ABARES Report Shows Increase in Farming Receipts, Costs

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Garden with young fresh vegetablesThe average cash income for vegetable growers in Australia will amount to $266,000 for the 2016-2017 financial year, according to the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

ABARES senior economist Dale Ashton said that the income for the past decade reached $200,000. The projected figure for the financial year represents the highest income since 2007 when ABARES began a survey of farm financial performance.

Farming report

The anticipated increase in farming income bodes well for businesses, although rising costs from labour and energy may have countered the estimated growth in income. AusVeg CEO James Whiteside said that Australian vegetable farmers worry over losing “global competitiveness” without cost-control measures.

Other trade groups such as the Australian Table Grape Association believe that the prices for fresh produce will increase, due to higher production and labour costs. Another challenge for the agriculture industry involves jobs, which could be delegated to robots and artificial intelligence due to the occurrence of a digital revolution.

Automated jobs

By 2025, robots would account for one-third of all jobs. As early as now, many farmers have become savvy with the use of modern equipment and machinery, including a V-hay rake for sale. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) may represent progress for the sector, but it does not bode well for unemployment.

The jobless rate in Australia currently stays at an estimated 5.6 per cent, which is expected to continue until 2020. Still, this rate could increase if robots and AI successfully take over work from humans. In the farming industry, an increasing number of retiring baby boomers could further complicate the situation. However, not everyone may be affected as those who are familiar with modern farming technology could establish a career in this segment.

The cost of labour and production for vegetable farming has been on an upward trend. Do you think a broader use of automated technology will contribute to a further increase?

Stop Right There: Don’t Compare Your Divorce to Others

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A couple going through a divorceIf you’re going through a divorce, it’s likely that friends and family members will have a say in it. Some will tell you what to do, while others will give you an affirmation, noting that they know exactly what you’re going through. This may cause you to compare your divorce to others or even follow what a fellow divorcee tells you to do so.

It’s bad enough to get advice from friends and family members unless this is what they do professionally. It’s even worse to compare your divorce to a friend’s, a cousin’s, or a neighbor’s. Note that no two divorces are alike. Every case is unique and you should also remember that divorce laws are different in every state.

Why Couples Agree

Keep in mind that divorce cases are complicated and there are many reasons couples agree on a specific settlement. Divorce lawyers in Albuquerque note that there are a number of factors that come into play, such as how willing both spouses are to communicate or compromise, the reason for divorce, the age of the kids, the assets at stake, and even their emotions during the process.

Learn More about the Process

Instead of comparing, it is best to educate yourself about the process and know more about the divorce laws in your state. You should also get an experienced attorney specializing in divorce cases. Hiring just any lawyer you know is never advisable, as this can backfire. You need someone who is skilled in family law to make sure that your rights are protected.

Understand Before Agreeing

Divorce can be a long and stressful process. Even if you’re anxious to finish the whole process, don’t settle for anything less. Don’t sign any document that you don’t understand. Take your time in determining you really want or what are worth fighting for before agreeing to any settlement. Read and understand what the other party is asking and ask your lawyer for advice.

You may run the risk of making the process more expensive and time-consuming if you always compare your divorce to others. Look at your marriage dissolution as an individual case and rule out any advice that is not given by your lawyer.

How to Ace That CompTIA Security+ Test

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Man looking astonished in a network data centerThe CompTIA Security+ credential has been around for quite a while, and many people have already enrolled for the certification. As an IT professional, taking and passing this examination will keep you above the cutthroat competition in the market for highly skilled and informed support professionals and PC security technicians.

The US Department of Defense, as well as other major technology firms such as Dell, Intel, HP, and Cisco, acknowledges this certification to be ISO compliant, and even incorporates CompTIA Security essentials into their in-house training programs.

Acing the examination

When preparing for your CompTIA Security examination, it is imperative that you first know whether there have been changes in the curriculum. Once you are ascertained that, ask around for a reputable organization or online platform that can guide you on how to prepare for this examination.

