Can camera traps diagnose the severity of a mystery giraffe skin disease?

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Diseases, Endangered Species, Environment, Giraffes, Green, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Mammals, Protected Areas, Research, Technology, Wildlife center_img Giraffe skin disease, a mystery condition that inflicts crusty lesions on the world’s tallest animal, has been recorded in 13 giraffe populations in seven African countries. It is particularly widespread in Tanzania.Researchers used camera trap images to quantify how severe the disease was among giraffe populations in Tanzania’s Serengeti and Ruaha national parks.They found that most cases of the infections that the camera traps detected were “mild” or “moderate” according to a scale they devised, suggesting that the disease, although widespread, is likely not life-threatening at the moment.The researchers have, however, observed that giraffes with more severe infections tend to move with difficulty, which could make them more vulnerable to lion predation — a hypothesis they are now investigating with data from Ruaha National Park. Giraffes have many problems to deal with. There’s habitat loss and poaching. Then there’s a mysterious skin disease that’s been recorded in 13 giraffe populations in seven African countries.The condition, termed simply the giraffe skin disease, starts off as small nodules on the animal’s skin. The nodules can develop into dry, scaly patches, which then turn into large crusty, grayish-brown lesions filled with blood or pus. Researchers are only beginning to wrap their heads around the little-understood disease. Arthur Muneza, a doctoral student at Michigan State University and East Africa coordinator of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, is one of them.Giraffe skin disease can start off as small nodules on the skin that turn into large crusty lesions. Images by Michael Brown, courtesy of Arthur Muneza.Muneza has been studying the disease in Tanzania, where it’s widespread, affecting the giraffe’s long limbs. About a quarter of the giraffes in Serengeti National Park show signs of the disease. In Tarangire National Park, some 63 percent of giraffes suffer from it, while in Ruaha National Park, around 86 percent of the giraffe population sport the characteristic skin lesions.“To go to an area and see almost all the animals with signs of this disease is quite surprising,” Muneza told Mongabay.The high prevalence of the disease in Tanzania sparked a question in Muneza’s mind. How severe is the infection among Tanzania’s giraffes?A few studies have tried to answer this question in the past, but their classifications of giraffe skin disease severity were very subjective, Muneza said. “There is no standard way of defining what a mild giraffe skin disease is, what moderate giraffe skin disease is, and what constitutes severe giraffe skin disease.”To develop a classification that’s less arbitrary, Muneza and his colleagues turned to camera traps in a new study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases.The researchers selected all giraffe photos that had been captured during extensive camera trap surveys in Ruaha and Serengeti, then whittled down the list to those that showed the full extent of all four legs of the giraffes, from shoulder joints to hooves.The team then used photogrammetry techniques on the final 405 photos to quantify giraffe skin disease in the animals. They measured the vertical length of both the lesions and the legs visible in the photos, determined the proportion of the leg that was affected by the lesions, then statistically grouped these numbers to get three different categories of lesion severity.Giraffes with less than 16 percent of their legs covered by lesions were classified as having mild giraffe skin disease, those with 16 to 25 percent of the legs covered had a moderate form of the disease, and individuals with more than a quarter of their leg covered by lesions had severe skin disease, according to the study.“At the moment, we know very little about the disease, so our assumption is that the external and physical manifestation of the disease is the indicator we can use to categorise the severity of the disease,” Muneza told Mongabay.While the cameras usually captured photos of giraffe limbs, it’s the animals’ upper bodies that have unique coat patterns. This meant that the researchers couldn’t identify individual animals from the camera trap photos alone. This could potentially bring in bias if the disease severity classifications had been estimated from multiple photos of just a few giraffes. To see if this was the case, the researchers compared the severity rates estimated by the camera trap images with those obtained from another technique: photographs of 305 individually recognized giraffes that the researchers had taken using digital cameras during vehicle-based surveys in both parks. Both techniques produced similar results.Giraffe with skin disease in Ruaha National Park. Image courtesy of Arthur Muneza.The photos revealed that lesions of giraffe skin disease were, in general, more common on the front legs of the animals than the back legs. Moreover, most cases of the disease that the camera traps in Ruaha and Serengeti detected were considered “mild,” followed by “moderate” forms.“What this means is that there’s no need to overreact at the moment, and that the disease is not as severe as we would like to think,” Muneza said. “Externally it looks uncomfortable, it looks bad. But it’s still the mild and moderate forms of the disease.”Previously, researchers relied on close observations of the animals to describe the severity of giraffe skin disease. But such a technique is not only laborious, it also limits the spatial extent one can cover, Muneza and his colleagues write in the paper. Camera traps, on the other hand, are “noninvasive, can be rapidly deployable, and are applicable to a variety of species,” they add.Miranda Sadar, an assistant professor at Colorado State University, who’s been investigating the cause of giraffe skin disease and was not involved in the study, said that photogrammetry is indeed becoming a more widely used tool “to monitor the size of injuries in animals in a non-invasive way.”Not everyone is convinced, however.“This was a laudable attempt to use camera trap images to quantify giraffe skin disease, but the method is significantly less useful than active observations,” Monica Bond, a wildlife biologist at the U.S.-based Wild Nature Institute who studies giraffes in Tanzania and was not involved in the study, told Mongabay.Observing giraffes directly is easy, she said, because the animals are calm and vehicles can drive up close to them, allowing easy examination using binoculars. This way, researchers can also identify giraffes individually, and inspect the animals’ bodies from multiple angles to understand how and where the disease has spread, Bond added. The camera trap images at the moment don’t allow for both individual identification and a thorough whole-body examination of the giraffes, she said.Muneza agreed that camera trap images have some challenges. For example, the data set would be more useful had the cameras been placed higher. “We could have used the camera trap data to identify individual giraffes, and that could have given us a more robust dataset to quantify the categories of giraffe skin disease,” he said. “We were able to use only use photos of the legs.”The lesions also don’t always appear on the legs. In Uganda, for example, giraffes more commonly get infections on their neck and shoulders.In Uganda, giraffe skin disease lesions more commonly appear on neck and shoulder, while in Tanzania, the disease mostly affects the animals’ legs. Image courtesy of Arthur Muneza.Muneza’s study, however, adds to the growing evidence that giraffe skin disease is probably not life-threatening for the animals in the studied parks — at least for now. Bond, too, in a study published in 2016, found that giraffes with lesions in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park had similar survival rates as those without lesions.That doesn’t mean that researchers should stop studying the disease, Muneza said.His team has observed, for instance, that giraffes with more severe infections tend to move with difficulty, which could make them more vulnerable to lion predation. The researchers are now investigating this hypothesis with data from Ruaha National Park.Muneza’s team is also working with Tanzanian authorities to figure out what exactly causes giraffe skin disease. Some preliminary studies suggest that a filarial worm could be transmitting the disease, with secondary fungal infections worsening it. But researchers are yet to pin down the actual causative agent and how the disease spreads.“One of the biggest concerns is that if it is a filarial worm, then we need to see if it crosses over to cattle,” Muneza said. “Given that you have communities that live near parks, and some of them graze their cattle near and around the giraffe areas, there is potential for the disease to cross over to livestock. And if it does, that will then affect the perceptions that people have towards sharing landscapes with wildlife, which is a big challenge in East Africa.”Citation:Muneza, A. B., Ortiz-Calo, W., Packer, C., Cusack, J. J., Jones, T., Palmer, M. S., … Montgomery, R. A. (2019). Quantifying the severity of giraffe skin disease via photogrammetry analysis of camera trap data. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 55(4), 770-781. doi:10.7589/2018-06-149last_img read more

