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Indopamphantini trib. nov., a new tribe of subfamily Pamphantinae of family Geocoridae, is erected for Indopamphantus gen. nov., containing one species, I. makutaensis sp. nov., as the first member of this subfamily from the Oriental Region. The strikingly myrmecomorphic I. makutaensis, collected only from Makuta range area within Coorg [Kodagu] district at altitudes of up to 909 metres in the canopy of Vateria indica L. (Dipterocarpaceae), a tree indigenous to the Western Ghats in south India, is described and illustrated. The affinities of the new tribe with other tribes within the Pamphantinae as well with other related subfamilies of Geocoridae and families of Lygaeoidea are discussed. The Geocoridae and Pamphantinae are redefined to accommodate this new tribe. © 2017 Magnolia Press.


Raeside M.C.,Jobs | Robertson M.,Jobs | Nie Z.N.,Jobs | Partington D.L.,Jobs | And 2 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2017

Dry matter production and nutritive characteristics of the pasture feedbase during autumn are key drivers of profitability in Australia's prime lamb systems. An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that offering lambs dietary choice through spatially separated combinations of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) and/or lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) improves the post-weaning liveweight gain, condition score (CS), pre- and post-slaughter carcass characteristics and reduces the internal parasite burdens of wether lambs finished to a slaughter weight over autumn, relative to lambs offered no dietary choice. The experiment tested seven treatments, replicated four times in a randomised complete block design with plot sizes of 1 ± 0.1 ha. The treatments were: 100% perennial ryegrass (PR), 100% plantain (PL), 100% lucerne (LU), 50:50 perennial ryegrass/plantain (PR + PL), 50:50 perennial ryegrass/lucerne (PR + LU), 50:50 plantain/lucerne (PL + LU) and 33:33:33 perennial ryegrass/plantain/lucerne (PR + PL + LU). Plots were grazed by weaned lambs between March and June 2011. The lambs had been born between 3 August and 7 September 2010 and were derived from either Coopworth composite dams joined to Coopworth maternal sires or from Merino dams (Toland or Centreplus bloodlines) joined to Border Leicester sires. Backgrounding the lambs on a pasture system that contained lucerne during the lactation to weaning period increased (P < 0.05) liveweight at slaughter by 8% and hot carcass weight by 10%, relative to lambs backgrounded on perennial ryegrass. Finishing lambs on the LU treatment between weaning and slaughter increased (P < 0.05) liveweight at slaughter by 11%, CS at slaughter by 0.3 units, hot carcass weight by 16%, carcass CFAT (measured over the loin) by 2.5 mm, carcass eye muscle depth by 1.1 mm and carcass GRFAT (total tissue depth at 11/12th rib, 11 cm from mid line) by 3.8 mm, relative to lambs finished on the PR treatment. Finishing lambs on LU + PR, LU + PL or LU + PR + PL did not (P > 0.05) improve any of the measured parameters, relative to finishing lambs on the LU treatment. The PL and PR treatments did not differ (P > 0.05) in liveweight at slaughter, CS at slaughter or carcass characteristics, but the PL treatment had lower (P < 0.05) liveweight gain than the PR treatment during the first 2 weeks of the experiment (39 g/day vs 330 g/day), which was later partially compensated for. Our hypothesis has not been supported given that the use of spatially arranged mixes resulted in no improvement in liveweight gain, CS, carcass characteristics or internal parasite burdens relative to the comparable single species sward. © CSIRO 2017.


Raeside M.C.,Jobs | Robertson M.,Jobs | Nie Z.N.,Jobs | Partington D.L.,Jobs | And 2 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2017

