No chance Man City will sell top star, claims Manuel Pellegrini amid Real Madrid rumours

first_img Sergio Aguero in action for Manchester City 1 Manuel Pellegrini claims there’s no chance Manchester City will sell Real Madrid target Sergio Aguero.The Argentine has been at his blistering best for most of the season, scoring 31 goals in 40 appearances for City.Were it not for a seven-game absence with a knee injury in December and January – and then a wait of another six matches to get back on the scoresheet – his return might have been even greater.In such form the 26-year-old can stand comparison with the best players in the world and has attracted the attentions of La Liga giants Real Madrid.But Pellegrini is not worried that a bid might come in from any of them. He insists Aguero, a £38million signing from Atletico Madrid in 2011, is happy and any approach would be rejected out of hand.Asked if he was concerned about interest in Aguero, the Chilean said: “I don’t think so because we are not a selling team and I think that Sergio is very happy here, so he doesn’t have any intention to go.”What does surprise Pellegrini is that Aguero was not recognised by his peers with a place in the Professional Footballers’ Association team of the year.The explanation for that probably lies in the fact the voting period overlapped with Aguero’s lull after injury – a spell in which Tottenham’s Harry Kane was capturing the headlines – but Pellegrini thinks it was an error.He said: “I don’t know the way they choose the PFA team for this year so I cannot talk about that, but I always think Kun must be in every best team.”Pellegrini said last week, after Aguero’s superb hat-trick in the 6-0 demolition of QPR, that the striker was getting better and better but still had much improvement to make.Aguero has said he expects even more of himself, attributing his form this season to superior fitness after radically altering his diet and training regime.But Pellegrini does not deny that Aguero – who still scored 28 goals last season despite a series of muscle injuries – is enjoying his best season to date.He said: “I think it is important for Kun. It is the season he has scored most goals in his career.“But it is important for our team to be a scoring team also, not just for Sergio. I am happy because we continue being the team that scores the most goals and for me that is important.“It is not so important as winning but you can win and be a scoring team.”last_img read more

iSimangaliso Wetland Park: South Africa’s coastal jewel

first_imgThe iSimangaliso Wetland Park is one of the jewels of South Africa’s coastline, with a unique mosaic of ecosystems – swamps, lakes, beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, woodlands, coastal forests and grasslands – supporting an astounding diversity of animal, bird and marine life.Dawn over Lake St Lucia seen from Fanies Island in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s first Unesco World Heritage site. (Image: South African Tourism)Brand South Africa reporterFormerly known as the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, iSimangaliso was renamed in the early millennium to better reflect its African identity – and to avoid confusion with the Caribbean island country St Lucia.Lying on the northeastern coast of KwaZulu-Natal, stretching from Kozi Bay in the north to Cape St Lucia in the south, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park was the first site in South Africa to be inscribed on the World Heritage List by Unesco, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.Remarkable diversityiSimangaliso’s uniqueness lies in its remarkable diversity, particularly its combination of a subtropical coastline and a classic African game park.It is South Africa’s third-largest national park. It runs along 280 kilometres of coastline, from the Mozambican border in the north to Mapelane south of the St Lucia estuary. The park is home to some 328 000 hectares of pristine natural ecosystems – including swamps, lake systems, beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, woodlands and coastal forests.A satellite view of Lake St Lucia, a 60-kilometre estuary lying just inland of KwaZulu-Natal’s Indian Ocean coast, and the wider iSimangaliso Wetland Park. (Image: Nasa Earth Observatory)iSimangaliso Wetland Park includes a river mouth, 60 kilometres wide, that creates a huge estuary. This is Lake St Lucia, which runs parallel to the coast and is separated from the sea by the world’s highest forested sand dunes. The lake is part of the St Lucia estuarine system, the largest estuarine system in Africa.The park incorporates the whole of Lake St Lucia, the St Lucia and Maputaland Marine Reserves, the Coastal Forest Reserve and the Kosi Bay Natural Reserve. The 40 000-hectare Mkuzi Game Reserve is also in the process of being incorporated into the park.Variety of ecosystemsiSimangaliso’s wide variety of ecosystems and natural habitats provides for an astounding diversity of species in the area.With its lakes, lagoons, freshwater swamps and grasslands, iSimangaliso supports more species of animal than the better-known and much larger Kruger National Park and Okavango Delta. It is home to South Africa’s largest population of hippos and crocodiles. It also harbours giant leatherback turtles, black rhino, leopards, and a vast array of bird and marine life.A baby hippo in the iSimangaliso wetlands. The park is home to South Africa’s largest population of hippos. (Image: South African Tourism)According to the Global Nature Fund’s Living Lakes project, more than 530 species of birds use the wetland and other areas of the Lake St Lucia region. “These waters also are graced by 20 000 greater flamingos, 40 000 lesser flamingoes, as well as thousands of ducks. With 36 species, this area has the highest diversity of amphibians in South Africa.“Here, and nowhere else in the world, can one find hippopotamuses, crocodiles and sharks sharing the same waters.”In proclaiming the iSimangaliso Wetland Park a World Heritage Site in 1999, Unesco said: “The interplay of the park’s environmental heterogeneity with major floods and coastal storms, and a transitional geographic location between sub-tropical and tropical Africa, has resulted in exceptional species diversity and ongoing speciation.“The mosaic of landforms and habitat types creates superlative scenic vistas. The site contains critical habitat for a range of species from Africa’s marine, wetland and savannah environments.”Tourist attractionThe variety of natural settings, the abundance of wildlife, and the sheer beauty of the place draw tourists to the area in increasing numbers. There is plenty to do – from fishing, boating and scuba diving to hiking, horse riding, game viewing, and whale- and bird-watching.The African jacana is one of the many species of bird to be found in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. (Image: South African Tourism)The park is also one of South Africa’s most popular fishing destinations, lending itself to rock and surf fishing, kite fishing, spear fishing, fly fishing, estuary fishing and deep sea fishing.There are plenty of hiking trails through the park – ranging from a few hours’ to a few days’ worth – offering the opportunity to see a huge variety of animal and bird life. Accommodation options are extensive, ranging from camping to private game lodges, and including hotels, flats and chalets in the nearby town of St Lucia.Editing and photo research by Mary Alexander.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