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Mongabay at 20: Two decades of news and inspiration from nature’s frontline (commentary)

first_imgI will always cherish a particular moment from that visit. After a long hike, I sat next to a deep pool. I pulled off my boots and cooled my feet, while listening to the drone of cicadas and soothing rush of the creek. A few minutes later, the chorus of the forest was interrupted by the sound of rustling branches. I looked up to see a male orangutan passing above. Deep maroon in color and with fully developed cheek pads, the orangutan was making his way toward a cluster of round yellow fruit when he paused to stare down at me. The gaze only lasted several seconds, but I’ll carry that memory for a lifetime.Back home in California, I kept in touch with a biologist I met on that trip. A few months later, I was devastated to get the news that the very forest I fell in love with was to be pulped for paper. Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler writes about the experience that led him to start Mongabay more than 20 years ago.Since then Mongabay has transitioned from “a guy sitting in his pajamas in his apartment” to a nonprofit media platform that has 500 contributors in 70 countries, produces original reporting in five languages, and is read by millions of people a month.Rhett lays out Mongabay’s vision for the next 20 years. Nearly 25 years ago, I had an experience that dramatically altered my life’s course, and ultimately inspired me to establish Mongabay, which with more than 4 million monthly readers is now one of the world’s most widely read conservation news publications.When I was in high school, I had the great fortune to visit a spectacular rainforest in Malaysian Borneo. Some of my fondest memories are from this forest: hiking under the tall trees, swimming in crystal-clear creeks, and appreciating the beauty of its creatures.last_img read more

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Communities in Brazilian Cerrado besieged by global demand for soy

