Scientists find way to surgically strike out weeds that impede crop growth — ScienceDaily News

By using a combination of fumigants, University of Florida scientists believe they can surgically strike out some weeds that otherwise get in the way of vegetable growth.

Researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have shown that farmers can place fumigants in specific zones, rather than using a single treatment for every situation. For example, fumigants applied to a specific area where weed seeds germinate can reduce the number of weeds that grow. Researchers say this will help growers as they try to manage pests in areas where they cause the most trouble.

As a rule, growers manage pests by injecting fumigants into soil at the bottom of a raised bed to kill pests and pathogens in the bed of the soil. For the past several years, UF/IFAS researchers have worked to develop management zones.

“The concept of management zones is novel for Florida but also for other regions across the United States,” said Nathan Boyd, a UF/IFAS associate professor of weed science. “For weed control, we are suggesting that you apply it close to the surface where the weeds grow.”

It’s important to knock out the weeds because they can impede the growth of tomatoes, bell peppers and strawberries, among other crops. A weed known as nutsedge reduces pepper yield by about 70 percent, and it can cut tomatoes by 50 percent, according to previous UF/IFAS research.

For the past several years, Joe Noling, a professor of nematology at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center; Gary Vallad, an associate professor of plant pathology, and Boyd — both at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center — have worked on developing the management zones for soil fumigants.

In a new study, UF/IFAS researchers adequately controlled weeds with a combination of dimethyl disulfide and metam potassium.

Boyd likened the weed-management zone to taking care of your lawn.

“Think about your lawn for example,” Boyd said. “There are areas where weeds are worse than others, or areas where grass does not grow as well. If you want a healthy, nice-looking lawn, then you need to focus on the problem areas. What we have developed is a similar concept. If you control the weeds with the fumigants, there is no need to apply herbicides. The key is better use of pesticides, which can result in an overall reduction in pesticide use.”

The new research is scheduled to be published soon in the journal Crop Protection.

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Materials provided by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Original written by Brad Buck. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

Canadian judge to consider bail request for accused Yahoo hacker | Reuters

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By Alastair Sharp


TORONTO A Canadian appeals court justice said on Monday that he would review a bail request by Karim Baratov, a man charged by U.S. prosecutors of involvement in a high-profile breach of Yahoo email accounts.


Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan but has Canadian citizenship, was arrested in March on U.S. charges that he was paid to break into at least 80 email accounts by Russian intelligence agents who masterminded the 2014 theft of data from some 500 million Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) user accounts.


Another Canadian judge denied Baratov bail in April, saying he was a flight risk.



Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Bradley Miller said on Monday that he would review Baratov’s appeal and announce his decision by the end of this week.



Baratov’s lawyer said evidence submitted by prosecutors showed his client had a limited role in any plot, breaking into seven email accounts for total payment of $104.20 sent to his PayPal account.


Prosecutor Heather Graham urged the court to refuse the bail request, saying that Baratov and alleged Russian FSB agent Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev had been in close contact over 18 months to discuss hacking into email accounts of specific Russian officials.



Canadian prosecutors have said they will try to extradite Baratov to the United States to stand trial. No date has been set for a hearing to consider that request.


(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Jim Finkle and Lisa Von Ahn)


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Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Heavy Construction News – Metal-ion catalysts and hydrogen peroxide could green up plastics production — ScienceDaily

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Researchers at the University of Illinois are contributing to the development of more environmentally friendly catalysts for the production of plastic and resin precursors that are often derived from fossil fuels. The key to their technique comes from recognizing the unique physical and chemical properties of certain metals and how they react with hydrogen peroxide.

Many plastics are made from molecules called olefins that are derived from organic materials such as fossil fuels. To form these types of plastics, olefin molecules must be altered using oxidizing chemicals to make plastic and resin precursors, called monomers, by rearranging their chemical bonds so that they can reach out and grab on to other monomers. This allows them to stitch together into long molecular chains — the building blocks of plastics, said David Flaherty, a professor of chemical and biomedical engineering.

