first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. NRCS plans to enroll up to 10 million acres in CSP in 2018.While applications for CSP are accepted year-round, applications must be received by March 2, 2018, to be considered for this funding period. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat — all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rates, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.Some of the benefits of CSP include:• Improved livestock gains per acre;• Increased crop yields;• Decreased inputs;• Improved wildlife and pollinator habitat• Forest stand improvement for the removal of invasive species; and• Better resilience to weather extremes.NRCS recently made several updates to the program to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources. New methods and software for evaluating applications help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds and allow them to pick practices and enhancements that work for their conservation objectives. These tools also enable producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the process.Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.last_img read more

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Announcements#cloud Eucalyptus Systems, a Santa Barbara based startup, announced today it has closed a $20 million round of funding. Led by new investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from current investors Benchmark Capital and BV Capital, this is the second round of funding for the open source private cloud software provider, bringing its total capital raised to date to $25.5 million. Eucalyptus provides software that allows organizations to deploy private and hybrid cloud computing environments within a secure IT infrastructure. Eucalyptus supports the same APIs as public clouds and boasts full compatibility with the Amazon Web Services infrastructure, addressing interoperability and facilitating the movement of data between public and private. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… audrey watters 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The software is available in two editions: Eucalyptus Open Source and the recently release Enterprise Edition.The company says that today’s VC funding will be used to scale development, marketing and sales, and Eucalyptus hopes to meet the increasing demand for cost-efficient and scalable infrastructure solutions that address enterprise needs for both private and hybrid clouds. Although Eucalyptus took an early lead in this space, there has been substantial activity in this area lately, with the recent launch of Nimbula for example. Related Posts last_img read more

first_imgPot growers increasing loads on the gridAlthough legal, indoor marijuana growing operations in Oregon and Washington are becoming a headache for local utilities.In Seattle, more than 100 applications are pending for marijuana growing operations that collectively could lead to a 3% increase in the demand for electricity, which has local officials worrying about the chance for power outages, according to a post at UtilityDive.“In the theoretical sense, it could cause outages,” Robert Bonaccorso, a spokesman for Seattle City Light, said. “The main issue is just stressing the wires that supply the area so we would have to add capacity.”No disruptions have yet been reported in Seattle City and Light’s service territory. But in neighboring Oregon, Pacific Power says there have been seven blackouts from indoor growing operations since marijuana became legal over the summer. Those responsible face fines averaging $5,000.The problem is the intense light marijuana plants need when they are grown indoors. “What most people don’t realize is that growing marijuana is a very intense power use,” Roger Blank, director of safety for Pacific Power, said in a written statement. “From a power use standpoint, even a small operation of four plants with standard lights is like hooking up 29 refrigerators that run 24/7.” In Denver, where recreational marijuana also is legal, officials said 45% of the increase in electricity use is a result of demand by grow houses. Dutch solar bike path hits 1-year markAn experimental solar bike path outside the city of Amsterdam has ended its first year of operation by producing as much electricity as planners had estimated as a best case scenario, raising hopes that similar roadway projects could one day be an important source of electricity.The project, built by a consortium called SolaRoad in the community of Krommenie, produced 9800 kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year, which SolaRoad said would be enough to power three Dutch households with electricity.The 230-foot-long bike path, is made from prefabricated concrete modules 2.5 meters by 3.5 meters (roughly 8 feet by 11 1/2 feet). Among the technical challenges designers faced was making a translucent surface that would allow sunlight to reach the photovoltaic cells and yet be robust enough to stand up to constant bike traffic, and an occasional car.The bike path was very expensive, the equivalent of $3.75 million, according to an article posted at Fast Company, but designers say the concept holds promise. “This could be a breakthrough in the field of sustainable energy supply,” SolaRoad’s website says.In the Netherlands alone, there are some 140,000 kilometers of roads, said one project planner, more than all of the nation’s rooftops combined. “If we can put panels in a road which is there anyway, then we can get that function and lots of green energy without disturbing the landscape or taking extra space,” researcher Sten de Wit said. Up to 100 turbines would be built in waters off the coast of Massachusetts. Other companies want to develop wind farms in the same general area. (Photo: Jannis Andrija Schnitzer via Flickr)Offshore wind farm proposedDenmark-based DONG Energy wants to build a wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts that could grow to a capacity of 1,000 megawatts. The Boston Globe reports that the collection of as many as 100 wind turbines would be built 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The total capacity would be twice that of the proposed Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, but also farther out to sea.The company has both the experience and the expertise to pull off the project, its North American general manager told The Globe, but it faces a lengthy permitting process at both the state and federal level, including an environmental review of plans for bringing power lines ashore. Once permits are in hand, it would take about three years to build the wind farm, with the first 30 to 35 turbines in service by early in the next decade.Cape Wind faced withering criticism, but DONG may have an easier time of it. “It’s absolutely a better plan,” said Audra Parker, president of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. “We find these areas far more superior.”DONG has secured approval for a lease from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, but has not yet filed any applications for the project. The company has annual revenues of $11 billion and said it would be able to finance the project without outside investors. The project would be called Bay State Wind.Two other companies are interested in developing wind projects in the same patch of ocean. Deepwater Wind has leases nearby and wants to build 200 turbines with a rated capacity of 1,200 megawatts. OffshoreMW of Princeton, New Jersey, also has a lease in the area but says that it is too early to release details of its plan. Meanwhile, Cape Wind, which lost two potential buyers of the power from its proposed wind farm, hopes to keep its 130-turbine project alive.center_img Net-metering under review in half of all statesNet-metering policies were altered or under review in 27 states in the third quarter of the year, one result of a rapid growth in grid-tied solar installations, a report by Greentech Media said.Citing a study by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, the web site said that the trend is due in part to solar’s success. Utilities in several states at or close to their net-metering caps.“This has been another incredible year of growth in distributed solar thanks to rapidly falling costs and policies like net metering,” Benjamin Inskeep, an analyst at the center, told Greentech Media’s Julia Pyper. “However, some states are tapping on the brakes for solar by undermining this key policy or adding new fees and charges on solar customers. This comes at a time when federal incentives for solar are set to expire at the end of next year, while fossil fuel subsidies remain in place.”In the last quarter, ongoing or decided rate cases involving 26 utilities in 18 states included requests for increase in fixed charges of at least 10%, the report said. The average increase was 70%. Fourteen utilities in 10 states had pending or decided proposals for new charges on net-metered solar customers, an increase from six utilities in five states in the previous quarter.“Utilities are waking up to the potential threat that distributed solar has on their existing business models,” Inskeep said.last_img read more

