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Peruvian government carries out PV project for the Masisea district in Ucayali

The 400 kW installation will be carried out together with other works to improve the local network thanks to an investment of approximately $ 4 million. The power plant will power approximately 800 fa ......

  • Peru
  • Administration & Marketing
  • 23 Apr 2019
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Description The 400 kW installation will be carried out together with other works to improve the local network thanks to an investment of approximately $ 4 million. The power plant will power approximately 800 family cores. APRIL 23, 2019 EMILIANO BELLINI El Ministerio de Energía y Minas (MEM) de Perú ha anunciado que el distrito de Masisea en el departamento de Ucayali, en la región Amazonía y cerca de la frontera con Brasil, será abastecido con energía eléctrica gracias a una nueva planta fotovoltaica de 400 kW. El proyecto será financiado con 15,1 millones soles peruanos (aproximadamente 4 millones de dólares estadounidenses) e inlcuirá también las obras para la adecuación de las redes eléctricas de Masisea. La viceministra de Electricidad, Patricia Elliot Blas, dijo que la nueva instalación fotovoltaica mejorará la calidad de vida de la población y dinamizará la economía local. “Hay un compromiso del Gobierno central por hacer realidad este proyecto que no solo brindará una solución sostenible y definitiva de la falta de energía eléctrica en Masisea, sino que además será fuente de desarrollo para las más de 800 familias quienes podrán iniciar pequeños industrias que dinamizarán la economía de la población y del país”, agregó. Para fines de mayo está prevista la conclusion del informe de revisión del expediente técnico de la obra, que será llevado a cabo por la empresa Electro Ucayali.
Industry Administration & Marketing

Renewable energy investment in Chile: Make hay while the sun shines

Chile is aiming to produce 70% of its energy using renewable sources by 2050. This will provide European companies and investors with significant opportunities, says Santander’s Latin American Desk He ......

  • Chile
  • Energy & Power
  • 15 Oct 2016
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Description Chile is aiming to produce 70% of its energy using renewable sources by 2050. This will provide European companies and investors with significant opportunities, says Santander’s Latin American Desk Head, Mauricio Munguia.

Driven by the pledges made at last year’s COP21 climate change conference in Paris, economies across the globe are decarbonising; increasing the proportion of renewable sources in their energy mixes. Indeed, last year saw record global clean energy investment, reaching £198 billion from £100 billion the year before, according to the REN21 global status report.

Yet hurdles to decarbonisation remain, of course, with a key one for governments and investors being the intermittence of power supply of renewables; what happens when the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing?

Chile rarely has this problem. The Atacama Desert, located in the north of the country, has unique radiation levels ideal for solar power, while 6,000km of coastline provides favourable winds. Add to the mix 123 active volcanoes and Chile’s renewable energy market is teeming with potential.

What’s more, the Chilean government has taken up the renewables baton –with the aim to produce 70% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2050. Such goals no longer seem unachievable. Backed by enabling policy and energy market reform, the share of wind, solar and biomass in Chile’s energy mix has risen from 1% to 11% over the past eight years. Encouragingly, the country is adding around 600MW to its energy grids each year.

When you consider that the country’s GDP growth has outstripped most on the continent, and that it has little corruption and solid institutional and regulatory frameworks, you can see why institutional investors across Europe – many of which are keen to add sustainable investments to their portfolios – are starting to “think Chile”.

Private investment in Chilean renewables

Certainly, the government of President Michelle Bachelet is offering concessions for infrastructure projects via a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) structure which will be very familiar – and attractive – to European companies.

Furthermore, Chile leads the way globally in terms of energy market reform – enabling intermittent renewable suppliers to bid on specific slots corresponding to times during the day and night. Furthermore, it has restructured its energy supply auctions, and established a tax on carbon emissions. All of this has allowed renewables to compete head-to-head with fossil fuels, without the need for direct subsidies.

This has buoyed investors and renewables companies, with many seizing the opportunity to participate. Since 2012 alone, we have seen commitments of US$9.2 billion. And in 2014, 12 deals secured investment of US$3.4 billion, largely driven by solar projects.

