Is “fat” a four-letter word?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Is fat a bad word? Not necessarily. Simply put, fat is just the body’s storage form of energy. If an animal consumes more energy than it uses, the excess calories will be stored as fat — money in the bank to be used in an energy shortage (think cows calving in late winter). Fat also imparts flavor to food (like a T-bone steak) but it also adds calories. So managing fat can be a delicate issue in the cattle business.Presently, eating quality of beef is estimated to a large degree by the amount of marbling (intramuscular fat) that it contains. Tenderness is also important but is generally a function of age (younger is better). Marbling generally increases after the animal attains some maturity and external fattening has occurred. External fat is frequently used as an indication of when cattle will have enough marbling to grade choice or prime. I know what you are thinking — why don’t we just measure marbling? We’re getting to that with ultrasound technology and it would allow us to avoid over finishing (high yield grades) of fed cattle. Ideally, marbling would occur in feedlot cattle with very little external fat being present. We would like to have Choice and Prime quality grades with yield grades of 2 or 3 for our fed cattle. But . . . If we bred cattle to meet this criterion, what would it mean to the beef cow herd? Don’t ever take fleshing ability away from the brood cow herd! It will have a negative effect on reproduction.It is important to understand how cattle fatten so that we can manage them accordingly. Fat is “laid down” from front to back and top to bottom. The fore ribs and spinous processes are covered first then the fat cover continues backward and downward. That’s why folks look for cod fat (in the scrotal area) as an indicator of when cattle are finished. It is the last place to fatten. Loss of body fat happens in reverse order. Fat cover is the basis for condition scoring in beef cattle.Body condition has a definite impact on reproductive performance. Cows should generally be at a Body Condition Score (BCS) of five at the beginning of the breeding season. A cow with a BCS of 5 will have some fat reserves, with fat cover over all the ribs. As cows lose condition (in the reverse order that it was put on) a BCS 5 would become a BCS 4 when they lose condition so there is no cover over the last two ribs. This would mean that the cow has very marginal energy reserves for good reproductive performance. If this loss of condition (fat reserves) continues so that you can see the foreribs (BCS 3), then you have a real problem. Conception rates will suffer.Loss of condition generally happens after calving when dietary energy needs have increased dramatically and feed supplied isn’t meeting those needs. The cow has to “withdraw, from the bank” to meet her nutritional needs. It is important that some energy reserves are available.And what about the herd bulls(s)? We need some energy reserves so that bulls can stay active during the breeding season but … bulls are athletes. They should have muscling, sound feet and legs and be able to sire a large number of calves in a short period of time. At least that is what we say we want but then we frequently buy young, fat bulls that look great at the start of the breeding season and are a wreck before the season is over.Why does this happen? Probably because we confuse fat with muscling. We are looking at thickness as a sign of muscling but it could just be a layer of fat. Fat can “plaster over” thin-muscled cattle. Fat doesn’t move but muscles will “ripple”. Watch the animals as they move. Observe the hindquarters and shoulders. Remember, “if it ain’t movin’, it ain’t muscle!”So managing fat (or condition) is important in the cattle business, especially in the cowherd for optimum reproduction. Fat is important — both too much or too little can be a problem. Astute producers recognize the importance of efficient cattle that can maintain adequate energy reserves without wasting feed resources.last_img read more

U.S. Supreme Court decides not to look into EPA efforts in the Chesapeake Bay

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Many in agriculture were disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to review a lower court ruling allowing the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts in the Chesapeake Bay.While this action relates to the EPA’s “blueprint” for restoring the Chesapeake Bay, it has national implications related to the power and reach of the federal government under the Clean Water Act.“The EPA has consistently pushed the legal limits of the Clean Water Act, with the Chesapeake Bay blueprint and the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule being two of the most recent examples,” said Chip Bowling, National Corn Growers Association president , who farms on the Chesapeake Bay watershed in southern Maryland. “When Congress passed the Clean Water Act, their intention was to create balanced, practical policies to protect America’s water resources with a clear division of power between states and the federal government. In both of these cases, the EPA’s actions represent an unlawful expansion of their authority. That’s why we joined this petition on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, and we are party to a lawsuit challenging the WOTUS rule.“We support the goals of the Clean Water Act, and we remain committed to working with the EPA and other stakeholders to protect our water resources.”last_img read more