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 Part One:It’s easy to get trapped in the belief that you are hiring salespeople only for a certain set of skills. You focus your time and attention on what it is you want salespeople to do in the way of activities. The salesperson’s skills, their attributes, and their beliefs must be considered, but they often crowd out one of the most important constituencies you should be considering: your prospective clients.The first test to add to your evaluation is whether the salesperson you are considering is the person you want to deliver to your prospective and future clients.You are hiring for your prospects and clients.It makes sense to ask yourself some questions to include your prospect’s and client’s needs as part of your evaluation.Will your prospective clients want to buy from this person?Does she have the proper beliefs, attitude, and skills to actively work with your prospective clients to help them get the results they seek?Will she be someone that they trust and consider part of their management team?Who Are You Adding to Your Prospect’s Team?You spend a lot of time considering your value proposition, what you deliver to your clients and how you deliver it. You also spend a lot of time considering how you compete and win. It very much matters who you place at the intersection of creating value for your prospects and who represents you as you compete for opportunities.Your prospective client’s decisions about whether or not to buy from the salesperson you have offered them is a real evaluation of how well you made your hiring decision. It’s worth considering—especially when the salesperson is part of the solution.Were the last three or four salespeople you hired the right people for your prospective clients and clients?What really makes a salesperson the right salesperson to deliver to your prospects and clients?How instrumental is the salesperson in understanding your prospective client’s need and delivering the right solutions?If you were in your prospective client’s position, what would you want your company to deliver in the way of a salesperson?PART TWO:This is the second of three tests. Now you have looked at the sales person from you prospect’s perspective. You have to make a similar decision: Do I want to work with this salesperson every day?Part of Your TeamSometimes you may hire as if it’s enough that the person you hire can do the job for which you are hiring them. Rarely is this ever true. We spend most of our waking hours at work, and that means we often spend more time with the people we work with than we do with our family and friends.The salesperson’s cultural fit cannot be overlooked.It is important that the salesperson you hire fits you and your team. You are going to have to manage the salesperson, and that means you are going to spend time with them. You have to make a determination as to how well you believe you can work together.The rest of your team is also going to have to work with this person, including the parts of your organization outside of sales. As the salesperson works on opportunities, delivering will require that they work with your operations team, your accounting team, your risk team, and your management team. Are they the right fit? Is this someone who is going to be easily brought into the company and the culture?It’s easy to believe when hiring that it is enough that the person can do the job. But if they aren’t someone that you and your team are going to want to work with on a daily basis, then it is going to be difficult to for either the salesperson or the team to produce results.This doesn’t mean that the salesperson doesn’t also need to possess all the skills, abilities, beliefs and behaviors that the position requires. But you have to want to work with the salesperson you are hiring, just as your client is going to have to want to work with them.Do you consider how much time you are going to have to spend with a potential team member and your willingness to do so?What attributes, like likeability, are important when considering adding a salesperson to your team?What kind of person do they need to be to navigate your company successfully? What kind of relationships will they need and who with?PART THREE

