Moisture Short in One-third of State Soils ATHENS, Ga. — Despite recent rains, extreme drought conditionsreturned to central Georgia last week. The southern third of the state is still in severedrought. The rest of the state, except the northwest, is having mild to moderate drought.Conditions are near normal in the northwest.Regions in severe to extreme drought need 8.5 to 10 inches of rain to end the drought. Precipitation (inches), Jan-1 to Jun-29 Deviation from Normal (1961-1990) Source: Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network(For full-size map, click here.) For More Information Evapotranspiration Will Increase You can read daily updates on the drought at the University of Georgia drought Web site (www.griffin.peachnet.edu/caes/drought/). Or contact your county extension agent. Rainfall data is from the UGA Automated Environmental Monitoring Network. Drought conditions are based on the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which is calculated by the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. Weekly rainfall totals include 0.74 inches at Dearing, 0.96 at Dublin, 0.71 at Midville, 0.51 at Statesboro and 0.52 at Vidalia. More than 3 inches was reported at Alma, Arlington, Dawson, Dixie, Pine Mountain, Savannah and Watkinsville. The Georgia Agricultural Statistical Service reports that moisture is short to very short in 33 percent of the state’s soils. Nearly two-thirds — 61 percent — of the soils have enough moisture for current needs. The cotton, peanut and soybean crops improved with the recent rains. The combined soil moisture loss through evaporation and transpiration (called evapotranspiration) was low last week. Only Calhoun, Midville, Savannah and Vidalia reported more than an inch of total loss of moisture. Total rainfall for June 22-28 ranged from 0.51 inches at Statesboro to 4.93 inches atPine Mountain. Many stations reported more than 1.5 inches during the week. However,rainfall in central Georgia was generally less than an inch. With the return to temperatures in the middle to upper 90s expected by the Fourth of July weekend, soil moisture loss through evapotranspiration will increase. It will exceed 1.5 inches this week if temperatures reach the 90s. While recent rains have brought helpful moisture to most of Georgia, the drought is still a concern, especially in the main farming regions. Even with recent rains, plants under stress don’t have a large soil moisture reserve. A hot week in the middle to upper 90s with little rain will quickly dry out the soils. Crops will then return to stress conditions.
By Mark CzarnotaUniversity of GeorgiaIn years past, at least six species of Chinese privet were usedin U.S. hedges and other landscape plantings. Native birds tookit from there, making the plant all too familiar in the Southeast.The black berries of this plant (Ligustrum sinense) becomenoticeable in late fall, and many birds relish them. In fact, ouravian friends have deposited Chinese privet all over. People willfind seedlings of it growing just about anywhere.Chinese privet can reach heights of 20 feet. In the Southeast,panicles of white flowers show up in mid to late spring. Mostpeople find the “fragrance” repulsive.JunglesFortunately, young seedlings are fairly easy to remove by hand.In unmanaged areas, however, Chinese privet grows unchecked andcan often form near-complete thickets, outcompeting most plants.This lack of diversity in the plant population makes mostecologists cringe. Many people are concerned about thesethickets. They’d like to see shifts to native plants thatincrease biodiversity while still providing homes and food forwildlife.One of the best ways to get rid of privet is to burn it. A hotfire will kill plants less than 4 feet tall, but larger ones willusually survive. In many places, though, burning is restricted orbanned.ChoicesThis leaves two other options: physical removal and herbicides.Physical removal can be as simple as digging up the plant with apick and shovel. On larger plants, this can be a workout for eventhe fittest of people. And in big, established thickets, removalmay require using heavy equipment.Physical removal is immediate, but it’s very hard to get everybit of every single plant. Like many plants, Chinese privet canregrow from just a piece of root.Herbicides can be used by themselves or in combination withphysical removal. Foliar products can be sprayed over-the-top. Astudy reported this summer showed that 6 ounces of a productcontaining at least 41 percent active glyphosate mixed with agallon of water provided greater than 90-percent control for atleast three years.ComboApplying a herbicide to cut stumps can keep privet fromregrowing, too. Products that do this well are those containingglyphosate (Roundup and many others, with at least 41 percentactive ingredient) or triclopyr (Garlon or Brush-B-Gon).To use either, first cut privet to the ground. Then spray the cutstems with either a full-strength product or a half-strengthherbicide-and-water solution.If regrowth appears, wait until the shoots are 6 to 12 incheslong and spray them with a solution of about 6 ounces ofglyphosate (41 percent active ingredient) per gallon of water.With any postemergence herbicide, make sure the mixture doesn’tcontact desirable plants. And always read and follow labelinstructions when using pesticides.Once the privet has been removed, consider planting shrubs orsmall trees that are native to the area. Some of my favoritenatives are common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius),common pawpaw (Asimina triloba), arrowwood viburnum(Viburnum dentatum) and spicebush (Lindera benzoin).(Mark Czarnota is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)
