Conservation Tillage Conference

first_imgSustaining agriculture’s future through conservation practices will be the focus of an upcoming workshop in Lyons, Ga. on Thursday, Feb. 13.The Conservation Tillage Production Systems Training Conference/Workshop will be held at the University of Georgia Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center. The workshop is designed to educate farmers on the potential benefits conservation tillage can bring to their day-to-day operations.“Conservation tillage practices have become increasingly popular by farmers over the last 20 years. A lot of farmers use conservation practices, to some extent,” said Chris Tyson, the UGA Extension agent in Tattnall County. “I’d say more and more people are doing some type of conservation practice. They may just be running a strip-till rig through winter weeds that they kill off, or they may be planting a cover crop like a wheat cover crop. Or they may be using something like a heavy rye cover crop.”Tyson will lead inside and outside field day demonstrations at the fourteenth annual event. “What we’re doing at this year’s workshop is focusing more on back to basics; very basic stuff in conservation tillage. Why are they important? Why it’s important to conserve water or prevent erosion?”Farmers will see a rye crop planted adjacent to the Vidalia Onion Research Lab where the conference will be held. Tyson will point out the process used in growing the rye and explain the benefits.UGA Extension faculty members will discuss various conservation practices. Gary Hawkins, a UGA Extension water resource specialist, will cover how to conserve soil and water resources. In his study of conservation tillage, (caes.uga.edu/topics/sustainag/contillage), Hawkins describes the technique as a process of preparing land for crops with the focus of enhancing aspects of a healthy soil. One way this is done is by planting a row crop, like rye, during the winter months. The rye is planted but killed prior to planting cotton. As a result, limited tillage is needed during cotton planting. This reduces the amount of disturbed soil. If this process is repeated every year, residue left from the winter cover crops builds the soil’s organic matter, reduces erosion and runoff and improves soil quality and water quality. For a list of the system’s benefits, see caes.uga.edu/topics/sustainag/contillage/benefits.UGA Extension weed specialist Stanley Culpepper will discuss weed management issues and UGA Extension ag economist Amanda Smith will focus on the economics of conservation systems.“From an economic standpoint, conservation tillage farmers make fewer trips across the field because they’re not having to disc or plow the soil. So there’s a savings from the standpoint of machinery and equipment with lower fuel, labor and repair costs as well as time,” Smith said. “Some farmers have found that if they use conservation tillage practices, they can actually expand their acres. They’re spending the same amount of time in the fields, but farming more acres.”Yields from conservation tillage compare to those from conventional tillage, she said. However, farmers who practice conservation tillage enjoy non-monetary benefits that result from limited tillage of farmland.The workshop will begin at 9 a.m. with registration and welcome and conclude at 2 p.m. Registration is free, but interested participants are asked to register at ugatiftonconference.org/calendar.last_img read more

Scottish quango launches massive planning overhaul

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Despite trend, officials say grade inflation not an issue at USC

first_imgA recent study found that grade inflation occurs more at private colleges and universities than at their public counterparts, but officials say grade inflation is not a problem at USC.According to the study by the Teachers College Record, private colleges give out higher grade point averages to students who have the same qualifications as their peers in public colleges. The study, which looked at average GPAs at 80 colleges and universities from 1930 to 2006, found that GPAs at private and public colleges rose at similar rates in the first half of the 20th century. After the 1950s, however, students at private colleges started getting significantly higher grades. According to the study, the average GPA at private colleges is 3.3, compared to 3.0 at public colleges. USC’s average GPA is 3.18 — below the national average for private universities.Like other universities, USC’s average GPA has also increased, rising 3 percent in the past decade. But J. Lawford Anderson, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and a professor of earth sciences, said he does not think this reflects a trend of grade inflation.“I don’t think our grades are rising at USC any more than the national average,” he said. “Grades here are monitored, so grade inflation is not a problem.”USC officials say grade inflation has not become a problem because of strict rules and regulations. For example, a number of schools allow students to drop classes late in the semester, so students who might receive bad grades instead receive no grade at all, raising the school’s average GPA. USC, meanwhile, only lets students drop classes without a mark of withdraw on their records during the first three weeks of the semester.“Students are getting better, but also we have very strict rules about when students can drop a class,” said Steven Lamy, vice dean for academic programs and professor of international relations, “In the College [of Letters, Arts & Sciences], we don’t really see any grade problems.”The office of Academic Records and Registrar looks at trends between grades given to a student in a particular class and the student’s overall GPA to ensure that classes are not grading too easy or too hard.Anderson said the reason for the rise in the average GPA might be the quality of the students. “Our incoming students are coming in with better credentials, and I expect that they should perform better,” he said.Anderson added that he has seen a significant improvement in his students’ performance since he began teaching at USC in 1975. He said he gives more A’s to students now than in previous years.“My students at USC have gotten so much better that I’ve stopped curving grades,” he said. “They are that good.”Though the Office of Academic Records and Registrar monitors grades in all disciplines, each school has a different method of assigning grades.Paula Narvaez, a freshman majoring in architecture, said that although she appreciates that some grades are curved on tests in some of her major classes, she feels curving grades can leave students with less incentive to perform well.“It’s kind of like going into class not really giving your whole effort and still getting the grade,” she said. “Honestly, it’s what you expect going to college. You have to expect to work hard.”Narvaez added that she believes classes with a quota system for the number of students who can get different grades offer a greater challenge to her.“I know for some people getting straight A’s in high school, they expect to get A’s in college. For architecture, it’s kind of a reality check,” she said. “If you don’t understand the concepts, you’re not going to make the grade.”Noel Kim, a junior majoring in biological sciences, said she believes quotas are necessary for ensuring a level of credibility in the grades professors give out.“I think professors give a strict numbers of A’s to somehow show quantitatively that these students are the brightest and were at the upper tier of the strict bell-shape curve that most science professors follow,” she said.last_img read more