More Green From Beans – 6

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Pamela SmithDTN Progressive Farmer Crops Technology EditorThrow a crop-production question at Brad and Jacob Wade, and it can quickly escalate into a debate.When asked to rank the top things that determine soybean yield success, Jacob immediately countered: “Volume yield or economic yield?”“Are they the same thing?” his father, Brad, challenged. That comment lights the fuse. Suddenly, the two are bantering back and forth about every aspect of the soybean-production system and what equates to yield — and to Jacob’s point — profitability?The Wades, who farm near McLean, Illinois, nearly always come to a hearty consensus.“We do this a lot,” Brad said. “We’re always asking questions.”“We’re always looking for the next thing to push us to the next level,” Jacob added.Some would say yields come naturally in this part of the soybean belt. McLean County, Illinois (where the town of McLean is also located), led the state and nation in total production of corn (71.9 million bushels) and soybeans (21.5 mb) in 2018. In fairness, it is the largest county in the state, but yields tend to consistently rock here, too.During the last few years, the Wades have seen soybean yields grow consistently, with field averages hitting the 70-bushel-per-acre mark in 2016, 80-bushel beans in 2017 and several fields hitting 90 to 100 bpa in 2018.The father and son agree nature did a lot to push those yields higher, particularly in 2018. “Last year convinced some farmers that they could grow a lot of soybeans without really trying,” Brad said. “This 2019 season may set the record straight.”Soybean farmers are finding ways to boost revenues despite market and trade challenges. This story is the sixth and last in a six-part series, More Green From Beans. The series looked at ways soybean farmers are finding ways to answer trade challenges by boosting revenues through switching up agronomics and finding new markets.NO ONE RECIPEWhen the first soybean yield kings started adding to the soybean yield ledgers, other farmers clamored for their recipes. They still do, said Jerry Cox, Delta, Missouri, a perennial yield contest winner in soybeans and corn.“Foliar feeding, fungicide and timely insecticides are important ingredients, but it’s not as much the recipe as it is timeliness of application and reading the crop,” Cox said.His irrigated entry won the Missouri Soybean Association’s yield top honors in 2017 with 101.17 bpa using a planted population of 110,000 plants per acre. He has continued to reduce populations on high-fertility fields to promote branching, going as low as 75,000 plants per acre on his 2019 plot. However, it’s important to check germination rate on the seed planted before dropping that low, he pointed out.“My best yields seem to come in years when the plant had some sort of stress very early that it fought back from,” Cox added. “If I’ve learned anything over the past 35 years of trying to push the yield envelope, it is that the soybean has something of a mind of its own.”In other words, no matter what road map you chart with inputs and practices, weather can be an overriding factor. Plenty of sunshine before the summer solstice coupled with moderate nighttime temperatures and well-timed rains (or irrigation) tend to bring big bushels, these farmers agree.TRIAL AND SUCCESSStill, everyone knows of neighboring fields that failed to pump out the same number of pods and beans within, despite near-equal soil and weather. To that point, Wade Farms planted nearly 400 acres of replicated soybean trials this year to direct their own farm decisions and to share with local farmers through the seed sales side of their business.Beyond inputs, row widths and populations, they are testing to see if mechanical practices such as singulation and planter pressures matter to soybeans. “The tools we now have to measure and track incremental changes in the crop are going to really change soybean production in coming years,” Jacob said.How to interpret the wacky 2019 season is still a question though. The Wades planted some soybeans as early as March 27 into 33 degree Fahrenheit soil temperature and didn’t see a lot of plant growth until late May. A head-scratcher came when they found a few June-planted fields were averaging 21 to 22 nodes per plant, several more than the early-planted soybeans, which still had more pods.