5. Spread a thin layer of composted organic mulch to blanket the soil. Cover an area at least as large as the branch spread. Mulch is nature’s way of recycling valuable materials, but be careful of pests hitching a ride.6. Aerate soils if they’re compacted and poorly drained. It’s critical not to damage tree roots living in the soil. Saturated and dense soils suffocate roots and help root diseases.7. Conservatively fertilize with any essential element which is in short supply within the soil. Nitrogen should be used sparingly, especially under large, mature trees and around newly planted trees. Use very slow release fertilizers. 8. Watering may be needed where soils are cool but not frozen, and there has been little precipitation. Winter droughts need treatment with water the same as summer droughts, except it’s much easier to overwater in winter.Trees sense changing seasons by temperature, by a dormancy timer in the leaves and buds and by the amount of light they receive. Old leaves, buds and inner bark all have pigment sensors which read the seasons. As days shorten in fall, one pigment called phytochrome sends a message across the tree to shut down for winter.Getting ready for winter in an organized way is called senescence. Senescence in trees is an ordered shutting down of summer growth and the conservation of valuable resources. Senescence brings both fall colors and renewed spring growth.Many materials collected or manufactured by a tree during the growing season are withdrawn from soon-to-be-shed and dead leaves. Tree waste materials are left behind. The last bit of tree food is stockpiled in the living cells of the outer annual growth rings. Twigs, branches and roots become collection sites and warehouses of materials needed for another season to come.Within the tree, biological doors and windows are being closed and locked. From the moment last spring’s green leaves expanded and began to make food, winter dormancy has been the designed end. The process of spring and summer growth reset and started a dormancy timer that hurries tree preparations for winter.A tree-filled landscape in late fall and winter can be mistakenly thought to be asleep. Fall and winter trees are not sleeping, but are simply still — truly counting the days until spring.Most of the growing points in the tree are protected inside overcoats called buds. Each growing point waits for a correct message to signal a new season of growth. Only then will it be apparent whether a tree has put aside and saved enough resources to respond to the new season of growth.Trees are investments that require a small amount of care. For the sake of your tree’s quality of life and your own, take a few minutes to winterize your tree. For trees, wonderful springs come from well-tended fall and winter.For more information about tree health care, contact a professional arborist or community forester.(Kim D. Coder is a professor of tree biology and health care with the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.) By Kim CoderUniversity of GeorgiaAs winter approaches it’s time to winterize pipes, cars and homes. Have you winterized your trees yet? Trees stand in the face of cold, drying winds, ice storms and deicing salts. Food reserves must be carefully conserved for the coming needs of spring. Water continues to escape trees. Any creature needing a winter meal nibbles on resting buds and twigs. Trees stand alone against all circumstances that winter can generate.Winter also is a time of serious change and reorganization within a tree. Many trees won’t survive to grow in another spring. You can do little things to make trees more effective and efficient at surviving a hard winter. A few small investments now can pay off in a large way, yielding a healthy, structurally sound tree.The “Big 8 List” of things to do to winterize your tree: 1. Remove or correct structural branch faults and deadwood that are clearly visible. Make small pruning cuts that minimize any exposure of the central heartwood core. 4. Remove new sprouts growing at the tree base or along stems and branches. Don’t over-prune green tissues. Pruning should conserve as many living branches as possible with only a few selective cuts. 2. Properly prune off branches that will touch the ground when loaded with rain and snow. Foliage and branches that are in contact with soil can invite pests and problems. 3. Remove damaged and declining twigs, branches and bark. Don’t leave pests food and shelter for the winter.
