Monday, August 29, 2011
Cool-season grasses were rated for palatability, grazing persistence
Aug 29, 2011 5:29 PM, by Fae Holin
A mixture of fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, smooth bromegrass and perennial ryegrass will likely whet horses appetites and maintain productive pastures. That's according to a first-year equine grazing grass preference and persistence trial conducted by University of Minnesota (U of M) forage and equine specialists.
The preferences of four horses taste-testing 12 cool-season grasses were recorded and analyzed by U of M equine specialist Krishona Martinson, forage agronomist Craig Sheaffer and grad student Beth Allen last summer. They also examined productivity and persistence during horse grazing.
Bluegrass is needed because animals prefer it and its persistent, Martinson says. The bluegrass isn't as high-yielding compared to other grasses, but that's okay. We want it to be that base, that sod-former that withstands grazing and keeps that dense ground cover.
The endophyte-free fescue provides moderate yields and, as with bromegrass and ryegrass, is persistent and moderately preferred by horses.
Orchardgrass has long been the favorite of horse owners, and it does make phenomenal hay in a mixed setting with alfalfa, especially. But they just were not eating it well compared to the other grasses in our grazing trial. Looking at the yield and persistence, one might also want to include some orchardgrass just for a little bit of a yield bump, she suggests.
Horses liked timothy, Kentucky bluegrass and quackgrass the most. Smooth bromegrass, meadow and tall fescue, perennial ryegrass and reed canarygrass were moderately preferred. Besides orchardgrass, the horses didn't like Garrison creeping foxtail and two varieties of meadow bromegrass.
Meadow bromes are really popular in cattle grazing circles, but the horses would not eat them, Martinson says.
She excluded timothy as a top grass choice despite the fact that horse owners and horses like it and that it was the most preferred grass in the trial. Timothy, for a long time, has been the standard grass for horses and I've never really understood that. Maybe because its easier to identify?
But it isn't a grass that grazes well, the equine specialist adds. If pasture is overgrazed or grazed intensely, horses will kill timothy, which usually works better in hayfields with managed cuttings. She observed that grazing had thinned timothy and creeping foxtail stands.
In the trial, quarter horses grazed cafeteria-style on grasses in the vegetative-to-boot stages of maturity after plots were assessed for percent ground cover. After each of six grazings, from May through October, plots were mowed and allowed to regrow for about three weeks.
By the end of the trial, the researchers determined that timothy, perennial ryegrass and the two fescues had some of the lowest levels of fiber and the highest carbohydrate levels, partially explaining why these grasses were preferred by the horses. Orchardgrass, fescues and meadow bromes were most productive with yields ranging around 5-6 tons/acre.
But last year we had perfect conditions for growing cool-season grasses, Martinson warns. We had so much rain that we grassed for six straight months and never saw a summer slump. We saw a bump in yield in those normal slump months because of the wet weather.
The trial is now in its second year and she's seeing similar results. Seed companies have been asked to submit grass seed and support for future annual trials.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Rodeos celebrate milestone anniversary at Colorado State Fair
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Eight Hoof Care Myths (Experts address common minconceptions about hoof care.) By Amber Heintzberger
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
$103 Million to expand broadband Internet in rural United States. Posted by Cowboy Byte, Aug. 22, 2011
$103M to expand broadband Internet in rural U.S.
Telecommunications companies in 16 states will share more than $103 million in federal funding to help expand broadband Internet access to those areas of rural America that haven't been reached by the high-speed service or are underserved, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday.
Policymakers, public interest groups and telecom companies are seeking to bridge the digital divide by reaching even the most remote pockets of the U.S. with broadband internet, hoping to improve economic and educational opportunities there.
"There's a big gap that remains between rural and urban areas because it's just hard to make a business case in rural areas," said Jonathan Adelstein, the agriculture department's rural utilities service administrator, in a conference call with reporters. "Rural areas' future depends upon access to broadband and we're not where we need to be today
Saturday, August 13, 2011
It is an understatement to say that President Obama now owns the bad economy. He and his minions are actually creating and perpetuating it, policy by policy, decision by decision.
At an Aug. 4 press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “The White House does not create jobs.” That may be strictly true, but the guy who lives there can cause jobs to be lost and make the recovery more difficult — at which President Obama has excelled.
There is a fundamental principle that seems to have eluded the president and his men: A recovering economy that creates jobs needs to encourage innovation and the creation of wealth.
The president and his minions are going to learn some lessons the hard way.
First, that policies have consequences. In his study of the 1,000 years of the world’s economic growth, the late British economist Angus Maddison observed that the “golden age” for worldwide growth was from 1950 to 1973, with per-capita GDP increasing 3% per year.
