South Africa’s national parks

first_imgSouth Africa has a vast system of natural reserves established to protect the country’s indigenous plants, animals, landscapes and associated cultural heritage, ranging from the vast flagship Kruger National Park – occupying an area larger than Swaziland – to the tiny Bontebok National Park in the Western Cape.A giraffe silhouetted by the sunset in the Kruger National Park, which straddles the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Click image photo for a larger view. (Image: South African Tourism)These are managed by South Africa National Parks, established by the government in 1926 and one of the world’s leading conservation and scientific research bodies.Sections in this article:IntroductionAddo Elephant National ParkAgulhas National ParkAugrabies National ParkBontebok National ParkCamdeboo National ParkGolden Gate National ParkKaroo National ParkKgalagadi Transfrontier ParkKnysna National Lake AreaKruger National Park Mapungubwe National ParkMarakele National ParkMokala National ParkMountain Zebra National ParkNamaqua National ParkTable Mountain National ParkTankwa Karoo National ParkTsitsikamma National ParkWest Coast National ParkWilderness National Park|Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld National ParkRelated articlesUseful linksIntroductionQuiver trees in the Namaqualand.(Image: Graeme Williams, Media Club South Africa. For more free photos, visit the image library.)National parks offer visitors an unparalleled diversity of adventure tourism opportunities including game viewing, bush walks, canoeing and exposure to cultural and historical experiences.Fifteen of South Africa’s 21 national parks offer park or camp-run accommodation. Most parks and rest-camps have retail facilities and restaurants. Across the parks, there are a total of 6 000 beds and 1 000 camping and caravan sites, which can accommodate almost 12 000 overnight guests.There are various park clusters:the Kruger Parkthe arid clusterthe Cape clusterthe frontier clusterthe Garden Route clusterthe northern clusterThe Kruger National Park is characterised by combinations of savannah, thornveld and woodland eco-zones.The arid cluster is characterised by arid climate, sparse vegetation and sandy soils, and consists of parks in the Northern Cape – Augrabies Falls, Namaqua, Kgalagadi Transfrontier, Mokala and |Ai-|Ais / Richtersveld. In 2007, Unesco proclaimed the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape to be a World Heritage Site.Cape cluster parks – those within the south-western reaches of the Western Cape – are home to the endemic Cape Floral Region, also a World Heritage Site. They also feature mountainous, coastal, riverine or estuarine habitats. They are the Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, Agulhas and West Coast national parks.The frontier cluster is located in the frontier regions of the Eastern Cape and includes a variety of habitats across the parks, ranging from Nama-Karoo, grassland, montane, forest, valley thicket, fynbos and coastline. Addo, Karoo, Camdeboo and Mountain Zebra National Parks fall in this cluster.The Garden Route cluster lies in the picturesque Garden Route on South Africa’s southern coast, and features a range of habitats including rocky shorelines, temperate forests, lakes, rivers, estuaries and fynbos. Tsitsikamma and Wilderness fall into this cluster, as well as the Knysna Marine Protected Area.The northern cluster features savannah, thornveld or grasslands, located in the northern provinces of South Africa. Mountains are a feature of some. Golden Gate, Mapungubwe and Marakele fall into this cluster. Mapungubwe is also the location of another Unesco World Heritage Site. There’s more to Addo Elephant National Park than just elephants. Both a marine and bushveld park, it includes Bird Island, the seasonal home of uncountable breeding gannets.(Image: South African Tourism) Addo Elephant National ParkDeep within the shadows of the dense bushveld of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape lies the Addo Elephant National Park. Originally proclaimed in 1931 with only 11 elephants, today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 450 of the animals – the densest elephant population on earth. Other wildlife includes the Cape buffalo, black rhino, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.A unique combination of the Big Seven – elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, whales and great white sharks – makes the park a major attraction, as does its rich heritage of archaeological and historical sites. The park also contains five of South Africa’s seven major vegetation zones.Future plans include the proposed proclamation of a 120 000ha marine reserve to include islands that are home to the world’s largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and second largest breeding population of African penguins. This reserve also incorporates the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere.Plans are being implemented to expand the 164 000-hectare Addo into a 360 000-hectare mega-park.Year proclaimed: 1931Current size: 1 642.3 square kilometresProvince: Eastern Cape A shipwreck in Agulhas National Park.