first_imgAgriculture, Conservation, Controversial, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Featured, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Speculation, Land Use Change, Social Justice, Soy, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Agronegocio Condominio Cachoeira do Estrondo, known as Estrondo, is an immense mega-farm in the Brazilian Cerrado savanna in Bahia state. It covers a minimum of 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres). Much soy produced in the local region is exported to the EU and China.There is evidence Estrondo was born of land grabbing and fraud, accusations the mega-farm denies. It is now caught up in a major investigation by federal police on alleged corruption involving judges, lawyers and farmers, accused of conspiring to secure favorable court rulings to legitimize land grabbing.Estrondo’s astronomical land growth was based partly on a takeover of common lands used by seven traditional communities to raise small cattle herds, grow sustainable crops, and for hunting and gathering — land rights guaranteed under Brazilian law.Estrondo has installed fences, watchtowers and hired armed guards to protect its land claims. Villagers report that Estrondo’s hired security force has threatened and intimidated them, and there are documented cases of multiple ongoing conflicts including shootings. A sign points to several of the large farms that make up the Agronegocio Condominio Cachoeira do Estrondo mega-farm. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.ALDEIA, Formosa do Rio Preto municipality, Bahia state, Brazil — Guilherme Ferreira de Souza’s world changed forever one day in 2009. That fateful morning, he traversed the distance from his home in a lush savanna river valley, up onto the high plains mesa where his cattle grazed, only to find the shrubby dry forest razed in preparation for the planting of row crops.That moment has since morphed into what investigators say could be one of the biggest land grabs in Bahia state history. One judge already incarcerated in the case gave a favorable decision to a mega-farm that took over lands where traditional communities had lived for generations. Other evidence indicates that this same farm may have originated through a fraudulent land deal made by one of the companies that started it — the Delfin Group, owned by Ronald Guimarães Levinsohn, a Rio de Janeiro millionaire dubbed the “conqueror of western Bahia.”That vast mega-farm of interconnected soy, corn and cotton plantations known collectively as the Agronegocio Condominio Cachoeira do Estrondo is located in Brazil’s fourth largest soy producing municipality, Formosa do Rio Preto, which exports a large portion of its agricultural commodities to the EU and China, mainly for animal feed. Known locally as “Estrondo,” the mega-farm now has extended virtually to de Souza’s doorstep.Guards paid for by Estrondo have erected watchtowers and fences to block villagers from accessing their traditional lands, and these armed men have reportedly repeatedly intimidated members of the seven communities that live in the valley. In addition, the 400 people who have resided here their entire lives find themselves encircled by soy and cotton fields that are heavily sprayed with toxic pesticides that run off into the Rio Preto from which local residents drink.“About five years ago, they came down here, near us,” de Souza told Mongabay when a reporting team visited the community in 2019. “Today there are six watchtowers around us, and they are building more.”According to Aldeia inhabitants, Estrondo has even blocked them from accessing the other six small communities located farther down the valley. “They do not let us pass,” de Souza told us, drinking sweet coffee as the sun shone hotly down on the simple structure that serves as his kitchen, living room, and the communal gathering place for the village. “We are cornered — trapped inside.”Guilherme Ferreira de Souza, a 63-year old farmer from Aldeia has received threats from security guards paid by Estrondo; he fears for the safety of his family and community. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.Local people in legal battle against corruptionDe Souza and his neighbors — traditional farmers and descendants of indigenous and Afro-Brazilian quilombola peoples — have fought back in court. In 2017, a lower court granted the seven local traditional communities their right to 43,000 hectares (106,000 acres) bordering the Estrondo estate and ordered the removal of Estrondo’s security cabins. The decision was upheld in May 2018 by a Bahia state court of appeals.When asked by Mongabay why Estrondo had still not complied with the court rulings, FSB Comunicação, the public relations agency representing Estrondo, cited an excerpt from a court order written by Judge Sérgio Humberto Sampaio, a municipal judge in Formosa do Rio Preto on November 27, 2018. Sampaio issued a favorable decision to Estrondo, reducing the area claimed by the geraizeiros communities from 43,000 to 9,000 hectares (106,000 to 22,000 acres).Sampaio is now one of several judges and rural producers targeted in a federal police investigation, dubbed “Operation Far West,” and is one of few judges to be incarcerated already. The Superior Court of Justice (STJ), who is investigating the case, recorded financial transactions of 14 million reais (US$3.3 million) linked to Sampaio between January 2013 and 2019. Of the total 7 million reais (US$1.7 million) he received, only 1.7 million reais (US$402,000) were in salary payments.Google Maps screenshot showing the “Cargill Estrondo” soy silo. The transnational commodities trading company claims to have no direct commercial relations with “Agronegócio Estrondo.” Image screenshot by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.Industrial agribusiness swallows up traditional landsSince its inception, Agronegocio Condominio Cachoeira do Estrondo has grown to be Bahia’s largest agribusiness landholding. The exact size of the mega-farm is uncertain; in a Mongabay request for comment, Esrondo claimed its agribusiness tenants occupied only 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres). However according to NGO Greenpeace, up until the recent investigation Estrondo claimed to occupy 305,000 hectares (754,000 acres) on its website — an area roughly four times the size of New York City.The mega-farm encompasses 41 tenants who grow commodities mostly for export. While exact numbers from Estrondo are unavailable, half the soy planted in Formosa do Rio Preto, the municipality where Estrondo operates, is bought by only a handful of traders, including Bunge, Cargill and ADM, and shipped to China and the European Union.Estrondo’s vast plantation network has been mired in controversy and conflict since its earliest days, with allegations of slave labor, illegal deforestation, land grabbing, and violence against local people. In 2019 private guards, paid by the farm, shot traditional community members attempting to graze their cattle, in what people say was an attempt to evict them from traditional pasturelands.However, the dispute between Estrondo and Aldeia isn’t a local anomaly. The last report from the Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT), an organ of the Brazilian Catholic Church that deals with the problems of the rural poor, identified 1,489 land conflicts in Brazil in 2018, including complaints involving land, water, labor, drought, mining and violence against local people — conflicts marked by murders, threats, aggression and arrests. Of that total, 1,124 centered on land conflicts, with about one million people involved; that’s a 36% increase between 2017 and 2018.Traditional populations are the target of 73.5% of conflicts over land and water. In 2018, the state of Bahia alone recorded 182 rural conflicts involving 156,000 people, says the CPT.A lone tractor works a vast field within Estrondo, ground that once was covered in native Cerrado vegetation. Dozens of large-scale growers own plots within Estrondo and use them to grow soy, cotton and other crops mostly for export. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.An island in a sea of soyIt’s no understatement to say that the village of Aldeia is an island in a sea of soy. We started our journey there from one of Bahia’s fastest growing cities, Luís Eduardo Magalhães, which two decades ago had just 15,000 inhabitants and a gas station. Today, it has close to 100,000 residents, mostly supporting Cerrado agribusiness. The city boasts Bahia’s largest soy processing facility, a major John Deere equipment shop, and like many of Brazil’s rapidly growing urban centers, contends with complex urban problems including poverty, great inequity and street crime.After an hour and a half drive on well-maintained highways, freshly paved thanks to the influx of soy, we turned onto BA-458, a dirt state highway continuously packed down by commodities-loaded 18-wheelers blasting past us.BA-458 ran arrow-straight through Formosa do Rio Preto, which lies at the heart of what boosters call “Brazil’s last agricultural frontier,” also dubbed Matopiba by agribusiness promoters — a farm and ranch commodities region sprawling across Maranhão, Tocantins, Píaui and Bahia states, and composed of 337 municipalities — some which have among the fastest rates of deforestation in Brazil.The majority of soy produced in Formosa do Rio Preto is exported, according to Trase municipal-level supply chain data, with Europe consuming over 30%, and China nearly 20% of all soy produced there in 2017; Brazil uses nearly 38%. This sort of detailed data, sourced from the Brazilian government and made rapidly available by NGO initiatives like those maintained by Trase have illuminated the formerly opaque supply chains that undergird the soy industry’s rushed expansion — an almost 500% increase over the last decade in Formosa do Rio Preto alone. Nearly all that soy is grown to feed meat and dairy cattle, and other livestock, in Brazil, the EU, China and elsewhere.Just a few miles after turning off the highway towards the Estrondo complex, we passed a large Cargill silo, which Google Maps identifies as “Cargill Estrondo.” Bunge also has a silo within the Estrondo farm complex, according to a Greenpeace report, although both companies denied having direct commercial relations with “Agronegócio Estrondo.”Primary importers of soy from Formosa do Rio Preto municipality. Image courtesy of Trase.A long heritage uprooted by agribusinessFor de Souza, who still remembers a time when the chapadas — the high, flat Cerrado mesas — were covered in native vegetation rather than soy, corn and cotton, the pace of agribusiness encroachment has been alarming and disruptive.Like many other local villagers, he is descended from a mix of freed and runaway slaves, peasant farmers and indigenous peoples who migrated here over many decades past. He identifies most with the term geraizeiros — a legally-recognized designation for traditional people living in the sertão, the backcountry Cerrado savanna northeast of the Amazon basin.