:This third test is really more about you than it is about the salesperson, and this test is often the real determinant as to whether or not your salesperson will succeed or fail.This test is: How willing are you to take the actions necessary to ensure that this salesperson succeeds?Your Commitment to Your SalespeopleOnce you hire this person to sell for you, you are committed to doing all that is in your power to ensure that they succeed (this is, in part, why it is so important that they are a great cultural fit).As their sales manager or sales leader, you will have to invest your limited time and energy in this salesperson’s success. You will have to make certain that the salesperson has all of the training, the tools, and technologies to succeed in their role. You will also have to sure that they are successfully on-boarded, successfully introduced into the culture, and that they know how to navigate the organization to get results.These tasks fall to you as a commitment that you make when you hire a salesperson, and so your willingness to give this salesperson your time and support is critical.A Greater Commitment StillOnce you have hired the salesperson, you are also going to have to be willing to help them with any shortcomings they have in their sales skills, their sales behaviors, and actions, as well as their beliefs about sales. If you discover that they aren’t exactly where they need to be in regard to the skills and attributes they need to succeed, by hiring them, you are committed to helping them.Because these are often more challenging issues to help the salesperson improve, this is a greater commitment. You may not be able to uncover the areas that need improvement during the interviewing process, so you must be certain that you believe strongly enough in the salesperson’s ability to learn, as well as your commitment to ensuring their success before you hire them.What commitment do you make by hiring a salesperson and adding them to your team?What does that commitment require of you as their sales manager or sales leader?Can your newly hired salesperson be expected to perform as well as she needs to if you withhold your full support?These three tests will help you hire salespeople that can and will succeed.last_img read more

first_imgRaising the issue of income tax notices to several Durga Puja committees in the State, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday accused the Centre and the Bharatiya Janata Party of insulting the festival. Speaking to journalists at the State Secretariat, Ms. Banerjee said those who talk about Hinduism before the elections are insulting a religious festival like Durga Puja by asking the organisers to pay income tax. The Income Tax Department had issued notices to about 40 big budget pujas during the last festival, seeking details of their income and expenditure.“Those who believe in the Hindu religion, observe Durga Puja. Many political parties do not have to pay income tax for the funds they spend during the elections. Then why would the puja committees have to pay tax? I condemn this attitude,” she said.Ms Banerjee’s remarks, just before the onset of the festival season, assumes significance as the BJP is likely to associate with several community Durga Pujas this year. Durga Pujas in West Bengal also serve as a prominent means of reaching out to large number of people. ‘Subscription by people’The Chief Minister said that community Durga Pujas are held on subscription paid by people, who pay taxes and therefore the question of taxing puja funds does not arise. “It is an insult to the pujas,” she said. Last year, West Bengal government paid an honorarium of ₹10,000 to the community Durga Puja organisers, a decision that was challenged in thee Calcutta High Court.last_img read more

first_imgTamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Tuesday sought Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s resignation, accusing him of securing a fraudulent victory in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. “Chidambaram’s tenure as minister is untenable. He should resign. All the votes that he won were actually won by my candidate. He was never elected to Parliament in first place. He has done a fraud on the nation,” Jayalalithaa said at a press conference after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Chidambaram, who was trailing his nearest rival for most of the counting, was eventually declared elected from Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu. A case against his election is pending in the Supreme Court.During her meeting with the prime minister, Jayalalithaa presented a list of demands for her state and ruled out any move to join the UPA. “At present, the Congress and the DMK are allies. In such a situation, it is inappropriate for me to call Congress president Sonia Gandhi,” Jayalalithaa said on her first visit to Delhi after her assembly poll win.The AIADMK chief said she was keen to maintain friendly relations with the Centre and hoped for assistance on several state projects, including an additional 1000 MW of power from the central grid.Asked about several DMK leaders being mired in the 2G scam probe, Jayalalithaa launded the role of the judiciary in pushing the investigation. “The action taken by the Supreme Court in the 2G scam has restored my faith in the judiciary,” she said.The AIADMK chief reiterated her demand for the resignation of Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran, who is accused of irregularities in the 2G scam. “The prime minister must remove Maran if he does not step down,” she said.advertisementJayalalithaa’s two-day trip to Delhi had raised speculation that the Congress and the AIADMK were warming up to each other. On Monday, the first day of her trip to Delhi, many politicians paid Jayalalithaa a visit. Among them were Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad and CPI leader D. Raja.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more