Humid weather, high rainfall and nutrient-deficient soils are just a few of the challenges you might face as a gardener new to Georgia. But University of Georgia Cooperative Extension specialists and agents agree there are also upsides to gardening in the Peach State.If you recently moved to Georgia and want to start a garden, you need to forget everything you know about gardening, says Extension horticulturist Paul Thomas. No longer can you stick a plant in the ground and expect it to grow.Clay and sandThe most noticeable difference between Georgia and other states is the soil. The red Piedmont clay is hard to miss, especially if you live in north Georgia. In a rainy winter, it holds too much water, which can suffocate plants. In the summer it will become rock hard if it’s not amended.The sandy Coastal Plains soil of the South is fairly reasonable in the winter but requires more irrigation and, therefore, twice as much fertilizer in the summer than what’s needed in the North.“Neither of these two soils are anything like growing in the heavy organic soils of the Midwest or the rocky clay soils of the Northeast,” Thomas said. “Here, you absolutely need to add soil amendments every year.”Cherokee County Extension agent Paul Pugliese says the first thing to do is get a soil test, which will provide a report of your soil’s pH and what nutrients it lacks.Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can amend the soil. Bob Westerfield, an Extension horticulturist, suggests mixing 4 to 6 inches of good organic matter with the existing soil on land that has never been worked.“One of the challenges a lot of folks don’t realize is that adding organic matter is not a one-time deal, it’s an annual thing,” Pugliese said. Georgia’s climate breaks down organic matter very quickly, so it always has to be replenished.Mulch, often used as decoration in the North, is vital for plant survival in the South. Using 4 to 5 inches of composted leaves, pine straw or bark chips will help reduce evaporation rates and high soil temperatures in the summer.Environmental pressuresUnfortunately, Georgia’s climate is perfect for insects and diseases. High humidity and an average rainfall of 50-plus inches a year create the perfect breeding ground for pests. Pugliese says new gardeners will have to learn to lower their expectations because it is not easy growing plants in the “disease capital of the world.”Irrigating from underneath plants rather than applying water from the top is the best way to keep leaves from getting too wet and becoming susceptible to diseases, Westerfield said.More environmental pressures mean more work. Thomas recommends starting small to determine how many hours it will take you to maintain a garden. Also, he says, county Extension agents can give recommendations for the best ways to treat insects and diseases.Good timingAlthough garden centers are starting to put out plants and the temperature may seem warm, it may still be too early to plant. Westerfield’s rule of thumb is to go by the soil temperature.For summer plants, the soil temperature should be 55 to 65 degrees before planting.Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables will ripen more quickly at higher temperatures. The best time to harvest is when produce is still slightly immature, which tricks the plant into reproducing and results in better flavor. Choose plants wiselyThe most important thing is to be familiar with the types of plants adapted to Georgia’s environment, Pugliese said.Ornamental plants such as lilacs, certain roses and red twig dogwoods that grow well in the North will die here. Georgia also usually has insufficient chilling hours for fruits that require a certain amount of time in the cold to perform well.“If you are planting a blueberry [bush], or an apple, a pear or a peach [tree], use cultivars that are adapted and bred for Georgia,” Thomas said.Thousands of shrubs and plants do grow well in Georgia. Take a look at cold hardy or heat zone maps to choose plants more adapted to the climate. Extension publications can also provide information on plants well suited for Georgia.Benefits to gardening in GeorgiaThere are some plus sides to gardening in Georgia. First, you will be able to enjoy a longer growing season. Secondly, you may be able to do multiple plantings and enjoy more than one crop cycle.Another benefit is the wide range of plants to choose from.“Overall, we can grow the majority of vegetables that people see in the grocery store or have wanted to grow,” Westerfield said.Both Thomas and Westerfield agree despite its frustrations, gardening can be therapeutic and provide excellent personal time. Thomas says that despite spending 5 to 10 hours a week in the garden it is, “absolutely worth it!”