The headline-maker of those deals was of course Spanish renewable company Abengoa’s US$1 billion investment in the 200-meter-tall solar tower, Atacama 1, which is expected to generate an 110MW, and operate all day, every day.

Abengoa is not alone in making the most of the opportunities. The 101MW solar facility in Amanecer – also in the Atacama – is owned by US firm SunEdison. Elsewhere, the El Arrayán Wind Farm, launched in late 2014 and one of the largest in the country, utilises Siemens-produced turbines to serve the energy needs of approximately 200,000 homes per year.

Private involvement in Chile’s renewable energy market is without doubt on-the-up. Indeed, the last energy auction in October 2015 saw Abengoa, Aela Generacion (a joint venture between UK private equity investor Actis and Irish Energy Mainstream Renewable Power), First Solar (US), Ibereolica Cabo Leones (the local unit of Spanish energy group Ibereolica) and Solarpack (Spain) awarded 20-year contracts to supply 1200GWh to the Chilean electricity market from 2017.

Grasping the opportunities

Chile’s policy enablement and renewable potential make it an attractive destination for European investors; so much so, that it was placed fourth in EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) – a quarterly publication ranking 40 countries according to a number of macro, technology and market specific indicators.

And with an estimated 261 projects in the pipeline, opportunities are far from scarce. Of course, the natural place to start are those afforded by the more established renewables markets. A number of solar-based projects in Northern Chile remain in the pipeline and the country recently announced plans to develop a 1,865 mile transmission line to aid the transfer of solar power to other parts of the country. Furthermore, there are also an estimated 52 wind projects lined-up.

Yet, there are also emerging opportunities beyond wind and solar. As the largest untapped form of renewable energy in the world, wave and tidal energy may also hold enormous potential – although technological barriers have so far held-back significant development in this respect. In addition, Chile would be an ideal location for wave energy research and development, while the country’s strategic position in the “Pacific-Ring of Fire” – an area of intense volcanic and seismic activity – leaves untapped potential in terms of geothermal power generation.

Clearly, Chile is a treasure trove for renewable energy investment. But how can European companies and investors seize such commercial opportunities? Indeed, in the UK, a recent Department for International Trade (DIT) roadshow highlighted that access to world markets is not always unrestricted for exporters – particularly with respect to international tariffs and regulations.

This is where banks, such as Santander, as well as organisations such as DIT and others in Europe, play a crucial role in helping businesses and investors to succeed internationally. With dedicated teams of specialists, they can provide a variety of services including help with export documentation and regulatory issues, assisting with cultural and language barriers as well working with exporters to understand and mitigate their trading risk profile.

At Santander we also have a track record, across the globe, of financing the construction and operation of wind farms, solar photovoltaic plants, solar thermal power stations and mini-hydraulic plants – either through project finance or solar photovoltaic leasing. Such finance is essential if large projects are to move forward into the construction stage.

Chile has the right resources and regulatory framework for successful investments. With the right expertise and financing, European companies and investors could make hay while the sun continues to shine.
Industry Energy & Power

Groton school district proposes new capital project

The voters within the Groton Central School District will be asked to support a proposed building project totaling $8.71 million at a special vote on Sept. 27. This amount represents a revision to the ......

  • United States
  • Construction
  • 15 Oct 2016
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Description The voters within the Groton Central School District will be asked to support a proposed building project totaling $8.71 million at a special vote on Sept. 27. This amount represents a revision to the capital project originally presented this past February. After that project was voted down, the Board of Education re-evaluated the scope of the project and decided to eliminate the Ross Field renovations, allowing the project to be reduced by $3.6 million, and put together a revised project that will come with a 0% tax levy increase to district residents.

If approved by voters, the new scope of the project will address a wide variety of building maintenance and safety issues, and includes addressing infrastructure needs at the elementary and junior-senior high buildings, as well as the bus garage.

