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Are ‘discrimination arising from disability’ claims an easy route to employment tribunal wins?

first_img Previous Article Next Article No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Photo: Shutterstock The number of employment tribunal claims for discrimination arising from disability appears to be rising. John Charlton looks at what is behind the trend, and asks how future developments could affect the way employers manage disabled people at work.Discrimination arising from disability was introduced in the Equality Act 2010 to prevent disabled people being treated “unfavourably because of something arising in consequence” of their disability. Anecdotally, it appears that the number of discrimination arising from disability claims is rising, so are employees adopting it as a relatively easy route to success in employment tribunals?Joanna Marshall, employment solicitor at Charles Russell Speechlys thinks this is the case. “One of the reasons [for the rise] is because case law appears to be making it increasingly easy for claimants to be successful in bringing this type of claim,” Marshall says.More on discrimination arising from disabilityPodcast: discrimination arising from disabilityCheck the requirement that an individual must meet to fall under the definition of disabled in the Equality ActTribunal remedies round-up: discrimination arising from disability“In the recent case of Risby v Waltham Forest the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that the casual link between the unfavourable treatment and the disability does not have to be very strong in order to make a discrimination arising from disability claim. Therefore, even where the link between the individual’s conduct and their disability is seemingly tenuous a tribunal might find there is sufficient to constitute discrimination. This has significantly broadened the scope of discrimination arising from disability.”Naeema Choudry, employment partner at Eversheds, agrees, and suggests that employment tribunal claimants may be making claims for discrimination arising from disability because it is more difficult to win claims for an employer’s failure to make reasonable adjustments.“In practice, it is not difficult for a claimant to establish they are disabled,” says Choudry. “In many cases a set of facts could give rise to simultaneous claims for discrimination arising from disability and a failure to make reasonable adjustments, and many claimants do take a belt-and-braces approach and bring both types of claim.”She adds that “from a legal perspective” a discrimination arising from disability claim is “usually much more straightforward” than “trying to shoehorn in a reasonable adjustments claim”.Martin Pratt, employment partner at Gordon Dadds points out: “As part of the Government’s welfare reforms there are more and more people with disabilities in the workplace. This is obviously a positive, but in many cases employment practices have not kept up – resulting in more claims.”Are discrimination arising from disability claims on the rise?Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures for tribunal cases do not break disability discrimination claims down by type of case. If anything they show such cases overall have fallen.  In 2015/16, the MoJ logged 3,183 cases of disability discrimination coming before employment tribunals, compared with 7,260 in 2012/13.To put this in context, there were 66,096 multiple, and 16,935 single, claims going before employment tribunals in 2015/16. In 2012/13 there were 136,837 multiple and 54,704 single cases considered by employment tribunals.What the future holds for disability in employmentThe Cameron Government pledged in 2015 to cut the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people.According to the Work and Pensions Select Committee the employment rate among disabled people in 2015 was 46.7% compared with 80.3% for the non-disabled. Halving this gap would mean 1.2 million more disabled people in the workplace. According to the Disabled Living Foundation there are more than 6.9 million disabled people of working age, or 19% of the working population.A Green Paper on getting more disabled people into jobs is due by the end of this year.Disability UK says it wants the upcoming Green Paper to contain “stronger incentives and levers used with employers to encourage them to employ more disabled people”. It wants: employers to be compelled to publish figures on how many disabled people they employ; employers bidding for Government contracts to show they have sound track records in employing disabled people; and more support to help them to get a job.The Resolution Foundation wants the paper to recommend expanding the Access to Work programme, and wants a “right-to-return-to-work” period of one year for disabled people who take sick leave due to their disability, and a rebate of statutory sick pay for employers paying sick pay to disabled staff.Of course, the introduction of tribunal fees has considerably cut the number of tribunal claims, including disability discrimination ones. Individual tribunal decisions may provide pointers as to how disability discrimination case law is developing.Key cases on discrimination arising from disabilityFor Hogan Lovells partner Ed Bowyer and senior support lawyer Helena Davies, there are three stand-out cases: G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd v Powell; Risby v London Borough of Waltham Forest; and Griffiths v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.In G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd v Powell the EAT found it would have been a reasonable adjustment for the employer to give pay protection