“My great grandfather was born and died here. My mother was born here and is still alive today; she is 85 years old. I was born and raised here; I’m 63 years old,” said de Souza. “The way I understand it, [before us] there was no one here, and everything was savanna. We traveled here freely.”Heavy machinery creating berms to block small scale farmers from reaching their traditional lands. Image courtesy of Jossone Lopes Leite.Guard tower and guardhouse erected by Estrondo in Formosa do Rio Preto, western Bahia state, Brazil. Image courtesy of Jossone Lopes Leite.Most traditional Cerrado people live today in the baixos, river valleys where they plant rice, beans, cassava, sugarcane, potatoes and corn. The chapadas, the higher plains, were long reserved for grazing livestock and for hunting tapir, deer, and the large, flightless, near-threatened bird called the rhea. The wildlife and vegetation of the higher plains are gone now, razed by Estrondo.“Deforestation has ended everything,” said de Souza.  “All the hunting is gone.”According to INPE, over 400,000 hectares (more than 1 million acres) of native vegetation were cleared in Formosa do Rio Preto between 2001-2018, an area the size of Rhode Island. Brazil’s environmental agency, IBAMA estimates that Estrondo alone converted 77,000 hectares (190,000 acres) of native Cerrado vegetation between 2004 and 2006. Most recently in May 2019, Bahia’s Institute of Environment and Water Resources (INEMA) granted and renewed a deforestation permit for nearly 25,000 ha (61,776 acres) within the Estrondo estate, according to a Greenpeace report.The Estrondo mega-farm has dozens of agribusiness tenants who manage different land parcels. Federal police are investigating corruption in Formosa do Rio Preto municipality in what may be one of the largest land thefts in Bahia history. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.Some of the region’s only remaining natural savanna is in the valley where de Souza lives. But even those wildlands, according to Estrondo’s website, have been claimed by the agribusiness producers, marked and fenced in as their “legal reserve,” — the percentage of undeveloped land that farmers in Brazil are required to preserve according to the federal Forest Code.We arrived at the edge of Estrondo’s legal reserve, which started just past a rusty sign for “Alaska,” a set of dry, dusty fields being worked over by a tractor. According to the companies’ website, 25% of Estrondo’s total landholdings are designated as a legal reserve, 5% more than the amount Brazil’s Forest Code mandates in the region.But what Estrondo’s website fails to mention is that this legal reserve doesn’t just protect local fauna, shrubs and grasses. It is also home to 400 people, spread out over seven communities, encircled by soy, and hemmed in by fences and guardhouses — people with nowhere to go and cut off from traditional livelihoods.Private armed guards are hired by Estrondo and have reportedly threatened and intimidated local villagers. Here, a fence and guard shack are visible in the distance. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.Cell phone footage from early in 2019 shows a security guard at Estrondo aiming a gun at Jossone Lopes Leite just moments before the traditional community resident was shot and wounded. Image courtesy of Jossone Lopes Leite.Escalating community threatsApproaching Aldeia, we passed over a small cattle guard, connected on both sides to many miles of electrified barbed wire, installed over the last two years. A mile down the fence was the first of several guardhouses.In the runup to Mongabay’s visit, Aldeia suffered harassment from Estrondo security guards, but its residents fared better than neighbors in other traditional villages. People in Cachoeira were harassed and shot at in 2019, including one shooting recorded on video.Community members fear such conflicts could escalate. Fernando Ferreira Lima, an Aldeia farmer, seemed especially concerned when we met him. He had just returned from grazing his cattle and an encounter with two security guards who told him he wasn’t allowed to graze there anymore; the men threatened to seize his livestock. Shaken, he had returned to the village. Two days later, he was shot in the leg by security guards while grazing his cattle and rushed to the city of Palmas for emergency care.After a court ruled that the mega-farm must turn over 43,000 hectares to the families in Aldeia, Estrondo reportedly put in electrical fencing and dug a two-mile long trench, blocking off access of the traditional communities from grazing, water, and other resources vital to their livelihoods and survival. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.Violent threats by Estrondo guards have been reported to police and independent litigators in the state Public Ministry’s Office. However, justice is far off, Formosa do Rio Preto is located more than 600 miles away from Salvador, Bahia’s state capital.“They don’t respect anything; they don’t respect the law,” said de Souza of Estrondo’s hired enforcers. “We have been abandoned by the justice system, but we are not going to leave.”Today, Aldeia still lacks access to its common lands for grazing, for the gathering of fruits and other foods, for the harvesting of golden grass to roof its homes, and even is denied entry to sacred sites.“Golden grass” (Syngonanthus nitens) is traditionally used to make baskets and other handicrafts. Community access to this grass has been severely restricted, blocked by Estrondo’s fences and security guards. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.Villagers are also experiencing serious health problems. “The pesticides are killing us,” said Josino Guedes de Souza, Guilherme’s son and the 28-year-old president of the Village Association.Standing by the Black River, the community’s sole source of water for drinking, washing, and irrigation, he told us that, “the rain takes the pesticides down to the riverbed, [and into] the marshes. It kills everything that lies downstream, contaminates our water, kills the birds, and kills the trees.”According to the younger de Souza, the large amounts of agrochemicals applied to soy during planting season cause skin rashes and other medical conditions.Josino Guedes de Souza says that pesticide-laden soy field runoff regularly pollutes the community’s only source of fresh water, a river that is already being depleted by climate change-driven drought and increased use by agribusiness for irrigation. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.The case against EstrondoIn 2019, Estrondo’s land area made up roughly one fifth of the entire municipality of Formosa do Rio Preto. It is “not so much a farm as a small state,” author Fred Pearce wrote in his book about land grabbing. But in fact, serious questions have been raised about the mega-farm’s origins, and whether Estrondo’s parent registration — the legal bedrock upon which the entire enterprise is based — may be fraudulent.In 1999, the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) published a book detailing major land grabbing operations in Brazil. Listed in first place in Bahia was a 444,000 hectare (1.1 million acre) holding belonging to Delfin S/A Crédito Imobiliária, owned by Ronald Guimarães Levinsohn.According to Estrondo, the União de Construtoras company pledged the lands of Fazenda Estrondo as collateral to Delfin Rio SA Real Estate Credit in the late 1980s. Then in 1981, União de Construtoras defaulted and Delfin Rio enforced the guarantee, taking over the land.A technical opinion issued by AST Consulting and Planning, an independent firm, and reported by Reporter Brasil found that Estrondo came to western Bahia “first by measuring land, then intimidating and expelling villagers using gunmen, thereby preventing community use of land and demarcating areas of the valley as reserve areas.” NGO’s Mighty Earth and Greenpeace both have released reports presenting evidence that Estrondo’s landholdings were acquired by notary fraud.Ronald Guimarães Levinsohn. Image-courtesy of sunoresearch.com.br.In November 2019, land grabbing in western Bahia was targeted by a Federal Police investigation which has uncovered a major corruption scheme involving magistrates and officials of the Bahia State Court of Justice, along with prominent lawyers and rural producers. Formosa do Rio Preto officials are among those under investigation. Alleged perpetrators reportedly secured the sale of court rulings that legitimized stolen land.Estrondo replied to Mongabay’s queries in a 14-page missive, saying in short that “information claiming that their operation was born of land grabbing and fraud is false.”Regarding its relationship with traditional communities, it wrote that: “Cachoeira do Estrondo Condominium condemns acts of violence and clarifies that the hired surveillance teams aim to ensure the property security and physical integrity of workers and residents of the enterprise.” Furthermore, “the management of Cachoeira do Estrondo venture denies that it has installed guard booths or prevented access on public roads.” Estrondo’s full response can be viewed hereBanner image caption: More than 40 families live in Aldeia, the largest of the seven traditional communities located within the legal reserve claimed by Estrondo. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.A road leads down into the river valley occupied by seven traditional Cerrado communities, including Aldeia. Today this valley also constitutes the majority of the legal reserve claimed by Estrondo. Image by Sarah Sax / Mongabay.center_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