One of the highlights of this project includes the complete renovation of a wing at the junior-senior high school to allow for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning center to be placed in the building. This would allow our students to take courses and gain skills necessary for a 21st century workforce, in an instructional setting that would be focused on project-based learning. Such courses could include robotics, computer-aided design, computer coding classes, alternative energy courses, and basic building trades courses such as electricity and woodworking.

In addition, it would provide the district with the opportunity to be a satellite STEM academy for the TST BOCES region. As previously stated, the total cost of the project will be $8.71 million, with funding coming from state building aid and the district’s unappropriated fund balance. As such, there will be a zero percent impact to the tax levy.

To hear more about the details of the project and to have any questions answered, all are encouraged and urged to attend a public information meeting at 6 p.m. September 19 in the District Office, 400 Peru Rd.

More GOHD winners

At the First National Bank of Groton, the 46th annual art show was another great success during Groton Olde Home Days, and I am pleased to let everyone know who the winners were.

There were several categories in which art pieces were entered, but Marilyn Palmer received the award for Best in Show for her submission of “JERV”, while the People’s Choice award went to Julianne Costa for her work titled “Carly”.

The winners in the oils and acrylic category were: 1st place, Carlton Manzano for “Lake View”, 2nd place, Nic Ellis Withey for “Booted Banty”, and 3rd place, Kent Goetz for “Maine Rocks 1”. Honorable mention awards were given to Steven Phillips for “We All Wear Masks”, Laura Lash for “Enigma”, and Robert Sikora for “Void #3 in Tan”.

In the watercolor category, winners were: 1st place, Dyan Haser-Lombardi for “Le Vert Terre”, 2nd place, Ellen Valentino for “Blue Dog”, and 3rd place, Katrina Martin for “Meadow’s Edge Scotland”. Honorable mention awards were given to Emily Gibbons for “David on Errisbeg”, Beverly Jones for “Lake Lila”, and Jae Harris for “February Harvest”.

The winners in the drawing category were: 1st place, Julianne Costa for “Carly”, 2nd place, David C. Baxter for “Borrowed Time”, and 3rd place, Booth Perkins for “Tripped Up”. In this category, the Honorable mention awards were given to Sonya McCormick for “Pigeons in the Hay Mow”, Diane Kitts for “Roses”, and Ron Boehner for “Untitled”.

There was also a category for senior citizens, and those winners were: 1st place, Grace Hedlund for “The Spring House”, 2nd place, Arlen Withey for “From the Past Tompkins County”, and 3rd place, Elnora Teeter for “Clinton House”. Honorable mentions were given to Sandy Cowen for “Eastport Girl”, Marian Davie for “Lad in the Pub”, and Marian Strang for “Heffalump”.

Last, but certainly not least, the winners in the student category were: 1st place, Bryn Underwood for “Make Be Live”, 2nd place, Lilyan McCormick for “Becky with the Good Hair”, and 3rd place, Tobias Kennedy for “The Fox”.

Congratulations to each of these talented artists. These works, as well as the winners of the Verne Morton Photography Contest, may be viewed at the bank through the end of this month.

Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Groton Public Library also held some raffles during GOHD, and Sue Haynes wrote in to let everyone know that Mary Roberts was the lucky winner of the reproduction jelly cupboard which was handcrafted and donated for the cause by the talented Joe Urda. The two photographs donated by Old Stage Photography were won by Greg Bush and Sharon Stewart. Congratulations folks!

Thanks to the Friends of GPL volunteers and patrons, and especially to those who donated their gently-used books, the annual book sale during GOHD was a smashing success! During the course of the 2-day sale, over 30 Friends helped patrons to shop for books. Proceeds of almost $900 were realized, which will benefit future support for the GPL immensely.

Community Choir time

Groton Community Choir director, Ginny Casey, is gearing up for the sixty-sixth season of this renowned group of singers. Rehearsals will begin on September 27, and will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday thereafter at the Groton Assembly of God church, 701 S. Main St.
Minimum age for choir members is 14, and Casey is calling for all former members, as well as anyone new, to come out and be a part of this musical tradition. It is not necessary for members to reside in Groton – all who love to sing with others who do also, are welcome.