“The current methods used for turning olefin molecules into something useful also uses or produces things we don’t want, like chlorine, which can be corrosive, and CO2,” said Daniel Bregante, a chemical and biomedical engineering graduate student working with Flaherty, and a co-author of a report on the new method.

Carbon dioxide is often thought of as a waste product of fossil fuel combustion. However, Flaherty said a significant amount of CO2 forms from the production of plastics derived from fossil fuels.

Many production processes use environmentally dangerous organic peroxide or chlorinated oxidants, Bregante said. Together, these concerns have prompted the researchers to explore greener options for plastics manufacturing.

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the group looks at how and why the identity of certain metals, called transition metals, affect the reaction. They also studied how efficient the process is when using hydrogen peroxide — an environmentally friendly oxidant whose only waste product is water, not chlorine or CO2.

To form the critical monomers, olefins and oxidizers pass through tiny, rigid spongelike structures called zeolites. These zeolites contain metal ions in the pore spaces that act as catalysts to push the chemical reaction toward the plastic-producing pathway, Bregante said.

“This process has been used for decades,” Flaherty said. “Yet, the underlying reasons for how the metal atoms activate hydrogen peroxide and why some metals are better than others for this chemistry have not been fully understood.”

Flaherty’s group said their reaction can take two pathways: one that leads to the formation of monomers and one that leads to the wasteful decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. They have proved in their latest research that the two pathways will respond differently depending on which metal is used, and the next step will be to look at how altering the pore size of the zeolites will affect the reactions.

By unlocking more of the mysteries of this reaction, Flaherty and Bregante said their research might ultimately lead to broader industry adoption of this fine-tuned and environmentally conscious version of a much older process.

“We need to know not only that it works, but also how it works to convince industry to make the switch,” Flaherty said. “The facilities used to produce plastics are starting to reach the end of their useful lifetime, and new industrial infrastructure based on this revised method could be a fresh start.”

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What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Heavy Construction News – All-carbon, spintronic proposal could lead to smaller, better performing structures in electronics — ScienceDaily

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An engineer with the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas has designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon that might one day replace the silicon transistors that power today’s electronic devices.

“The concept brings together an assortment of existing nanoscale technologies and combines them in a new way,” said Dr. Joseph S. Friedman, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UT Dallas who conducted much of the research while he was a doctoral student at Northwestern University.

The resulting all-carbon spin logic proposal, published by lead author Friedman and several collaborators in the June 5 issue of the online journal Nature Communications, is a computing system that Friedman believes could be made smaller than silicon transistors, with increased performance.

Today’s electronic devices are powered by transistors, which are tiny silicon structures that rely on negatively charged electrons moving through the silicon, forming an electric current. Transistors behave like switches, turning current on and off.

In addition to carrying a charge, electrons have another property called spin, which relates to their magnetic properties. In recent years, engineers have been investigating ways to exploit the spin characteristics of electrons to create a new class of transistors and devices called “spintronics.”

Friedman’s all-carbon, spintronic switch functions as a logic gate that relies on a basic tenet of electromagnetics: As an electric current moves through a wire, it creates a magnetic field that wraps around the wire. In addition, a magnetic field near a two-dimensional ribbon of carbon — called a graphene nanoribbon — affects the current flowing through the ribbon. In traditional, silicon-based computers, transistors cannot exploit this phenomenon. Instead, they are connected to one another by wires. The output from one transistor is connected by a wire to the input for the next transistor, and so on in a cascading fashion.

In Friedman’s spintronic circuit design, electrons moving through carbon nanotubes — essentially tiny wires composed of carbon — create a magnetic field that affects the flow of current in a nearby graphene nanoribbon, providing cascaded logic gates that are not physically connected.

Because the communication between each of the graphene nanoribbons takes place via an electromagnetic wave, instead of the physical movement of electrons, Friedman expects that communication will be much faster, with the potential for terahertz clock speeds. In addition, these carbon materials can be made smaller than silicon-based transistors, which are nearing their size limit due to silicon’s limited material properties.

