By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaSoils in Argentina and Brazil can grow good crops with little fertilizer. Both countries have fewer pest and disease problems. Farm laborers work cheap, and chemical costs are low. Brazil’s growing season, too, is much longer than Georgia’s.”I’m scared,” said Donald Wood, a farmer from Rochelle, Ga., on a study trip to the South American countries. “These guys have a lot of things going for them. It’s going to be tough for us (to compete).”Wood and 14 other Georgia farmers traveled with four University of Georgia experts to study agriculture in the two countries in January. Georgia Farm Bureau co-sponsored the trip.”Agriculture in Brazil and Argentina has made great strides in recent years,” said Gale Buchanan, former dean of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “These countries are already serious agricultural producers.”Brazilian and Argentine farmers could become global competitors for U.S. farmers, said Nathan Smith, an economist with the UGA Extension Service. “This area could become the breadbasket of the world.”Brazil is about as big as the continental United States. Argentina is nearly a third of the size of Brazil.Soybeans are the major crop in the area, Smith said. Farmers there also grow corn, cotton and peanuts, all major Georgia commodities. Cooperatives there add value to commodities and save on costs, too.The group toured the state of Paranà in Brazil and the provinces of Chaco and Cordoba in Argentina. “These are especially intense agricultural regions,” Buchanan said.They spoke with farmers, agribusiness people and university and government officials. They visited farms, research stations and farmer-owned cooperatives in both countries.They found that U.S. and Georgia farmers have advantages, too. The transportation infrastructure is much better in the United States, Smith said. Farmers have easier access to capital for growth. Interest rates are lower, and markets are better and more established.Both countries have national agriculture departments. But the U.S. and Georgia agricultural research and extension services are much more developed, Buchanan said.Brazilian and Argentine agricultural officials and farmers often take U.S. research and apply it to farms there, Smith said. Or they come to the United States to learn it.This type of sharing goes both ways. U.S. scientists now are taking trips to Brazil, for instance, to learn how to handle an aggressive and deadly soybean disease called Asiatic soybean rust.Government support of certain commodities through legislative farm bills is a plus for U.S. farmers, too, Buchanan said.(In 2002, Brazil filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization that claimed certain U.S. cotton subsidies violated WTO regulations. WTO ruled in favor of Brazil in 2004. The United States filed an appeal. It was reported today that the WTO ruled against that appeal.)Despite the differences, Wood said, there was something universally familiar about both countries.”The people we talked to were very eager to share their information with us … and ask us questions about what we’re doing,” Wood said. “That’s the case with farmers wherever they are.”Ed Kanemasu, director of the UGA office of international agriculture, helped organize the trip. Miguel Cabrera, a CAES crop and soil scientist and Uruguay native fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, coordinated the tours and acted as translator.
Touch Football Australia (TFA) is pleased to announce the TFA All Stars and TFA indigenous All Stars sides to take part in the 2016 Harvey Norman All Stars event to be held at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, 13 February 2016. Two games of Touch Football will be played as part of the All Stars event, with the latter of the two to take place just prior to the kick-off of the NRL Indigenous All Stars taking on the World All Stars. TFA Chief Executive Officer, Colm Maguire said that the organisation is extremely excited to be again involved in the All Stars concept. â€œThe All Stars is a significant event to recognise and celebrate Indigenous Australians and the diversity within our culture, and our sport, with representatives from across the country to take on one another on the field, as well as come together off it, to aid in the delivery of community and educational outcomes,â€ Maguire said.â€œThe brand of Touch Football is going from strength to strength, and with our partnerships with the NRL and Harvey Norman, a strong foundation is being set to help the sport achieve great things in our next strategic cycle and beyond.â€Phil Gyemore will again take the reins as coach of the TFA Indigenous All Stars Team, with Michael Lovett to again lead the TFA All Stars. Both coaches have had a huge year, being central to victorious World Cup campaigns, Phil as an assistant coach for the Womenâ€™s Open and Michael as coach of the Mixed Open side.TFA High Performance Manager, Wayne Grant, spoke of the important role the coaches have played as members of the High Performance program, as well as the 2015 All Stars event. â€œBoth Phil and Mick are fantastic coaches who have an ability to bring their groups together, which is especially important, as many of the athletes have not played together before.â€â€œBoth thrive on the competitive nature of the game, and Iâ€™m sure will put all niceties aside when the teams take the field.â€â€œWeâ€™re really excited about the two playing groups for this yearâ€™s event, and are positive that they will represent the sport extremely well, but also put on a great show for all of those watching in the stands and at home,â€ Grant added. The participants in the two teams have taken different journeys to the All Stars event, the TFA All Stars team is a mixture of those voted on by the public, as well as through selection and CEO picks. An Expression of Interest process was undertaken for the TFA Indigenous All Stars, with players nominating themselves for consideration, and then selected through consultation with the coaches, and the TFA High Performance team. Touch Football Australia would like to congratulate the athletes selected for their respective sides, and look forward to seeing them take the field on Saturday, 13 February 2016. TFA All StarsJayden BenbowStuart Brierty Hannah Dyball Dylan HennesseyKylie HilderSamantha Hopkin Leah Percy Rob McCarthyPeter Norman Steve RobertsSamantha RodgersKai Simbolon Emma Sykes Louise WinchesterCoach â€“ Micheal LovettTFA Indigenous All StarsScott BundyKristian Congoo Justin CostelloKasey DragisicCody Green Jemma Mi MiKobe Nona Lachlan Pierce Jarrad RotumahTahlulah Tillett Trent ToumaTamika UptonCarly WalshMarikki WategoCoach â€“ Phil Gyemore Stay tuned to the TFA website and social media channels in the lead up to the 2016 Harvey Norman All Stars event for all of the latest news and information. Related Links2016 All Stars