(Image: South African Tourism)Agulhas National ParkCape Agulhas is the southernmost tip of Africa, at 34° 49′ 58″ south and 20° 00′ 12” east, a point marked with a cairn. Found in the Western Cape, the park captures the adventure of sailing around the tip of the continent, crossing from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.The Agulhas area contains representatives of unique vegetation such as limestone fynbos. Although most species bloom between May and September, there are flowers to be enjoyed in any season.Among the mysteries associated with this region is the legendary Cape of Storms, which wrecked many ships en route to the east via Cape Agulhas. Shipwrecks dot the coastline – of the Zoetendal, Birkenhead and Armiston – with key artefacts from the vessels on display at the Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum.Ancient people also left their mark on the landscape. Archaeological middens indicate a successful hunter-gathering culture in harmony with its natural environment, and a cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years to when the Khoi-Khoi people trapped fish using ingeniously constructed tidal traps.The remains of ancient stone fish traps can be seen to the east of the Cape Agulhas lighthouse, the second-oldest working lighthouse in southern Africa, which houses a unique lighthouse museum.Year proclaimed: 1999Current size: 56.9 square kilometresProvince: Western Cape The 56-metre-high Augrabies Falls. (Image: Graeme Williams, Media Club South Africa. For more free photos, visit the image library.)Augrabies Falls National ParkFew sights are as awesome or a sound as deafening as water thundering down the 56m Augrabies waterfall when the Orange River is in full flood.The Khoi people called it “Aukoerebis”, or place of Great Noise, as this powerful flow of water is unleashed from rocky surroundings characterised by the 18km abyss of the Orange River gorge in the far Northern Cape.Picturesque names such as Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner are descriptive of this rocky region.Klipspringer and kokerboom (quiver trees) stand in stark silhouette against the African sky, silent sentinels in a strangely unique environment where only those that are able to adapt ultimately survive.The 55 383ha on both the northern and southern sides of the Orange River provide sanctuary to a diversity of species, from the smallest succulents, birds and reptiles to springbok, gemsbok and giraffe.The black stork and pygmy falcon are among the special birds in the park.Year proclaimed: 1966Current size: 416.7 square kilometresProvince: Northern CapeBontebok National ParkBontebok National Park in the Western Cape is a place of beauty and peaceful charm, set against the majestic Langeberg Mountains. A part of the Cape Floral Region World Heritage Site, the park always offers something in bloom.The park boasts proud achievements in biodiversity conservation, from the endangered fynbos veld type, coastal renosterveld, to the namesake bontebok. Once these colourful antelope numbered a mere 17, now the population sits at around 3 000. The park also offers bird watchers over 200 bird species.Year proclaimed: 1931Current size: 27.9 square kilometresProvince: Western CapeCamdeboo National ParkFormed hundreds of millions of years ago, the Karoo is one of the great natural wonders of the world. Camdeboo National Park provides the visitor with insights into the unique landscape and ecosystem, not to mention awesome scenic beauty.A unique feature of the 14 500ha park is its location, practically surrounding the historic town of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.Most of the park lies up against the foothills of the Sneeuberg range, with the Nqweba Dam within the park. At some places, dolerites form jointed pillars – the best examples of which are found in the Valley of Desolation where erosion of the softer sedimentary beds has left dolerite pillars which rise to heights of 90m to 120m.Year proclaimed: 2005Current size: 194 square kilometresProvince: Eastern Cape The Sentinel rock formation is a landmark in the Golden Gate National Park, with its glowing sandstone clearly showing how the park got its name.(Image: South African Tourism)Golden Gate Highlands National ParkNestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north eastern Free State lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.The park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park’s sandstone cliffs.This 11 600ha of unique environment is true highland habitat, providing home to a variety of mammals – black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok and Burchell’s zebra – and birds, including the rare bearded vulture (lammergeier) and the equally rare bald ibis, which breed on the ledges in the sandstone cliffs.Year proclaimed: 1963Current size: 116.3 square kilometresProvince: Free StateKaroo National ParkThe Great Karoo is a vast and unforgiving landscape of which the Karoo National Park is but a small portion. Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the Karoo is home to a fascinating diversity of life, all having adapted to survive in harsh conditions.The Karoo National Park is dominated by the lofty Nuweveld Mountains and rolling plains, with a wide variety of wildlife. Many species have been relocated to their former ranges, such as black rhino and buffalo, as well as Cape mountain zebra. Over 20 breeding pairs of black eagle find sanctuary within the park. There is also a wide diversity of succulent plants and small reptiles.The park has five species of tortoise, the highest density of species per equivalent area anywhere in the world. The Cape mountain zebra is well established in the park and visitors have the opportunity to compare its bold stripe pattern to that of the extinct quagga.The springbok – the emblem of the park and present in high numbers – is a reminder of the once massive herds that crossed the Karoo on annual migration, leaving a trail of devastation.The Klipspringer Mountain Pass not only provides visitors with spectacular views, but is also an example of civil engineering toil and precision.Year proclaimed: 1979Current size: 831.3 square kilometresProvince: Western Cape Gemsbok play at a waterhole in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.(Image: South African Tourism)Kgalagadi Transfrontier ParkThe Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in the far Northern Cape was proclaimed in 1931 to protect migrating game, especially the gemsbok. Together with the adjacent Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, this park comprises an area of over 3.6-million hectares, consisting of red sand dunes, sparse vegetation, imposing camel thorn trees and dry riverbeds.It is nearly twice the size of the Kruger National Park, and the first Transfrontier Park to be established in Africa.Kgalagadi is the first park to provide accommodation in three wilderness camps that, with no fences, invite the Kalahari and the tranquillity of Africa right into your room. The name “‘Kgalagadi” is derived from the San language and means “place of thirst”.Wildlife to look for in particular includes gemsbok, black-maned Kalahari lions and birds of prey.Year proclaimed: 1931Current size: 9 591 square kilometres (South African section)Province: Northern Cape The Knysna lagoon.(Image: South African Tourism)Knysna National Lake Area Knysna nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route, in the Cape. It is surrounded by a natural paradise of lush indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches.The exceptionally beautiful Knysna National Lake Area is home to the endangered Knysna seahorse and a large diversity of marine life. Sandbanks and salt marshes teem with life and in turn provide food to an immeasurable number of organisms.Dominated by the craggy bastions of the twin Knysna Heads, the lagoon has borne witness to centuries of trade in timber, ivory and gold.As a result of a relaxed lifestyle, Knysna has over the years, attracted a wide variety of art and crafters, creating an artists’ paradise. One of the last single gauge operational steam trains in the world travels between Knysna and George, called the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe.A speciality of the area is oysters. They are cultivated in the Knysna Lagoon and served in most of the local restaurants. The Knysna Oyster Company, established in 1949, is situated on Thesen Islands and offers daily educational tours, accompanied by fine cuisine.Year proclaimed: 1985Current size: 150 square kilometresProvince: Western Cape The sun sets behind an acacia tree in the Kruger National Park.(Image: South African Tourism)Kruger National ParkThe world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals.Man’s interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries – from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela – is very evident in the Kruger National Park. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the park and are conserved along with the park’s natural assets.The park has 13 rest camps, 11 bushveld camps, and 11 lodges.Year proclaimed: 1898 (officially proclaimed in 1926)Current size: 19 623.6 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Israel)Provinces: Mpumalanga and Limpopo One of the famous gold rhinos found in the ancient city of Mapungubwe.