n Sandwich chain Pret A Manger has revealed it is considering floating on the stock exchange within 18 months.n Supermarket Morrisons is planning a £450m rebranding, starting in July, with yellow and green replacing its yellow and black corporate colours.n Whitbread this week reported a 24.5% increase in profits, after strong performances at its Costa and Premier Travel Inn divisions. Pre-tax profits for the year to March 1 were £213m.n Burton’s Foods, makers of Jammy Dodgers, has submitted plans for a 2,658sq m extension to its bakery in Edinburgh.n McDonald’s has reported an 11% rise in sales to $5.4bn (£2.69bn) for the first quarter to 31 March.n Coffee chain Caffè Nero is placed number 18 in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 list of Britain’s private firms with the fastest-growing profits. Profits have grown 77% a year from £1.6m in 2003 to £9.1m last year, and the firm plans to expand the number of British outlets from 300 to 450 by 2010.n Juice bar chain Crussh plans to open four more outlets in the UK by the end of the year. The 16-strong snack chain also sells sushi, sandwiches and soup.n Packaging firm Jordan Plastics, whose clients include Allied Bakeries Ireland, has increased production 50% after a £1m move to a 40,000sq ft plant.n Waitrose managing director Steve Esom is leaving after 11 years, tipped to join Marks & Spencer. Mark Price will be the new Waitrose MD from April 30.
The Irish Medical Organisation will decide today on whether to ballot its consultant and Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor (NCHD) members for industrial action.Hospital consultants have never taken strike action in Ireland but NCHDs have on a number of occasions.A ballot is expected to provide for industrial action, up to and including strikes, according to RTE. The IMO had given the Government a 21-day deadline to table serious proposals to deal with what the union says is a consultant recruitment crisis and the issue of pay parity for more recently appointed consultants.A national meeting in Dublin this evening is expected to endorse the move to ballot members.It remains unclear exactly what form any industrial action by IMO consultants and NCHDs would take.It could involve a work-to-rule, with doctors withdrawing from non-contractual duties. If it proceeded, it also might in time affect outpatient clinics and planned operations.The IMO described the first found of talks with the Department of Health last month as disappointing.The union has said it is prepared to discuss reform in the health service with the Government but that it can only do so when all consultants are starting from the same pay point.A strike by IMO Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors in the late 80s over working hours lead to the formation of a rival body for consultants, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association, which has a no-strike clause in its constitution.IMO members to vote on strike action today was last modified: November 6th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There is no doubt that wheat has benefits in a crop rotation, but in recent years profitability, quality issues, added workload, and other factors have diminished wheat acres in Ohio. Adding to the frustration with wheat has been the dockage at the elevator.Adam Kirian in Hancock County accepts that it can be a frustrating crop sometimes, but still appreciates the importance of wheat in his rotation for the great value it brings to his farm.“You have to think about the fact that wheat is closer to going directly to the consumer when we take it out of the field as compared to corn and soybeans. It is going to be turned into a food product right away. That is what it is for. You have to understand what they are looking for as a food product. Wheat has turned into the redheaded stepchild of the three crops and it hasn’t gotten the treatment it needs to be a viable option. When you see $5 or $6 corn, it can make you go away from something like that, but we have livestock so we need the straw and the manure acres,” Kirian said. “When you are busy planting corn and soybeans, it is easy to forget about the other crop you have out there, but if wheat is something you are going to raise then you have to give it more attention. As the testing for wheat has changed and what they look for in terms of quality has changed, we have had to step up the way we manage wheat as well and pay more attention to it. We have tried to get a little more intense in our management of wheat and the way we go about producing it.”Adam Kirian in Hancock County feels that wheat is still a valuable part of his farm.Harvesting high quality wheat starts with planting in the fall.