What to Watch For: Football returns, No. 1 Field Hockey and 6 more teams in action

first_imgMen’s SoccerOpponent: North CarolinaWhere: Chapel Hill, North CarolinaWhen: Saturday, 7 p.m.Hendrik Hilpert’s healthy. And he’s ready to step up the goalkeeper competition with fellow freshman Austin Aviza. Hours before playing Duke last Friday, coach Ian McIntyre told Hilpert he’d be getting the start. Aviza sat for the first time in nine games, despite Aviza averaging one goal allowed per game. Hilpert’s matched that through his first two games.McIntyre said he’ll evaluate the goalkeeper situation “game-to-game,” but was adamant Hilpert needed experience. McIntyre tipped Hilpert as the likely starter for No. 22 SU (8-2-1, 2-1-1 Atlantic Coast) when it travels to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to play No. 2 UNC (9-0-1, 4-0) on Saturday.More: Syracuse turns to Hendrik Hilpert in mid-season goalkeeper switchFootballOpponent: South FloridaWhere: Tampa, FloridaWhen: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen Syracuse travels to Tampa, Florida off its bye week to play the University of South Florida, the team gets back Ervin Philips and Eric Dungey. Read the USF head coach’s preview of the game and why you should watch Ron Thompson on defense Saturday.Beyond Saturday, do you think Syracuse will win enough games to be bowl eligible? Let us know.More: All The Daily Orange’s coverage of Syracuse-South FloridaField HockeyOpponent: No. 11 Louisville and IndianaWhere: Louisville, Kentucky and Bloomington, IndianaWhen: Friday, 6 p.m. and Sunday, noonLiz Sack started at right back last season for all but two games. This season, she’s switched positions to forward and plays in a new role contributing off the bench for the Orange. Her contributions to the offensive depth was a part of SU’s 9-1 win last weekend that catapulted Syracuse (11-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) to No. 1. The Orange will play its first games as the top-ranked team when it visits No. 11 Louisville (7-4, 0-4 Atlantic Coast) and Indiana.More: Liz Sack capitalizing on reserve role after switching back to forwardWomen’s SoccerOpponent: at No. 16 Notre Dame and at PittsburghWhere: South Bend, Indiana and Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaWhen: Thursday, 7 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m.Jessica Vigna thinks the women’s soccer team gets off to slow start in games. The numbers support that. In 13 matches, Syracuse (4-8-1, 0-4-0 Atlantic Coast) has only managed 60 shots in the first half, but that number bumps up to 81 in the second. This may help explain the difference in goals scored by half. The Orange has found the back of the net 10 times in the second half while just five times in the first. The team has a chance to start faster this weekend against Notre Dame.More: Syracuse looks to get off to faster start against No. 16 Notre DameVolleyballOpponent: Pittsburgh and Virginia TechWhere: Women’s BuildingWhen: Friday, 7 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m.Ice HockeyOpponent: at Northeastern and at New HampshireWhere: Boston, Massachusetts and Durham, New HampshireWhen: Friday, 2 p.m. and Saturday, 2 p.m.TennisOpponent: vs. Riviera/ITA Women’s All-AmericanWhere: Los Angeles, CaliforniaWhen: Oct. 3 to Oct. 11Men’s RowingOpponent: at Navy Day RegattaWhere: Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaWhen: Saturday Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 8, 2015 at 11:01 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TRlast_img read more