(Image: University of Pretoria)Mapungubwe National ParkMapungubwe National Park in Limpopo is rich in biodiversity, great scenic beauty and the cultural importance of the archaeological treasures of Mapungubwe. From a hilltop on the northern edge of the park the visitor can view the confluence of the legendary Limpopo and Shashe Rivers, as well as two neighbouring countries: Botswana and Zimbabwe.The park is the site where a developed African civilisation prospered between 1000 and 1290 AD. The area was already inhabited by a growing Iron Age community from 900 AD and became rich through trade with faraway places like Egypt, India and China. This is the place where archaeologists excavated the famous golden rhino and other evidence of a wealthy African kingdom.Sandstone formations, mopane woodlands and unique riverine forest and baobab trees add to the experience. Impressive Khoi/San rock art shelters have also been uncovered.Elephant, giraffe, white rhino, eland, gemsbok and numerous other antelope species occur naturally in the area. Predators include lions, leopards and hyenas. Birds to tick off the list include the kori bustard, tropical boubou and Pel’s fishing owl.Year proclaimed: 1989Current size: 53.6 square kilometresProvince: LimpopoMarakele National Park The Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains in Limpopo, as its Tswana name suggests, has become a “place of sanctuary” for an impressive variety of wildlife due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa. Contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys characterise the park.Rare finds of yellowwood and cedar trees, five-metre high cycads and tree ferns, are some of the plant species found here. All the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats as well as an amazing variety of birds including what’s probably the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world, have settled here.A narrow tar road takes visitors up to the top of the Waterberg massif, where the views and scenery are spectacular. From this height vultures soar past at close quarters.Antelope species such as reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, eland and tsessebe can be found in the park.Year proclaimed: 1993Current size: 507.3 square kilometresProvince: LimpopoMokala National ParkMokala is one of the country’s newest parks, situated in the far eastern corner of the Northern Cape. It comprises 19 611 hectares of Kalahari thornveld, savannah and Nama Karoo terrain interspersed with rocky outcrops, and with a wetland area that stretches for 18 kilometres.Mokala is a Setswana name for a Camel Thorn, an incredible resource to wildlife who survive in often harsh conditions characteristic of this area. Many animals have been relocated to the park and include black and white rhino, tsessebe, roan antelope, red hartebeest, buffalo, gemsbok and black wildebeest.Year proclaimed: 2007Current size: 196.1 square kilometresProvince: Northern Cape Zebras in the Mountain Zebra National Park.(Image: South African Tourism)Mountain Zebra National ParkThe Mountain Zebra National Park, near Cradock in the Eastern Cape, is a conservation success story, saving the Mountain Zebra species from extinction. In 1937 when the park opened it had only six zebra on 1 712ha of land. These zebra didn’t survive but donations by local farmers ensured the species and the park continued. Today it boasts 370 zebra roaming in 28 412ha, kept company by black rhino, eland, black wildebeest, red hartebeest and Cape buffalo.In the craggy heights of the park lurk grey rhebok. Caracal and cheetah are the predators of the park. Birds to look out for are the blue crane and Stanley’s bustard.Year proclaimed: 1937Current size: 284.1 square kilometresProvince: Eastern Cape The springtime explosion of flowers carpets Namaqualand every year, drawing thousands of visitors to the region.(Image: South African Tourism)Namaqua National ParkYou’ll know when you’re in the Namaqua National Park – a tapestry of brilliant colours unfolds enticingly along the winding roads in August and September. Butterflies, birds and long-tongued flies dart around among the flowers, seemingly overwhelmed by the abundance and diversity.With its winter rainfall, Namaqualand is home to the richest bulb flora of any arid region in the world and more than a 1 000 of its estimated 3 500 plant species are found nowhere else on earth. Fields of flowers, star-studded nights, quiver trees, enormous granite outcrops and the icy Atlantic are just some of the sights to catch.The Namaqua National Park is on the western edge of the Northern Cape, in the world’s only arid biodiversity hotspot, and is home to the world’s smallest tortoise, the Namaqua speckled padloper.Province: Northern Cape Table Mountain National Park is a global biodiversity hotspot, containing more plant species than the whole of the British Isles.