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Induction Officer Warns Against Split in Nimba

first_imgDeputy Minister for Planning and Research at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Teah Nagbe, who recently inducted into office the Nimba County Assistant Superintendent for Development, has sternly warned Nimbaians not to allow their county to be divided.Minister Nagbe stressed in a statement during the induction ceremony that “It will be a big mistake on the part of Nimbaians to allow their county to be split because other counties that did it are not developing as fast as Nimba.”According to Minister Nagbe, there are more large towns and cities in Nimba than in most counties in Liberia, and this is the result of allowing people of diverse backgrounds to congregate in huge numbers.He observed that those counties created from the original nine counties are struggling because they are sparsely populated, making rapid development difficult.Minister Nagbe indicated that the concentration of large populations in Nimba is also beneficial to Liberia because development of those areas accrue to more Liberians.He suggested to the Nimba Legislative Caucus and the county administration to persevere and erect junior high schools in all the major towns to encourage the young people dwelling there to go to school.He said residents will see reason to send their children to school since if the schools are within their communities and students will not have to travel elsewhere to receive higher education.Minister Nagbe cautioned the elders and youths to be careful about those politicians who will only advocate for positions that allow them receive the respect without having any regard for others.“When some are in position, they only want respect to go to them and not others, and as you administer the affairs of the county, be careful not to allow such people to divide you,” he admonished.He urged the Legislative Caucus of Nimba and the county administration to work together for the benefit of the county because the development potential of the county is highly visible.Even though Minister Nagbe made it clear that his warning was not predicated upon any rumor of divide in the county, Nimba County is beginning to see serious tribal division since the Unity Party led government came into existence in 2006.Senator Prince Johnson’s influence in the 2011 election led four Representatives and two Senators, all Gio to the Legislature from Nimba with three Representatives exclusively of the Mano tribe.On that basis, some members of the Mano ethnic group have proposed a division of the county into the Gio, the majority tribe, on one side, and the Manos on the other.For the purpose of maintaining and retaining legislative power in the county, independent sources have discovered that the Gios being in the majority have resolved to establish the “Gio Union” that promotes the political interest of any member of the tribe whether qualified for public office or not.Amid these unfolding events in the county, a Statutory District Superintendent of Nimba, Bartua Bartuah, has opposed the division of the county and called on compatriots to join him in opposing such a division.On local radio stations in Nimba, many residents have registered their distaste for ethnic division in the county and have strongly condemned such a political idea.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Body of drowned Linden teen still to be recovered

