriculture. The consortium — made up of researchers in Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina — is predicting more weather similar to the droughts and violent flooding Georgia has seen over the past few years. The Southeast Climate Consortium currently maintains the agroclimate.org website as a source of climate information for farmers, and Knox envisions having a Georgia-based website built especially to meet the needs of Georgia farmers.last_img read more

McClean keen to turn the screw

first_img “We have had other games since then, so you can’t dwell on it too much. But this game has come around now, it’s Scotland that’s the next game and would be nice to put November’s game right. “If it’s a scrappy game and it takes an own goal in the last minute, then so be it.” McClean has been used as a substitute by O’Neill in recent games and announced his arrival in March’s 1-1 draw against the Poles with a crunching tackle. If it is his ability for get forward at pace and deliver balls into the box which is his major weapon, his physicality can also be an asset, and that is not something he will shy away from. He said with a smile: “I was just playing my normal game. I have got something like 13 bookings this season at club level, so I think that speaks for itself. “That’s my game, I’ll play my normal game. The way that the sport is going now, if you look at someone the wrong way, you get a yellow card. “It’s a team game, it’s not about yourself. If you have to cover back and pick up your man, then so be it. It helps the team and if you’re helping the team, it all goes towards a good result if everyone is doing their jobs.” Press Association Midfielder McClean said: “The pressure is on them as well – if they lose the game, we go ahead of them, so there’s pressure on both teams and make no mistake about it, we’ll be going out all guns blazing to try to get the win. “It’s like an international derby. Both teams don’t want to lose – both teams didn’t want to lose in November either, and that’s what made it a tight, scrappy affair. “But look, we know we need to win this game on Saturday, so hopefully we come flying out of the blocks and we take the game to them.” That November fixture in Glasgow saw the home side run out 1-0 winners courtesy of Shaun Maloney’s second-half strike on a night when Ireland failed to hit the heights. There is a collective acceptance that they will have to be significantly better this time around if they are to prosper, although McClean admits he does not care how they play as long as they get the victory they need. He said: “Prior to the Scotland game, we’d had a bright start to the group and we want to build on that come Saturday. “They beat us in November and we didn’t perform by any means in a tight, scrappy game. But look, if it’s a tight, scrappy game on Saturday, hopefully we can nick this one. “We are right in the group and we’ll take the game to Scotland. But whether it’s an exciting performance or it’s a dull performance, if we get three points, we’re not really bothered either way. The Scots, who head for Dublin on Saturday, are currently neck and neck with world champions Germany in pursuit of Group D leaders Poland in the race for a place in France. However, victory for Ireland at the Aviva Stadium would see Martin O’Neill’s men, who currently trail Scotland by two points, go above them, and that will provide the perfect motivation . James McClean has challenged his Republic of Ireland team-mates to pile the pressure on Scotland by leap-frogging them back into contention for Euro 2016 qualification. last_img read more

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