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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is placing renewed focus on caring for the vital soils of the United States with a new Soil Health Division“We’re getting back to our roots and our basics. NRCS was born 80 years ago, created in the wake of the Dust Bowl. Our focus then was sharing our knowledge of farming and soil conservation practices with farmers to help improve the health of their soils. We have recently come full circle and are back to the principles of soil health and looking beyond the physical and chemical properties to the biological properties,” said Jason Weller, NRCS chief. “We are looking at all of the biota that live below the surface that help support the food production for those of us who live above the surface of the soil.”Rather than addressing the health of the nation’s soils from Washington, D.C., the NRCS is targeting resources for soil health in the field.“It is about first educating our own employees by giving them the skills and training they need to work with farmers and ranchers to help with their overall cropping and grazing systems. Also importantly we are providing training to our Soil and Water Conservation District partners, and, most crucially, our customers — farmers and ranchers,” Weller said. “We are starting to hire and recruit some of the nation’s best soil scientists, agronomists and resource conservationists to get out in the field. Importantly, this division is not based in Washington, D.C. — 99% of the employees are out in the field where they belong. There we can provide one-on-one service for farmers and training opportunities for our own staff.”Weller feels this emphasis on soil health at the NRCS will further enhance the USDA’s overall commitment to caring for natural resources.“The most valuable asset a farmer has is the soil. We can look at how to use different types of tillage, other farm inputs, manure management and other inputs, chemistry, nutrient management, and drainage management in a holistic look at how you manage the soils,” he said. “We have learned through science that by improving the overall health of your soils, it will help maintain or boost yields. We can’t do this without interest and engagement from the ag community. The innovation and leadership starts with farmers.”last_img read more

first_imgThe police have sought from the Aligarh Muslim University details of every student, including those from Kashmir, who left their studies midway. “We wanted to know the possible reasons for their leaving and what they are doing now. The AMU has also been asked about any criminal cases filed against their students,” said Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pandey.Police handling the local-level probe into the activities of AMU geology research scholar Mannan Wani, from Kashmir, are keeping an eye on almost every Kashmiri student studying in AMU. Mannan was suspended after reports emerged that he had joined a terror group. The police are trying to find out who Mannan’s friends in AMU were. They are also trying to find the dates on which Mannan visited his home town. A four-member team from Tirahgaown police station of Kupwara district, headed by sub-inspector Mohammad Zahoor Wani, is in the city. Meanwhile the university has tightened vigil in and around the campus and has completely barred the unauthorised entry of outsiders. All the guards deputed at the hostel gates have been asked to be prompt in identifying the legal occupants of the hostel and to maintain a register of all the visitors. The wardens have been asked to increase the frequency of checking in the hostelslast_img read more

first_imgAfter a delay of over a year, the air shuttle service by SpiceJet was launched between Hisar and Chandigarh on Tuesday under the Regional Connectivity Service. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar flagged off the service and also become the first passenger to take the flight to Chandigarh.To begin with, the air travel has been started through a small seven-seater aircraft, later 18-seater and larger aircraft would also fly from Hisar. SpiceJet would provide the service of two flights between Hisar and Chandigarh daily. The flights will take off from Hisar at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and from Chandigarh at 9.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m and the one-way fare has been fixed at ₹1,674. For booking, SpiceJet will soon set up its own call centre at the airport and after a week the process of advance booking would start, for which the company had to complete some formalities.After Hisar and Chandigarh, SpiceJet would gradually expand its air services from Hisar to Delhi, Jammu, Dehradun and Shimla. Interacting with media persons before taking the flight, Mr. Khattar said that it was a historic day for the people of Haryana. With Hisar airport, the dream of many people of the State had been fulfilled, as now they could take air flights from their own. He said that Hisar airport would be linked with Rapid Rail Task Force System from Delhi and the distance from Delhi to Hisar could be covered in just 90 minutes. For this, the work on railway line between Rohtak and Hansi was in progress.Phased developmentMr. Khattar said that Hisar airport would be developed as an international-level airport in three phases. For this, 4,200 acres had been made available and the process of providing 3,000 acres of additional land was in progress. The Chief Minister said the length of the runway, which is 4,000 feet at present, would be increased to 10,000 feet, which is a required set criteria for an international-level airport.He said that hangers would be constructed in the second phase. In the third phase, the work of increasing the length of the runway and other civil works would be completed. Mr. Khattar said that Hisar airport would be the most suitable option to reduce the air traffic pressure at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.last_img read more