KXEO Sports Report 9/21/2023 – KXEO

The Kansas City Chiefs are just a couple of days away from their Week 3 match up with the Chicago Bears. Head coach Andy Reid announced five players who are battling injuries yesterday (Wednesday). The collection of players includes running back Isiah Pacheco, receivers Richie James and Kadarius Toney, as well as linebackers Nick Bolton…

Meet Bihar’s Crorepati Sabziwala: Kaushlendra Kumar’s Journey – IIM Passout Decided To Start Vegetable Business, Then Miracles Happened | India News | Zee News

Kaushalendra Kumar proudly embraces his Bihari identity as the core of his being, making him an inspirational icon for Bihar’s startup ecosystem. Hailing from the scenic district of Nalanda in Bihar, Kaushalendra’s journey began at a Navodaya Vidyalaya, where he laid the foundation for his remarkable future. Upon completing his school education, he pursued agricultural engineering in the vibrant state of Gujarat. Though his heart yearned for an admission to the prestigious IIT, fate had other plans, and he couldn’t crack the entrance exam. Undeterred by this setback, Kaushalendra set his sights on the next challenge – a Master’s in Business Administration from the prestigious IIM Ahmedabad, where he earned a coveted gold medal.

Choosing a Different Path

Rather than succumbing to the allure of a corporate job, Kaushalendra took a path less traveled and decided to return to his roots in Bihar. Fuelled by a passionate vision, he embarked on a mission to bridge the gap between vegetable vendors and the market. Through his entrepreneurial venture, he brought this vision to life, and today, his company boasts an impressive multi-million-dollar turnover.

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Empowering Rural India with Hope and Aspirations

Kaushalendra, like every bright-eyed child from rural India, faced numerous challenges on his path to success. His unwavering determination and refusal to accept defeat fueled his resolve to make a difference. Witnessing the lack of respect and recognition that Bihar and its people received outside their home state, Kaushalendra was resolute in changing this perception.

From Agriculture to Agri-Startup

Following his studies in agricultural engineering, Kaushalendra commenced his professional journey in Junagadh, Gujarat. Subsequently, he received an offer to work as an irrigation system designer at an Israeli MNC. Driven by self-reliance and ingenuity, he completed the project ahead of schedule without seeking much external assistance. Impressed by his competence, his superiors relocated him to a small village in Andhra Pradesh, where a project was progressing at a sluggish pace.

Turning Failure into a Turning Point

Though Kaushalendra achieved academic excellence, the inability to crack the IIT entrance exam left his father disheartened, especially when a friend’s son secured admission to the prestigious institute. Nevertheless, Kaushalendra firmly believes that his failure to crack the IIT exam was serendipitous, leading him towards the opportunities meant for his unique journey.

Taking a Leap of Faith and Founding a Company

Unsatisfied with his job and seeking positive change, Kaushalendra hired a young Muslim boy with limited knowledge of Telugu, paying him an equal salary to serve as an interpreter. Fearlessly relying on his own intellect, he revamped the entire project without seeking external technical assistance. While some seniors were skeptical, Kaushalendra proved his mettle and overcame all challenges. When his request for a promotion at his original office was denied, he chose to resign without fear, taking the first step towards transforming his life.

Founding a Company with His Brother

In 2008, alongside his brother, Kaushalendra established “Kaushalya Foundation,” a company that facilitated connections between vegetable vendors in a retail chain. The company also focused on maintaining high-quality services for its partners. Though farmers initially had reservations, Kaushalendra’s unwavering efforts and dedication earned their trust. Today, his company enjoys a multi-million-dollar turnover and continues to thrive.

Kaushalendra’s extraordinary journey from a humble village in Bihar to becoming an IIM gold medalist and a successful entrepreneur is a testament to the power of determination and hard work. Beyond creating a flourishing business, he has empowered rural India by inspiring hope and aspirations in countless others.

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Swank Farms Experience opens Oct. 1 with HopTober Fest

As the days become shorter, trees start to change their colors and the crisp of fall appears in the morning air, that means many San Benito County residents’ favorite seasonal pastimes are on the horizon. That includes the many events, activities and farmstand shopping opportunities on tap at Swank Farms just northeast of Hollister.

Swank Farms, which offers the autumnal Swank Farms Experience, will open to visitors on Oct. 1, kicking off the season with HopTober Fest—a celebration of craft beers featuring local breweries, live music and all the farm’s family-friendly games and activities. 

