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Good row crops

first_imgTomato spotted wilt virus damagePeanut farmers will probably have to accept some losses to thetomato spotted wilt virus this year. Georgia’s tobacco crop hasalready been hit particularly hard by the virus and this usuallyindicates the virus will be tough on peanuts as well, Beasleysaid.TSWV is spread by small insects known as thrips. Thrips pass thevirus to plants when they feed on them. The virus reproduces andspreads throughout entire plants. In many cases, it dwarfs theplants. Yields can be low or nonexistent if the virus attacksplants early in their growth.Scattered showers have put some farmers behind on fungicide andherbicide applications, Beasley said. This could cause someproblems later in the season. But peanut farmers, in most cases, prefer to deal with theproblems associated with a wet year over the ones related to adry year, he said. Georgia farmers are expected to grow about 565,000 acres ofpeanuts this year, a little more than last year. By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaAfter a dry spring and planting time, Georgia’s peanut and cottoncrops are benefitting from the wet start to summer caused byscattered but numerous showers across the state.Since Memorial Day weekend, peanut farmers have seen exactly theweather they like: warm temperatures and high humidity creatingrain clouds, said John Beasley, a peanut agronomist with theUniversity of Georgia Extension Service.”The rain has come mostly as scattered thunderstorms,” Beasleysaid. “Some fields have received more than others, but mostfields have received some rain in the last three weeks.”The dry spring caused some disease and insect problems. But sofar Georgia’s peanut crop is in good shape for this time of theseason. Peanut demand high, cotton demand lowThe demand for peanut butter and consumer peanut products isgrowing, says Nathan Smith, a peanut economist with the UGAExtension Service. Consumer demand is up about 8 percent fromthis time last year.He attributes the higher demand to more peanut-based products onthe market, farmer-funded promotions and trendy high-proteindiets. Peanuts are high source of protein.To keep up with this demand, U.S. peanut farmers need to have agood year. To meet the increase in demand and sustain currentstockpiles, U.S. growers need to average about 2,900 pounds peracre this year, Smith said. U.S. peanut farmers have averaged about 2,650 per acre over thelast ten years. This average includes the 2003 crop, which was arecord year for yields.Cotton prices have dropped drastically to about 53 cents perpound, ten cents less than just two months ago, says Don Shurley,a cotton economist with the UGA Extension Service.Prices fluctuate and typically drop during summer months, butthis cotton price drop has come early this year. Shurley says several factors have contributed to the pricereduction:- The United States is expected to have a large crop thisyear.- The World Trade Organization recently ruled against the United States and brought into question certain U.S. cotton farm policies. – U.S. textile mills slowed down their cotton usage.- The volume of U.S. cotton exports has declined.center_img Cotton crop a little larger this yearGeorgia’s cotton likes the current weather, too, says SteveBrown, a cotton agronomist with the UGA Extension Service.Cotton farmers have had to keep an eye on weed control. They willneed to be vigilant of any insect damage in coming months, hesaid.Georgia growers are expected to produce about 1.35 million acresof cotton this year, a little more than last year.The rain has made plant canopies healthy and lush up to thispoint. But Brown says nature’s water tap doesn’t need to turn offany time soon.Most peanut plants are blooming right now in fields and cottonplants are beginning their blooming stage. For the next twomonths both crops will need about two inches of water, eitherfrom rain or irrigation, per week to sustain good growth andyields.last_img read more

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Luxembourg government moves on second pillar pension reform

first_imgThe Luxembourg cabinet has endorsed a long-awaited pension reforms bill that aims to expand second pillar access to the self-employed.The draft law was approved during a cabinet meeting on Friday, but has yet to be officially published.A government advisor told IPE that the draft bill will shortly be passed by the parliament, which will publish the law in the course of this month, possibly next week. The main element of the proposal involves reforming the legal framework for occupational pensions to make these available for the self-employed and those in “liberal professions”, such as lawyers or notaries. According to a statement from the cabinet, insurance companies, pension fund managers or professional associations could set up such second pillar schemes. They would have the same fiscal treatment as company schemes.Chrystelle Veeckmans, president of the association of Luxembourg pension funds (ALFP) and partner at KPMG Luxembourg, said that the reform bill had been expected for years.She told IPE that the extension of the complementary pension to self-employed persons was a good thing, but not much more could be said as the ALFP has not been not consulted and the text is not yet available.The current Luxembourg government put reform of the second pillar pensions framework on its legislative agenda when it took power in 2013.In addition to expanding second pillar pensions access, the forthcoming bill also provides for the transposition of the EU Portability Directive, which sets out certain minimum standards for the protection of mobile workers’ pension rights.The statement from the Luxembourg cabinet noted that the directive aims to prevent constraints on the free movement of employees within the EU.The directive was adopted in April 2014 and has to be incorporated into Member States’ national law by 21 May 2018.The Luxembourg government has fixed a date of 1 January 2018 for its second pillar pensions reform law to enter into force.last_img read more

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