“We know in a typical year that early planting results in more nodes. More nodes equate to more pods and more production,” Jacob said. “I’d say we have 10% less nodes this year overall because we just didn’t get the heat units.”Listening and studying the practices of yield contest winners inspired the Wades to become serious about in-field testing for both efficacy and profitability. “We’ve learned that simply comparing one field to another doesn’t tell us much, especially when that field changes every hundred feet,” Brad said. “Without replicated trials, you can easily misinterpret that something is working or not working.”Digital health imagery helps them track changes in the field, and not everything turns out as expected, Jacob noted. Fuller maturity soybeans, 3.9 relative maturity (RM), have been abandoned on the farm, for example. “They just weren’t performing for us,” he said, explaining that their plots now run from 2.8 RM to 3.7 RM.“We now know that each soybean variety has a personality, and in a way, it needs to be planted and cared for. We tend to understand and make those adjustments in corn, but beans are making breakthroughs,” he said.SIX STEPS TO SOYBEAN SUCCESS:There’s no one way to pump up soybean yields. Brad and Jacob Wade like to look at the soybean decisions as a system. Beyond weather or environment, here are six steps they take to drive yields in central Illinois:1. Genetics: Disease and other defensive resistance needs are weighed along with overall yield potential.2. Early planting: Focus on planting in April to increase node number and number of pods.3. Seed treatment: Early planting increases the need to protect against early-season fungal infections, insects and sudden death syndrome (SDS).4. Crop safety: Preemergence herbicide programs are a must for good weed control, but they select herbicide active ingredients and additives to avoid injury that can come if early planting is followed by cold, wet weather.5. Late-season fungicide/insecticide: The top third of a plant absorbs most of the sunlight. R3 and/or R5 application of fungicide and insecticides are used to protect leaves through seed-fill.6. On-farm research: Prove concepts/products work on your own farm before switching to a new strategy. Replicate and record findings.Pamela Smith can be reached at pamela.smith@dtn.comFollow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

M.P. agrees to shift six tigers to Odisha

first_imgThe Madhya Pradesh government has given an “in principle” nod to translocate three pairs of tigers to Odisha’s Satkosia Tiger Reserve (STR), an official said on Monday. The six tigers are likely to be translocated by March-end, as the All India Tiger Estimation (AITE) 2018 is currently under way in the State. According to the officer, the in-principle approval came after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan agreed to the Odisha government’s request for translocation of the big cats. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Wild Life, Jitendra Agrawal said the STR is left with only one pair of tigers, who have passed their average age. In the last few days, only one of the big cats was captured in cameras in the STR, he said. Acting on a letter written by the Odisha government, the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s (NTCA’s) technical committee at a recent meeting approved shifting of the tigers. Later, the M.P. government also decided to allow the translocation, which would help in increasing the number of the striped cats in the STR.Mr. Agrawal said the genetic make-up of tigers in STR was similar to that of the Bandhavgarh and Kanha Tiger Reserve in M.P. There has been evidences of a tiger corridor between M.P. and Odisha, he said. “It is expected that the tigers of M.P. would easily adopt new climate of Odisha,” he said. Mr. Agrawal said the officials and employees would be trained in the tiger release protocol.last_img read more