Dick Swank, owner of Swank Farms, said this year’s fall experience at the 4751 Pacheco Pass Highway venue plans to offer visitors an increasing variety of activities. On a recent tour of the farm, Swank pointed out the corn maze—with a new design this year—as well as the you-pick sunflower garden, pumpkin patch, goat pen (where younger visitors can go “fishing for goats”), cow train and a variety of kids’ activities, including Slide Mountain and two giant jumping pillows. 

New at Swank Farms Experience this year is a Trial of Lights toward the rear of the property, a nighttime excursion that will include family-friendly frights as Halloween approaches. 

“The goal is to have a really fun experience,” Swank said. 

Parents will have plenty of things to do as well, from live music throughout the season, to photo opportunities and local food and beverages, Swank explained. 

Swank has owned and operated Swank Farms for about 24 years—much of that time with his late wife, Bonnie, who designed the farm’s new barn that serves as an event center and gathering spot for visitors. 

“Fishing for goats” is one of many activities at the Swank Farm Experience on Pacheco Pass Highway during the fall season. Photo: Michael Moore

For HopTober Fest, patrons will be able to purchase tasting tickets that give them an opportunity to sample from a variety of beers crafted by local brewers—including Swank Farms’ own beverages.  

In addition to the fall season experience, Swank Farms continues to grow and sell produce year-round on just over 100 acres, according to the farm’s website. They sell their produce at a seasonal open-air market and farmers markets throughout the Bay Area and Central Coast. 

The venue also hosts weddings and other events throughout the year. 

“It’s been fun. The community has really supported us, and we appreciate it,” Dick Swank said. 

Swank Farms Experience is open 10am-10pm on weekends and other select days through the end of October, starting Oct. 1. Tickets are available at the farm and on the Swank Farms website, . 

Dick Swank walks through Swank Farms’ pumpkin patch to observe how the crop is coming along before the farm opens to visitors on Oct. 1.
Photo: Michael Moore

Fantasy football superflex rankings 2023: Week 4 QB, RB, WR, TE – ESPN

13. Joe Burrow, Bengals (QB8): Still looks compromised, but how can a fantasy manager sit him?

14. Anthony Richardson, Colts (QB9): Concussion cost him Week 3, but he says he will play this week.

15. Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals (WR4)

16. Travis Kelce, Chiefs (TE1)

17. Keenan Allen, Chargers (WR5): With Mike Williams (knee) out for the season, expect more targets, and defensive attention.

18. Stefon Diggs, Bills (WR6)

19. Bijan Robinson, Falcons (RB3): Nary a rushing touchdown so far, but they are coming. Lots of them are coming.

20. Tony Pollard, Cowboys (RB4): Leads all running backs with 74 touches.

21. Travis Etienne Jr., Jaguars (RB5)

22. Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (QB10): Perhaps another trip to London will get this offense back on track.

23. Russell Wilson, Broncos (QB11): Perhaps you want to ignore him, but Broncos visit the Bears this week!

24. Justin Fields, Bears (QB12): Um, did you see the Broncos allow 70 points? Something has to give in this matchup.

25. Deebo Samuel, 49ers (WR7)

26. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions (WR8)

27. Geno Smith, Seahawks (QB13)

28. Brock Purdy, 49ers (QB14): Purdy tossed three touchdown passes against Cardinals late last season.

29. Daniel Jones, Giants (QB15): Doesn’t have to face 49ers D this week. Good time to invest.

30. Deshaun Watson, Browns (QB16)

31. Jordan Love, Packers (QB17): Only one QB who has started all three games has fewer completions (Ryan Tannehill).

32. Jimmy Garoppolo, Raiders (QB18): Concussion is reminder that Garoppolo is not the most durable fellow.

33. Derrick Henry, Titans (RB6): Have to assume he bounces back from terrible Week 3 outing. Do not panic yet.

34. Kyren Williams, Rams (RB7)

35. Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions (RB8)

36. Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins (WR9): Concussion cost him Week 3 as well, but Dolphins expect him to return this week.

37. A.J. Brown, Eagles (WR10): No complaints about his targets after Monday night.

38. Chris Olave, Saints (WR11)

39. DeVonta Smith, Eagles (WR12)

40. Kenny Pickett, Steelers (QB19)

41. Dak Prescott, Cowboys (QB20): Only one interception so far, but this does not look like the standout 2021 version of Prescott.

42. Matthew Stafford, Rams (QB21)

43. Josh Jacobs, Raiders (RB9): He’s getting all the volume, but not much else. He’s had fun versus Chargers before, though.