In 1973 growth slowed in Western Europe and Japan: “Some slowdown in these countries was warranted, but policy failings made it bigger than it need have been.”
Second, that as my mother used to say, actions speak louder than words. Merely saying that you’re not hostile to business doesn’t make it so.
And although redistribution of income might satisfy liberals’ desire for “social justice,” it doesn’t stimulate the economy or create private-sector jobs.
11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Ruled Obama Care Unconstitutional.... Politico News by Jennifer Haberkorn Aug. 12, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
SAN BERNARDINO: Grand Jury Report on airport gets approved -- Mostly (The Press-Enterprise) Aug. 10, 2011 by Kimberly Pierceall
SAN BERNARDINO: Grand jury report on airport gets approved -
10:53 PM PDT on Wednesday, August 10, 2011By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL
Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The elected leaders overseeing San Bernardino International Airport voted Wednesday to agree to all but one of a civil grand jury's 16 recommendations despite staff spending more than a month attempting to discredit the panel's critical report that picked apart the oversight to develop the airport.
In its June 30 report, the civil grand jury raised several concerns taking issue with the airport's use of an auditing firm founded by the airport authority's executive director. It also questioned whether an individual who received two no-bid agreements to develop the airport may have inflated construction costs.
Video: Analysis:San Bernardino Airport committee meeting (July 28, 2011)
Officials defend hiring of Spencer, despite record | Video (July 23, 2011)
Airplane's value as loan collateral questioned (July 19, 2011)
Report questions amount paid for airport equipment (July 14, 2011)
Airport authority weighs changes (July 13, 2011)
Airplane at heart of $550,000 airport loan considered worthless (July 11, 2011)
EDITORIAL: Oust manager (July 10, 2011)
Airport deals not lucrative, officials say (July 9, 2011)
CASSIE MCDUFF: Audit found policy flaws (July 9, 2011)
CASSIE MCDUFF: A troubling partnership (July 6, 2011)
San Bernardino Airport spending questioned (July 5, 2011)
CASSIE MCDUFF: Airport plan scrutinized (July 4, 2011)
Airport needs better oversight, grand jury finds (July 1, 2011)
SB International exec denies unpaid taxes, rent (June 29, 2011)
Cost to build a main passenger terminal for commercial aviation flights as well as a high-end general aviation terminal and three-story U.S. Customs building for international arrivals has grown in cost from $45 million to $142.5 million since 2007.
There are no scheduled commercial flights.
The authority has until Aug. 30 to formally respond to the grand jury's recommendations. Sam Racadio, the board's representative from Highland, suggested changes to wording so that rather than the authority saying it is considering doing something, that instead it say it "will" do something.
Those were the only changes made to the responses before they were approved at Wednesday's meeting, the last of three meetings focused almost entirely on responding to the grand jury's assertions.
"This airport is ready to fly and we must begin treating it as the big corporation that it will become," said Josie Gonzales, San Bernardino County supervisor and member of the authority, likening the airport to a "little ugly leftover" before the authority invested in its development.
"As this airport grows, we become a competitor ... and this airport is ready to compete," she said.
The only recommendation the authority didn't agree with was the grand jury's suggestion that the airport stop all payments related to $4.06 million it agreed to spend on used aviation equipment in 2007.
The recommendation doesn't apply because the deal is done, "and there are no similar agreements pending at this time," according to the authority's response.
The airport had agreed to pay that amount to Norton Development Co., one of several companies managed by the airport's developer, Scot Spencer, for 11 jet bridges, baggage claim systems, seats and more that had been used by American Airlines in its John F. Kennedy terminal in New York as far back as 1975.
The grand jury had said there was one remaining jet bridge being refurbished and that taxpayers could save $134,689 if the airport refused to buy it.
Spencer, who had no prior experience developing an airport and had been sentenced to several years in federal prison in the mid-1990s for fraud related to the bankruptcy of Braniff Airlines, has also received a percentage of all construction contracts awarded to build the airport.
In response to another recommendation that the authority require Spencer to present detailed monthly progress reports as mandated in his agreements, the authority said it agreed, but instead said the agency's chief financial officer would submit copies of reports and documents related to the airport's construction on a monthly basis.
"At the discretion of the (authority), the developer may be required to provide additional documentation upon demand," according to the authority's response.
Implementation of most of the recommendations would take anywhere from less than a month to a year, according to the letter to the jury.
The authority is made up of elected leaders from San Bernardino County's east valley including the county, the city of San Bernardino, Colton, Highland and Loma Linda.