“We look more at the varieties to avoid head scab and fungicide applications. We have selected earlier bean varieties so we can get the wheat out earlier,” he said. “We are working with split nitrogen applications and try come back in with foliar at some point. In warm, humid conditions you have to stay on top of things. Last year, as it got warmer and wetter, we started hearing horror stories and we knew stuff was starting to sprout and it was frustrating. But the elevators have to do what needs to be done to get a good end product to their end users. We are fortunate to have Mennel Milling right here in Fostoria and if I can get them a good quality product I can take it directly to them and get a premium for it.”When the wheat gets to the elevator, it is subjected to increasing scrutiny as end users are facing more requirements in terms of food safety and quality, said Chad Rosebrook, with Legacy Farmers Cooperative. It all starts with getting a good, representative sample from each load with standardized sampling techniques.“When the load first comes to the elevator, it obviously gets probed and a sample is collected from everyChad Rosebrook, with Legacy Farmers Cooperative, works closely with farmers to help maintain high quality wheat.load. From that sample we go through and test it for various quality factors. We look at moisture, test weight, dockage and all of that. One of the factors that is becoming more of a sticking point for elevators is vomitoxin. That is very important to the elevator because the level of vomitoxin in the wheat greatly affects the markets that are available to us to sell the wheat,” Rosebrook said. “It is not fun for the elevator to dock a guy for vomitoxin in his wheat, but vomitoxin does greatly reduce the markets that we have available. The amount of vomitoxin can make it only useable for feed and that wheat is worth less. We can’t sell it to millers who use it for flour and human consumption.”At the elevator, the samples are divided into smaller 1,000-gram samples. These are tested for dockage, moisture and test weight. A clean sample is ground for the vomitoxin test — 20 grams of the ground sample are mixed in solution of 100 milliliters of distilled water. A sample from the solution is tested with a test strip to get the vomitoxin reading.At a mill, there are even more tests, said Diane Gannon, a milling industry consultant.“The samples are processed in the grain receiving laboratory. There they are evaluated for their suitability for milling in terms of physical characteristics and food safety so the grain can be milled properly, efficiently and so the mills are getting their money’s worth out of that grain. The food safety testing is becoming more prevalent and that is what often slows things down. Technologies, though, have advanced so much that the tests can be done at the same time labs are processing samples for regular grading factors, so it now takes minutes for completion rather than a half an hour like it used to,” Gannon said. “For wheat, the bulk density or test weight measures the density of that grain. In a flourmill, the pipe can only hold so much volume and if the grain is heavier, the mill will be more efficient in their production. They can get more flour out of a bushel of grain if it is denser. Moisture, of course, is important for grain storage. You don’t want it to become sour in the bins if you are going to hold onto it, so keeping it below 14% is crucial for storage, but also allows the millers to add sufficient water (tempering) during their process, which allows efficient separation of the wheat into flour, and milling byproducts.“Damage, shrunken and broken and dockage are physical characteristics of importance in milling, as the miller has to clean these kernels away from the sound grain in order to mill the grain for flour. Of course there are bugs that love grain and the inspection labs are looking for those too. At a mill they are closer to the food chain and are a little more fussy about those things verses a grain elevator that has more opportunity to do a little blending and have other outlets for that grain.”In addition to these tests, mills also often use a falling number test.