Toronto stock index Wall Street gain ground as Canadian dollar weakens

first_imgTORONTO – Mining companies led a largely broad-based gain on Canada’s main stock index Monday as the loonie lost ground to the U.S. dollar.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 63.64 points to 15,236.67 — with base metals gains of more two per cent helping to offset gold sector losses of about one per cent.“Broadly we’re seeing small gains in equity market indices, not only domestically but also around the world,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist for Edward Jones in St. Louis.“I’d probably categorize it as another one of these days where in the absence of bad news, the direction for equity markets continue to be higher. And I think that’s a reflection of the fact that economic growth and corporate profits continue to be the undercurrent for equity market gains.”On Wall Street, it was also another positive day as investors looked ahead to the latest two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, set to begin Tuesday.Traders will be listening for indications on the timing for the next rate hike and when the Fed might start shrinking its multitrillion-dollar stockpile of bonds. Forecasters expect the Fed to leave rates unchanged and stick to plans to raise rates in December.The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 63.01 points to 22,331.35, the S&P 500 index edged ahead 3.64 points to 2,503.87, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 6.17 points to 6,454.64.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 81.71 cents US, down 0.38 of a U.S. cent.In commodities, the November crude contract gave back nine cents at US$50.35 per barrel while the December gold contract fell $14.40 to US$1,310.80 an ounce.The December copper contract was up two cents at to US$2.97 a pound and the October natural gas contract gained 12 cents at US$3.15 per mmBTU.– With files from The Associated Press.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

NCAA Severs Licensing Ties to EA Sports

The NCAA has ended its contract with EA Sports and will no longer allow the gaming company to use its logo and name in their video games. The college sports organization is currently involved in a lawsuit where they’re being accused of owing billions of dollars to former NCAA players for allowing their images and likenesses to be used by the gaming company.“We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games,” the NCAA said in its statement. “But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interest of the NCAA. The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA. The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes.”NCAA Football 2014 will be the last EA Sports game with the NCAA. The NCAA said their current contract, which expires June 2014, will be the last agreement.“Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game,” the NCAA said in a statement. “They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future.” read more