Offering livestock dietary choice through access to different pasture species enables livestock to regulate their own feed intake, select for nutrients and minerals, balance rumen health and display natural grazing and foraging behaviours, which could in turn result in increased livestock productivity. An experiment was conducted at Hamilton, Victoria, Australia, to test the hypothesis that offering lambs dietary choice through spatially separated combinations of pasture species would improve lamb performance, relative to lambs with no dietary choice. The experiment tested seven treatments, replicated four times in a randomised complete block design with plot sizes of 1 ± 0.1 ha. The treatments were: 100% perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) (PR), 100% plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) (PL), 100% lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) (LU), 50:50 perennial ryegrass/plantain (PR + PL), 50:50 perennial ryegrass/lucerne (PR + LU), 50:50 plantain/lucerne (PL + LU) and 33:33:33 perennial ryegrass/plantain/lucerne (PR + PL + LU). In the multiple species swards, the pasture species were separated spatially (by area). Plots were grazed by weaned lambs between March and June 2011. Pre-grazing herbage mass during March and April were highest (P < 0.05) from the lucerne and lowest (P < 0.05) from the plantain, with lucerne producing 4.5-5.5 t DM/ha during this time, whereas the perennial ryegrass and plantain produced 3.5-3.9 t DM/ha and 2.3-3.0 t DM/ha, respectively. Herbage disappearance (calculated estimate of feed intake) was highest (P < 0.05) from the lucerne and lowest (P < 0.05) from the plantain during March and April. Leaf crude protein between the perennial ryegrass and plantain did not differ (P > 0.05) and were lower (P < 0.05) than the lucerne, but the perennial ryegrass and plantain had higher (P < 0.05) leaf on offer (kg DM/ha). Plantain leaf had higher (P < 0.05) Fe, Zn, Co, Ca and S than the perennial ryegrass leaf and higher (P < 0.05) Se, Cu, Mg, Na and Cl than the perennial ryegrass and lucerne leaf and a more negative (P < 0.05) dietary cation: anion difference. The agronomic data presented in this paper provides support for the hypothesis, with lambs showing dietary preferences between pasture species and morphological components, and forms to basis for why these preferences exist. The two subsequent papers show how offering lambs dietary choice affected the performance of male lambs to slaughter and female lambs to first joining. © CSIRO 2017.


Woolnough A.P.,Jobs | Hart Q.,C Ninti One Ltd
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2016

Managing established pest animals is difficult. The complexity increases significantly when the pest animal is found across the remote arid interior of a continent (Australia), the impacts (both positive and negative) are unclear, and there is a diverse array of affected stakeholders. This paper describes how the generation of primary scientific evidence was critical for the development of a national policy approach (the National Feral Camel Action Plan). The combination of evidence and policy led to the development and implementation of the Australian Feral Camel Management Project. This project offered the opportunity to implement a wide range of management interventions across the affected jurisdictions. The strengths of the Australian Feral Camel Management Project included having high-level support, participation by all affected stakeholders in partnerships, strong governance and a clear project management approach, underpinned by clear policy and scientific evidence. We believe that the evidence-based policy approach used in this project can be used as a template for the management of other established pest animals that are considered to be in need of requiring national coordination.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.forbes.com