“A falling number test is a measure that heats and thickens water and flour in a paste in a test tube. If you have ever tried to make gravy in a pan with flour and water and it doesn’t thicken when you stir it and heat it, it is because the grain for the flour had started to sprout and the seed started to eat the starch. The starch is what thickens your gravy. Falling number measures in seconds how long it takes a rod to fall from the top to the bottom of a test tube. If it is a high number like 350 seconds, that is a sound number measurement for wheat. If it is below 250 seconds, that means the grain has probably started to sprout,” Gannon said. “The ideal falling number depends on how you are going to use the flour. If I were going to make a cookie, completely sound grain may not be as important and the flour may have a lower (250 – 350) specification for falling number levels, versus another operation producing bread or gravy mix, or a soup, which requires completely sound grain relating to sprout. It is difficult in the grain grading process at the inspection laboratory, because it may appear completely sound to the naked eye, however the chemistry which breaks down the starch during the sprouting process may already be occurring but not visible — hence the need for the falling number test. These differences in end product use for wheat is why it is important at the grain elevator level to separate it so that it can be directed it to the right market.”Everyone along the supply chain admits that the limits of testing consistency can be an issue.“We are looking at all of the things that contribute to testing variability and error. Sampling is one of the critical parts of this, along with sample preparation. You have different tests and you have the people involved. Those variables all contribute to the accuracy of the tests and introduce the potential for error,” Gannon said. “There is a range of accuracy and precision. The more testing repeats you run on a single sample, it tends to produce a more accurate result.”But, while waiting in line at the elevator, farmers typically have little interest in taking the time for more tests. Additionally, vomitoxin levels can be extremely variable within different areas of the field and the amount on just one wheat grain can make a large difference in the sample test representing the entire load or field.Farmers get frustrated with vomitoxin, but so do the samplers, testers, elevators, millers, and end users every step of the way. A tough year for wheat quality is a challenge for every part of the process.“I am very proud of our grain handling systems as they are doing a better job testing and separating grain based on quality and functionality for the end users. Without the success of all of those people working together it just makes growing wheat in our area more difficult,” Gannon said. “These efforts are crucial to sustaining wheat production in our area, which is vital for some major food producers, here in Ohio. The export market is actually way less tolerant than what our domestic market is, because of the costs around transportation. It is important that we are carefully testing our grain so we can put our best foot forward in the export market.”This also is important to keeping wheat as a sustainable crop in Ohio. Tim Norden, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Federal Grain Inspection Service, is really emphasizing the importance of improving the consistency of testing wheat quality.“We look at vomitoxin testing and falling number testing that both affect the value of wheat. Users of that wheat want it to meet regulatory standards of 1 part per million vomitoxin or less in food and millers and bakers like to see a falling number around 300 or greater typically. We want to minimize the variation. We want to have the most accurate results possible all along the chain so grain can travel from a country elevator, to a terminal elevator, then maybe to a train or barge destined for export,” Norden said. “Internationally, there are regulatory agencies testing that grain to make sure it meets the regulations of their country and contract specifications. It is very important to use procedures that are standardized. We talk a lot about the sampling, the preparation of the sample, and the actual analysis. It is very important to follow standardized procedures so we can get a consistent answer all along the value chain.”Problem wheat is a problem every step of the way, but conversely, high quality wheat adds value with every step, starting with the farm.