first_imgPolice in E Division (Linden-Kwakwani) as of Monday afternoon were still trying to locate the body of 19-year-old Esther Weekes of Lot 14 Burnham Drive, Wismar, Linden, who reportedly drowned in the Demerara River in the vicinity of Burnham Drive and Silvertown, Wismar on Sunday.Nineteen-year-old Esther WeekesThe search party continued to search a section of the river in speedboat, however up to press time, there was still no sign of the teen. Divisional Commander Fazil Karimbaksh said the search was not specified to the area where the teen reportedly drowned but also surrounding areas. However, family members of the teen expressed some disappointment with the way the search was conducted, noted that at least two members of the family were expected to be a part of the search; however they were told that there were not enough life jackets. The family also complained that Police seemed reluctant to conduct the search and also appeared ill-equipped to do so.The Divisional Commander when contacted noted however, that it was not necessary for the family to be a part of the search since the Police were aware of the location. In the case of any sitings, he said undertakers would be summoned, while he was optimistic that the body might be recovered by Tuesday.Meanwhile, Weekes’ family continued to mourn the tragic event. At the time of the incident, Weekes was with her aunt, Cherryann DeJonge and her 11-year-old son. DeJonge on Monday recalled that on the fateful day, the deceased had pestered her for hours to go to the location. She said she was reluctant at first, since one of her sons almost drowned at the same place the day before. She noted that she finally gave in but then decided that she was going to go along to monitor Weekes and her son while they were there, refusing to leaving them alone.“If I could have peeked into the future and get any knowledge that this would have happened,” the woman noted regretfully. Weekes’ great uncle also said that he warned the trio against venturing to the location. DeJonge said she and her niece were very close. She recalled that Weekes and her son were playing when the lad slipped into the water and Weekes extended her hand in an effort to save him, when both went overboard. The woman said their hands “barely touched” when Weekes went under.Revisiting the scene on Monday, the woman told this publication that she was still in disbelief as to how her niece could have drowned since she noted that she did not drift far away from land. The grieving woman said she could still hear the haunting final words of her niece as she struggled to stay afloat. She is adamant that the incident was related to something “spiritual”.“She just kept saying, “Auntie Cherry please save me”,” DeJonge said melancholy. The woman said her son who was able to make it back to land safely, told her afterwards that the water in the section of the river was “circling around” when they went in. Over the years, several people have drowned in the said area of the river. One of the last reported cases was in September 2014, when 14-year-old Omar Mitchel of Half Mile, Wismar, Linden drowned while playing with friends in the vicinity of the old Sawmill. Reports had indicated that he was pushed into the river by one of his friends.last_img read more