Library happenings

All are invited to the Cayuga Lake Food Buyers Club meeting at 6 p.m. Friday at the library. Come and learn about Regional Access and this buyer’s group. There will be a member registration opportunity and an email list sign-up.

The monthly meeting of the Groton Public Library Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m. September 13. All meetings are open to the public and are held at the library.

From 3-4:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoons, “Teen Thing” will once again take place, beginning September 22. Going into its fourth year, things will look a bit different this year. There will be more focus on hands-on learning, reading, and going in-depth on some cool and fascinating subjects. Only the first 20 returned permission slips from 6th through 8th grade students will be guaranteed a spot in this year's program.

New from 3-4 p.m. on Wednesdays, beginning September 21, will be L.E.A.P.; the program the library announced last spring for 3rd grade students. Each week will feature a different fun and educational topic, with lots of reading, crafts, and hands-on activities throughout the year. This program will be restricted to 15 participants.

Both of these programs are designed to build a life-long love of learning and libraries in our youth. GPL works with the school district to have the students dropped off and picked up by the school busses that pass by the library on their normal routes.

Permission slips for either of these programs are available at the library, from the school once classes begin, or on the library’s website in the coming weeks.
Industry Construction

City OKs construction for Krone project, street closings for Downtown Shelby Days

Shelbyville officials approved building a new street and turn lanes off of East State Road 44. The work is part of the city's commitment to facilitate the headquarters relocation of Krone North Ameri ......

  • United States
  • Construction
  • 15 Oct 2016
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Description Shelbyville officials approved building a new street and turn lanes off of East State Road 44.
The work is part of the city's commitment to facilitate the headquarters relocation of Krone North America, an economic development project expected to create 101 new jobs by 2021.
The Shelbyville Board of Works voted unanimously Tuesday morning to award the construction project to Milestone Contractors LP, an Indianapolis firm with offices across Indiana.
Milestone was recommended by CrossRoad Engineers PC of Beech Grove, the city's engineering consultant.
"We're adding a new access road off of 44 and turn lanes on 44 itself," City Engineer Matt House said after the board's meeting.
The access street will run about 350 feet to the Krone property, he said.
The cost of the road and street project is $374,960.
Krone, which makes farm equipment for the production of hay and forage, plans to build its new headquarters on a 10-acre site which lies south of SR 44 east of Interstate 74, just beyond Wal-Mart.
The road construction project is part of a deal between the company, city government, the Shelby County Development Corp., which is funded in part by the city and the county, and the First Presbyterian Church, which owns the land.
Under the deal, the SCDC agreed to buy 40 acres of land, which includes the Krone site, plus an additional 3.1 acres, which the SCDC agreed to give to the city for streets and drainage.
The purchase price was not disclosed in the agreement.
Also, the church agreed to give 10 acres of land adjacent to the 40-acre site to the city. The deal requires the city to design, build and maintain a water detention area on the 10 acres, and above and below ground drainage to serve the 40-acres "at the city's sole expense."
The city agreed to install space for utilities large enough to serve the 40-acre site plus the remaining 102 acres of land owned by the church in anticipation of future development.
Hiring for the Krone jobs is expected to begin in 2017.
In other matters, the Board of Works:
• Awarded the second phase of the Hendricks Street repaving to Atwood Construction for $139,903, which is higher than the engineer's estimate of $122,031, but includes $8,000 for aggregate, which may not all be used, plus the Atwood bid was for concrete versus asphalt, House, the city engineer, explained via email;
• Approved a resolution in support of the Downtown Shelby Days festival, which is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday on and near the Public Square;
• OK'd street closings related to Downtown Shelby Days — Harrison Street from Mechanic to Broadway Streets, and Washington Street from Pike to Tompkins Streets will be closed during the event.
"Fire and police are aware of the detours," Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun said.
Industry Construction

Logan County Tourism promoting community

The Logan County Tourist & Convention Commission is very busy trying to find new and better ways to help promote the county. They just spent 10 days at the 2016 Kentucky State Fair this year with a Lo ......