The high-profile roll-out of the highly secretive Bloom Box fuel cell, on CBS’s 60 Minutes in February, ushered in a new round of excitement about fuel cells.Fuel cells have been around for over 50 years. They are, in essence, chemical batteries that churn out electricity as long as a fuel, such as hydrogen or natural gas, is fed in at the other end. They have been a mainstay of power generation in NASA’s space program for decades and have slowly been making inroads for more earthly applications.While President George W. Bush and many others have touted hydrogen fuel cells as the “energy source of the future,” a fuel cell is not an energy source at all, but rather a device that converts a fuel into electrical energy–and it does so quite efficiently and cleanly.One of the problems with most fuel cells is that they require pure hydrogen for their operation, and hydrogen is a difficult material to store and transport. Being our lightest element, hydrogen has to be compressed to achieve a reasonable power density, so you’re usually dealing with very high pressures in storing it. Compressed hydrogen is explosive and can be quite dangerous.What Bloom Energy has created with its Bloom Box, according to CEO K.R. Sridhar, Ph.D., is a novel fuel cell that doesn’t rely on rare-earth elements, such as platinum (as do most other fuel cells) and does not require pure hydrogen for its operation. The company makes thin ceramic wafers out of quartz sand, coats the wafers on both sides with special proprietary materials, and stacks these with layers of an affordable metal alloy between. A four-inch stack of these layered cells and metal will generate one kilowatt (kW) of power when a hydrogen-rich fuel, such as natural gas, and oxygen are forced through it. Sridhar claimed on 60 Minutes that two of these stacks could power a typical American home, while a single stack could power four homes in his native India.Dr. Sridhar is a physicist who previously led NASA’s efforts to develop a system to generate oxygen for a mission to Mars. When that project was eliminated, he kept working on his invention, but reversed the process to create a “solid-oxide” fuel cell. In this process, oxygen is used rather than produced and electricity is generated. His work has been financed, starting in 2002, by about $400 million, most prominently from the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (famous for recognizing the potential of–and funding–such Silicon Valley success stories as Netscape, Amazon, and Google). Until February, though, the Bloom Energy’s technology was shrouded in secrecy. The February 21 edition of 60 Minutes removed that veil of secrecy with great fanfare.The first commercial Bloom Boxes were installed at a Google facility in late 2008, and test installations have now been completed for WalMart, eBay, FedEx, Staples, and more than a dozen other companies. Most of these fuel cells are powered by natural gas, though the units at eBay’s headquarters–enough to provide 15% of the power needs–use landfill gas (a mix of methane, carbon dioxide, and other gases). These 100 kW units cost $750,000, or 7,500/kW of capacity, which is not a bargain in today’s distributed-generation market–but costs are expected to drop as production scales up. We’ll see how that goes.According to an article in Greentech Media, The Bloom Box is 56% efficient, which is far higher than most natural gas generators, but waste heat is not captured, as it is from some competing fuel cells–a number of which have been around for years.The Bloom Box isn’t the only “second-generation” fuel cell to come along recently (though it is certainly the most prominent). The Freemont, California company Oorja Protonics, makes methanol fuel cells that are initially being sold as power supplies for electric forklifts. Their OorjaPak Model III holds five gallons of liquid methanol (a type of alcohol) that will power a small forklift for two 8-hour shifts and can be refueled in about a minute–while standard electric forklifts can take up to four hours to recharge batteries.Some of these other fuel cell manufacturers are actively pursuing the combined heat and power (CHP) market, in which both electricity and useful heat are being delivered. While the Oorja fuel cell is only 35-37% efficient, according to Greentech Media, by capturing the waste heat, overall efficiency can be boosted to 70-75%. Panasonic and ClearEdge Power offer residential-scale CHP fuel cells with overall efficiencies of 80% and nearly 90%, respectively, according to the same article.I am excited about fuel cells as energy conversion systems that cleanly and efficiently produce electricity (and often heat) from an energy input, such as natural gas. We need to remember, though, that these are not renewable energy systems–since they have to have a fuel source–and they are not likely to revolutionize our power generation infrastructure quickly. But if they can generate electricity from natural gas and other hydrogen-rich fuels more affordably and more efficiently than other generation sources, they can be an important part of the many-faceted energy future we need.I invite you to share comments on this blog. Are fuel cells going to be the next great thing to come along?— Alex Wilson is the executive editor of Environmental Building News and founder of BuildingGreen, LLC. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feeds.