“I’m a farmer, which is where the story starts,” began Kim Alexander. Worried about health problems and the environmental impact from fracking, Kim recounted her long walk. “In October, my friend and I took to the road, the trail, the river side; 320 miles across the state of Maryland in a walking performance to educate, celebrate and protect our watershed and the communities it supports, from the far ranging impacts of natural gas development.” Kim also visited Dimock, Pa., and gathered water from the Ely family, whose well water was made undrinkable by fracking. I would frequently see the drilling in rural Pennsylvania when I worked in Butler and Williamsport hospitals. I was particularly disturbed by a scene at Summit Elementary like this, which, given what we know about the health dangers of fracking, struck me as a terrible threat to children. Recently, I attended an Allegany College of Maryland meeting of the Western Maryland (WMD) state legislators on fracking. I then went to Frostburg State University to get background for this series and met Kim and other activists, and have followed their path, learning about the health risks I outlined in my earlier posts. There are two competing bills in the Maryland legislature that will soon come up for a vote. SB0740/HB1325 would prohibit fracking in Maryland. Another competing bill, SB0862⁠, from Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D) calls for a referendum county-by-county and further study and regulations. While this initially might sound reasonable, it’s not. One obvious problem is that if residents oppose the fracking, a new bill to challenge that can be proposed every year (p. 3, sec G3-4). A re-vote is not a provision if the pro-fracking faction wins. Carter Conway’s bill specifies that the regulations are to rely on the recommendations of the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission and of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but excludes studies from Johns Hopkins and other research institutions from consideration. Why would that be? We know that the EPA has failed to protect residents from drilling⁠, as I explained here. Public Herald has recently released a thorough study showing that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has hidden more than 9,000 complaints. Given that about three-quarters of Maryland’s residents live in places where anti-fracking resolutions are in place, allowing fracking to be decided by the two westernmost counties is likely to disenfranchise them and put their health at risk. Also, as Barbara Hurd, local resident and acclaimed writer, recently put it, “We live in places intricately bound to other places. Our communities are connected to other communities; our habitats to other lands. The effects of fracking do not abide by jurisdictional boundaries. No regulations can stop polluted water and tainted air from traveling wherever they will.” Growing health concerns, yet division over fracking in MD At the Allegany College information session, anti-fracking comments from citizens dominated.⁠ At the last Cumberland City Council meeting, 42 attended to support the ban and 13 spoke against fracking. At both, concerns focused on: Two other Garrett County physicians concur. Dr. Tom Johnson added, “It is not prudent for our community to accept this risk at this time.” Another physician, who specifically noted that he is a Republican and Trump supporter, also opposes fracking in WMD. Medical associations are increasingly voicing their opposition. The Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is supporting the bill to ban fracking altogether in Maryland, as is the Maryland Public Health Association. Similarly, the Pennsylvania Medical Society unanimously approved a resolution calling for a moratorium on fracking, because of the growing evidence of its harms. A poll by OpinionWorks in 2015 showed 68% of Maryland residents wanted a ban or long-term moratorium; only 3% favored fracking. A similar poll last fall did not include the moratorium; 56% supported a ban vs. 28%. The margin in Garrett County, where most drilling would occur, and a Washington Post poll last fall had similar results. The Western Maryland delegates are strongly pro-fracking and keep telling people that they have strong support from the citizens of WMD, although all the polls above contradict that. I have reached out to three local state legislators for further comment. Senator George C. Edwards returned my call. Edwards tried to reassure me about health risks. I asked, “You say that fracking will be safe and well-regulated…but who will do that?” Edwards responded, “We’re going to have the strictest regs… We’re not Pa.!” Asked about the safety of all the heavy trucking equipment carrying chemicals, polluted wastewater and possibly liquefied natural gas maneuvering on windy, mountainous roads in an area notorious for blowing snow and fog, he deflected the question, saying that gas would be transported across Maryland by pipeline—about 250 miles—presumably to Dominion Cove Point's processing facility on the Chesapeake. Recent protests against TransCanada’s plan to run a pipeline under the Potomac River, the water source for millions of people in the metropolitan D.C. area, also illustrate the health concerns. Further casting doubt on reliance on regulatory oversight for our safety is Governor Larry Hogan's (R) inaugural statement, “We must get the state government off our backs, and out of our pockets, so that we can grow the private sector.” That’s similar to the Trump administration’s vows to deregulate safety requirements across the board and to dismantle agencies. Scott Pruitt, who sued the EPA multiple times, is now the head of the EPA. It is unlikely that he or Gov. Hogan would then monitor and enforce environmental regulations. Also, to my surprise, Del. Wendell Beitzell, who was assistant director of environmental health at the Garrett County Health Department, said at the ACC meeting, “Fracking poses no threats.” Beitzel’s comment astonished me, so I wondered why he felt so strongly. He apparently has considerable financial incentive to support fracking. In 2011, Maryland spent $455,000 for agreeing not to develop his farmland in Garrett County. Beitzel also introduced a bill, despite the conservation easement, to allow drilling. Now, Beitzel has sponsored bill HB1461, cross-filed in the Md. Senate by Edwards as SB0980⁠, to provide restitution for large landholders who can’t frack their land if there is a ban. Where do they propose the funding for this come from? The owners of renewable energy systems that generate electricity through the solar energy photovoltaic systems would be taxed 25% of their sales for this "restitution fund.” There is, of course, no similar restitution fund for damages caused by fracking. There is a common misconception, promulgated by Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D), who said that fracking “affects two counties where there are no jobs whatsoever” other than prisons. This is not true, as tourism has been increasing in the counties. A recent op-ed noted, “Tourism and vacation real estate provide about half of all jobs and two ­thirds of Garrett County’s tax base…nowhere in the world do fracking and world­-class tourism mix.” When Kim canvassed local businesses, no one supported fracking. The only people who did not sign the ban petition expressed fear that signing would hurt their businesses. Buckel’s office e-mailed me that he believed fracking could bring “492 to 2,425” jobs. But on a WCBC radio interview, he said, “It might provide "25, 50, 100, 250 jobs".  More alternative facts, it seems. Note, too, that mostly out-of-state workers get the high-paying jobs. Local worker jobs are usually low-paid, low-skill, part-time jobs⁠. Tourism is also on the upswing. Garrett County has seen over 6% growth in tourism in 2016, with real estate making a comeback from historic lows in 2008, up 16% this same year. A report produced by the Outdoor Industry Association found that recreation employed about 6.1 million people, vs. 2.1 for oil and gas. A new report from the Department of Energy says that 3.4 million Americans were directly employed by the clean energy industry in 2016 vs. 3 million for fossil fuels. Further, renewable energy employment grew by nearly 18% between Q2 2015 and Q1 2016. It has been heartening to witness grassroots mobilization and activism. These people in WMD love their land and are driven to protect it and downstream communities. Kim even wrote this anti-fracking ballad: There is growing opposition to fracking by health, environmental and conservation groups. New York, Vermont and Massachusetts have statewide bans or moratoria. Florida is considering a ban to protect its tourism and water—a bill that has notable bipartisan support. Instead of focusing on bills that risk our clean water, clean air and our countryside, it would seem far wiser to reward innovative approaches to land use and investments in renewable energy and tourism, both of which have a much broader benefit to local communities and the state, and which pose no risks to our—and our children’s—health. For more medical/pharma news and perspective, follow me on Twitter @drjudystone or here at Forbes