to an employee who was transferred to a less-well paid job because of disability. In Risby, the EAT confirmed that for the purposes of discrimination arising from disability, it is enough if disability is one effective cause of the unfavourable treatment among others.And, in Griffiths, the duty to make reasonable adjustments applied to an absence management policy that included trigger points for warnings, although on the evidence, say Bowyer and Davies, “it was not reasonable for the employer to make the adjustments in question”.Bowyer and Davies feel the Powell case is important as the EAT took the view “that there was no reason pay protection should not be a reasonable adjustment, in the same way as allowing additional (paid) absence for illness or rehabilitation, for example”.As for Risby, “there were two contributory factors which led to the claimant’s dismissal – physical disability and a short temper. The EAT confirmed that disability only has to be an ‘effective cause’ of unfavourable treatment for a claim of discrimination ‘arising from’ a disability to succeed. There is no requirement for ‘direct linkage’.”Pratt points to two cases: Pnaiser v NHS England and Lamb v The Business Academy Bexley. In the Pnaiser case, says Pratt: “It was held that the provision of a negative reference due to sickness absence relating to a disability and the consequent withdrawal of a job offer amounted to disability discrimination by the employer.”In Lamb, “it was held that the employer’s proper investigation of an employee’s grievances, and provision of an outcome that enabled the employee to return to a safe and discrimination-free environment at work amounted to a reasonable adjustment for disability discrimination purposes. This shows the duty to make reasonable adjustment is very wide and employers should not take too narrow a view. Pnaiser is significant in that it reminds employers that scope for disability discrimination extends beyond the termination of employment.”A further case, Nally v Freshfields Care, involved a care worker who brought a claim for discrimination arising from disability under the Equality Act 2010. Nally was dismissed after using abusive language to a resident suffering from dementia. He claimed he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for which he was receiving counselling. The employment tribunal held that the employer should have realised that Nally suffered from PTSD, and ought to have sought further medical advice and acted accordingly. Nally was awarded £8,514.Finally, in Land Registry v Houghton and others, a 2015 case, the EAT upheld the tribunal’s earlier view that five disabled claimants suffered discrimination arising from disability when they were excluded from a bonus scheme because of their sickness absence records. They had received formal warnings for their absences which debarred them from bonuses.The EAT upheld the tribunal’s view that the formal warnings resulted from disability-related absences.Widening definition of disabilityMeanwhile, employers may be concerned that definitions of what constitutes a disability are likely to widen. The 2010 Equality Act defines a disabled person as a person with a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.This clearly allows scope for interpretation. What are the likely trends?Marshall says: “With increasing awareness of mental health issues in the workplace, I anticipate there will be more disability claims related to mental health conditions over the next few years.”As for obesity, Marshall points out that in Walker v Sita Information Networking Computing, the EAT found that “obesity is not an impairment of itself but the effects of obesity may result in a claimant being disabled. This has arguably opened the door to more disability discrimination claims [from the obese], but claimants will have to provide medical evidence of physical or mental impairment. This may be why no major increase in such claims has been reported so far.”Bowyer and Davies see a trend developing in the relationship between sickness, conduct and disability. For example: “At what point will an employer be deemed to have constructive knowledge of an employee’s disability? What is the current state of play on absence management procedures in terms of making reasonable adjustments? What points arise when an employee claims that misconduct was related to or caused by their disability?”In Choudry’s view: “We are increasingly seeing conditions which are not themselves a disability, but can give rise to symptoms which are. Obesity is a prime example.Post-Brexit we may see changes in the way courts define disability. This is because in EU law the concept of disability looks at the impairment’s effect on ‘normal day-to-day activities’ which may or may not include work-based activities depending on how specialist they are.”What can employers do to reduce disability discrimination risks?Pratt says pre-employment health questionnaires may be used under the Equality Act to establish if an employee has a disability. “A properly constructed questionnaire will help employers establish at the outset whether there are any mental or physical disabilities that may require action,” he says. “If a candidate does not disclose, when asked, that he or she has a ‘hidden’ disability then it is difficult for them to say that the employer should have a constructive knowledge of that disability if an employment tribunal claim is made.” Are ‘discrimination arising from disability’ claims an easy route to employment tribunal wins?By John Charlton on 5 Oct 2016 in Disability discrimination, Employment law, Personnel Today, Discrimination Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Corn Crop