Wrap each one individually in tissue or cloth and place all of them in a mailing tube or box with additional padding. Include a note with your name, the town and county where they were collected and the date of collection.Ship the cicada sample to the Georgia Natural History Museum, University of Georgia, Dr. Cecil Smith, 178 Natural History Building, Athens, Ga., 30602. A science fiction enthusiast, Mark Hurley thought he had found the mother ship when he heard the sound resonating from the woods surrounding his Butts County home. He was disappointed to find the sound was actually the song of thousands of bugs. The 13-year cicadas are crawling out of their hibernation across Georgia, just long enough to procreate. They will be active for the next six weeks. During that time they will have countless Georgians saying, “What is that sound?”Hurley finally saw a live one. “I came home one day and found them lying on the driveway,” he said. “The birds were having a feast.”Plant eatersCicadas are flying, plant-sucking insects. Adult cicadas grow as long as two inches and have prominent wide-set eyes, short antennae and clear wings held roof-like over their abdomen. Annual cicadas, known for making the distinct summertime sound, are green with black eyes. Periodical cicada adults have vibrant red eyes and orange veined wings.Periodical cicada species are synchronized; almost all of them mature into adults in the same year.Loud singersThey are best known for their strange, piercing song, which the males make using special structures called tymbals found on the abdomen. “These cicadas are pretty unusual. It is very unique to live underground for 13 years and then all emerge together, mate, lay eggs and repeat the cycle,” said Nancy Hinkle, an entomologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.If you see periodical cicadas in the coming weeks, take a good look. Remember, you won’t have the chance to see another one until 2024.Collect and mail themIf you do see them, the Georgia Natural History Museum would like to know. It is accepting 13-year cicada specimens from residents across the state. To participate, collect at least six adult cicadas. “If the cicadas are not already dead, place them in the freezer overnight to kill them compassionately,” Hinkle said.
In collaboration with James Anderson, an associate professor in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Paula Mellom and her team in the University of Georgia Mary Frances Early College of Education helped develop and deliver a training session for 17 agricultural education and science teachers from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences and the Harold S. Vincent High School in Milwaukee.By demonstrating the strength of different perspectives through this activity at a two-day professional development (PD) training session for teachers, Mellom — who serves as interim director of the UGA Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education (CLASE) — and her team were able to help educators connect to their subject areas and enhance students’ problem-solving skills.At the end of July, Anderson approached Mellom and her team about planning and implementing an online PD workshop on culturally responsive pedagogy for the teachers in his project, which is part of a four-year, $300,000 grant awarded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Anderson’s project will train 36 secondary educators to develop 180 culturally responsive agriculture and life sciences (ALS) lessons to help make urban agriculture curricula more meaningful and relevant to students. By creating a national dialogue among teachers, Anderson hopes to enhance students’ problem-solving skills, foster student identity expressions, and increase the number of students pursuing ALS or related careers.“A lot of the initiatives related to agricultural literacy, health, nutrition and 21st-century issues are tied to our nontraditional students in suburban and urban areas,” said Anderson. “What happens is we have teachers who have backgrounds in traditional agriculture teaching students who don’t have backgrounds or interests in that area, so the impetus for this project is to train teachers who will teach and engage the new generation of agriculture workers.”Despite a short turnaround time, Mellom was confident they could rise to the challenge since her team had recently completed four virtual foundational institutes during the summer.“When James asked us to lead the PD in August, we were prepared to do a three-week turnaround because we just finished shifting all of our summer foundational institutes for teachers from face-to-face to online,” said Mellom. “When the pandemic started in March, we had the luxury of time to shift our thinking about how to provide quality PD in a virtual way.”The experience of conducting intensive 30-hour trainings afforded the CLASE team, and the 191 participating educators, the opportunity to practice tools and strategies for effective instruction and engaging in PD in a virtual space.By implementing culturally responsive pedagogy into their lesson plans, teachers prepared by the project can identify students’ unique cultural strengths and promote academic achievement and career attainment in the classroom.This student-centered approach calls for more interactive and conversation-based learning — which is where Mellom and her team come in. Along with Jodi Weber, associate director of professional development of CLASE, and Rebecca Hixon, associate director of program development and research of CLASE, Mellom conducted two days of professional development training using a variety of online tools including Zoom, Padlet and Google Docs.The two days of training were separated by two weeks during which participants were given readings and assignments to discuss and analyze during their second meeting. During these sessions, Mellom’s team challenged participants to think creatively, collaboratively and analytically.For one activity, the teachers were separated into different groups and assigned several vignettes on agriculture and farming to read. Each member was then asked to highlight any key phrases or words in these passages that evoked a strong emotion, whether it be anger, happiness or nostalgia. Once they were finished, the teachers came back together as a group to compose a poem from these highlighted phrases.