Breaking Down The Womens NCAA Tournament Bracket

If you thought Kentucky’s chances looked good over in the men’s tournament, it’s time to bet your house on the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team. The nine-time national champions return to the NCAA tournament this year looking for their second three-peat in school history, and our first-ever go at March Madness predictions for the women’s tournament gives the Huskies a really, really good chance of doing just that.Next to Connecticut, things look bleak even for the other No. 1 seeds in the tournament: Maryland has only a 2 percent chance of winning it all, while steering clear of the Albany region gives South Carolina and Notre Dame a 10 percent and 9 percent chance, respectively, of dethroning Connecticut.We’re thrilled to be forecasting the women’s NCAA tournament and look forward to seeing how our model performs given what little data we have to work with. Below, we break down the strengths and weaknesses of each region.AlbanyAlbany has rightfully been labeled the “regional destination of doom” because of the Huskies, who are so dominant this year that their opponents’ odds seem laughable: St. Francis College, their first-round matchup, has about a 1 in 7,000 chance of beating them. Our model all but guarantees that UConn will make an appearance in the Elite Eight — a 98 percent chance — and the likelihood of the team heading to the Final Four isn’t much lower, at 96 percent. With these odds, UConn seems to be a surefire winner, barring something like a teamwide food poisoning epidemic or a player strike against Geno.UConn is led by junior Breanna Stewart, who scored double figures in all but three of the team’s games this season and senior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who is the school’s all-time career leader in 3-point field goals, with 341.But the near-perfect Huskies are just that: near perfect. They lost once this season, to Stanford (a No. 4 seed) 88-86 in overtime back in November, and finished the season with a 32-1 record.And even though we give No. 2 seed Kentucky just a 1 percent chance of making it out on top of the Albany region, remember that the Wildcats were eliminated from the tournament by UConn in two of the past three years and may have a thirst for vengeance.Oklahoma CityLast year’s runner-up, Notre Dame, is the No. 1 seed over in the Oklahoma City region, coming off a fresh ACC championship and looking for its fifth consecutive appearance in the Final Four (we think the team has a 58 percent chance). The Irish are led by standout shooting guard and ACC Player of the Year Jewell Loyd, who averaged 20.5 points, 3.1 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game, and ACC Freshman of the Year Brianna Turner, a forward who averaged 13.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.Notre Dame will have to get past strong teams like No. 2 seed Baylor and No. 4 seed Stanford, two programs that are used to Final Four appearances, and some dark-horse contenders in Minnesota and Oklahoma. The Golden Gophers have stellar sophomore center Amanda Zahui B., who averaged 18.6 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, with an incredible 39-point game thrown in there, too. We give her team a less than 1 percent chance of getting past the Irish, but maybe not if she has anything to say about it.SpokaneThe No.1 seed in the Spokane region is Maryland, which swept through its Big 10 season and tournament undefeated and has only two losses on the season. The team has one of the most potent offenses in the country, but a pedestrian defense. And the Terrapins have a tough road ahead. Our model rates them as the weakest No. 1 seed by far, with only a 37 percent chance of winning their region. While they hope to win the program’s second national championship, after beating Duke in a thrilling overtime game in 2006, we give them only a 2 percent chance of winning this year (not helped by likely facing UConn in the Final Four).But first they must get out of the region. And Maryland might face No. 2 seed Tennessee. The Lady Vols, who haven’t made a Final Four appearance since 2008, have a 33 percent chance of making it out of the Spokane region this year, the most likely No. 2 seed to advance.Even before that, Maryland’s second-round opponent might be the only undefeated team in the tournament: No. 8 seed Princeton, which is 30-0. Some projected the Tigers to get a No. 5 seed, but the committee obviously saw their Ivy League schedule as unimpressive. Still, scrappy Princeton has the third-toughest defense in the country, and our model has it as the fifth most likely team to win the region and the 17th most likely team in the entire bracket to win the championship.Also in the Terrapins way: Oregon State, with its 3-point happy offense, is the most likely No. 3 seed to advance to the Final Four by our model’s estimates. And Duke is also impressive, with a scoring margin of nearly 12 points per game.For an upset sleeper, don’t count out No. 6 seed George Washington, which despite losing to Maryland by 10 points in November has the 15th-highest scoring margin in the country — albeit achieved by tearing through the relatively weak Atlantic 10 conference.GreensboroTo the extent that UConn faces a threat, it comes from the Greensboro region, where South Carolina is the No. 1 seed. By our model, South Carolina has the second-highest probability of winning it all, at 10 percent. If the Gamecocks do face the Huskies, it won’t be the first time — UConn throttled South Carolina by 25 points last month, one of the Gamecocks’ two losses on the season. But the Gamecocks have a stout defense, ranked eighth nationally. Their interior defense is especially impressive, as they block 6.5 shots per game, and overall, the team holds opponents to fewer than 53 points per game.To get to the Final Four, South Carolina must fight through several obstacles. It might encounter No. 5 seed Ohio State in the Sweet 16 and thus have to contain freshman superstar Kelsey Mitchell, who leads the nation in scoring, at 25.0 points per game. North Carolina, the No. 4 seed, knocked off the Gamecocks in the regional semifinals last year and is the third most likely team to get out of the region — ahead of No. 3 seed Arizona State.But most of all, South Carolina must get past No. 2 seed Florida State, which boasts the eighth-highest scoring margin in the country. Our model gives FSU a 17 percent chance of winning the region.Regardless, the main story lines to watch this year are whether mighty UConn can fulfill statistical destiny and storm through the tournament like the dominant program our model expects it to be and whether Princeton takes its insulting seed as motivation and sustains its unbeaten, dream season.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions.CORRECTION (March 19, 12:00 p.m.): Because of an error in data reported by ESPN, an earlier version of this article gave incorrect team scoring margins for Duke, George Washington and Florida State. We’ve updated those figures with the correct data. read more