Doing so will help you familiarize with the variety of formats of the exam questions, which are a mix of performance-based, multiple standard choices, and drag-drop questions.

Perfect practice makes perfect

The CompTIA Security+ certification is fast becoming an authority certification for computer security proficiency. If you are pursuing a career in this line, enrolling for a course in CompTIA Security will increase your hire-ability even amid the high competition in the market. But, before taking the examination, it is crucial that you also do security+ practice tests first, so that you can better understand what to expect on the main exam.

Although you can request a friend that has done this examination before to tutor you, it is more convenient if you can find a reliable online platform that offers these tests. It is equally necessary you note that while most of these online platforms provide their services free of charge, you may need to sign up and even pay a small fee to get unlimited access to their practice tests.

Top Ways to Create a Secure Bike Storage

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Bike shopThere really is no point in investing your extra cash on a bike and then keeping it in a place where it is defenceless at night. If you do not have enough space to store your bike inside your home, then consider keeping it in sheds and garages.

But you still have to remember that cycle shelters are still prone to break-ins. These handy tips will help guarantee that your bike will still be waiting for you every morning to take you to school or work:

Stay Realistic

Remember that a shed will not be able to survive a serious burglary attack. Some intruders have tried getting inside the roof or removing a whole side panel just to get inside. The secret is to hide it in a place that would be hard for thieves to reach. It must not draw attention and you have to set up a lot of security measures to protect it.

Choose the Type of Shed Carefully

Sheds come in three primary types, including plastic, wood and metal. Determine the pros and cons of each before deciding which one would be ideal to protect your belongings. Normally, you have to pay more to have thicker and more secure walls for your shed.

Consider the Structure’s Design

If you will use the shed mostly for storage and not as a work studio, consider getting a window-less space as these windows are noticeable weak points. The location of the door should be visible from either your neighbour’s homes or your own house. Double doors will allow you to easily get your bike in and out.

It does not really matter if you chose a wooden shed to keep your bike or other more secure means of storage. Just keep the above tips in mind to make your storage shed more burglar-proof.

Many Online Retailers Offer Consumer Financing and You Should Too — Here’s Why

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A woman holding a credit card

A woman holding a credit cardConsumer financing, also known in-store financing, flexible financing, installment plans, or “buy now, pay later” plans, enable consumers to purchase products over a specific period. Because of the flexibility, it’s no wonder that more and more retailers are implementing this payment scheme.

If you would like to avoid cart abandonment in your online shop, you have to take the necessary steps to boost your checkout conversions. One thing you could do is offer as many payment methods, including a point-of-sale lending platform through flexible, in-store financing.

It gives a competitive advantage over their competitors. If you are an online retailer looking to increase your sales and promote brand loyalty, learn more about how customer financing could help you.

The Benefits of Offering Customer Financing

Years ago, consumer financing was only available on brick-and-mortar, big-ticket products. Nowadays, however, it’s common to see this alternative payment scheme even when checking out in online retail stores. For one, it’s very easy to adopt this technology, and the entire process is extremely easy to follow for consumers as well.

A recent survey found that retailers that offer consumer financing experienced an average of 33% increase in sales. By enabling consumers to pay for their purchases in installments, you could easily reach more customers that you wouldn’t have otherwise reached because of budget constraints. Also, customers who usually buy smaller orders are now buying more items because of this flexible financing scheme.

A study conducted by Forrester also found that providing in-store financing for consumers could lead to an average 15% boost in order values as well as an average 17% growth in incremental sales. This increases to as much as 15% when the holiday season comes around. Aside from that, other surveys indicate that the knowledge of customer financing options influences the decision of web users to purchase from certain online stores.

By taking advantage of this easy-to-implement and consumer-friendly financing option, you’ll see more conversions at checkout as well as increased sales and improved brand value in no time.