Valencia coach Marcelino wants to send Batshuayi back to Chelseaby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveValencia want to cut short the loan of Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi.AS says the decision was made a month ago, with the Belgian failing to convince coach Marcelino and Los Che directors.Batshuayi had joined Valencia on a season-long loan, with a permanent option of €35m. But now VCF want to send him back to Chelsea next month.They paid €3m for the 12-month loan.The decision is being driven by Marcelino, who wants a more mobile and aggressive centre-forward to lead his attack. TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Kolkata: In an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of DRDO’s recent space achievement, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee Sunday said the BJP government has taken over all premier institutions in the country. On March 27, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted Mission Shakti, an anti-satellite missile test, from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island launch complex, paving the way for the country to join an elite space club comprising the US, Russia, China with such specialised capability. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Opposition parties have slammed the prime minister, saying the BJP government was trying to take credit for the DRDO’s achievement. Claiming that the people’s liberty was at stake under the BJP’s rule, Banerjee said “an atmosphere of fear” was prevailing in the country. “The BJP government has taken control of all premier institutions in the country. People here live in fear. They do not have the right to speak freely under an autocratic government,” the West Bengal chief minister said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Earlier, too, the chief minister had taken a jibe at Modi, terming his announcement of the DRDO mission as “yet another limitless drama to reap political benefits” ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. “India’s Mission Programme is world-class for many many years. We are always proud of our scientists, @DRDO_India, other research & space organisations,” she had tweeted, adding that “Modi, as usual, likes to take the credit for everything.” Talking to reporters at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose airport here before leaving for Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to participate in a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) rally, Banerjee said a “dictatorial government” is pulling the strings at the Centre using force and intimidation, “trampling democratic norms”. “Disinvestment has been done in public sector companies. Some workers are not getting salaries. The lives of farmers and labourers are under threat under the current dispensation. “I feel that everyone will come forward, keeping aside their petty interests to collectively vote against the Modi government,” said Banerjee. The CM said she would extend her support to TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, who pulled out his party of the NDA in March 2018, alleging injustice was being done to Andhra Pradesh by the Narendra Modi government. “I am going to Visakhapatnam at the invitation of Chandrababu Naidu to extend my solidarity and participate in a public meeting,” she said. Giving details of her itinerary, Banerjee said she will visit Cooch Behar in north Bengal on April 4 and Assam the following day to address rallies. In Bengal, Banerjee claimed, she would be holding as many rallies as possible over the course of the next two weeks. “I will address nearly 100 meetings in Bengal,” the Trinamool chief said. Election to 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19.
In a behind-the-scenes documentary that was released this week, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has slammed Premier League rival Manchester City as “disrespectful” and lacking “class”.Amazon’s documentary of Manchester City’s title-winning season allowed a TV crew access to players and managerial staff and offered insight into Pep Guardiola’s locker room. Jose Mourinho has criticised the documentary, according to Daily Mail.“I think you can have a fantastic movie, respecting others. You don’t need to be disrespectful to have a fantastic movie,” Mourinho said.“You can be a rich club and buy all the best players in the world, but you cannot buy class.”However, Manchester City manager Guardiola does not think the documentary affects the club in a negative way.Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“When we accept the cameras to be inside for 24 hours a day, that kind of thing can happen,” Guardiola said.“I think there was nothing special. I think the people are going to see how a football team lives behind the scenes.”“The players make the tactics,” he added.“Not my ideas, it’s the players who make the tactics.”
Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes the time is right for Tottenham to step up and prove themselves.For the past couple of years, Tottenham have been a title contender, and have won more combined points in the last three seasons that any Premier League club.Ian Wright is eager to see Tottenham be more consistent. Granted Tottenham have a good team, but for 10 years, they have not won a single trophy.“There was a time, four or five years ago, when a Tottenham defeat at Watford would almost have been laughed off as just another example of Spurs “being Spursy”.” Wright wrote on The Sun.“Brilliant one day, going to Manchester United and leaving as comfortable winners. Then getting rolled over by one of the so-called lesser lights.“Only these days the sands have shifted. Expectations have raised and defeats like the one we saw at Vicarage Road on Sunday simply won’t wash any more.“For the Spurs, we have right now is not the Spurs of old. This isn’t a team everyone — including even their own fans — expected to be superb and shocking in equal measure.Pochettino: ‘Happy’ Christian Eriksen ready for Spurs action Andrew Smyth – September 12, 2019 Mauricio Pochettino insists Christian Eriksen is “happy” and in the right frame of mind for Tottenham despite his failed summer exit.“This is a team which, rather than trying to force their way among the big guns, have become a prize scalp themselves. A team all opponents now raise their game for.“A team who, barring a small handful of times, will go into every one of their Premier League fixture as favourites.”Tottenham sit 5th in the Premier League table with 9 points after winning 3 matches and losing one.