44. Kenneth Walker III, Seahawks (RB10)

45. Aaron Jones, Packers (RB11): Hamstring injury has cost him a pair of games, but this week looks better, even on Thursday night.

46. Puka Nacua, Rams (WR13): Fantasy managers disappointed he saw only seven targets on Monday.

47. DK Metcalf, Seahawks (WR14)

48. Alexander Mattison, Vikings (RB12): Looked solid in Week 3, so perhaps he keeps most of the volume, even with Cam Akers aboard.

49. Miles Sanders, Panthers (RB13)

50. C.J. Stroud, Texans (QB22): Averaging better than 300 passing yards per week, and still no interceptions.

51. Jared Goff, Lions (QB23)

52. Bryce Young, Panthers (QB24)

53. Sam Howell, Commanders (QB25)

54. Jameis Winston, Saints (QB26): Likely fill-in while Derek Carr (shoulder) heals up, and certainly not lacking in receiving options.

55. Tee Higgins, Bengals (WR15): One good game, two rough ones. He may be slipping out of WR2 status.

56. CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (WR16): No need to worry yet. Touchdowns should be there soon.

57. Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (WR17)

58. Calvin Ridley, Jaguars (WR18): So many players facing former teams this week, and Ridley should be motivated.

59. Michael Pittman Jr., Colts (WR19)

60. Amari Cooper, Browns (WR20)

61. T.J. Hockenson, Vikings (TE2): Only seven players, regardless of position, have more receptions.

62. Mike Evans, Buccaneers (WR21): Touchdowns in each game so far, and it’s not exactly Tom Brady at quarterback.

63. Ryan Tannehill, Titans (QB27): Titans have to consider a QB change if Tannehill can’t play better.

64. Mac Jones, Patriots (QB28)

65. Baker Mayfield, Buccaneers (QB29)

66. Desmond Ridder, Falcons (QB30)

67. Joe Mixon, Bengals (RB14)

68. James Cook, Bills (RB15): Third in rushing yards, and he’s catching passes, but will touchdowns be a problem?

69. Raheem Mostert, Dolphins (RB16): Keep expectations in check since the Bills play far better defense than the Broncos.

70. Mark Andrews, Ravens (TE3)

71. Garrett Wilson, Jets (WR22): Overcame poor quarterback play last season, so do not give up on him yet.

72. Courtland Sutton, Broncos (WR23): Can reasonably ask which Broncos WR is the preferred one at this point.

73. Jerry Jeudy, Broncos (WR24)

74. Jakobi Meyers, Raiders (WR25)

75. Alvin Kamara, Saints (RB17): Suspension over, and we remind you Kamara has averaged 71 receptions in his six seasons.

76. James Conner, Cardinals (RB18): Downgrade in QB has clearly not hurt Conner’s effectiveness.

77. Zack Moss, Colts (RB19): Running great, will start again this week, but Jonathan Taylor should play soon.

78. Isiah Pacheco, Chiefs (RB20)

79. D’Andre Swift, Eagles (RB21): Perhaps Eagles really will let Swift get most of the touches while he is thriving.

80. Joshua Dobbs, Cardinals (QB31)

81. Zach Wilson, Jets (QB32)

82. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (WR26)

83. DJ Moore, Bears (WR27): Touchdown catches at the end of blowout losses still count for the same points.

84. George Pickens, Steelers (WR28): Modest production so far, but you know the best is pending.

85. Nico Collins, Texans (WR29)

86. Elijah Moore, Browns (WR30): Same number of targets as Amari Cooper so far.

87. Zay Flowers, Ravens (WR31): Only 10 players have more than his 21 receptions.

88. DeAndre Hopkins, Titans (WR32)

89. Brian Robinson Jr., Commanders (RB22)

90. Javonte Williams, Broncos (RB23)

91. Jerome Ford, Browns (RB24): Three touchdowns in two weeks, but he has left the door open for a timeshare.

92. Dameon Pierce, Texans (RB25)

93. Najee Harris, Steelers (RB26): The targets and receptions are not there, so this is not whom we expected.

94. Khalil Herbert, Bears (RB27)

95. Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots (RB28): Certainly has not looked like the 2022 version so far. Already slipped from RB2 status.

96. Rachaad White, Buccaneers (RB29)

97. De’Von Achane, Dolphins (RB30): Quiet the first two weeks, and now he is a superstar everyone covets. Interesting week ahead.