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NEAT hopes Environmental film sparks change

first_img[asset|aid=861|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=6cc9e865c22d3d1960bab44a6af57cb7-Sally Emory 2_1_Pub.mp3] The screening will be held at the Whole Wheat and Honey Cafe, tomorrow night at 7. The Northern Environmental Action Team – or NEAT, hopes its film screening tomorrow will bring a change to Fort St. John. The film, titled End of Suburbia, questions whether suburbia is a sustainable living choice for everyone. Executive Director Sally Emory says there are many eco-friendly options for Fort St. John to consider. – Advertisement -[asset|aid=860|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=6cc9e865c22d3d1960bab44a6af57cb7-Sally Emory 1_1_Pub.mp3]She says the movie is about sparking change. It’s about moving individual actions into a community related action. Emory says everyone is invited to attend the free event. Advertisementlast_img read more

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Trees make the garden

first_imgRenovation of the garden began in October. Trees have been pared down to reveal a view of the museum’s roof, and camellias have been added. Items in the garden are of Chinese origin and are symbolic, Erskine said. The garden features the traditional “Three Friends of Winter”: bamboo, which symbolizes flexibility; pine, for longevity; and plum, which blooms early and marks the arrival of spring. A concrete zig-zag bridge in the garden was traditionally believed to ward off evil, which was thought to travel in straight lines. Visually, the black pine softens the edges of the concrete zig-zag bridge, Kitajima said. Kitajima owns a landscaping business in Industry and teaches ikebana. He is currently instructing the staff at La Ca ada Flintridge’s Descanso Gardens in Japanese pruning techniques in the Japanese Gardens and Tea House area. patricia.ho@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4586 PASADENA – The courtyard garden at the Pacific Asia Museum got two new residents Tuesday morning – a Japanese black pine and a bonsai juniper. As part of the renovation of the garden, master nurseryman Yokou Kitajima planted the trees on the edge of the courtyard’s small pond. The pine is 20 years old and is expected to keep the shape it has now, while growing wider but not much taller, Kitajima said. It was “trained” to grow into its current form with bamboo sticks tied to its branches. “The garden itself is a gallery,” said Georgianna Erskine, a member of the museum’s garden committee. last_img read more

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Donegal scientist to ‘shine a light’ on lung cancer

first_imgDonegal scientist Anne-Marie Baird PhD is hosting an event which aims to shine a light on lung cancer at Glenveagh National Park.The event takes place on Saturday evening at 5:30pm when people are invited to meet at the visitor centre. Talks will take place in the AV room at 6pm, before leaving for the castle at 6:20pm. Refreshments will be served afterwards in The Lagoon, Termon.Anne-Marie says: “The aims of this event are to increase lung cancer awareness, help tackle the stigma associated with the disease and raise funds for research. “In Ireland, lung cancer kills more males than prostate cancer and more females than breast cancer, yet few are aware of this fact or of the symptoms associated with the disease.“For the inaugural event last year – over 130 people attended and in excess of €2,500 euro was raised for the Target Lung Cancer campaign at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin.“Please join us again this year on November 4th to ‘shine a light on lung cancer’.”Attendees are asked to dress appropriately and bring a torch! You can RSVP by following this link:https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/donegal-shines-a-light-on-lung-cancer-tickets-38377712772Donegal scientist to ‘shine a light’ on lung cancer was last modified: November 1st, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:glenveagh national parklung cancerst james hospitallast_img read more

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Cape bones add new chapter to human history