  • United States
  • Travel & Tourism
  • 15 Oct 2016
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Description The Logan County Tourist & Convention Commission is very busy trying to find new and better ways to help promote the county. They just spent 10 days at the 2016 Kentucky State Fair this year with a Logan County booth. The Kentucky State Fair hosts 700,000 plus people from all around the world each year.

“There is no better way to get information about Logan County out there,” said Logan County Tourism President Janie Gregory.

Recently the tourism commission has had a new website built, The website serves as a gateway to the world to get Logan County out there to people everywhere.

The new Logan County maps are in thanks to the tourism commission. Copies of the updated maps are available at the Logan County Tourism office on the first floor of the historic Logan County Courthouse and the Logan County Chamber of Commerce on the square as well.

Logan County Tourism is producing a hand crafted collectible Logan County Christmas Ornament this year. If this project takes off well they plan to make this an annual tradition. This first year’s ornament will be of the historic Logan County Courthouse.

“The board decided to make this the first ornament since it is the current home of Logan County Tourism,” said Dee Dee Brown of tourism. “The hope is that each year a new ornament will be made honoring an attraction or historical site from around Logan County.” The cost of the ornaments will be $22 and they will be for sale in the tourism office beginning in early October.

Logan County Tourism is funded by a 3 percent transient room tax that is charged by all of the accommodations around the county including, hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts and cabin rentals. Therefore tourism is all about bringing visitors into our county in the hope that while here, they will shop and eat supporting our local economy.

One need that has been brought to tourism’s attention is tear off map pads. The tear off maps would display Logan County, Russellville, Auburn, Adairville and Lewisburg. Local restaurants, attractions and shopping establishments will be highlighted on the back side of the map. Businesses that would like to be included will pay $100 for an advertisement spot to be listed and plotted on the map. This will make it easier for visitors to find their way around Logan County. Ten thousand maps will be produced this first time. If your business would like to be included, please contact Brown at the Logan County Tourism office at 270-726-1678. The deadline for map sponsorship is Monday, Oct. 3, 2016.

And just for the fun, Logan County Tourism is sponsoring a Decorated Hay Bale Tour of Logan County. Other Counties have made this an annual tradition and Logan County would like to do the same. In order to enter the Hale Bale contest, forms can be found on the Logan County Tourism Facebook Page or at the Logan County Tourism office. There is no charge to enter or be included. Prizes will be awarded on Halloween. Only family friendly themed hay bales will be included in the tour list.
Industry Travel & Tourism

Space Tech to Offer Crores for Pvt Sector Soon

Indian space segment is looking at $16 billion market in next five years - an opportunity for the private industry to make hay while the sun shines Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the I ......

  • India
  • Information Technology
  • 03 Sep 2016
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Description Indian space segment is looking at $16 billion market in next five years - an opportunity for the private industry to make hay while the sun shines

Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is providing a major push for the Indian private Industry to participate in the country's space programme in a big way to play a direct and active role in India's space segment, expected to touch $16 billion (about Rs 1.07 lakh crore) in the next five years.

Antrix Corporation chairman and managing director, S Rakesh, said globally the space market would cross $335 billion (about Rs 22.44 lakh crore) in the same period, during which all space agencies put together would totally launch a whopping 2,500 satellites.

Although no figure on how many satellites ISRO would launch in that period was disclosed, D Radhakrishnan, director (launch services & missions), Antrix Corporation, said in the early part of the next financial year alone (2017-18), ISRO is looking at launching a whopping 68 satellites. In June this year, ISRO set its own record of launching 20 satellites in just one launch using its warhorse polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) launcher from Sriharikota.

With the intensity of the space programme plans increasing, the endeavour would require the private Indian industry to play a major role, he said. "We see a large growth in the space segment in the future and want the industry to avail the space technologies developed by ISRO and come up with a clear-cut investment plan so they can come up in a big way," he said.In line with that, a three-day Bangalore Space Expo 2016, scheduled to begin on September 1, has been planned as a critical platform to provide the first major push for the Indian private industry to actively get involved in the country's space programme. "We hope this event would be a game-changer as far as the Indian private industry is concerned," said Rakesh. "The Bangalore Space Expo 2016 is an initiative to give a big push to the industry to ultimately be able to make satellite systems and mini-satellites."