Martin R.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Constable F.,Jobs | Tzanetakis I.E.,University of Arkansas
Annual Review of Phytopathology | Year: 2016

Producers worldwide need access to the best plant varieties and cultivars available to be competitive in global markets. This often means moving plants across international borders as soon as they are available. At the same time, quarantine agencies are tasked with minimizing the risk of introducing exotic pests and pathogens along with imported plant material, with the goal to protect domestic agriculture and native fauna and flora. These two drivers, the movement of more plant material and reduced risk of pathogen introduction, are at odds. Improvements in large-scale or next-generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics for data analysis have resulted in improved speed and accuracy of pathogen detection that could facilitate plant trade with reduced risk of pathogen movement. There are concerns to be addressed before NGS can replace existing tools used for pathogen detection in plant quarantine and certification programs. Here, we discuss the advantages and possible pitfalls of this technology for meeting the needs of plant quarantine and certification. © 2016 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Grain texture defines the structural component of barley and can be quantified by measuring endosperm hardness and grain density. Both components impact on important grain quality traits, in particular water-uptake efficiency, steeping, malt-extract potential, pearling efficiency, milling efficiency, digestibility, and grain appearance. Grain composition, grain size, grain morphology are traits found to impact the expression of endosperm hardness and grain density. However, little is known about the genomic regions that are directly associated with the expression of grain texture and how these regions may be employed to improve grain quality. A combination of small-scale phenotyping tools, consensus maps, proteomics, and genomics will aid in understanding how grain texture is associated with barley processing and malt-quality related traits. This review highlights the interactions between endosperm hardness, grain density, grain size traits, and malt-quality. For grain texture it is clear that even when all the allelic variations at the Hardness locus have been fully described, there will remain a need to understand the pleiotropic effects on grain texture of a range of other gene loci that are currently considered to be important in physical grain size or phenology. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Boyd D.,Jobs
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science | Year: 2015