98. Terry McLaurin, Commanders (WR33)

99. Adam Thielen, Panthers (WR34): Another player looking to make a point versus his former team.

100. Christian Kirk, Jaguars (WR35)

101. Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (WR36)

102. Gabe Davis, Bills (WR37)

103. Marquise Brown, Cardinals (WR38)

104. George Kittle, 49ers (TE4)

105. Sam LaPorta, Lions (TE5): Yeah, it did not take long for this rookie to become a top fantasy option at his position.

106. Darren Waller, Giants (TE6)

107. Evan Engram, Jaguars (TE7): No Jaguar has more receptions, and no Jaguar has more receiving yards. Interesting.

108. Tank Dell, Texans (WR39)

109. Tutu Atwell, Rams (WR40)

110. Christian Watson, Packers (WR41)

111. Joshua Palmer, Chargers (WR42): Easy to forget he caught 72 passes last season, and now he moves up depth chart.

112. Jordan Addison, Vikings (WR43)

113. Ezekiel Elliott, Patriots (RB31): Seems like the type of fellow who would love to embarrass his former team.

114. Matt Breida, Giants (RB32): Someone has to run the ball until Saquon Barkley returns.

115. Zay Jones, Jaguars (WR44)

116. Kendrick Bourne, Patriots (WR45)

117. Drake London, Falcons (WR46)

118. Michael Thomas, Saints (WR47)

119. Jayden Reed, Packers (WR48)

120. Josh Downs, Colts (WR49)

121. Jahan Dotson, Commanders (WR50)

122. Roschon Johnson, Bears (RB33)

123. Tyler Allgeier, Falcons (RB34)

124. Breece Hall, Jets (RB35)

125. Jaylen Warren, Steelers (RB36)

126. Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles (RB37)

127. AJ Dillon, Packers (RB38)

128. Joshua Kelley, Chargers (RB39)

129. Justice Hill, Ravens (RB40)

130. DJ Chark Jr., Panthers (WR51)

131. Calvin Austin III, Steelers (WR52)

132. DeVante Parker, Patriots (WR53)

133. Darius Slayton, Giants (WR54)

134. Brandin Cooks, Cowboys (WR55)

135. Romeo Doubs, Packers (WR56)

136. Dallas Goedert, Eagles (TE8)

137. Pat Freiermuth, Steelers (TE9)

138. Kyle Pitts, Falcons (TE10)

139. Kareem Hunt, Browns (RB41)

140. Gary Brightwell, Giants (RB42)

141. Samaje Perine, Broncos (RB43)

142. Tyjae Spears, Titans (RB44)

143. Dalvin Cook, Jets (RB45)

144. Devin Singletary, Texans (RB46)

145. Gus Edwards, Ravens (RB47)

146. Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs (RB48)

147. Van Jefferson, Rams (WR57)

148. Robert Woods, Texans (WR58)

149. Treylon Burks, Titans (WR59)

The job Americans would most like to see replaced by robots

Robo-ump has been sold as a futuristic solution to an age-old problem: With a computer-powered strike zone, an afternoon at the park will never again be ruined by human error.

Tyler Le/Insider

Late into a Pennsylvanian summer night, with the score tied at 7, the Lexington Legends’ Jordan Pacheco takes a 1-2 pitch low and away without a second thought. But then, the umpire rings him up. Pacheco folds in two, grabbing his knees in disbelief. The missed call is so egregious it takes the announcer 20 seconds to realize what’s happened.

Like thousands of hitters before him, Pacheco turns back to argue his case. “It was just a heat-of-the-moment thing,” he tells me when I call him in July, two years after he shared the video clip of the call to Twitter. “I was like, ‘You can’t call that a strike!’ And he was like: ‘I have to. I’m sorry. You can talk to the technician who is in row 17 watching the game right now. You can yell at that guy. But don’t yell at me.'”

See: Pacheco’s final year as a player happened to coincide with an early test of Major League Baseball’s automated ball-strike system, aka the robo-ump. The man behind the plate that night was only the messenger. The called strike three had arrived in his ear via a headset, powered by technology from a radar-based ball-tracking company called TrackMan. “We knew that it wasn’t 100%, and they knew it wasn’t 100%,” Pacheco says. “It was definitely frustrating at the time because I was trying to work my way back to affiliate baseball and continue my dream.”

In 2020, MLB abandoned TrackMan and signed a six-year deal with Hawk-Eye Innovations. Owned by Sony, the UK-based Hawk-Eye has become the go-to rule-monitoring tech provider across international sports, powering FIFA’s goal-line reviews, NASCAR pit-road officiating, and much more. If the company’s professional-tennis line-challenge system had been around in the 1980s, John McEnroe may never have become “Superbrat.” Since 2021, under Hawk-Eye’s watch, the robo-ump has continued to move through minor-league ball, inching closer to the Show. 