“What’s beautiful about this is that each group had the same six vignettes, and every person in each group read a different one,” said Hixon. “You’re seeing these poems created from the same six stories, but not one of the resulting poems was the same. It was so powerful to see how each individual resonated with different parts of the vignettes. The poems they created all represented cultural diversity in agriculture, as well as each teacher’s personal connection to what it means to be in agriculture.”Joint productive activity (JPA) is the cornerstone of CLASE’s PD work. According to Mellom, the model positively impacts not just culturally and linguistically diverse students but all students in the classroom. By promoting emotionally safe environments, teachers can help students increase their social-emotional skills, as well as their linguistic and academic development.This focus on collaborative learning can be applied to any and all subjects, including agricultural education, to help build connections. Most importantly, JPAs allow students to hear other voices in the classroom, so they can learn and connect to content on a deeper level. Anderson hopes that by implementing these models into agriculture curriculum, students can feel more engaged with the subject and understand how it relates to their everyday lives.“What I love about our work is that this is not something extra that teachers just do for 30 minutes at the end of the day, as a special way for students to get in touch with their feelings and get to know each other,” said Weber. “This is how you teach math. This is how you teach every content area that kids are engaged in. And that is how this pedagogy goes beyond the classroom and into everyday life.”By joining forces, Mellom’s team in the College of Education and Anderson’s team in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences brought their unique perspectives to the table to help teachers better serve and retain students who are interested in agriculture.“I’m just grateful for the opportunity to partner with James and with his teachers because I’m learning all kinds of things from James who is an agriculture educator focused on racial and social equity,” said Mellom. “Blending his expertise with our expertise and seeing those intersections is what makes this so exciting. When you open up spaces to hear people, that’s when you learn.”After the project is complete, Anderson, who is part of the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, plans to expand his teacher trainings into an ongoing academy that prepares agriculture educators as well as any other teachers who are interested in incorporating agriculture into their science classes. By doing so, he can help educators address the health and agricultural needs of their communities as they change in real time. And while the PD is just a small portion of Anderson’s project, he is interested in pursuing future partnerships and collaborations with Mellom’s team.“The grant is about developing a community of practice where teachers are creating curriculum for urban agricultural programs,” said Anderson. “I am looking for other ways to work with Mellom’s group, beyond just this professional development activity. I think this space is something that is needed, and I hope to continue helping teachers develop curriculum as our needs in the world change.”To learn more about the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, visit alec.caes.uga.edu.
The Red Hat Society: Red Hats Abound atCreative Habitat at Ben FranklinBurlington, VT — July 19, 2004 Directly in the front door, and to the right, Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin has created a product vignette dedicated solely to the ladies of The Red Hat Society. Founded by a group of women in California, The Red Hat Society celebrates the coming of age for women 50 and over, by wearing fancy red hats and bright purple outfits.Creative Habitat has “caught the Red Hatitude fever,” agreed Mark and Michael Dowling, co-owners. “From straw red hats to purple boa wraps, weve a great selection of fun essential products for the ladies of The Red Hat Society,” Mark noted.Sue Ellen Cooper, Queen Mother of The Red Hat Society, decided to celebrate a friend’s birthday by giving her a poem by British author, Jenny Joseph, entitled Warning. The poem begins, When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn’t go and doesnt suit me.” The poem continues with all the wonderful freeing activities she will partake when she grows old.Local members of The Red Hat Society can create their own look. Creative Habitat has a complete section of Red Hat Society products, including scrap booking essentials, accessories for hats, decorations, wrapping paper, jazzy purple t-shirts, and, of course, the boas,” Mark continued.Today, there are 25,000 chapters in 21 countries, with an estimated 600,000 members. For more information about The Red Hat Society and local chapters in Chittenden County, please check out the Society’s web site at www.redhatsociety.com(link is external).Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin, formerly Ben Franklin, has been owned and operated by Mark and Michael Dowling since 1991. Creative Habitat is an independent store in the Burlington community, continuing in the family tradition of quality home design, crafts, and framing. Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin is located on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, telephone 802-862-0646. You may also visit them on the web at: www.creativehabitatvt.com(link is external).