The 'Risk management through soil moisture monitoring' project has demonstrated the capability of current technology to remotely monitor and communicate real time soil moisture data. The project investigated whether capacitance probes would assist making informed pre- and in-crop decisions. Crop potential and cropping inputs are increasingly being subject to greater instability and uncertainty due to seasonal variability. In a targeted survey of those who received regular correspondence from the Department of Primary Industries it was found that i) 50% of the audience found the information generated relevant for them and less than 10% indicted with was not relevant; ii) 85% have improved their knowledge/ability to assess soil moisture compared to prior to the project, with the most used indicator of soil moisture still being rain fall records; and iii) 100% have indicated they will continue to use some form of the technology to monitor soil moisture levels in the future. It is hoped that continued access to this information will assist informed input decisions. This will minimise inputs in low decile years with a low soil moisture base and maximise yield potential in more favourable conditions based on soil moisture and positive seasonal forecasts © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.


McCaskill M.R.,Jobs | Kearney G.A.,36 Paynes Road
Crop and Pasture Science | Year: 2016

Temperate pastures that leak water below the root zone have been linked to an increase in dryland salinity in southern Australia through their conservative use of stored water. An experiment was conducted at Hamilton in south-western Victoria to test the hypothesis that deep-rooted, summer-active perennial pasture species can substantially reduce leakage. On topographic crests the experiment compared lucerne and chicory with a traditional perennial ryegrass variety with low summer activity, whereas on the poorly drained valleys the comparison was between tall fescue, kikuyu and a perennial ryegrass variety with high summer activity. Lucerne developed a buffer of dry soil to a depth of at least 5m. An empirical relationship with June-September rainfall indicated that with this dry buffer, leakage below the root zone would not occur even in the wettest of years. Chicory developed a dry buffer to the depth of measurement (3m), but plant density gradually declined and leakage started to occur 5 years after sowing. The perennial ryegrass with low summer activity had leakage nearly every year. On the valleys kikuyu was initially the most effective at drying the soil in summer, but its density declined at the expense of annuals and 3 years after sowing it became wetter than the other treatments. None of the pasture options on the valley fully controlled leakage, but both the summer-active perennial ryegrass and tall fescue were persistent and there was little difference in their capacity to extract summer moisture. This study showed that four characteristics were associated with a pasture that controlled leakage - summer activity, persistence, adequate density and deep rootedness. Of the species tested only lucerne satisfied all these criteria. © CSIRO 2016.


High watertables and land salinisation in irrigation areas worldwide can often be managed with various forms of sub-surface drainage, but constraints on the disposal of saline drainage water to downstream users and environments often requires on-site management methods. In the Shepparton Irrigation Region of northern Victoria, Australia, groundwater pumping with on-farm re-use is a well-established and effective salinity management method, provided the groundwater salinity is less than 5 dS/m. In this study, a trial system established on an operating dairy farm could utilise 60 Ml/yr of 10 dS/m groundwater without requiring any off-site disposal. Normally in this region, such a circumstance would require evaporation basin disposal, but in this trial system, a salt-tolerant tree plantation established on already salinized land within the area of influence of the groundwater pump replaced an evaporation basin.Evaluation of the system was accomplished using monitoring data collected since the establishment of the trial in 1998. This data supported the development of a mass balance model to calculate where the salt loads mobilised by the groundwater pumping move to and evaluate the longer-term operation of the system. Re-distribution of the salt, both diluted with irrigation water onto the broader farm area and undiluted onto the tree plantation, appears to approach a dynamic equilibrium in about 20 years. Modelling results suggest the tree plantation might reach equilibrium at soil salinities of 45 dS/m.Transferability of this system to other sites would require some similarities in respect to soils, hydraulic properties, salinities, groundwater gradients, and irrigation practices. Overall, the model of the system demonstrates a viable means of sustainably managing irrigation salinity through groundwater pumping with on-site re-use. Partitioning of the pumped high salinity groundwater to a combination of conjunctive use and undiluted irrigation to a salt tolerant tree plantation is able to meet the criteria of not requiring off-site disposal. © 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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