With the global economy seeing early signs of recovery, businesses are now looking at IT to create value and become more agile to create differentiation in a highly competitive marketplace.For IT organizations, this creates a real challenge. We are dealing with the perpetual necessity to cut costs whilst balancing the need to invest in emerging technologies and innovative ways to augment the IT value chain. It seems, however, there is a simple answer: ‘Software-Defined’ with ‘No Limits’!With VMworld Europe concluding today, you can expect a catalyst of momentum around how software is empowering IT to break down walls, demolish barriers and reveal the opportunities ahead.To celebrate and examine this concept in more detail, the Financial Times asked EMC and VMware to record a short video series on the key elements of how to drive business value through IT Transformation. Over the next few weeks we will release a total of five videos, each addressing an area to cover when considering a transformation. To follow the series, bookmark this blog!Chapter One – Drivers for IT Transformation In the first of this series of master-class videos, we explore how the convergence of cloud, big data and mobile technology is driving IT transformation across businesses.With traditional business models being disrupted by these new technologies, senior technologists from EMC and VMware discuss why, despite pressures from the business for IT organizations to cut operational costs and address the burden of legacy IT applications and infrastructure, changing business expectations in a recovering economy are creating a phenomenal opportunity for organizations to create first mover advantage – if IT can keep pace with the business.Coming soon:Chapter 2: Transforming Your Infrastructure and Delivering a Well Run Hybrid CloudChapter 3: Transforming the Operating Model and enabling the Software Defined EnterpriseChapter 4: Transforming Applications and preparing for the Third PlatformChapter 5: Partnering to Enable Successful Transformations
Whatever the yields, market prices are dropping, said Don Shurley, a CAES extensioneconomist. “The rain the weekend of Oct. 25-26 adversely affected the Georgia cotton crop,” said SteveM. Brown, an Extension Service cotton scientist with the UGA College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences. Brown said drought through August and September, then heavy rain in late September,brought the estimates down. “At this point, we’ll be fortunate to average close to 700 poundsper acre,” he said. Rains totaling 5 inches to 8 inches fell on most of the Georgia cotton belt through the lastOctober weekend. Brown said some farmers reported 60 mph winds, too. Almost half of Georgia’s 1.4 million acres of cotton remain unharvested. The U.S.Department of Agriculture’s Oct. 1 yield estimate has cotton at 702 pounds per acre, downfrom 736 pounds earlier in the season. The potential for more losses grows every day. Soggy fields make farmers unable to pickcotton and raise the risk of further weather damage. “If we had gotten this rain in August,” he said, “we could have seen a $100 million increase invalue, instead of these continuing losses.” Farmers face further losses in the hidden second cotton crop: the seeds. Last year, cottonseedearned the state’s farmers $77 million, adding 10 percent to the overall value of Georgiacotton. Processors must treat rain-stained fibers to make them white again before the fiber can be spuninto threads for clothing. That extra step adds to their costs. So the price farmers get isdiscounted based on the extra processing costs. “We’re estimating a $30 to $50 quality loss per 480-pound bale,” he said. Adding to thoselosses, cotton already picked and waiting in modules to be picked up could sustain waterdamage, too — about $600 per 15-bale module. “Those two factors combined with the normal pattern of price decline through the season areall contributing to a slight price drop,” Shurley said. Rainwater damages cotton fibers and turns them grayish, cutting their value. When cottonbolls first open, the fibers are a brilliant white — its most valuable color. Unstained cottonfetches the highest price. Wet weather can cause seeds to sprout, dropping their feed value for livestock. “So really,”Brown said, “farmers lose money on two counts in a situation like this.” Georgia cotton farmers have lost another $40 million to $50 million to excess late-seasonrains, says a University of Georgia agricultural scientist. Worldwide stock markets affect cotton prices, too. The recent wild fluctuations rooted insoutheast Asian markets indicate their economies are weakening. As economies in that regionlose strength, so does their ability to buy U.S. cotton. The hard rain and wind did knock some cotton off the stalk, Brown said. He said the biggestcotton loss, though, was to quality. Other factors contribute to the price drop. “The yield declines in the Southeast are being offsetby yield increases elsewhere in the cotton belt,” Shurley said. “So the national yield is stable.” Brown tells farmers to get wet modules ginned as quickly as possible to avoid further losses.The value of each module, he said, is at least $5,000. The combination of soggy fields, humid, foggy mornings and shortened days is pushingharvest back. “I expect we’ll see farmers harvesting cotton well past Thanksgiving,” Brownsaid. Brown said many modules, the densely packed cotton stored in the fields, got wet during theheavy rains. Others are soaking up water from the saturated ground around them. No matterhow the lint gets wet, cotton can rot quickly. Prices for December cotton entered November at 70 cents to 72 cents per pound. Shurley saidcontracting cotton for later sale and paying storage costs could prove profitable for farmers.