He said the private industry could look at developing small satellite systems initially before gradually moving to manufacture larger satellite systems.

The Antrix Corporation CMD however said the road to such an involvement would not be easy and will not be accomplished overnight. The private industry would require at least Rs 20,000-30,000 crore ($2.98-4.48 billion) of total investment for the required infrastructure, facilities and services to be able to manufacture the first complete satellite before subsequently be able to make more.


Radhakrishnan said they were looking at launching nano-satellites in the coming months.

Space scientists said the present trend was satellites becoming smaller with more systems and subsystems being packed into smaller areas. Sources have revealed that the delegation of Swiss space scientists who have arrived to familiarise itself with the Indian start-up atmosphere in the space technology segment, are set to discuss with ISRO the possibility of launching their own cube satellite, CubETH - which is as small as 10X10X10 cms and weighs less that 1 Kg - which aims at being the first nano-satellite to achieve precise orbit determination as well as altitude determination using signals of American GPS and Russian GLONASS constellation of global positioning system satellites. "Small satellites will be the large market," said Rakesh. "Therefore, we are getting across to the private industry to facilitate technology transfer to industry for building subsystems with minimum investments in partnership with ISRO."


Rakesh said they were looking for commercial launches for the Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), too, which has hitherto not happened as the Mark-III version of the launcher as well as a cryogenic engine to propel it was under development.

Now, with the cryogenic engine for the Mark-II version ready, Antrix Corporation is positioning itself to market the GSLV launchers for commercial launches of foreign satellites. The GSLV Mark-III's first developmental flight would carry the GSAT-19E, weighing 3.5 tonnes, but ultimately the launcher is being designed to carry payloads upwards of 4 tonnes, he said.


The 5th edition of Bangalore Space Expo would be held at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre from September 1-3 with the theme "Industry participation in space systems production, infrastructure creation and applications delivery".

The event will provide a platform for space start-ups and entrepreneurs entering into space market with innovative concepts like internet from space and moon exploration and will showcase their ideas, concepts and technologies at the event.
Industry Information Technology

Kenya bets on five areas to improve meat, milk production

Bungoma County is currently putting up a chicken slaughterhouse in Chwele Town with a capacity to slaughter 10,000 birds daily. Chinese investors Lu Jing and Lu Donglin have constructed a Sh300 mil ......

  • Kenya
  • Food & Agriculture
  • 03 Sep 2016
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Description Bungoma County is currently putting up a chicken slaughterhouse in Chwele Town with a capacity to slaughter 10,000 birds daily.

Chinese investors Lu Jing and Lu Donglin have constructed a Sh300 million special slaughterhouse for donkey meat in Baringo County.

This is the only abattoir for donkeys in Kenya; and targets exporting to China, Russia and other Far East countries.

Livestock insurance

Agriculture secretary Willy Bett last week launched a State-funded livestock insurance programme aimed at cushioning pastoralist communities against losses occasioned by drought and animal diseases in Kenya’s 14 arid and semi-arid areas.

Already, the government has spent Sh3.5 billion to compensate a total of 275 pastoralists who have lost their animals due to drought – with each herder taking home Sh12,824.

Milk powder, corned beef

The Ministry of Agriculture has successfully lobbied to have milk powder and corned beef included as part of the national strategic food reserve.

This has allowed State-owned New Kenya Co-operative Creameries to buy excess milk from farmers during a glut and convert to powder, avoiding a case where such produce would have gone to waste as processors capacity is surpassed.

Hay sheds, pasture blocks

The national government has constructed eight hay sheds – two each in these counties: Baringo, Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit.

Each hay shed has a commercial pasture and demonstration plot with total area of 360 hectares.

These facilities are expected to improve forage quality and increase availability as locals will grow pastures, harvest and store in the grading sheds for use during the dry seasons when there is acute shortage of animal feeds.
Industry Food & Agriculture

Louisiana agriculture facing $110 million in flood-related losses

Flooding and frequent rainfall since has left Louisiana’s agriculture sector with an estimated $110 million in losses. Unfortunately, that number is likely to rise as the floodwaters recede. “The $ ......