first_imgRainy conditions this spring forced some Georgia corn farmers to plant their crop late this year, according to Reagan Noland, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension corn and small grains agronomist. This late planting, combined with a very wet growing season, meant farmers harvested some corn crops a few weeks late.“There was a time frame of good planting conditions during the early spring, and many acres were planted on time. If you didn’t get your crop planted then, you likely got in a little late,” Noland said. “We had a few big rain events in mid-April. I would say if growers didn’t plant by mid-April, they probably didn’t get in (the fields) until the beginning of May.”In late May, Georgia experienced two straight weeks of rainy weather. Limited sunlight slowed the growth of corn at a time when yield components were determined.“Cloudy weather at different points during the life cycle of corn influences different aspects of yield,” Noland said. “During tassel and pollen shed, bad weather can lead to issues with pollination and poor establishment of the kernels.”Symptoms of nitrogen deficiency were also common where the soil was saturated. This year, considerable nitrogen was likely lost due to leaching and runoff in fields that were overrun with moisture.“When the soils are saturated and conditions are cloudy, the plant isn’t transpiring and taking up water as quickly. I visited a field in Laurens County, (Georgia), where a farmer had to terminate his crop because over 80 percent of the field was stunted beyond recovery. It was too wet, and the roots were rotting a couple of inches deep,” Noland said. “It was a good bottomland site that usually yields well because it holds moisture well. This ended up hurting in a year when it was too wet.”Dublin, Georgia, in Laurens County received 7.9 inches of rain in May, surpassing previous years’ totals with 17 rainy days, according to the UGA Weather Network at www.GeorgiaWeather.net.Along with Laurens County, reports from Georgia’s Washington, Jefferson, Burke and Bulloch counties also indicated that farmers were adversely affected by too much rain, Noland said. In the southwestern part of the state, conditions were more favorable for growing corn.“I talked with (Extension agent) Seth McAllister over in Terrell County, (Georgia), and he has a good representation of the western part of south Georgia. From what he said, the irrigated farms are looking good. It’s not record-breaking, but they are generally harvesting a good crop this year,” Noland said. “Dryland yields are normal. One bright side to wet weather is that dryland yields will often do better than normal. Some early estimates in Terrell County indicated dryland yields around 90 bushels, which is all right for the area. Another report from Dooly County, (Georgia), indicated a grower harvesting well over 200 bushels dryland, which is outstanding.”Noland’s research on the UGA Tifton campus was also not immune to the rainy summer’s impact.“Current yield projections for (one of our) fields is around 230 or 240 bushels, which is good. Most growers will be happy to see that average across a field, but it’s not as high as we hoped to see in a research plot,” Noland said.Corn is typically harvested throughout August and September. It is a high-value row crop for Georgia growers. Corn generated more than $277.2 million in Georgia, according to the 2016 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report, produced by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.last_img read more

October 17 IMCA National Point Standings

first_imgTies broken by feature win totalsIMCA Modifieds – 1. Jason Wolla, Ray, N.D., 1,233; 2. Cory Sample, Winnemucca, Nev., 1,213; 3. Tyler Limoges, Redwood Falls, Minn., 1,204; 4. Steven Bowers Jr., Topeka, Kan., 1,202; 5. A. J. Ward, Ionia, Mich., 1,198; 6. William Gould, Calera, Okla., 1,197; 7. Tyler Frye, Belleville, Kan., 1,191; 8. Matt Guillaume, Haslet, Texas, 1,178; 9. Clinton Luellen, Minburn, Iowa, 1,178; 10. Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, 1,172; 11. Shawn Fletcher, Brainerd, Minn., 1,171; 12. Clint Hat­lestad, Glencoe, Minn., 1,164; 13. Dean Abbey, Roanoke, Texas, 1,157; 14. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., 1,156; 15. Drew Armstrong, Alexander, Ark., 1,152; 16. Travis Hagen, Willis­ton, N.D., 1,150; 17. Chaz Baca, Mesa, Ariz., 1,148; 18. Bryce Garnhart, Shannon, Ill., 1,142; 19. Jeff Hoegh, New Caney, Texas, 1,136; 20. Johnny Saathoff, Beatrice, Neb., 1,132.IMCA Late Models – 1. Justin Kay, Wheatland, Iowa, 809; 2. Matt Ryan, Davenport, Iowa, 806; 3. Todd Cooney, Des Moines, Iowa, 805; 4. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown, Iowa, 789; 5. Rob Toland, Colona, Ill., 783; 6. Chad Holladay, Muscatine, Iowa, 780; 7. Jeremiah Hurst, Dubuque, Iowa, 777; 8. Joe Zrostlik, Long Grove, Iowa, 767; 9. Tyler Bruening, Decorah, Iowa, 763; 10. Ryan Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa, 763; 11. Joel Callahan, Dubuque, Iowa, 758; 12. Andy Nezworski, Buf­falo, Iowa, 745; 13. Ben Seemann, Waterloo, Iowa, 726; 14. Nick Marolf, Wilton, Iowa, 718; 15. Chuck Hanna, Port Byron, Ill., 715; 16. Gary Webb, Blue Grass, Iowa, 707; 17. Paul Nagle, Ne­vada, Iowa, 706; 18. John Emerson, Waterloo, Iowa, 701; 19. Curtis Glover, Runnells, Iowa, 686; 20. Luke Goedert, Guttenberg, Iowa, 683.IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars – 1. Marcus Thomas, Corsicana, Texas, 803; 2. Tyler Reeser, Orwigsburg, Pa., 794; 3. Scott Lutz, Jonestown, Pa., 780; 4. Trevor Serbus, Olivia, Minn., 778; 5. Justin Fifield, Mesquite, Texas, 777; 6. Andy Shouse, Oklahoma City, Okla., 771; 7. Kyle Ganoe, Thompsontown, Pa., 767; 8. Tyler Drueke, Eagle, Neb., 767; 9. Zach