The US Women Probably Werent Going To Win The Gold Anyway

The outcome didn’t reflect the run of play: The U.S. outshot Sweden 26 to 3 and completed more than twice as many passes. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo said after the match that the U.S. had played “a bunch of cowards,” a reference to Sweden’s defensive tactics. Swedish coach Pia Sundhage, who used to coach the U.S., responded, “It’s OK to be a coward if you win.”Even if the American women had escaped Friday’s shootout with a win, they’d have had their work cut out for them, with just a 36 percent chance of winning their fourth straight gold medal, according to our Women’s Soccer Power Index projections.U.S. fans spoiled by all the team’s recent success — the 2015 Women’s World Cup title, the 2012 Olympic gold — might have forgotten that past performance is no guarantee of future results. But those wins were hard-earned and never guaranteed. The Americans reached the 2012 gold-medal match after barely avoiding the lottery that is a penalty shootout in their semifinal against Canada, with an Alex Morgan goal at just about the last possible moment. And last summer in Canada, the team went scoreless in the first half of its first three knockout games before getting second-half goals. Just because the U.S. women sometimes made it look easy — like when they romped over Japan in the World Cup final — doesn’t mean it was.In these Olympics, even while the U.S. women were going undefeated in their first three games and winning their group, their chance of winning the gold medal, counterintuitively, was declining, to 31 percent from 38 percent before the tournament. That was partly because the quarterfinal field was so stacked: All of the eight best teams coming into the tournament advanced from the group stage. Also, the U.S. showed some weakness in the group stage, including yielding a 90th-minute goal to Colombia that led to a disappointing 2-2 draw. The team’s rating declined slightly during the group stage from the start of the tournament. Sweden’s did, too, but the Swedes remained a tough opponent, with a 21 percent chance of beating the U.S. before Friday’s match — about the chance the Cleveland Cavaliers had of beating the Golden State Warriors when trailing 3-2 in this year’s NBA Finals. Upsets happen to favorites all the time. On Friday, one happened, finally, to the U.S. women at the Olympics.Additional research by Jay Boice. Tournament favorites usually don’t win — even big ones like the U.S. women’s soccer team. Too many things can go wrong, as they did in the penalty shootout of the USWNT’s quarterfinal loss against Sweden in the Rio Olympics on Friday. A goalkeeper guesses the right way, a usually reliable shooter sends a penalty kick over the crossbar, and suddenly the team is out of the tournament. It was the USWNT’s earliest-ever exit from an Olympics or World Cup. With the Americans eliminated, the draw has opened up for new favorite Germany, which advanced to the semifinals later Friday, and host Brazil, which plays its quarterfinal against Australia on Friday night. (If Brazil wins, it could overtake Germany as the favorite, depending on the scores of its quarterfinal and Friday night’s other match, between Canada and France.) read more