Aus vs Pak: Pakistan beat Australia by four wickets

first_imgPakistan beat Australia by four wickets in their final World Cup Group A match at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Saturday. Score Chasing 177, Pakistan reached home in the 41st over with Umar Akmal and Abdul Razzaq remaining unbeaten on 44 and 22 respectively.Earlier, Pakistan pacers struck thick and fast to reduce the opposition to 176 with Umar Gul (3-30) and Abdul Razzaq (2-8) claiming five wickets between them.Pakistan too got off to the same kind of start that Australia had got on with, losing their opener early. Mohammad Hafeez fell to a Brett Lee ball that took the edge of his bat only to return into the bowler’s hands after a fine catch. He fell for 5 when the score was 21.Post his wicket the other opener Kamran Akmal and Asad Shafiq got on with a partnership which again was broken by Lee in the 10th over with an LBW written against his name. Pakistan went for a review but ended up wasting it. Akmal fell for 23 and Pakistan lost their second wicket on 45/2.Post Akmal’s wicket former Pakistan captain Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq got on with a partnership that lasted 14 overs and helped amass 53 runs even as the Aussies found it hard to contain the Pakistani charge.Finally, it was left to Lee to break their stand. A think nick off Lee’s ball and keeper Brad Haddin did the rest behind he stumps. He fell for 31 when the Pakistan score was 98/3 in the 23rd over. But Lee wasn’t done as yet for the very next ball saw new man Misbah-ul-Haq too walk back on a golden duck. However, Lee failed to get a hat-trick as Umar Akmal defended his next ball nicely.advertisementAsad Shafiq was still at the crease and he was giving no room to the oppostion bowlers. Soon he and Umar Akmal got on with a partnership that began to frustrate the Aussie bowlers. The two had put 41 runs for the fifth wicket when Mitchell Johnson claimed his first wicket of the day by despatching Shafiq on 46 to bring the Aussies back into the game.It was an extra bounce that did the trick. Johnson’s ball clipped his gloves and Shane Watson took a fine catch in the slips and Pakistan were down to 139/5.Skipper Shahid Afridi too could not stay for long and Pakistan fell to 142/6 with Jason Krejza claiming his wicket and Brett Lee performing the final honours.Finally, Umar Akmal and Abdul Razzaq helped Pakistan to a four wicket win.Australia inningsEarlier, Pakistan bowlers struck thick and fast as Australia were bundled out 176 in 47 overs. Australia won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan in the last league match for both teams. But it wasn’t the kind of start that the Aussies were expecting. They lost their opener Shane Watson in the 5th over when the score was 12/1.Soon skipper Ricky Ponting and the other opener Brad Haddin got on with a partnership. Their stand that helped Australia put 75 when Ponting fell in the 19th over. Ponting wasn’t exactly playing with confidence and could only manage to score 19 before a Mohammad Hafeez ball scalped him with keeper Kamran Akmal taking him behind the wickets. Soon Haddin too fell and Aussies had lost their third wicket on 90/3.Pakistan bowlers continued taking wickets at regular intervals and the next man to walk back was Cameron While. He was run out on 8 and Australia went down to 117/4 in 30.1 overs.Vice-captain Michael Clarke too did not stay for long and fell on 34 with an Abdul Razzaq ball shattering his stumps with the Aussie score was 134/5.Michael Hussey and Steven Smith had scored 10 more runs that the Pakistan bowlers struck again. This time it was the turn of Hussey to walk back on 12 with Abdur Rehman taking his wicket on 144/6 in the 38th over.There was more as Mitchell Johnson, who is even known to perform with the bat when the chips are down, did nothing to help his team as Abdul Razzaq dismissed him on 147/7. He failed to open his account.Later, Umar Gul scalped Jason Karejza (7) to reduce Australia to 169/8. Then it was the turn of Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi to show his prowess and he did that by claiming Seven Smith on 25. Last man Brett Lee scored five before falling to Gul and Australia were all out for 176 in the 47th over.Umar claimed three wickets in the day while Abdul Razzaq ended with impressive figures of 4-0-8-2.last_img read more

Belships Secures Bulker Newbuild

first_imgzoom Oslo-based bulk carrier owner and operator Belships ASA has signed an agreement to charter in an Ultramax bulk carrier to be delivered from Japanese Imabari Shipbuilding in the first half of 2020.As disclosed, the charter period for the 63,000 dwt ship will be for minimum eight years plus two yearly options, with purchase option from the end of the fourth year.With the new agreement, Belships ASA said it will have four Ultramax bulk carriers with eco-design from Imabari Shipbuilding.Two ships were delivered and in service for Cargill and Canpotex, respectively.Another bulker is expected to be handed over to the company in January 2018 and is presently unfixed.last_img read more