4 Top Fuel Storage Tank Maintenance Tips

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Construction worker look at fuel pumpStoring your fuel onsite certainly has many benefits. First, you never need to worry about delays in deliveries. If you buy in bulk, you can save cash. However, to ensure that your fuel stays in good condition, there are responsibilities you need to remember. One of them is maintaining your fuel storage tanks keenly. Here are tips to do that:

Follow set standards

If you’re using an above ground storage tank, you’ll need to adhere to the set API 650 design and maintenance standards. These standards stipulate clearly that you need to maintain the integrity of your welded or riveted storage tank. Other standards may also include the period within which you need to fill up the tank to keep it in good condition.

Check seals and caps regularly

Faulty seals and caps can allow sediments into your tank, degrading not only your fuel but also your tank’s walls and base. These seals will also increase the rate of evaporation of your oil, making it more difficult to monitor fuel levels. That means you can’t easily tell when exactly you should fill up the tank.

Prevent fuel tank contamination

If the environment around your fuel storage tank is dusty or dirty, it’s only a matter of time before contaminants get into the tank and pollute the oil, besides damaging the tank itself. That’s why it’s crucial to clean the area around the tank regularly. Keep the caps closed as well and check whether the nozzle is clean before using it to fill up the tank.

Observe a regular maintenance schedule

Like all other equipment, a bulk fuel storage tank should have a regular maintenance schedule, whether it appears to be in great shape or not. That means you need to inspect your tank regularly for dents, aging fuel filters, worn caps, and so on. Replace or repair faulty parts promptly.

While there are lots of advantages for storing your fuel in bulk, there are certain measures you need to put in place to reap those benefits. The key lies in giving your storage tank the attention it needs.

Ranking High on SERPs: What SEO Has to Do With It

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SEO statistics

SEO statisticsThe research says it all: with nearly 90% of the population in the United States using the Internet, businesses have to show up online or they can risk missing out on a lot of profit-making opportunities. But there’s more to becoming profitable than just having an online presence; you also need to make sure you obtain good rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs), or your efforts are futile.

It’s for this reason (and more) that you need to do everything you can to show up on the first few pages of the SERPs. Of course, you should strive to appear on the front page, especially in Google’s results. Achieving this goal can mean all the difference between a thriving Denver business and one that can teeter on the verge of bankruptcy.

SEO: The key to a solid online presence

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making online content optimized, through the use of keywords, so that search engines would look at it favorably and give it a good page ranking. Of course, the more they like what you have to offer, the higher your position on the SERPs will be. However, making great content isn’t the only thing you have to factor in; there are plenty other variables to take into account, such as content relevance, importance, age, and viability among many others.

There’s also the fact that SEO continues to evolve every single day, with major search engines, notably Google, rolling out hundreds of updates to its search algorithms on an annual basis. Your online assets need to remain in tune with these changes, or you’ll see your ranks drop lower and lower.

The most effective, hassle-free solution

The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to do all the legwork for your Denver SEO campaign on your own. You’ll find highly reputable and qualified SEO firms like C1 Partners that specialize in delivering such crucial online marketing services.

SEO isn’t an easy feat, nor does it miraculously push websites on the very first page of SERPs overnight. It takes time to deliver results, but the wait is worth it, as long as you have experts managing your SEO campaign.

CDC: Indiana among 19 States with Water-Related Disease Outbreaks

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Water pouring from a tapThe number of “drinking water outbreaks” between 2013 and 2014 increased to 42 cases in 19 states from 32 in 2011 to 2012, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s reports.

Kathy Benedict of CDC’s Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch said that the increase might have taken place due to a “true increase in disease, better reporting or changes in capacity in states to do surveillance.”

Affected states

The 19 states, which include Indiana, reported the outbreaks were caused by infectious pathogens, chemicals or toxins. The outbreaks resulted in an estimated 1,006 cases of sickness, 13 fatalities, and 124 hospitalizations. However, Benedict said that the reported cases had become fewer than the numbers in the late 70s or early 80s.