Blurton, Quinter, Kan., 766; 10. Kaleb Johnson, Sioux Falls, S.D., 765; 11. Zach Newlin, Millerstown, Pa., 757; 12. John Rick­etts, Burleson, Texas, 754; 13. Jake Bubak, Arvada, Colo., 747; 14. Adam Gullion, Lincoln, Neb., 747; 15. Toby Chapman, Panama, Neb., 736; 16. Michael Stien, Ceylon, Minn., 735; 17. Tyler Russell, Abbott, Texas, 732; 18. Dale Wester, Ovilla, Texas, 727; 19. Robert Vetter, Wolfe City, Texas, 726; 20. Kenneth Duke, Selinsgrove, Pa., 723.IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars – 1. Mike Nichols, Harlan, Iowa, 1,231; 2. Kirk Martin, Weatherford, Texas, 1,199; 3. Nathan Wood, Sigourney, Iowa, 1,198; 4. John Oliver Jr., Danville, Iowa, 1,198; 5. Jason Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb., 1,196; 6. Donavon Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 1,193; 7. Travis Van Straten, Hortonville, Wis., 1,191; 8. Damon Murty, Chelsea, Iowa, 1,188; 9. Derek Green, Gra­nada, Minn., 1,170; 10. Dan Mackenthun, Hamburg, Minn., 1,166; 11. Damon Hammond, Bur­leson, Texas, 1,152; 12. Matt Speckman, Sleepy Eye, Minn., 1,134; 13. Joren Boyce, Minot, N.D., 1,133; 14. Kyle Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb., 1,130; 15. Brian Blessington, Breda, Iowa, 1,129; 16. Westin Abbey, Comanche, Texas, 1,127; 17. Jeremy Christians, Horicon, Wis., 1,126; 18. Dalton Flory, Williston, N.D., 1,121; 19. Chad Bruns, Wakefield, Neb., 1,117; 20. Devin Snellenberger, Pulaski, Wis., 1,117.IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks – 1. Shannon Anderson, Des Moines, Iowa, 1,238; 2. Justin Luinen­burg, Reading, Minn., 1,223; 3. Cory Probst, Brewster, Minn., 1,219; 4. Brady Bencken, Oakley, Kan., 1,213; 5. Brandon Nielsen, Spencer, Iowa, 1,205; 6. Jeff Ware, Columbus, Neb., 1,198; 7. Zach Olmstead, Overton, Neb., 1,184; 8. Andrew Bertsch, Minot, N.D., 1,179; 9. Luke Wassom, Broken Bow, Neb., 1,178; 10. Eric Cross, Salina, Kan., 1,178; 11. Chanse Hollatz, Clear Lake, Iowa, 1,175; 12. Austin Brauner, Platte Center, Neb., 1,164; 13. Cody Williams, Minneap­olis, Kan., 1,153; 14. Jason Fusselman, Shelby, Iowa, 1,147; 15. Andrew Borchardt, Plym­outh, Iowa, 1,139; 16. Roy Armstrong, Beatrice, Neb., 1,135; 17. Tyler Hinrichs, Americus, Kan., 1,135; 18. Cameron Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb., 1,133; 19. Nick Ronnebaum, Onaga, Kan., 1,128; 20. Justin Wacha, Vinton, Iowa, 1,121.Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods – 1. Tyler Soppe, Sherrill, Iowa, 1,228; 2. Tony Olson, Ce­dar Rapids, Iowa, 1,224; 3. Matthew Looft, Swea City, Iowa, 1,211; 4. Austin Svoboda, David City, Neb., 1,189; 5. Austen Becerra, Bowen, Ill., 1,188; 6. Colby Fett, Algona, Iowa, 1,186; 7. Jesse Skalicky, Fargo, N.D., 1,184; 8. Doug Smith, Lanesboro, Iowa, 1,181; 9. Trent Roth, Colum­bus, Neb., 1,180; 10. David Siercks, Princeton, Minn., 1,173; 11. Erik Laudenschlager, Minot, N.D., 1,171; 12. Dakota Sproul, Hays, Kan., 1,171; 13. Brandon Lennox, New London, Mo., 1,164; 14. Jake McBirnie, Boone, Iowa, 1,157; 15. Jaylen Wettengel, Topeka, Kan., 1,157; 16. Johnathon D. Logue, Boone, Iowa, 1,151; 17. Austin Luellen, Minburn, Iowa, 1,149; 18. Kelly Henderson, Minot, N.D., 1,147; 19. Kelly Jacobson, Fargo, N.D., 1,143; 20. Chris VanMil, Barnesville, Minn., 1,141.Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMods – 1. Cory Williams, Slaton, Texas, 1,209; 2. Jeffrey Abbey, Comanche, Texas, 1,169; 3. Brian J. Carey, Aztec, N.M., 1,166; 4. James Skin­ner, Burleson, Texas, 1,151; 5. Ronnie Bell, Lorena, Texas, 1,133; 6. Jake Upchurch, Grand Prai­rie, Texas, 1,096; 7. James Guyton, Moody, Texas, 1,095; 8. Taylor Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas, 1,079; 9. Sid Kiphen, Gatesville, Texas, 1,078; 10. James Hanusch, Belton, Texas, 1,078; 11. Steve Gray, Vernal, Utah, 1,075; 12. Scott Gray, Vernal, Utah, 1,007; 13. Kamera McDonald, Keller, Texas, 1,003; 14. Gabe Tucker, Carbon, Texas, 991; 15. Allen Montgomery, White Settle­ment, Texas, 984; 16. Nathan Buchanan, Kemp, Texas, 959; 17. Casey Brunson, Lott, Texas, 932; 18. Frank Groves, Shallowater, Texas, 923; 19. Chris Cogburn, Robinson, Texas, 922; 20. Dustin Robinson, Post, Texas, 893.Mach-1 Sport Compacts – 1. Dillon Richards, Beatrice, Neb., 1,207; 2. Mitch Meier, Chilton, Wis., 1,206; 3. Ramsey Meyer, Pierce, Neb., 1,199; 4. Alex Dostal, Glencoe, Minn., 1,157; 5. Levi Heath, Wilton, Iowa, 1,146; 6. Jay DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 1,142; 7. Jason Berg, Bismarck, N.D., 1,137; 8. Luke Jackson, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,123; 9. Jake Newsom, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,118; 10. Michael Meier, Chilton, Wis., 1,117; 11. Brooke Fluckiger, Columbus, Neb., 1,115; 12. Darwin Brown Jr., Jackson, Minn., 1,113; 13. David Bates, Homer, Neb., 1,107; 14. Curtis L. Miller, Lewis, Iowa, 1,096; 15. Austin Friedrich, St. James, Minn., 1,095; 16. Kaitlin DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 1,093; 17. Julia Childs, Weatherford, Texas, 1,092; 18. John Martinez, Beatrice, Neb., 1,091; 19. Dustin Jackson, Oneill, Neb., 1,084; 20. Shannon Pospisil, Norfolk, Neb., 1,081.last_img read more

SABMiller grows Chinese joint venture