After his explosive criticism against Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona claims that the interview was doctored and he never attacked the Barcelona star.A few weeks back from his comfortable job as the Sinaloa Dorados manager, Diego Maradona made some incendiary comments about Lionel Messi’s lack of commitment in the Argentine National Team.The statement was very clear and it didn’t look doctored at all, he basically conveyed the same message that millions of Argentineans have been saying about the Barcelona star.Since he began playing for his country, Messi hasn’t won a single trophy with the first squad and he has always struggled to win the heart of many of his compatriots.When the Mexican press asked Maradona about Messi’s role in the squad, Diego’s response was very aggressive and it made a huge echo around the world.This was not the first time that the idol came after Messi for not being able to win trophies for Argentina, he has already stated that Leo has no leadership and basically dissed him several times in front of the press before.But during this new interview for Marca Claro, Maradona’s first response was to deny anything he said and insinuate that the video from that interview was doctored by Fox Sports Mexico.Maradona: “Me hubiese encantado una oportunidad en el Real Madrid. Me sobran espaldas para ello. Pero bueno, las cosas se dieron así. Hoy estoy en Dorados y soy feliz” https://t.co/3yIrBfhDR0— MARCA (@marca) November 14, 2018“It’s all lies. Leo is my friend and I would never attack one of my friends. In any case, I would tell him what I think right to his face. I would never tell him anything like that through an interview,” said Maradona on Marca.“All I’ve ever said about Leo is that he is a football phenomenon and that’s it. I also said that 20 Argentina players went to the bathroom instead of playing a crucial match, but I wasn’t referring to Messi.”“On the contrary, what Leo wanted during the 2010 World Cup was to change clothes quickly so he could step on the pitch and ask for the ball, which is something that many players didn’t want to do.”“A lot of those players wanted to hide from the ball. I am… not tired, but I do want to tell all those people that what Leo and I have is unconditional. I frankly don’t know why they have that obsession with him and I.”Top 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.“People could’ve compared Leo with Ronaldinho for example, ‘Dinho’ really made it “rain” in Barcelona and nobody wants to remember him. Barcelona has that characteristic. They tend to forget their idols pretty quickly.”“You can ask for Rivaldo there, after that goal he scored against Atletico Madrid, or ask about the bicycle kick goal he scored against Valencia.”“Nobody will remember him. You already know what all the papers from Barcelona are like, they will always want me and Leo to get in a fight. But I will go on a barbecue with Leo, we play foot-tennis and we are happy.”“Maybe the people think that we will need to meet with our wives and wearing suits but no, quite the opposite actually. We could easily meet wearing shorts, with no shoes and wearing a casual shirt. No problem man,” he concluded.Messi cada vez que le dicen que Maradona habla de él pic.twitter.com/hILIReDzzJ— ivar arnaldo suarez (@arnaldosuarezlo) November 14, 2018Maradona somehow believes that making these statements will make Lionel Messi forget everything he has already said, but the reality is that Diego has already lost all his credibility with contradictory statements like this.Since the first statements that Maradona made about Lionel Messi a few weeks back, there still hasn’t been any response from the player’s camp and it’s very likely that they will remain quiet about the whole ordeal.This latest Maradona attempt to extend an olive branch is just a feeble attempt to cover up a terrible mistake that may have messed with their friendship and there may not be a way back anymore.🗣 Maradona: “There are players that go to the bathroom 20 times but I never referred to Messi. What I wanted from him at the 2010 World Cup was to change, go on the pitch, look for the ball. I want to say that what I have with Leo is unconditional.”— FC Barcelona Fl 🏆 (@FCBarcelonaFl) November 14, 2018What do you think about Diego Maradona’s contradictory statements about Lionel Messi? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.