“This was a great interdisciplinary collaborative team effort,” Friedman said, “combining my circuit proposal with physics analysis by Jean-Pierre Leburton and Anuj Girdhar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; technology guidance from Ryan Gelfand at the University of Central Florida; and systems insight from Alan Sahakian, Allen Taflove, Bruce Wessels, Hooman Mohseni and Gokhan Memik at Northwestern.”

While the concept is still on the drawing board, Friedman said work toward a prototype of the all-carbon, cascaded spintronic computing system will continue in the interdisciplinary NanoSpinCompute research laboratory, which he directs at UT Dallas.

The research was supported by Girdhar’s Beckman Graduate Fellowship.

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Materials provided by University of Texas at Dallas. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Big oil, small U.S. towns see new reward in old production technique| Reuters

Heavy Construction News

By Ernest Scheyder
| HOBBS, New Mexico


HOBBS, New Mexico Amid the frenetic activity of American shale oilfields recovering from a two-year recession sit a handful of oil towns that seemed impervious as many producers went into bankruptcy and the economy around them sank.


Occidental Petroleum Corp and a few other oil producers with wells near this town on New Mexico’s border with Texas steadily pumped low-cost oil through the downturn, using a technique that has been heralded worldwide as a way to reduce carbon emissions and boost oil output.


“When everyone else in the oil industry was going down, Oxy kept working,” said Joshua Grassham, vice president of Lea County State Bank and a Hobbs Chamber of Commerce board member. The city of 35,000 rests on the Permian oilfield, the largest oilfield in the United States.


This way of drilling brings with it a sweetener for the oil industry to keep crude flowing: a tax credit that helps insulate these wells in a downturn, and could triple in size if Congress approves a new measure this summer.


Such a move could extend by decades the producing life of hundreds more wells, increasing oil supply which would be a drag on prices. To date, the technique has been employed only at conventional oilfields, rather than on shale deposits. Some firms are studying how to put the technique to work in shale drilling, too.


The drilling method harnesses the carbon dioxide produced during the extraction of oil or from power plants, and forces it back into the fields. That boosts the pressure underground and drives more oil to the surface.


Their success could be replicated in oilfields across the United States if Congress approves the measure, which already enjoys broad bipartisan support. While the Trump administration has yet to say whether it supports the tax credit increase, the measure could also be a boon to the coal industry, which Trump wants to revitalize.


The technique, one of several so-called enhanced oil recovery (EOR) strategies used to prolong the productive lifespan of oilfields and increase output, underpins around five percent of U.S. oil output, or about 450,000 barrels per day, according to energy consultancy Advanced Resources International.


EOR can help firms to produce between 30 percent and 60 percent of all the oil held in a reservoir. That’s far more than the 10 percent usually recovered from initial traditional drilling, according to the Department of Energy.


The existing credit has provided a financial lift for Occidental, Denbury Resources Inc and oil producers with ready access to the gas. Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp also use the technique on some of their oil fields. None detail their tax savings from the credit, but since the it was first offered in 2008, companies have collected at least $350 million in the credits, according to Internal Revenue Service figures.



In Hobbs, Occidental not only kept a 200-person workforce intact during the oil-price downturn – when tens of thousands of workers were laid off in the shale patch – it also invested $250 million to expand operations during that period, according to its public filings.


That meant Hobbs and nearby Seminole, Texas, where Hess Corp has its own carbon dioxide injection facility, didn’t suffer the extreme financial pain felt by shale towns, such as Williston, North Dakota, and other shale producing communities in 2015 and 2016.


“Oxy’s investment in the carbon project was a huge economic boost to our area,” Grassham said.


Some of the carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, comes from naturally occurring reservoirs that are a low-cost source for Occidental. Others get the gas piped from power plants that burn coal. Power companies hope the technique can help them avoid higher carbon emissions.


The company spends about $18 to $25 per barrel to collect oil from its enhanced oil recovery operations. In contrast, its shale-focused well costs are lower – $16 to $19 per barrel. But because EOR wells pump consistently for decades, their value to the company over time exceeds shale wells, whose production quickly tapers off.



Across Texas and New Mexico, Occidental runs one of the world’s largest fleet of enhanced oil recovery projects, injecting 2 billion cubic feet of carbon dioxide each day into wells that first produced oil nearly a century ago.