first_img12 February 2013 Johannesburg- and London-listed SABMiller has moved to enhance its position in China’s lucrative beer industry with the $864-million acquisition of Kingway Breweries by China Resources Snow Breweries, SABMiller’s joint venture with China Resources Enterprise. “The acquisition of Kingway gives us greater access to high growth and attractive regional markets in China, enhancing CR Snow’s competitive position,” the managing director of SABMiller Asia Pacific, Ari Mervis, said in a statement last week. Kingway’s brewery business is made up of seven breweries, with four of these in China’s fastest growing and most populous region, Guangdong province, on the South China Sea coast. The remaining three breweries are in Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces in the southwest and northwest of the country respectively and the Tianjin municipality in northern China. Production capacity of the breweries is 14.5-million hectolitres and in 2011, the business sold 9.3-million hectolitres. “Kingway is a widely recognised brand and quality asset and enjoys a strong market share with an extensive sales network and established manufacturing infrastructures in China, especially in Guangdong province,” said the chairperson of China Resources Enterprise, Chen Lang. “The transaction not only strengthens our production capacity and economies of scale, but also further optimises the sales network of CR Snow in China. “This continues to enhance our leading position in China’s beer industry,” he said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Monitor fields as crop reach maturity

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As fall approaches and growers gear up for harvest, it is important that they continue to monitor and scout fields as crops reach maturity. Although at this point in the year it is too late for management practices such as rescue treatments, fungicides, etc., there is still a great deal to learn by walking through fields.With wet weather throughout the growing season, several diseases have developed in both corn and soybean fields across Ohio. For corn, there has been a higher incidence of common rust throughout the state. As of mid-August, southern rust has been discovered in some southwest Ohio corn fields. Gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight have also appeared in Ohio’s corn fields.In soybeans, diseases such as frogeye leaf spot and bacterial leaf blight have developed in many fields throughout the state. As growers walk fields this fall, they should take note of what diseases are present and make plans to deal with problem diseases either through management practices this fall and spring or with varietal selection for the 2018 crop.While scouting fields, and observing the crop development above ground, it is also a great idea to spend some time investigating what is going on below the soil surface. Taking time to dig up roots will help growers understand soil conditions in their fields, root development of crops, potential pest problems, and determine if any compaction exists. With the wet spring weather, heavy rain events, and field work performed in marginal conditions, there may be some areas of fields where compaction needs to be alleviated. Growers can determine if they may have soil compaction by digging roots up in several areas of fields, especially wet areas where water ponded this spring.As fall approaches growers should also be aware of weed pressure that exists in their fields and make plans for fall herbicide applications. As weeds become more of a challenge to control, both growers and agronomists have observed the benefits of fall applications of herbicides. Growers who routinely apply herbicides in the fall have a better chance of maintaining weed-free fields the following growing season.One final concern that growers should take note of as corn begins to mature is possible nitrogen deficiencies. Due to heavy rainfall and saturated soils during the 2017 growing season, it is not surprising to see some signs of nitrogen deficiency showing up in corn fields across the eastern Corn Belt. Whether applied preplant or sidedress, patterns of heavy rainfall and wet soils increase the likelihood of nitrogen being lost. Because nitrogen is an essential nutrient for corn plant development and ultimately yield, losses will impact final yields this fall.When saturated conditions persist, nitrogen can be lost though leaching or denitrification. Leaching (more likely to occur in course-textured soils) is the process where nitrogen is moved down through the soil profile and out of the root zone where it is not available to plants. The severity of nitrogen loss due to leaching is impacted the intensity and duration of rainfall. Denitrification is the process where soil nitrogen is biologically converted to gaseous nitrogen and lost to the atmosphere. During denitrification, microorganisms break down soil nitrogen and convert it to nitrogen gas when soil is saturated and oxygen is limited.Nitrogen deficiency symptoms initially appear as a “V” shaped yellowing on lower leaves that begins at the tip and progresses toward the stalk. Nitrogen deficiency can also cause ears with tip-back, poor kernel set, and shallow kernel development. Fields that have experience excessive rainfall, ponding, and saturated soils could be exhibiting the symptoms discussed above.While nitrogen deficiency has most likely impacted yields, another concern for eastern Corn Belt farmers this fall is stalk integrity. When nitrogen deficiencies exist, the corn plant will “cannibalize” its own stalk to produce an ear. As a result, stalks will be weakened and will be prone to lodging this fall. Fields where nitrogen deficiency has been observed should be harvested in a timely manner this fall to avoid harvest losses due to lodged corn plants.The 2017 growing season has been extremely challenging at times. Although everyone is looking forward to moving on to next year, it is important to take some time walking fields this fall in order to make sound management decisions that will ensure productivity next year.last_img read more

4 Key Take-Aways From Goldman’s Huge Facebook Investment