(Image: South African Tourism)Table Mountain National ParkThe Table Mountain National Park encompasses the incredibly scenic Table Mountain Chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south and the seas and coastline of the peninsula. It is one of the country’s natural World Heritage Sites.The narrow finger of land with its beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warmer waters of False Bay and has within its boundaries two world-renowned landmarks – majestic Table Mountain and the legendary Cape of Good Hope.The park is recognised globally for its extraordinarily rich, diverse and unique fauna and flora – with rugged cliffs, steep slopes and sandy flats. Nowhere else in the world does an area of such spectacular beauty and such rich bio-diversity exist almost entirely within a metropolitan area – the thriving and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town.Year proclaimed: 1998Current size: 243.1 square kilometresProvince: Western CapeTankwa Karoo National ParkThe 80 000 hectare Tankwa Karoo National Park, proclaimed in 1986, protects one of the most starkly beautiful tracts of the Tankwa Karoo and is worth visiting for its koppie-studded, moon-like landscape, diversity of succulent plants, fine Karoo birding, in particular the enigmatic Burchell’s courser. A dense population of black eagle breeding pairs is also found in the park.Situated on the southern boundary of the Northern Cape, between the Roggeveld Escarpment in the east, Cedarberg in the west, and Klein Roggeveldberge in the south, the park erupts into a dazzling display of flowering succulents after a shower.Only two southern African regions have been designated as Biodiversity Hotspots by Conservation International. One is the Cape Floral Kingdom, and the other the Succulent Karoo, of which Tankwa is part.There is no tourism infrastructure in the park, although there are a couple of privately operated B&Bs on the periphery of the park. There are three very historical houses offering only a roof to stay under and drinking water close by. Entrance to the park is at the discretion of park management.Year proclaimed: 1986Current size: 439 square kilometresProvince: Northern Cape The dense indigenous forest of the Tsitsikamma National Park. (Image: Rodger Bosch, Media Club South Africa. For more free photos, visit the image library.)Tsitsikamma National ParkThe Tsitsikamma National Park, “the place of much water”, consists of forest, fynbos, rivers and a five-kilometre stretch into the sea, on the eastern border of the Western Cape.It protects inter-tidal life, reef and deep-sea animal life, which include dolphins, porpoises and the African black oystercatcher, a red data species of bird. The Cape clawless otter resides along the park’s coastline and rivers.The Knysna loerie and the miniature blue duiker can be seen in the forest.Year proclaimed: 1964Current size: 639.4 square kilometresProvince: Western Cape The azure waters of Langebaan lagoon, focal point of the West Coast National Park.(Image: South African Tourism)West Coast National ParkJust inland from the secluded harbour of Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape are the azure waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, focal point of the West Coast National Park. Thousands of seabirds roost on sheltered islands, pristine golden beaches stretch endlessly into the early morning mist and brooding salt marshes are home to vast concentrations of migrant waders, including the cape gannet, the jackass (African) penguin, flamingos, and the black harrier, from the northern hemisphere.During the spring the strandveld is filled with a tapestry of multi-hued flowers, while in the Postberg section many antelope are to be seen in a setting that is as unique as it is idyllic.Year proclaimed: 1985Current size: 362.7 square kilometresProvince: Western Cape Early morning in Wilderness National Park.(Image: South African Tourism)Wilderness National ParkIn the heart of South Africa’s famous Garden Route, a captivating world of lakes, rivers, estuaries and beaches unfolds against a backdrop of lush forest and lofty mountains – all elements that characterise the Wilderness National Park.Wilderness National Park stretches from the Touw River mouth to the Swartvlei estuary and beyond, where it links with the Goukamma Nature Reserve.Nature trails wind through densely wooded forest and along tranquil rivers, affording you the opportunity to encounter the brilliantly coloured Knysna loerie, or one of the five kingfisher species that occur here. During spring, a carpet of flowers further enhances the verdant beauty of this national park.Whales and dolphins can be spotted from Dolphin Point. Or, look out for the Knysna seahorse, the pansy shell, the pied kingfisher, the grey heron and the little egret.Year proclaimed: 1985Current size: 1 060 square kilometresProvince: Western Cape The beautiful, ragged and remote mountains of the Richtersveld.(Image: South African Tourism)|Ai-|Ais / Richtersveld Transfrontier National ParkA desolate and forbidding landscape belies the fact that the Richtersveld has the world’s richest desert flora. Miniature rock gardens, perfectly designed by nature, cling precariously to cliff faces. Tiny succulents, mere pinpoints against a backdrop of surreal rock formations, revel in the moisture brought by the early morning fog rolling in from the cold Atlantic Ocean.Rugged kloofs, high mountains and dramatic landscapes that sweep away inland from the Orange River give way to the vast mountain desert that is the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld National Park, an area managed jointly by the local Nama people and the South African National Parks.A staggering assortment of plant life, some species occurring nowhere else, is to be found here, with gnarled quiver trees, tall aloes and the tall “half-mens” plant keeping vigil over this inscrutable landscape.Animals to look out for are the rock hyrax, jackal buzzard and the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.The park is only accessible by 4×4 vehicles or vehicles with high clearances.Province: Northern Capelast_img read more