The UK pensions regulator is pushing for stricter regulation of defined contribution (DC) master trusts, questioning whether a currently voluntary assessment framework should be mandatory.Lesley Titcomb, who joined the Pensions Regulator (TPR) as chief executive from the Financial Conduct Authority in March, said the regulator was in discussions with the government about making the assessment of a master trust’s health mandatory.It will also examine the entry requirements for master trust operators, currently set by HM Revenue & Customs.She noted that the current regulatory hurdles to launching a master trust focused mainly on the ability to administer tax relief. Titcomb told attendees at the National Association of Pension Funds annual conference in Manchester: “Given my objectives, of course I have a rather different set of interests in what those master trusts are doing.”She outlined a number of the regulator’s concerns.“Are [master trusts] going to be able to look after the customer’s assets, administer it well [and] be a well-governed scheme?” she asked.“Are they able – should they not succeed in business for any reason – to […] wind themselves up in an orderly fashion?” Titcomb also expressed regret at the small number of master trusts to have completed the so-called assurance framework, published last year and drawn up in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales.The assessment has to date only been completed by four schemes – The People’s Pension, Now Pensions, the National Employment Savings Trust and the SEI Master Trust – with only the first two listed by TPR as recommended schemes, a step that requires the provider to accept any UK employer wishing to use the scheme for the purposes of auto-enrolment.Titcomb said the regulator’s list was a short one, but she expressed hope that it would grow.She also hinted that the assurance framework could in future be mandatory for schemes wishing to take in members through auto-enrolment.“One of the things we could ask the government to look at is to make master trust assurance compulsory if you’re going to be open to any[one],” she said. “We have to look at the issue of master trusts and the regulatory regime that applies to them. They are fulfilling a hugely important role in auto-enrolment, particularly as we get into the small and micro [company] world.”
Tweet Share (SKN Observer) Minister of State with responsibility for Health, Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps, said that life expectancy within the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has gone up.She was making her presentation in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Dec. 17.Senator Phipps said that in 2012, life expectancy for males would have been 68.8 years, but had increased to an average of 74 years. For females in 2012, it was 74 years, but has now increased to an average of 78 years, making the average life expectancy today across genders 76 years.“St. Kitts and Nevis over the last 40, 50 years or more would have had massive improvements in conditions of living and the socio-economic general situation,” she said, a stark contrast to that of the 1950s, where “the life expectancy in this country was pegged at 50 years of age.” Share Share LifestyleNewsRegional St Kitts Life Expectancy on the Rise by: – December 27, 2019 84 Views no discussions Sharing is caring!
Photo courtesy of Decatur County Purdue Extension OfficeGreensburg, IN— Today at the Decatur County Fair the Dairy Show will take place starting at 10 am in the Livestock Pavillion. This year’s 4-H fair is different than in the past due to the pandemic. The events are all closed to the public and are a show-and-go style, where the animals do not stay on the property overnight.