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market marshall kirkpatrick A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Analysis#NYT#web Banking giant Goldman Sachs has invested $500 million in Facebook, buying shares at a price that puts the value of the entire company at $50 billion. If all shares in the company were priced equally (they are not) then we could assume that Goldman, and co-investor Russian giant DST, bought 1% of Facebook. What’s most important isn’t the amount of literal control over the company that the banks bought, rather it’s the valuation this gives the company and the relationship the investment fosters between Goldman and Facebook.ReadWriteWeb readers, probably more concerned with technology and innovation implications than the business end of this deal, may benefit from a summary of the flurry of news coverage that began last night with the scoop by Andrew Ross Sorkin and Evelyn M. Rusli at The New York Times. 1. ScaleGoldman and Digital Sky Technologies, the Russian firm that has invested big in Zynga, Groupon and Facebook, are pooling together the funds of wealthy clients to invest $500 million now and up to $1.5 billion total. That investment prices Facebook’s total value at $50 billion.For perspective, Goldman has $900 billion on its balance sheet of all its investments. Apple is the world’s second single most valuable company behind Exxon, having just passed $300 billion. Google has a $200 billion market cap (is Facebook worth 25% what Google is?) and Twitter is now reported to be looking at raising still more money (beyond its $200 million last month) from Kleiner Perkins and Digital Sky at a valuation of $3 billion.In other words: This deal is in some ways a big move by Goldman but in other ways, for people like this it’s just another day in the office. The company hopes this will help them pocket larger sums when Facebook goes public on the stock market, when its wealthy leaders are looking for a bank to run their personal investments and when Goldman can impress everyone with how prestigious they are to land this deal. For more perspective see The New York Times analysis piece here and Reuters financial blogger Felix Salmon.More Facebook may mean better feature development for users in the short term, and it may mean more ubiquity for Facebook in the medium term, but in the long term it could mean trouble for the Web in general. There is already far too great a risk that as Facebook policies and procedures go, so will go the rest of the Web, whether that’s what’s best for the Web and its users or not.2. From Disruption to Co-OptationFacebook, Twitter, Zynga and Groupon moved quickly in 2010 to go from culturally disruptive outsiders to being welcomed as small players in the world’s economy. None have been as economically disruptive as Craigslist and the Internet in general have been for example to the media economy, but even the media economy is tiny compared to the real economy: trading in liquid money, like natural resources, intellectual property and money.Whenever these companies take money to grow, of course, it comes at some expense to them in terms of independence. Big, traditional money puts cash into an upstart technology company and suddenly conversations around big decisions become very different. The golf course conversations about Facebook around the country will change too; they’ll be about buying shares pre-IPO from Goldman instead of about how confusing the kids are these days. Most likely, both types of conversation will go on.If you were hoping for Facebook to do something really risky, really culturally disruptive (I have been), the odds of that are getting slimmer fast.3. More Money for the Tech EcosystemGoldman’s investment in Facebook is going to be great for all the industries the company’s young leaders are likely to spend their money in, including tech startups. From early Facebookers becoming angels backing tiny new companies (some of which may be acquired later by Facebook) through Facebook backers Accel Capital turning its 5-year-old investment of nearly $13 million into a whole lot more. Much of that will go to the fund’s clients, but it should end up being good for future startups as well.On the other hand, hundreds of millions more dollars running through Facebook will also mean that many more engineers will end up working there – instead of innovating independently. Facebook (and Google) swallowed up big portions of the Silicon Valley bleeding-edge consumer software engineering scene in 2009 and 2010. Expect to see that trend continue.4. More Control for FacebookThank goodness for Google and Twitter. Without them, Facebook’s control over peoples’ identities online would be virtually unchallenged. The challenge those two companies pose isn’t very strong, either. Facebook is pushing fast to make itself the default login and identity system on sites all around the Web. From little sites happy to rid themselves of the risk of a Gawker-style security breach to big big media sites that Facebook is visiting the offices of and woo-ing with promises of big social distribution.It’s not good for any one company to have so much control over something so essential as our online identity. Imagine if there was one credit card company, or one bank. Bad news. More Facebook may mean better feature development for users in the short term, and it may mean more ubiquity for Facebook in the medium term, but in the long term it could mean trouble for the Web in general. There is already far too great a risk that as Facebook policies and procedures go, so will go the rest of the Web, whether that’s what’s best for the Web and its users or not.Presuming you’re not a Goldman customer looking to buy pre-IPO Facebook stock – but rather a Web user and lover – what does this mean to you? It’s hard to say. There will be upsides and there will be downsides. On balance, I don’t think it’s good news, though.last_img read more