  • United States
  • Food & Agriculture
  • 03 Sep 2016
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Description Flooding and frequent rainfall since has left Louisiana’s agriculture sector with an estimated $110 million in losses. Unfortunately, that number is likely to rise as the floodwaters recede.

“The $110 million estimate is based on very early reports,” says Kurt Guidry, LSU AgCenter agriculture economist. “As of yesterday (August 21), there were still some flooded areas in southwest Louisiana and, to some degree, south of Baton Rouge. So, a full assessment hasn’t been possible throughout all impacted areas.

The two hardest hit commodities in the state are rice and soybeans.

About 20 percent of rice acres were unharvested at the time of the flooding. “Some of the southwestern, coastal, heavy rice-growing parishes had significant flooding. I’m from that region and was there this weekend helping family members. There were a couple of farmers who had rice still underwater. One farmer had about 400 acres he couldn’t see – too much water. So, I’m afraid once the floodwaters go down we’ll see serious yield losses.”

Another issue for all commodities “is after the heavy rains that swept through a week ago, there has been pretty heavy rainfall every day. If the pattern continues, delayed harvest will be a problem.”

Rice, soybeans
In the case of rice, wet conditions will affect the ratoon crop. “Many growers in southwest Louisiana rely on the second crop to be their ‘money’ crop. They make the majority of their profits on ratoon rice. Having to harvest in extremely wet conditions will really hamper the second crop.”

Guidry says many farmers have planted soybeans on fallow sugarcane ground. “When the flood came most of those soybeans were ready for harvest. They’d been sprayed and defoliated. For those that didn’t go underwater or where the waters receded quickly, it’s now a race against time to get into the fields and bring the beans in. Otherwise, we’ll see quantity, and probably more importantly, quality losses.

“As you move into the middle portion of the state, the soybeans are a bit younger. They haven’t been impacted as much. But, again, we need some drier conditions to harvest. It’s becoming a real concern.

“We have more soybean acres than anything else – 1.2 to 1.3 million acres with about 450,000 acres in the southern region. So, the total impact these rains could have on the industry as a whole is very large.”

At this point, sugarcane shouldn’t see a huge reduction in yield. “Cane is a resilient crop and, in talking with (LSU AgCenter) experts, there shouldn’t be too many problems yet.

“The bigger issue with cane is with having to replant. August and September is prime cane-planting time in Louisiana. We had about 15 percent of expected acres planted at the time of the storms. Many of those were flooded and still could be. There will be additional costs associated with replanting some of those acres.

“Several sugar mills have talked about beginning milling earlier this year. That would mean harvest starting about the third week of September. Well, with all the cane left to plant, that early harvest start will be very taxing on producers to have enough labor and resources to accomplish both. We could have some acres that don’t get planted simply because time runs out. Anytime cane doesn’t get planted that’s a large disruption because the crop is in a four- to five-year production cycle.”

Livestock is a sector “hard to get a handle on. I feel pretty safe to say there will be livestock deaths – how large a number, I don’t know. Some of the heaviest flooding is where a larger percentage of the state’s livestock is located.”

Many Extension parish personnel “are dealing with their own homes being flooded and lost and things of that nature. It’s understandable how difficult it’s been getting solid livestock numbers in those areas.

“I think this flood will rival the one we had in March in north Louisiana. At that time, 500 to 600 head of cattle were lost. It’s not unreasonable to assume around the same number was lost in this August flood.”

A lot of fences are down and need repair -- another expense for cattlemen.

Another set of problems for the livestock sector: lost forage, lost grazing and food availability. “I’ve spoken with several cattlemen in the southern part of the state and they had several feet of water on pastures. We’re getting to a point where there are only a couple of months where the forage will be actively growing. Will the pastures underwater be able to come back quickly?

“We may not have any forage availability on those acres until next spring. If that’s the case, will producers have enough grass or hay to get through the winter?”