Ohio State mens soccer set to open Big Ten play at Northwestern

Binghamton junior forward Alex Varkatzas (9) slides into OSU senior midfielder Kyle Culbertson (3) for the ball during an August 30. match at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 0-1. Photo Credit: Muyao Shen / Assist. Photo EditorThe Ohio State men’s soccer team is prepared to open Big Ten play in the third game of its four-game road trip at Toyota Park, home of the Chicago Fire.The Buckeyes are scheduled to face the Northwestern Wildcats on Friday in Bridgeview, Illinois, at 8 p.m.OSU (1-3-0) is coming off a two-game weekend road trip in which it suffered losses against No.17 University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Navy.The Buckeyes outplayed their opponent in the first half of the game against UMBC, but the Retrievers fought back in the second half.OSU fought hard to try and sustain the momentum it had going to get a victory, but UMBC proved to be the better team at the end of the game with a 1-0 victory over the Scarlet and Gray.“Against UMBC, we definitely should have won,” junior defender and co-captain Tyler Kidwell said. “I thought we had some chances and they had a few chances, but they put them away and that kind of was the difference.”The Buckeyes looked as if the first loss of the weekend had affected them mentally going into Sunday’s match against Navy. The Buckeyes struggled to compete with the Midshipmen, as they were shutout, 3-0.“I think maybe we were down from the tough loss Friday, and from the get-go, Navy gave a great effort and were all over us,” Buckeyes senior midfielder and co-captain Zach Mason said.Kidwell said that despite the two losses, the team will continue to work hard to get a win.“We have an extremely talented team, probably one of the most talented teams since I’ve been here,” Kidwell said. “We’ve just got to keep going and grinding it out.”Mason also said that the team is confident and will be fine as long as the players and coaches stick to everything they know.“We have all the pieces to win games and we have the philosophy so I think that as long as we stick to what we know and execute our game plans, we’ll be fine,” Mason said.  “It’s a confident bunch, it’s just a bit of a hardship, but we’ll bounce back.”CLASS actMason was announced as a candidate for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award on Thursday. To be eligible for the award, a student athlete must show achievements in the following four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.“It is truly an honor to be nominated for the Senior CLASS award,” Mason said in an online release from OSU. “I am blessed to have the opportunity to be a student athlete at Ohio State and extremely humbled to be considered for such a great honor.”A committee will select the top ten finalists from a list of 30 candidates in October. Those finalists will then be placed on a ballot for a nationwide vote. One male and one female will be selected for the award and those winners will be announced at the 2015 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Cup championships in December.Last season, former OSU goalkeeper Alex Ivanov won the award, joining linebacker James Laurinaitis in 2008 as the two Buckeyes to win for their respective sports.Looking aheadFollowing Friday’s action, the OSU men’s soccer team is scheduled to travel to Akron, Ohio, to face the Akron Zips on Sept. 16. read more

TURKS CAICOS ISLANDS SET TO BENEFIT FROM MORE UK FUNDS

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, DECEMBER 1, 2013- More funding for the Turks and Caicos Islands…An article published by the Governor’s Office divulged that the TCI will be benefitting from a £2 million fund from the UK made available through the Darwin fund which is expected to service environmental projects in all UK Overseas territories over the next two years. Almost £200 000 is set for the ‘Caicos Pine Forests’ project which is a mitigation for climate change and invasive species that runs jointly with the TCI government, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and other international partners. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Tropical Storm Ida Update

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 23 Sept 2015 – Tropical Storm Ida continues to bobble about in the Atlantic Basin; she is expected to maintain that strength into the new week. Elsewhere, the tropics are quiet. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Related Items:tropical storm ida Tropical watchlast_img

Car Seat Safety Check At Kenai Fire Department Tomorrow

first_imgChief Tucker: “Probably the most common mistake is the seat’s put in too loosely. They really need to be tightened down. The adjustments on the car seats themselves to properly fit children. Those are the things that are most commonly found.” The free car seat checkup will take place from 1-3pm at the Department at the corner of Main St and S Willow. No appointments are necessary. Tucker said there’s more to installing a car seat than simply strapping it in… Kenai Fire Chief Jeff Tucker: “People buy their car safety seats and there’s really a proper way of putting them in and we have people that are trained to do that. They actually take a 40 hour class to learn how to properly install car safety seats.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Fire Department will be conducting free car seat safety checks at Station 1 on July 19, from 1-3pm.last_img read more