first_imgThe skeleton found at St Helena Bay is said to come from earliest group of humans to diverge from “Mitochondrial Eve”, our common ancestor. The diagram above shows how female lineage can be traced to Mitochondrial Eve through random selection. The black colour lineage represents matrilineal line descended from mitochondrial DNA of the most recent common ancestor and the other colours are of extinct matrilineal lines. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Shamin ChibbaJust 150 kilometres north of Cape Town, in the idyllic settlement of St Helena Bay, lived a fisherman. He led a simple life, foraging and hunting for seafood to feed his family. So many of his days were spent in the water, that he developed surfer’s ear, an abnormal bone growth in the ear canal which could decrease hearing and lead to infections.But this was not an ordinary Cape fisherman. This ancient Khoisan man existed 2 330 years ago and the discovery of his skeleton in the coastal village is opening a new chapter in the history of mankind.An international group of researchers recently released their findings based on mitochondrial DNA extracted from the inner canal of a single tooth and ribs from the skeleton. They found he belonged to the earliest group of humans to diverge from “Mitochondrial Eve“, our common ancestor. Before he was unearthed, no genetic data of people who had lived before the arrival of pastoralists in the southern coast of Africa had been recovered.Mitochondrial DNA, otherwise known as maternal DNA, provided the first evidence that we all came from Africa. It helps us map a figurative genetic tree, with all its branches leading to a common Mitochondrial Eve. The closest surviving lineage to this skeleton is the click-speaking foragers largely found in the semi-desert regions of Namibia and Botswana. (Image: Chris Bennet Photography)After noting that the man had osteoarthritis and tooth wear, Prof Alan Morris, a biological anthropologist from the University of Cape Town (UCT), judged him to be in his fifties when he died. Furthermore, when Morris discovered a bony growth in the skeleton’s ear canal, known as surfer’s ear, he realised the man was a “marine forager” who hunted and gathered seafood. “This suggests that he spent some time diving for food in the cold coastal waters, while shells carbon-dated to the same period and found near his grave, confirmed his seafood diet,” Morris said.Vanessa Hayes, a world-renowned expert in African genomics at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, said the man existed before pastoralists migrated into the region about 2 000 years ago. “Pastoralists made their way down the coast from Angola, bringing herds of sheep. We could demonstrate that our marine hunter-gatherer carried a different maternal lineage to these early migrants – containing a DNA variant that we have never seen before.” DiscoveryUCT archaeologist Professor Andrew Smith discovered the skeleton in June 2010, just 50 kilometres from the site where 117 000-year-old human footprints, known as Eve’s Footprints, were found in Langebaan 19 years ago. He immediately contacted Hayes.Because of the acidity of the soil, extracting DNA from the skeleton posed a problem, prompting the team to take the samples to paleogeneticist Prof Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. The institute is a world-leading laboratory in ancient DNA research, and Pääbo is best known for successfully sequencing a Neanderthal. World renowned genomics professor, Vanessa Hayes, was instrumental in piecing together the lineage of the skeleton found at St Helena Bay. (Image: Garvan Institute of Medical Research)Hayes, who is known for sequencing Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s DNA, said the findings presented evidence that this man and other coastal dwellers came from a lineage most closely related to Mitochondrial Eve and thought to be extinct. “In this study, I believe we may have found an individual from a lineage that broke off early in modern human evolution and remained geographically isolated,” said Hayes. “That would contribute significantly to refining the human reference genome.”The closest surviving lineage to this skeleton is the click-speaking foragers largely found in the semi-desert regions of Namibia and Botswana. Archaeological, historical and genetic evidence shows there once was a broader southerly scattering of click-speaking peoples, including pastoralists who migrated southwards and indigenous marine-foragers. “Because of this, the study gives a baseline against which historic herders at the Cape can now be compared,” said Hayes.The team believes that with further testing of the southern African archaeological record, even more diverse human genomes will be discovered.last_img read more

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Don’t Feed These Daisies

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Pamela SmithDTN Progressive Farmer Crops Technology EditorDECATUR, Ill. (DTN) — Those yellow flowers filling fields across the Midwest aren’t buttercups, baby. They are weeds and consumed in enough quantities, cressleaf groundsel, also called butterweed, can be toxic to livestock.Ohio State University weed specialist Mark Loux said the winter annual weed is being found in fairly high numbers because the weather has held back herbicide treatments this spring.Butterweed is common in no-till corn and soybean fields, and burndown herbicides are typically used to control it early in the spring when the plants are smaller and more susceptible. However, that didn’t happen in many areas this year due to wet weather. It’s also not an option in forage and wheat crops.Native to the United States, butterweed can be found from Texas east to Florida, northward along the Atlantic Coast to Virginia, and west to Nebraska. The plant is poisonous to grazing animals such as cattle, horses, goats, sheep and to humans, Loux said.There are several other weeds that send out yellow flowers this time of year, noted Aaron Hager, University of Illinois weed scientist. “Growers should take the time to look because wild mustard and yellow rocket can sometimes be mistaken for butterweed,” he told DTN.Butterweed is easy to distinguish because it has daisy-like petals with a pincushion-like center. It is a member of the aster family. Leaves alternate on the stem, are deeply divided and lobed. Lobes have round, serrated margins. Stems are hollow and grooved with purplish streaks. Most plants have one stem, but there may be more.Loux said applying herbicides to hay fields isn’t likely to reduce the risk of toxicity in animals. It’s also too late for wheat growers to apply any herbicide to their wheat crops.How much of the weed it takes to harm livestock has not been well documented, Hager said. The plants contain compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). The PAs are found in the plant throughout the growing season but appear to be at their highest levels when the plant is in the bud to flower stage.“Drying or ensiling the plants during the hay- or straw-making process doesn’t reduce the toxicity of cressleaf groundsel,” Loux said.Loux recommended producers avoid harvesting areas of the field that have high concentrations of cressleaf groundsel (butterweed).Mowing before the weed is in the bud to flower stage will most effectively prevent seed production, but that doesn’t minimize the risk of poisoning. Loux stressed that it is important to prevent including those mowed plants in hay or straw — or to discard bales that contain it. The groundsel is not likely to regrow after the first cutting of hay in the spring. The goal of control strategies should be to prevent it from contaminating the first cutting.It was also noted that using unplanted acres for grazing could be risky if butterweed populations are high.Hager said his research has shown that up to 98% of cressleaf groundsel plants emerge in the fall. “Most of those you see in the field today are already going to seed. If you had a big problem with them or other winter annuals this spring, fall controls are something to consider,” he said.“Butterweed is easy to control with fall or early spring burndown in crop field settings and you’ll be taking care of marestail problems at the same time,” he noted. “We haven’t seen big problems in hayfields, but it’s certainly something to be watching for.”More information on cressleaf groundsel, including how to identify it and manage it, can be found on Ohio State’s weed science website at http://bit.ly/….Find a video about butterweed from Aaron Hager here: http://bit.ly/….Pamela Smith can be reached at Pamela.smith@dtn.comFollow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN(AG/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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