The group is related to the Inland Valley Development Agency which earns revenue from tax increment and has been overseeing redevelopment of the former Norton Air Force Base since it closed in 1994 and has been funding the airport's construction and operation.
The airport authority's executive director and assistant director, as well as San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris -- the group's president -- have spent more than a month defending their efforts to open a commercial airport. The grand jury report was the result of two years of investigations, interviews and an audit by San Francisco-based firm Harvey M. Rose Associates, which the grand jury hired for $75,840.
A draft version of the letter to be sent to the jury says, "this type of review, analysis, and open dialogue is both welcome and required," but reiterates what Morris and Donald L. Rogers, the executive director, have said since the report was released to the public on June 30. They contend there are a number of significant factual errors and misstatements.
"While the SBIAA recognizes the tangible benefits and value of all the recommendations contained in the document, it is essential that the foundational errors be addressed to ensure the integrity of this process," states the letter to be signed by Morris.
Included in the response to the grand jury is a copy of an economic impact report commissioned and paid for by the agency funding redevelopment of the airport, the Inland Valley Development Agency.
That study looked at all of the development that has occurred at the base since it closed in 1994, not just the airport, including the jobs created at Stater Bros. headquarters, Mattel and other businesses that located their distribution and industrial hubs at sections of the former base developed by Hillwood Development Corp.
Other attachments include a memo from a Washington D.C.-based attorney who earlier determined that Spencer's actions at the airport didn't violate his Department of Transportation ban from aviation.
Aviation construction consulting firm Faithful Gould compared the cost to build San Bernardino Airport -- a four-gate airport -- versus several others with nine to 36 gates. Based on $58.3 million to build the passenger terminal, nothing else, the authority spent $14.6 million per gate for the airport's four gates, according to the report. The average cost based on the seven other airports that were considered was $42 million per gate.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Rescue Coordination Center Team Assists in Mission That Saved 60 Hikers (AF North Public Affairs) by Angela Pope
|Rescue coordination center team assists in mission that saved 60 hikers
by Angela Pope
AFNORTH Public Affairs
8/9/2011 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Severe weather on July 29 flooded a hiking path on Mount Whitney near Lone Pine, Calif., leaving 60 hikers stranded.
Officials with the California Emergency Management Agency reached out to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center here for assistance.
"Although there was a large number of individuals in danger, this mission was just like any other for us," said the AFRCC's Capt. Roy Porter. "We followed the same checklists and procedures we always do for crises like this."
One of the requirements CEMA specialists needed for supporting assets was a helicopter that could reach altitudes of at least 10,000 feet. AFRCC controllers researched units in the area and found one that had such a helicopter: the Navy's Air Test Evaluation Squadron Three One at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, just 90 miles from Mount Whitney.
An SH-60 helicopter and its aircrew from VX-31 joined in the rescue efforts along with the Inyo County Search and Rescue Team, the Inyo County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Forest Service, which also provided a helicopter to aid in the rescue. The helicopters dropped rescue personnel off on the mountain and returned to Lone Pine Airport to await further requests for assistance.
Despite the treacherous conditions, all the hikers and rescue personnel were able to hike down and off the mountain safely when the weather cleared a few hours later. There were no serious injuries, and only one person had to be treated for hypothermia.
"Under such adverse conditions, and with the large amount of water coming down the trail, we are very fortunate that there was only one hypothermic victim, and that there were no more injuries or fatalities," said Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze.
(The U.S. Forest Service contributed to this article)
LA City Council gives thumbs up for NFL stadium
August 9, 20118:33 p.m.
The 12-0 vote by city council members to approve of the deal by the Anschutz Entertainment Group is another step in the process to get a football team back in Los Angeles, the only major-market city in the United States not to host a National Football League team.
The cost of the stadium is an estimated $1.2 billion. This would come at a cost of approximately $275 million in tax-exempt bonds. AEG would cover 73 percent of the costs and 27 percent would come from new tax revenues generated by the event center.
The stadium would be known as Farmers Field.
The problem for Phil Anschutz, the billionaire owner of AEG, is getting either an expansion team to Los Angeles or getting a current club to move to the city. Right now, the NFL has 32 teams.
Both the Rams and Raiders departed southern California prior to the 1995 season -- the Rams for St. Louis and the Raiders back to Oakland. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which opened in 1923, played host to both teams.
The Rams came from Cleveland to LA in 1946 and called the Coliseum home until moving to Anaheim for the 1980 season. The Raiders moved in during their original relocation from Oakland following the 1981 campaign and stayed through 1994.
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