The forecast for the Baton Rouge area where Guidry is based “says there will be a 40 to 50 percent chance of rain the entire week (of August 22). It seems as though some of the hardest-hit areas keep getting precipitation. Last weekend, someone in the area said they got 1.5 inches of rain on Saturday (August 20). Someone who lives just south of Baton Rouge got 3 inches. The ground is saturated and we really need a run of dry days to allow growers back into the field.”

Guidry was in Acadia Parish over the weekend and saw one rice field a grower was trying to harvest. “It didn’t look like it was going too well. That was the only combine I saw working and I drove all over the parish. Of course, harvesting in moist soil will increase costs later when they have to fix rutted up areas.

Sprouting, consistent rains

“The consistent rains we’ve had since the flooding has led to grain sorghum and corn sprouting in the field. That can become a much bigger issue if harvest delays continue.

“Prior to the rains about a week ago, the state’s corn was only about 30 percent harvested and the grain sorghum was at 55 percent. You can see how the wet weather is really having implications for the whole state.”

About 15 to 20 percent of Louisiana’s cotton has open bolls and reports of boll rot and cotton sprouting in the field are “picking up.”

Guidry says the $110 million loss estimate is only for production losses and the impact on gross revenue. “There will also be impacts on quality issues, increased cost of production because of harvest inefficiencies, some stored commodities that were lost. For example, in southwest Louisiana about 80 percent of the rice was harvested and a lot of that goes into storage.

“The LSU AgCenter will continue to monitor this and do a more detailed assessment in the next several weeks. These numbers will be updated as we get new information.”
Industry Food & Agriculture

DOT Using New Method to Replace Dodge County Bridges from WWII

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is unveiling replacement work at two Dodge County bridges to showcase a new bridge construction technique which simplifies the process and reduces project ti ......

  • United States
  • Construction
  • 03 Sep 2016
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Description The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is unveiling replacement work at two Dodge County bridges to showcase a new bridge construction technique which simplifies the process and reduces project time, while potentially increasing quality.

The bridges spanning Shaw Brook and Pratt Creek on county highways S and KW, respectively, date back nearly to World War II and were falling into disrepair. WisDOT worked with local officials to secure a Federal Highway Administration grant to replace the structures using a concept known as Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil – Integrated Bridge System.

"This is a great opportunity for us to showcase a technology that provides an alternative to traditional construction with added benefits," said James Luebke from WisDOT’s Bureau of Structures. "Providing efficient and cost-effective solutions are core goals at WisDOT, and it’s exciting to be working on a project aimed at doing just that."

The GRS-IBS construction method was developed by the Federal Highway Administration using basic earthwork techniques to create a reinforced soil foundation for the abutment and an integrated approach. It’s a similar method to retaining wall constructions, and engineers have spent nearly two decades in testing and evaluation to ensure predictable, reliable and safe performance for transportation. GRS-IBS is considered an ideal solution for smaller, single-span bridges over low-velocity waterways.

Benefits include accelerated construction, reduced cost and flexible design. In terms of maintenance, the simplicity of the structure is expected to reduce the number of problems that can occur among the individual parts of more complex bridge systems.

Work on both bridges began in early July and is expected to finish in September. Average daily traffic on each bridge ranges between 500 and 700 vehicles each day. An expected reduction in construction time, compared to conventional methods, results in a welcome reduction in detours and delays.

There are more than 14,000 bridges in Wisconsin, and more than 2/3 are locally owned, which can create problems as the infrastructure ages and local communities are forced to make decisions about how to fund rehabilitation and construction. GRS-IBS is among the new methods and alternatives that WisDOT is developing to build bridges that should, over time, become more and more cost-effective compared to conventional methods. Because GRS-IBS uses more simplified earthwork methods than other conventional bridge construction methods, it is expected to increase the number of qualified contract bidders – something that will increase competition and drive down price.
WisDOT first used GRS-IBS in the replacement of the 60-year-old WIS 40 bridge, spanning Hay Creek in Chippewa County.
Industry Construction

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