Japanese Trio Says All Needed Approvals Secured

first_imgzoom Japan’s shipping majors Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) have missed the establishment date for their joint venture company despite claiming to have received all necessary approvals for compliance with local competition laws.According to the companies, the approvals were granted in regions and countries where compliance is required for the establishment of the new joint venture (JV), which will operate under the tradename Ocean Network Express (ONE).However, the trio has been faced with hurdles from the Republic of South Africa as the country’s competition commission decided to block their proposed merger in late June. The commission has prohibited the deal as it found that the structure of the container liner shipping market “is conducive to coordination based on previous collusive conduct in the container liner market in other parts of the world.”The companies said they expect to complete the approval process for compliance with competition law before the service commencement date of April 1, 2018.Furthermore, they informed that progress is being made towards completing the establishment of the new integrated container shipping business.“Overall, there is no impact on the three companies’ integration plans for the new container shipping business, and the service commencement date for the new company is likewise unchanged from April 1, 2018,” according to MOL.The trio earlier announced the expected establishment of a holding company and an operating company by July 1, 2017 for the integration of the three companies’ container shipping businesses, including terminal operation businesses outside Japan.In late June, the European Commission granted its approval for the creation of the joint venture, adding that it concluded that the proposed acquisition “would raise no competition concerns given the limited impact of the transaction on the routes to and from Europe and the fact that there would be sufficient competitive pressure from other competitors post transaction.”last_img read more

Madison Bumgarner Rode A Hot Streak To Greatness And We Know Who

FASTBALL VELOCITY (MPH) Luis SeverinoNYY97.798.0+0.3🔥 PITCHERTEAMAVERAGELAST FIVE FASTBALLSDIFF.PREDICTED STREAK Who’s hot and who’s not as the playoffs beginAmong expected playoff starters, predictions of five hot and five cold streaks based on how each pitcher finished his last start John LackeyCHC91.492.7+1.3🔥 Most hurlers tend to lose velocity in October, whether because of colder temperatures or just the accumulated fatigue of six months of throwing baseballs.7We didn’t have pitch classifications for the postseason, so we compared the velocities of pitches in the 99th percentile for speed in both the postseason and regular season. All pitchers lost an average of 0.29 mph per fastball in the postseason. But a starter who finishes his last game hot tends to see his fastball drop by 0.55 mph less than one who ends the year on a cold streak. Over the last three seasons, there has been a significant correlation between a pitcher’s streak at the end of the regular season and his October velocity loss.8The correlation was 0.25, with a p-value of 0.02.The list of pitchers who were running hot going into the postseason reads like a who’s who of great recent playoff performances. The aforementioned Bumgarner makes two appearances, once in 2016 and again just before his overpowering 2014 run. Last year’s Kluber performance was there, alongside somewhat unexpected performances like the 2015 Blue Jays’ Marco Estrada and 2014 Cardinals’ Lance Lynn.And just as the hot starters often excelled, the cold ones often flopped. Nobody expected Clayton Kershaw to get shelled in the 2016 postseason, but sure enough, his fastball velocity had dropped enough to trigger a cold streak just before October. The same goes for other aces who underperformed in the postseason, like James Shields in 2014. (You may have forgotten, but Shields was actually good back then.)This year, there’s no shortage of starters riding hot streaks into the playoffs.9An important caveat is that pitch-tracking technologies that MLB uses switched from Pitchf/x to Statcast this year, so the results from the last three years may not match up as well with what happens this season. In fact, the Cubs (John Lackey), Yankees (Luis Severino), Red Sox (Chris Sale) and Astros (Dallas Keuchel) all enter the playoffs with a pitcher boasting higher than average velocities — and each one of these guys has the potential to take over a series. Rich HillLAD89.388.5-0.7❄️ One team does stand to lose more than any other, and that’s the Dodgers. With Kershaw and Rich Hill both on cold streaks, two of L.A.’s best starters might struggle this October.10The Dodgers’ Alex Wood is also on a cold streak, but it’s less clear whether he will make the playoff rotation. Kershaw’s struggles are nothing new, but the persistent loss of velocity he seems to have experienced each of the last three years suggests that he’s not a choker — he’s probably just tired.To measure the possible impact of these streaks in the upcoming playoffs, we re-ran FiveThirtyEight’s Elo-based prediction system for the last three years’ regular seasons, adding the hotness of each pitcher in a matchup to the analysis. Across 1,621 games, when one starting pitcher was hot and his opponent was cold, his team was eight percent more likely to win the game than it would be if both pitchers were hot or both were cold, which is roughly twice the benefit of having home field advantage compared to playing at a neutral site. If