Some environmental consulting groups believe that an aging water infrastructure is a key source of the issue. In Indiana, business leaders urged state lawmakers to prioritize legislation on water-related issues for the upcoming legislative session. The public also plays an important role in ensuring safety for drinking water sources. Since some bacteria are odorless and colorless, households should test their water supply if they suspect any form of contamination.

Indiana’s priorities

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Legislative Preview event called for the state’s lawmakers to prioritize legislation on water-related issues. Some water treatment equipment manufacturers in Fort Wayne specialize in chemical-free solutions, which are cheaper and safer for the environment.

Greg Ellis, the chamber’s vice president of energy and environmental policy, said that repairing leaky water pipes will require financial assistance from the federal government to avoid “wasting a valuable resource.” Aside from water, the chamber also urged lawmakers to focus on legislation for education and healthcare.

Clean and safe drinking water remains important for any state. The public and private sector should consider chemical-free alternatives for water treatment, which will likely ensure a lesser risk of water-related diseases.

4 Safety Tips While Using a Fuel Storage Tank

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Above Ground fuel tank holding diesel fuelOwing to the high flammability of fuel, most people think that storing it in a tank is unsafe. The reality, however, is that fuel storage tanks have increasingly become more reliable due to the advancements in fabrication, inspection, and maintenance.

By reading these smart tips, you may prevent anything from interfering with the safety of your tank and that of your personnel:

Ensure the support structure is strong enough

For an aboveground storage tank, it’s best to note that the support structure is as strong as possible. This is one of the things that an API 653 tank inspection specialist will examine before they can approve of you using the said storage tank. To meet the required standards, you’ll need to make sure that the support structure is built on a strong foundation.

Don’t use the tank to store other substances

All aboveground and underground storage tanks are designed to meet specific storage needs. Based on the design and size, there are tanks that are best suited for storing diesel and not any other chemical substances. Have an expert check your tank to know whether it is the ideal one for your storage needs.

Trust the pros with installation and maintenance

Regardless of the type and size of your storage tank, never let anyone who does not have the expertise do some work in the fabrication or management of the tank. Sure, the tank may have reasonably reliable built-in safety features, but these features only work when handled with the necessary caution.

Keep ignition sources away

As fuel is extremely flammable, keep any potential ignition sources as far away as possible. Don’t locate your storage tank near static electricity, naked flames, or running engines.

A good quality storage tank can go a long way in ensuring the safety of both the oil and the people that handle it. Still, it is your responsibility to make sure that you don’t do anything that could compromise that safety.


IEA: U.S. to Account For 80% of Global Oil Supply by 2025

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Oil and gas platform in the gulf or the sea, The world energy, Offshore oil and rig construction.The U.S. will account for 80% of the increase in the world’s oil supply by 2025, as the country aims to become an “undisputed global oil and gas leader,” according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) annual energy forecast.

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook covered energy data for 29 countries. While the U.S. strengthens its position as a dominant force in the oil and gas industry, China will surpass the country as the biggest oil consumer worldwide.

Dominant Effect

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said that the growing presence of the U.S. manifests a “major upheaval for international market dynamics”. The significant growth in U.S. shale oil activity will also help it match Saudi Arabia’s production boom between 1966 and 1981. For this reason, above ground storage tanks will need to be more efficient and comply with several guidelines, including the API 653 tank repair standards.

The IEA expects that U.S. shale oil can be technically recovered to reach around 105 billion barrels by 2025, which was around 30% higher than its original forecast. It also adjusted its forecast output at 34% higher than the initial estimate, amounting to nine million barrels a day. As the country will become the top oil and gas producer, prices will remain low by the late 2020s.

Price Matters

The cost of oil by 2025 will amount to $83 per barrel, down from IEA’s previous expectation of $101. By 2040, the agency also lowered its price forecast to $111 from $125. For this reason, the projected low prices will help stimulate the demand for oil.

Despite the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, oil consumption in the U.S. and the rest of the world will reach more than 100 million barrels per day by 2025. Oil and gas producers in the U.S. should invest in storage solutions and other contingency measures, as output and demand would surge in the future.