Day 1 of The 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest See Day 2 results on The Pro Farmer Crop TourSee Day 3 results on The Pro Farmer Crop TourSee how Day 4 is going on The Pro Farmer Crop TourSee Hard to believe that this will mark my 4th year of being a part of The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Back in 2012, my very first time on the tour, crop conditions stared great here in Ohio and got progressively worse as we moved into the I states. In fact, it was in northern Iowa that year where I saw my first “zero” field. That was a surreal moment.As we prepare to hit the road, the talk from the farmers on tour that are from that part of the U.S., is that this year will be the complete opposite. I shared with them what we noticed on The Ohio Crop Tour last week and what we have seen all over the state over the growing season. Needless to say, all of the scouts are curious about just how bad Ohio and Indiana are, compared to the rest of the corn belt. Will we see any “zero” fields in Ohio or Indiana? Buckle up cause here we go!7:30 a.m.Our first stop is my home county of Delaware. The other 3 scouts with me were very surprised about how dry this ground was. They heard all season how the rains were right over Ohio. I explained how things just shut off here almost a month ago. These ears were small and poorly developed. This was the worst corn I have seen this year, counting last week’s Ohio Crop Tour. This field will barely break 100 bushels. The soybeans were average but still had some pods to fill. Early moisture was evident in this field. We counted 675.5 pods in a 3 x 3 plot.Delaware Co, OhioDelaware Co, OhioDelaware Co, OhioDelaware Co, 7:59 a.m.Not a whole lot better as we crossed into Union County, Ohio. Although there were good and bad parts of this corn field, the part we sampled, which I think was middle of the road, was mediocre at best. We guesstimate this field average at 122.5 bushels. The beans looked great from the road, but the pod count did not match the tall, bushy stalks. The 3 x 3 pod count here was 810.Union Co, OhioUnion Co, OhioUnion Co, OhioUnion Co, Ohio 8:59 a.m.These fields in Champaign County, Ohio were better than our first two stops. The soil still had some moisture to it and our numbers show it. We did note quite a bit of SDS in this county as we worked toward Urbana. Our yield check shows 185 bushels for the corn and a pod count of 1123 in these very mature soybeans.Champaign Co, OhioChampaign Co, OhioChampaign Co, OhioChampaign Co, Ohio 9:25 a.m.We stop every 15 to 20 miles to take a sample and this stop is still in Champaign County, Ohio. This was the best looking corn field of the day for us so far and we were guessing a 200 coming out of this field. Once we pulled the ears and measured population we knew we were a little off, but not by much. This corn looks to make 180 bushels at harvest time. The soybeans did have some SDS popping up, but the overall health was good and the root system was great. We have a count of 1368 pods in a 3 foot square.Champaign Co, OhioChampaign Co, Ohio10:10 a.m.We are in Miami County and although this corn looked great in the kernel fill and length categories, the population was missing here. This area just received some rain, which will be beneficial for these R4 soybeans. Corn yield projection here is 168 and the total pod count in a 3 foot square 984.5.Miami Co, OhioMiami Co, OhioMiami Co, OhioMiami Co, Ohio 10:55 a.m.Darke County is our stop #6 and we counted 110 ears along 2 30 foot rows. Population here was high enough and the ears were nicely filled. Again the plant health here is struggling due to loos of nitrogen, but overall this field is the best of the day thus far. Our math pegs this field at 196 bushels to the acre. Soybeans had a lot of promise as well. Soils had a good amount of moisture and pods are filling nicely. The 3 x 3 pod count here totaled 858.2.Darke Co, OhioDarke Co, OhoDarke Co, OhioDarke Co, OhioFor my route of the 2015 Ohio Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, the Ohio averages were 159.75 bushels for corn and 960 pods per 3 x 3 square for soybeans.11:20 a.m.We are now in Indiana in Randolph County and the disease pressures are starting to show up here significantly compared to our previous stops. Ear fill was decent, but our rounds were 12, 12 and 14. The beans were young and still blooming here and will need some additional pods to make something come fall. Our corn estimate is 149 and we counted 912 pods in a 3 foot square.Randolph Co, IndianaRandolph Co, IndianaRandolph Co, Indiana 1:44 p.m.After lunch in Richmond, Indiana we headed to Wayne County for a sample. The