two otherwise evenly matched teams go head-to-head and one has a hot starter and one has a cold one, the hot starter’s team will win at about the same clip as the 2017 Red Sox did.Of course, knowing that a pitcher is hot isn’t a secret sauce for predicting the playoffs. October is so random that an ice-cold hurler could muddle his way to victory, and all it takes is one misplaced pitch to turn an ace’s fiery start into a blowout. For example, last year, every pitcher in the Chicago Cubs’ rotation entered the playoffs in cold mode and throwing more softly than normal. That didn’t stop the Cubs from claiming the title, although it was arguably a little more difficult than the projections expected. So although the Dodgers have some reason to worry, they might still be able to claim the trophy.CORRECTION (Oct. 2, 8:10 p.m.): A previous version of the table in this article reversed the numbers in two columns — average fastball velocity and velocity of last five fastballs — for Kyle Hendricks and Drew Pomeranz. The table has been updated. Ervin SantanaMIN93.392.8-0.5❄️ Kyle HendricksCHC86.487.2+0.8🔥 Source: PitchInfo Almost every year, one or two pitchers seem to take over October and almost single-handedly spur their teams to victory. In 2014, Giants starter Madison Bumgarner capped one of the best postseason performances in history with an unforgettable World Series Game 7 relief appearance. Last year, the Indians’ Corey Kluber led the way, allowing only seven runs across more than 34 innings.A few weeks ago, we showed that hot streaks like these can arise from pitchers throwing harder than normal. Add a couple ticks to an ace’s fastball, and he can go from normal, everyday excellence to almost superhuman levels of greatness. But the effect goes beyond mere velocity: Hot streaks can tell us when to expect a significant boost to a pitcher’s entire statistical profile, which can come in especially handy during the notorious crapshoot that is the MLB postseason.A lack of reliable metrics stymied many previous efforts to study the hot hand in baseball. Noisy measures of performance like ERA and on-base percentage can have just as much to do with the team a pitcher is facing or the fielders behind him as they do with his innate talent. By zeroing in on the one thing a pitcher has absolute control over — his fastball velocity — we could see when he was running hot or cold.Although throwing harder is almost always a boon for pitchers, it’s less important than getting outs. To show that hot streaks matter for more than just radar guns, we gathered the predicted stat line for each start that a pitcher made after June in 2016 (according to the Steamer projection system).1Provided to us courtesy of Rudy Gamble of Razzball. The projections gave us a pitcher’s expected performance in each game, adjusted for opponent, park and home-field advantage. We compared the pitcher’s actual performance to the pitcher’s projected performance. Then we ran an algorithm analyzing every start in the season preceding the start in question, to see whether a pitcher’s hot or cold streak predicted whether he would overperform his projection in the next game.2As in our last article, we analyzed only pitchers who threw at least 800 fastballs in a season. To minimize overfitting, we ran the model for the first two months of the 2016 season and then used the Viterbi algorithm to predict starts beginning in June. (We considered a pitcher hot if the last five fastballs of their previous start were hot and cold if their last five pitches were cold.)3We also tried looking at the last 10 and 20 pitches of the previous start, and we obtained similar results with those methods.Across a wide variety of measures, a pitcher who’s on fire at the end of one start seems to do better than expected in the next. Compared with a cold pitcher, a hot one strikes out 0.39 more batters than predicted per start, while allowing 0.1 fewer walks plus hits per inning pitched. Add it all up, and one pitcher can perform 1.02 earned runs per nine innings better than expected depending on whether he’s fiery or frigid.4After making a Bonferroni adjustment, we found the differences in strikeouts and ERA are significant at the standard 0.05 level (with adjusted p-values of 0.003 and 0.044), while the differences in WHIP are significant at the less stringent 0.10 level (with an adjusted p-value of 0.099).Although we detected hot streaks using fastball velocity, the performance boost doesn’t seem to be solely the result of speedier pitches. For example, when pitchers’ cutters are preceded by a hot pitch, they tend to have more lateral movement. Curveballs drop further, and sliders cut more across the zone. Since breaking balls that move further tend to get more swinging strikes, a hot pitcher’s entire arsenal takes a step forward. And the boost in speed and amount of break doesn’t seem to come at the expense of command, because hot pitchers are more likely to get called strikes than expected.5According to a binomial logistic regression, which used game location, pitcher, catcher, the count, pitcher handedness, pitch position in the strike zone and velocity as predictors.A pitcher’s ups and downs become even more important in October. A 1.02-run drop in a couple of starters’ ERAs can mean the difference between an early wild card exit and making the World Series. And fortunately for playoff-bound aces, when we looked at the last three postseasons’ worth of data,62014-2016 we found that a pitcher who ends the regular season hot is likely to carry that momentum into the playoffs. Max ScherzerWAS94.392.2-2.1❄️ Drew PomeranzBOS91.288.1-3.1❄️ ⋮ Clayton KershawLAD93.192.2-0.9❄️ Chris SaleBOS95.097.7+2.7🔥 Dallas KeuchelHOU88.090.2+2.1🔥 read more