first_img Chile opens for Australian almonds … July 30 , 2019 Australia expecting best quality almond crop in a … Australia’s Hort Innovation is funding a new project aimed at building the country’s capability to detect and control Xylella fastidiosa, should it ever enter the country.The harmful bacterium has been dubbed the number one plant biosecurity threat to Australia. It is transmitted by common sap-sucking insects such as spittlebugs and sharpshooters.The impact of Xylella overseas has been catastrophic, infecting more than 200 million citrus trees in Brazil. It has also destroyed one million olive trees in Italy and devastated the Californian grape sector, Hort Innovation said.The pathogen – not yet present in Australia or New Zealand – can cause significant damage to many important crops. These include grapevines, olives, nuts, citrus, stone fruit, blueberries and cherries.In fact, over 500 cultivated and uncultivated herbaceous and woody plant species are known hosts of Xylella.A new collaborative research project managed by Hort Innovation will be led by Dr. Rachel Mann from the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (JPR). It’s additionally supported by Western Australian, NSW and Queensland primary industries and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries.This collaborative effort ensures labs that currently provide diagnostic capability in Australia and New Zealand are prepared.New project to look at new detection and surveillance methodsHort Innovation research and development manager Dr. Penny Measham said the project was looking at new methods for detection and surveillance. This is being done through the development of innovative diagnostic tools.“Currently, detection is difficult as the pathogen has a long latent period and not all plant hosts exhibit symptoms,” she said. Australia scores improved citrus, carrot access to … center_img “Furthermore, the different strains of X. fastidiosa, classified into subspecies, can behave like different diseases in different hosts.”Measham said the value of subspecies identification was paramount during incursion mode.“Along with international collaboration, the project aims to establish an Australian based X. fastidiosa genome database to assist with design and validation of X. fastidiosa subspecies specific diagnostic tools that are both rapid and accurate,” she said.“The fast turn-around of this information could be the difference between eradication and moving to management of this devastating pest.”Project lead, Dr Rachel Mann, said the current National Diagnostic Protocol (NDP) for Australia is for the detection and identification of Xylella. It is focussed specifically on Pierces disease.“This project will review and adopt the world’s best practice diagnostic methods for the detection and identification of Xylella and it’s subspecies, and ensure diagnosticians are trained and proficient in using the revised National Diagnostic Protocol,” she said.“In the event of a suspect sample being identified, our state diagnostic laboratories will be the first to deal with these samples.”It is therefore essential that the capacity to handle these samples be developed and tested now – not during a potential incursion.Mann said the adoption of the Xylella NDP would be immediate. She said the NDP will be used to screen plant material entering Australia and will also support active surveillance programs.It will also be used during an incursion or during the detection of the exotic vector, the glassy-winged sharpshooter. AUS: Proposed Great Barrier Reef regulations ‘igno … You might also be interested inlast_img

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first_imgEtihad Airways launches New Economy SpaceEtihad Airways launches New Economy SpaceEtihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is introducing Economy Space, a new seating option across its wide-body fleet, to enhance its product offering and to provide more choice to its customers on longer flights.By December 2018, Etihad Airways will have retrofitted its 10 Airbus A380s with Economy Space seats, which feature an increased seat pitch of up to 36 inches. The redesign increases the number of extra legroom seats in Economy from 20 to 80 on this aircraft type.Jamal Ahmed Al Awadhi, Etihad Airways Head of Guest Experience, said: “We recognise that no two travellers are alike, and today’s customers demand more choice and personalisation during their travels.In response to the popularity and demand for extra legroom seats, we have reconfigured our Economy cabin to allow travellers to enhance their overall travel experience.”In addition to modifying its A380s, Etihad Airways will have also added additional Economy Space seats to 12 Boeing 777s and 21 Boeing 787 Dreamliners by the end of 2019, increasing the total number of extra legroom seats by 560 per cent.“While many airlines have been squeezing more seats into economy class, we continue to focus on providing our guests with exceptional products and services that meet and exceed the demands and budgets of different types of travellers,” adds Mr. Al Awadhi.Families with small children, elderly travellers and those requiring wheelchair assistance can now purchase and benefit from the extra available room available in Economy Space.Economy Space complements Etihad Airways’ existing ancillary products to provide customers with greater opportunities to personalise their journey, including the Neighbour-free seating option in Economy and a range of ‘buy-on-board’ products.Irrespective of which seating option is selected, customers will continue to receive the Etihad’s complimentary core dining service and inflight entertainment. Source = Etihad Airwayslast_img