Vermonts minimum wage rate will rise to $7 per hour as stated below.Note: Effective since July 1, 1989, “if the minimum wage rate established by the U.S. Government is greater than the rate established for Vermont for any year, the Vermont minimum wage rate shall be the rate established by the U.S. Government”.)MINIMUM WAGE, effective thru 12/31/2004: $6.75 per hour workedMINIMUM WAGE, effective 01/01/2005: $7.00 per hour worked.Employers engaged in the hotel, motel, tourist place and restaurant industry shall receive a tip credit for tips actually earned and retained by *service or tipped employees. For service and tipped employees the basic wage rate** will be:Minimum Base Rate …… Maximum Tip Credit AllowedCurrent Rate, eff. 1/1/2004: $3.58/hr. …… $3.17/hr.Rate, eff. 1/1/2005: $3.65/hr. …… $3.35/hr.*Service or Tipped Employees — is defined as “All those, in either hotels, motels, tourist places, and restaurants who customarily and regularly receives more than $30.00 per month in tips for direct and personal customer service.”** The basic wage rate is the minimum required employer contribution towards the minimum wage. If an employee does not receive sufficient tips in the workweek to at least achieve the minimum wage for all hours worked that week, the employer must make up the difference.
Alpine Skier Bode Miller Invests in New England “better for you” snack-food companywith plans to expand distribution nationallyBeaver Creek, CO (December 4, 2008) Bode Miller, Olympic Skier and two-time WorldCup Overall Champion, has invested in Madhouse Munchies (MHM), an up and comingsnack-food company based out of Burlington, Vermont. Miller, who recently purchasedan organic farm in Sugar Hill, NH, plans to supply MHM with potatoes in the future forgreater quality assurance and reduced -transportation costs. The announcement cametoday in Beaver Creek, CO as Miller prepares to compete for gold in the 2008 men’sWorld Cup Alpine Ski races.”If you produce a great product, it doesn’t matter that you’re the underdog, you don’tconcern yourself with that, you know you have something great and it’s not hard tochallenge the Superpowers at that point,” states Miller. In announcing the partnership,Miller and Brad Hall CEO of Madhouse Munchies, also kicked off an Internet contest(www.bodegonemad.com(link is external) ) for people all over theworld to impact a campaign bringing the two entities together. Prizes will be awardedfor best script and best video including a Madhouse Munchies van filled with a year’ssupply of chips, a ski vacation at Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont and a pair of skiesautographed by Mr. Miller. “We’re really excited about this new partnership with Bodeand through the marketing campaign, hope to engage the public in creatively takingMadhouse to a whole new level,” states Hall.Since 1996, Madhouse Munchies has been committed to making chips that are fun,simple and healthy. From their humble beginnings hand-slicing fresh New Englandpotatoes in a small Vermont kitchen, the company’s product line has expanded to nowinclude Sea Salted, Mesquite BBQ, Sea Salt & Vinegar, and Creamy French Onion PotatoChips, and stone ground White and Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. Madhouse Munchies iscommitted to 100% all-natural ingredients, using pure mono unsaturated canola oil, andto making a healthy, great-tasting potato chip. For more information, to find out moreabout the contest or to enroll for a free bag of chips, visit www.madhousemunchies.com(link is external) or call 1-888-MADHOUS.###
‘Cheap Solar in India Sounds Death Knell for Coal Imports’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Tim Buckley and Jai Sharda for Renew Economy:The obstacles to India’s ambitious energy transformation are like everything about India: vast, interrelated, and complex. Yet momentum has a way of rolling over obstacles, and – borrowing from Hindu mythological iconography – Prime Minister Narendra Modi has harnessed the “seven horses” of energy to push the government’s fast-growing electricity-sector transition.A year into the program, all the evidence suggests momentum is building on a number of key fronts. We’ve published a paper today that explores this phenomenon in detail.The double-digit decline in the price of domestic solar in India has accelerated into 2015 with new power purchase agreements being signed at record lows of just over Rs5/kWh, fixed flat for 25 years (that is immediately deflationary).Solar pricing has decreased to such an extent that it is now cheaper than new imported thermal coal-fired power plants at Rs6/kWh. This new economic reality means it is financially irrational to choose to build another power plant fueled by imported coalThe death knell for the seaborne traded coal industry has sounded.Full article: Cheap solar in India sounds death knell for coal imports, Australia’s included