“We had a very large, stable carbon dioxide EOR business in our portfolio during the downturn,” said Jody Elliott, president of Occidental’s American operations. “That helped.”


Partly because of its carbon facilities, Occidental was able to raise its dividend during the downturn. Today, executives are using the profits from the carbon business to grow its shale business across the Permian, the largest acreage holding in the region.


“These two businesses play very well off of each other,” Elliott said.





Congress is expected this summer to debate extending an existing tax credit that could pave way for wider use. The proposed Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Act would boost the credit to $35 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, up from $10 per ton today.


The legislation failed to move forward during last year’s heated presidential campaign, but supporters say it will be reintroduced soon. “We want to make sure that we show a strong commitment so we continue to develop these technologies,” said North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat and the bill’s lead sponsor.


Electricity generator NRG Energy Inc earlier this year opened a $1.04 billion carbon capture facility at a Texas coal-fired power plant, using its carbon dioxide emissions to extract crude from a 1930s-era oilfield.


Expanding the credit could, supporters hope, encourage more coal-fired power plants to follow NRG’s lead by capturing and selling carbon to oil producers. Most oilfields are not located near carbon dioxide supplies, so the tax credit also could spur the build-out of carbon pipelines.


Environmentalists, including the Sierra Club, like the process because it traps carbon underground, preventing it from contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.


“You’ll put more carbon in the ground than oil that is produced,” said Vello Kuuskraa, president of consultancy Advanced Resources International, which studies enhanced oil recovery and carbon storage.


Oxy is considering investing another $550 million in its Hobbs operation in the next several years to further expand its carbon facilities.


“During all these oil industry downturns, those carbon wells keep people working,” said Grassham.


(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Additional reporting by Mike Wood and by Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Gary McWilliams, Simon Webb and Edward Tobin)


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For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Heavy Construction News – 2017-06-05 05:00:00

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📅   Mon June 05, 2017 – National Edition


J&J mounted its first stainless steel tanker on a 7-axle chassis that is designed to meet bridge laws Ohio.

J&J mounted its first stainless steel tanker on a 7-axle chassis that is designed to meet bridge laws Ohio.


J&J Truck Bodies & Trailers, a manufacturer of dump bodies, trailers, and oil and gas equipment, announced the completion of a new stainless steel pressure vacuum tank (PVT). The 130 BBL tank (5,460 gal. capacity) was mounted on a Peterbilt chassis and will be used by an energy company to transport fresh water, treated water, and/or production water for the oil and gas industry.

“The stainless steel configuration allows customers to choose an alloy that is corrosion resistant, stronger and one that provides a longer lasting alternative,” said Jason Cornell, sales manager at J&J Truck Bodies & Trailers.

J&J tankers can be built in various configurations with capacities ranging from 80 to135 BBL (3,360 to 6,000 gal.) and are outfitted with one-piece aluminum hose trays, anti-surge interior baffles, top and rear manways, and plug and play vacuum pumps. Some popular options include J&J Armor Coat along the full length of the tank, tool boxes and onboard scales.

For more information, call 814/444-3452 or visit

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Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.


Ritchie Bros., Caterpillar Strategic Alliance Begins – Heavy Construction News

Heavy Construction News


📅   Mon June 05, 2017 – National Edition



Ritchie Bros. and Caterpillar Inc. launched a strategic alliance, originally announced in 2016, following the Ritchie Bros. acquisition of IronPlanet, a leading online marketplace for heavy equipment and other durable assets.

Under the alliance, Ritchie Bros. will become Caterpillar’s preferred global partner for live onsite and online auctions for used Cat equipment, and will complement existing offerings within Cat dealer channels. Ritchie Bros. will provide Caterpillar and its dealers with access to proprietary auction platforms, software and other value-added services, enhancing the exchange of information and services between customers, dealers and suppliers. The strategic alliance also is expected to strengthen Ritchie Bros. relationship with independent Cat dealers around the world by providing them enhanced and continued access to a global auction marketplace to sell their used equipment.