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News November 28, 2014 414 Views Thanks in large measure to more secure lending, U.S. banks in Q3 had their best quarter since 2009, FDIC reported this week. But though more solid loan products accounted for most of the quarter’s growth, mortgage lending fell by nearly half a percent.FDIC-insured institutions earned $38.7 billion in the third quarter of 2014, a 7.3 percent increase from a year ago, according to FDIC’s latest Quarterly Banking Profile. At the same time, the number of banks in trouble dropped for the 14th straight quarter.According to FDIC, total loan and lease balances rose by nearly $51 billion to $8.2 trillion overall. This upswing was led mainly by nearly $20 billion in new industrial and auto loans.Mortgage loans, still hampered by regulations designed to prevent a recession relapse, dropped by nearly $7 billion.”It’s painfully clear that new regulatory requirements have restrained mortgage lending and have made it particularly difficult for first-time homebuyers,” said James Chessen, chief economist at the American Bankers Association (ABA). Chessen called the regulations a “complex and liability-laden maze of compliance” that has made mortgages tough to write and even tougher to get by those with weak or less-established credit.While earnings were solid in Q3, FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg acknowledged that profit margins remain under pressure in the current realm of low-interest rates. Institutions, Gruenberg said, have responded by extending asset maturities, which raises concerns about interest-rate risk.On the upside, losses and problem loans, according to ABA, are back to pre-recession levels as banks continue to improve their portfolios.”The level of non-performing loans is down more than 58 percent since its peak in the first quarter of 2010,” Chessen said. “We may have reached the bottom of the credit cycle as the process of purging bad loans nears the finish line.”Smaller community banks in particular posted strong growth. Thanks largely to more localized business loans that are seeing more new companies through the early days, community banks earned nearly $5 billion in Q3 and accounted for 45 percent of the quarter’s small business loans, FDIC reported.Whether this stability in lending will lead to eased restrictions in mortgage originations is, of course, another story. Neither FDIC nor ABA would speculate on when—or if—some of the red tape may be cut, but both agencies seem confident that the growth in other loan products and more diligent asset management will help keep the banking industry on a more sustainable footing as 2015 sets in. Sharecenter_img Mortgage Lending Suffers at Insured Banks American Bankers Association FDIC Regulation 2014-11-28 Scott_Morganlast_img

first_imgIs Homeownership Still Part of the American Dream? Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News American Dream Homeownership Rural Suburban Urban 2017-07-06 Joey Pizzolatocenter_img Earlier this week we celebrated Independence Day, and with that, we also take the time to think about what made a fight for freedom a reality—the American Dream. And in that reflective moment, it’s easy to declare the American Dream dead. But ValueInsured, in a recent report, wants to “offer a different perspective.”Homeownership has long been considered the cornerstone of the American Dream, and ValueInsured polled over 5,000 Americans in the last two years for its Modern Homebuyer Survey to assess the current state of the American Dream, and what Americans should do to keep it alive.Millennials (70 percent) are in line with the rest of Americans (71 percent) in their desire to keep the American Dream alive. Both demographics also acknowledge—69 percent and 68 percent, respectively—that the American Dream isn’t something that is stagnant; it is every-changing, and must remain fluid in order to survive. And while 76 percent of millennials identify their own personal American Dream as being different from their parents, 65 percent still believe that homeownership defines their version of the American Dream.Location of respondents doesn’t seem to diminish this desire, either. Eighty percent of urban dwellers say owning a home is important to their American Dream, compared to 76 percent of suburbanites and 76 percent of respondents living in a rural area.The survey also found that “the association of homeownership with the American Dream [seems] to transcend socio-economic borders.” Seventy-six percent of Americans with a college education desire to own a home, compared to 74 percent of Americans without an education. Similarly, 84 percent of Americans with a pre-tax income over $100,000 want to own a home as do 71 percent of those with a pre-tax income under $50,000.Even Americans that rent (71 percent) or live rent-free (61 percent) say that they would someday like to own a home of their own. July 6, 2017 732 Views last_img

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