corn was being overtaken by weeds. Another sign on a wet growing season and the inability to apply herbicides mid-season. Once we got through the end rows and 30 paces into the field we sample some decent ears. Two of which had 20 around. The soybeans we taller than fields earlier and one of the better pod counts of the day at 1050 pods in a 3 x 3 plot. Our corn yield estimate is at 172 for this field.Wayne Co, IndianaWayne Co, IndianaWayne Co, IndianaWayne Co, Indiana 2:20 p.m.Union County, Indiana is our next stop. Water damage wasn’t the only thing noticeable here. There was also some hail damage noted in the corn field. The population was the second lowest of our day. Soybeans were very wavy and Frog Eye was prevalent here. Our yield check on the corn came in at 152 and we counted 1051 pods in a 3 foot square.Union Co, IndianaUnion Co, IndianaUnion Co, IndianaUnion Co, Indiana 3:10 p.m.Fayette County was our 10th spot of the day and the corn here looks really nice and healthy. Once again great ears and kernel fill will be downplayed by population, which was 92 plants in 2 30 feet rows. We suggest this field will average 173 bushels. These were by far the best beans of the day for us with a pod count of over 1800 in a 3 foot square. Frog Eye and some SDS in this field, but if this area gets another shot or two of rain, it will be impressive.Fayette Co, IndianaFayette Co, IndianaFayette Co, IndianaFayette Co, Indiana 3:35 a.m.One of the scouts in my group is a farmer from Minnesota. Richard Guse has been doing this crop tour for 10 years now and his experience is showing. He is giving us a yield guess before we do the actual calculations and he has been within 5 bushels all but 3 times. He came out of this field with big ears and a small pop count and said it would be 191…and it was. We may just take his numbers and just move on down the road. We’d beat everyone to Fishers, for sure. The soybeans had major signs of SDS, but only on the edges of the field. The inner part of the field had some moisture and a pod count in a 3 x 3 square of 1241. Good stop here for us.Rush Co, IndianaRush Co, Indiana 3:56 p.m.Henry County, Indiana is our next sample stop and we are continuing to see some long ears in this part of the Hoosier State. This field was a bit different with 36 inch rows and it will yield close to 203.5, which is our biggest number of Day 1. The beans were pretty good here too but showing some signs of stress. This area just received a shower right before we arrived and that won’t hurt a thing. Our 3 foot square pod count ended up being 1320. These 4-bean pods were from the same plant.Henry Co, IndianaHenry Co, IndianaHenry Co, Indiana 4:30 p.m.Well our last stop of Day 1 was in Madison County, Indiana and this day will not end on a good note. I thought some scouts would find spots like this one, but I didn’t expect to see one in this part of Indiana. We found one ear to sample in our 30 foot row and our calculations for this field is a whopping 2 bushels per acre. The soybeans were shorter than the usual today and pod counts were relatively low. Our pod count for this field was 680.Madison Co, IndianaMadison Co, IndianaMadison Co, IndianaMadison Co, Indiana Our route’s Indiana averages are 148.9 bushels for corn and 1,151 pods per 3 foot square for soybeans.Here are the final results for the entire eastern leg of this year’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour for Ohio.Corn –148.37 bushels to the acre. The 3 year average is 154.75 b/a. Soybeans – 1125.26 pods in 3X3 foot square. The 3 year average is 1219.92.last_img read more

How to Bank Your Insights and Ideas for the Future

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now In business-to-business sales, selling effectively now requires that you have business acumen and situational knowledge (something like experience). Your goal should to be a 52% subject matter expert as it pertains to your company’s products and solutions (and that percentage should improve over time) and a 100% subject matter expert at the intersection of your industry and your client’s industry. It would be best if you had information disparity, which means you know more than your clients or prospects. What is contained and conveyed to you in this paragraph is no longer optional, and it hasn’t been for a long time now.To become a subject matter expert, you need to pay attention to the trends in your industry, infusing what you know into your sales conversations. A lack of knowledge will undermine your goal of creating opportunities, creating a preference, and win your dream client’s business or your existing client’s new initiative. Gaining that expertise means studying.If you want to be relevant, you need to read, collect, study, and synthesize.ReadingIt is not possible for you to be a subject matter expert without reading. You may have plenty of experience in your industry, and you may have even more experience in a sales role. However, without being able to speak to the trends that are now impacting your dream client’s business (or