“Ritchie Bros. is proud to enter into this historic alliance, which will strengthen our relationship with Caterpillar, its dealers and end users, as well as help expand our global reach and footprint,” said Ravi Saligram, chief executive officer of Ritchie Bros. “Our marketing capabilities, unrivaled suite of technology and powerful multi-channel transactional platforms will add tremendous value and make us a trusted strategic partner to the Caterpillar family.”

The strategic alliance is expected to deliver benefits to both companies, independent Cat dealers and their respective customers, accelerating the delivery of Caterpillar’s connectivity offerings to improve customer fleet utilization.

“Caterpillar currently has the largest connected industrial fleet in the world and the strategic alliance with Ritchie Bros. will help strengthen this key element of our digital strategy,” said Rob Charter, Caterpillar group president of customer and dealer support. “Through this alliance, we will now be able to retrofit used Cat assets with new technology. Combined with connected new equipment, the data captured from these machines will help improve our customer’s productivity through our Cat Connect Technologies and Services.”

The strategic alliance between Ritchie Bros. and Caterpillar will have an initial five-year term.  Prior to the acquisition, Caterpillar and its dealers owned a minority position in IronPlanet.

For more information, visit or

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Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.


Dollar dented by jobs miss, London attacks hurt sterling; stocks subdued| Reuters

Heavy Construction News

By Nichola Saminather


SINGAPORE The dollar languished near a seven-month low on Monday after U.S. jobs growth in May missed expectations while attacks in London that left at least seven people dead and 48 injured just days before Thursday’s national election dented sterling.


The geopolitical risks weighed on Asian stocks, which pulled back on Monday despite a rise by U.S. stocks to record highs on Friday.


The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major peers, hit its lowest level since the November election on Monday. It was last trading flat at 96.716, failing to erase any of Friday’s 0.5 percent loss.


U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased 138,000 in May, missing the 185,000 forecast, suggesting the labour market was losing momentum despite the unemployment rate falling to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent. Also, the number of jobs created in March and April was reduced by 66,000 from what was previously reported.


The dollar was steady at 110.42 yen JPY=, after losing 0.8 percent on Friday.


The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.1574 on Monday, having plunged from Thursday’s close of 2.217 before the jobs data was released.


“The reaction in the ten-year yield implies that the market sees a third rate hike in 2017 as diminishing although still a very real possibility,” James Woods, global investment analyst at Rivkin Securities in Sydney, wrote in a note.



After attackers rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed revelers in nearby bars on Saturday in the third terrorist attack in Britain in the last three months, Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday’s national election would go ahead .


Police shot dead the three male assailants in the Borough Market area of London Bridge within eight minutes of receiving the first emergency call. They arrested 12 others, and raids are continuing, police said.


May is expected to resume campaigning on Monday for a vote which polls show is much tighter than previously predicted. A close election could throw Britain into political deadlock just days before formal Brexit talks with the European Union are due to begin on June 19.


Sterling GBP=D3 fell as much as 0.3 percent before paring the losses to trade down 0.2 percent at $1.2871 early on Monday.



“Any extension of the current 12 seat majority will be pound positive,” Rivkin’s Woods wrote. “Any failure to expand on this majority will weaken the PM’s negotiation position.”


The euro EUR=EBS fell 0.1 percent to $1.12745 on Monday, holding on to most of Friday’s 0.6 percent gain. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slipped 0.1 percent in early trade.


Japan’s Nikkei .N225 retreated 0.1 percent on a stronger yen.



Australian shares slid 0.8 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI .KS11 was off 0.1 percent.


On Friday, all three major Wall Street indexes .DJI .SPX .IXIC hit all-time highs, with gains in technology and industrial stocks more than offsetting the subdued jobs report.


In commodities, crude prices inched higher but gains remained capped amid concern that U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon a climate pact could lead to an increase in U.S. oil output.


U.S. oil CLc1 was up 0.1 percent at $47.69 a barrel.


Global benchmark Brent> LCOc1 was flat at $49.96.


Gold XAU= rose to a six-week high on Monday, driven by the weaker dollar. It was trading close to that level at $1,280.91 an ounce.


(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Richard Borsuk)


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But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.