soon will be), short of finding them already inclined to change, you will struggle mightily to create a case for change.You are reading to gain knowledge and bank insights.You have to read the newspapers (an unusual word to still use now that much of our news comes from online sources). The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are excellent sources, as both cover business, economics, and politics. The New York Times does more reporting on science and technology and health, helpful trends in some verticals.Online sources are also helpful, but stay away from the purely political outlets, something that seems to plague all news sources now, but some are pure opinion-shaping as it pertains to politics (a good enough reason to avoid them–and the negativity that can infect you with the same over time).By reading widely, you will find trends that are going to help you make a case for change and shape how your client views their world and their choices. An aversion to reading will stunt your growth as a salesperson.Note: Reading here might also include listening and watching.CollectingIt isn’t enough just to read. You also have to start collecting proof that what you say is true and how it shaped your views and values about the decisions you help your clients take.When you tell your client something, it’s your opinion. What you say might be suspect because your prospect recognizes your intention is is to sell them something. However, when Gartner says something is true, it’s true. When CNBC reports it, it’s a fact. By collecting third-party proof and data, you are banking insights and ideas for the future.Win customers away from your competition. Check out Eat Their LunchStudyingYou must know more than your clients, which is the prerequisite for them choosing you as their strategic partner. When you know a scant more than your client, there is too little disparity for you to be compelling.What do you believe should be compelling your client to change? What change should they be making? Why is one choice better than some other? What has your reading and studying taught you?Marketing can help you with the slide decks and some insights, but if you are not working on developing the business acumen and situational knowledge yourself, you cannot be a real subject matter expert.SynthesizeYou must develop a theory of why it is more difficult for your client to produce the results they used to have no trouble generating in the halcyon days of yesteryear.You don’t have to be a college professor or something resembling a researcher at a prestigious think tank (although it wouldn’t hurt you to have enough subject matter expertise that you might be confused for one). You do, however, have to synthesize what you read, listen to, watch, and study. The synthesis allows you to make connections between ideas, trends, and all the factors that change over time–and force your client to change along with them.Bank your insights, building an arsenal of information that informs your views, your values, and your recommendations–and that will help you do the same for your clients.last_img read more

CBI files 5 cases against HAL official, others

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation has registered five cases against a senior manager of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and others for allegedly causing a loss of more than ₹13 crore to the public sector undertaking.The agency has alleged that Bhaben Maitra, Senior Manager (Finance) at HAL’s office in Odisha, siphoned off the funds in conspiracy with other employees by using forged documents between 2013 and 2017.The first case pertains to alleged misappropriation of ₹13.11 lakh by the accused official in 2013, in league with two contractual workers and two private contractors. Another case involves ₹1.86 crore, in which the same modus operandi was used by accused persons, while in the third case they allegedly siphoned off ₹1.71 crore.In October last year, the agency had registered a case against Mr. Maitra for alleged embezzlement of ₹5 crore using forged bills, work orders and invoices.last_img read more

Unnao gang rape survivor’s uncle seeks CBI probe into road accident

first_imgThe uncle of the Unnao alleged gang rape survivor on Monday requested the Uttar Pradesh government to transfer the case of the Rae Bareli accident, in which two of his relatives died, to the CBI. An FIR was being registered on a complaint of the uncle, who is lodged in the Rae Bareli jail, said ADG Lucknow, Rajeev Krishna. The CBI is already probing the gang rape case and ‘custodial death’ of the survivor’s father. BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, now jailed, is the main accused in the entire case.Mr. Krishna told reporters that the police were awaiting the government’s report on the request to transfer the accident case to the CBI. “As soon as that report comes it’ll be recommended to the CBI,” he said.One of the two deceased persons, the aunt of the survivor, was a CBI witness in the Unnao case, he noted.last_img read more