At first glance, automating the strike zone seems like a no-brainer. In a survey of jobs Americans would most like to see replaced by robots, the umpire would surely rank near the top. Many a player and manager has been tossed for voicing objections based on an umpire’s eyesight or biases; many a fan has shouted, “open your eyes, Blue, you’re missing the game!” The robo-ump has been sold as a futuristic solution to an age-old problem: With a computer-powered zone, an afternoon at the park will never again be ruined by human error.

But replacing imperfect human judges slash punching bags with (near) perfect machines has proved to be a thorny challenge. The subjective has made a nasty habit of sneaking into the frame. And that’s before tackling a bigger question: What do we lose by taking human umps out of play? And an even bigger one, far less asked when we talk about automation: What do we gain? As I interviewed players, coaches, a member of the MLB league office, and even an employee at Hawk-Eye, something surprising kept happening: People spoke kindly of home-plate umps. As automation knocks on the big leagues’ door, some force — Nostalgia? Flaws in the system? Our own latent fear of being replaced by AI? — has the baseball world suddenly seeing Blue through rose-colored glasses.

As a young catcher, Pacheco hated umpires as much as the next guy. But he can’t help feeling empathy now. “They’re under a microscope, so I try not to get on them too much. I don’t know who would want to be an umpire nowadays,” he says. Especially now that every fan can umpire from home as they watch the strike-zone box on their TV, Pacheco adds, “They gotta be perfect.”

This season, the ABS system — powered by eight Hawk-Eye cameras furtively perched like surveillance systems above the stadium’s second deck — is being tested at all 30 Triple-A parks. Pacheco now serves as hitting coach for the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Colorado Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate. “It’s following me everywhere!” he says.

The real trouble of revolutions often comes once the fighting ends: What to do after you grab the throne? In baseball, the traditionalists sidelined the insurgent analyticists for decades, always citing “history” and “intangibility.” But then the nerds found valuable edges — first Billy Beane with his preference for getting on base instead of looking good in jeans, and then with the Astros who maniacally studied tracking data to create a futuristic blueprint for player development. By the time Houston raised its first banner in 2017, it was clear the revolutionaries had won. The game had changed.

But it turned out that watching America’s Pastime reduced to math was not a great way to pass time. League-wide stadium attendance dropped 14% from 2007 to 2019, and, along with every other sport save football, TV ratings are way down. Since the early 2000s, the average viewership of World Series games has halved

Robo-ump is a paradoxically progressive change that sets out to restore the game to the more action-packed glory of yesteryear.

As an MLB league official says on background, if someone were designing a sport from scratch, no one in their right mind would make it look like 2022 baseball. That’s why the league brought in massive, progressive reforms this season — including a pitch clock, larger bases, and a limit on pickoff attempts — all with the goal of recapturing the traditional feel of the game: to speed the pace of play, minimize walks and strikeouts, and maximize athletic plays like stolen bases, diving catches, and extra-base hits. Basically, to make baseball more watchable for the TikTok generation.

So far, it’s worked: The 2023 league-wide stolen-base rate has sprinted back to its 1980s level. The average game now takes only two hours and 39 minutes, down from a Ben Hurian three-hour, 11-minute 2021 peak. And the 147-year-old MLB made the Time100 Most Influential Companies this year.

Though robo-ump is sold as a more accurate future through technology, it’s also another paradoxically progressive change that sets out to restore the game to the more action-packed glory of yesteryear. The MLB league official says they hope that a shrunken, more consistent zone will decrease strikeouts and walks and will lead to more balls in play. Unfortunately, so far this year, Hawk-Eye’s ABS has added many more walks than the number of strikeouts it has removed. Those results are disappointing, the league official tells me, to say the least.

Founded by Paul Hawkins, who has a doctorate in artificial intelligence, in 2001 — the same year the iPod arrived — Hawk-Eye was originally conceived as an optical-tracking tool to enhance TV sports coverage. The first broadcast partner used it for cricket. But then, in 2006, Hawk-Eye became an official replay tool used by the tennis judges. Sony bought the company in 2011 for an undisclosed sum. Soon, English Premier League soccer, NASCAR, the Olympics, the Rugby World Cup, and golf’s European Tour were using Hawk-Eye in broadcasts and to increase the accuracy of human refs. Hawk-Eye had 12 cameras perched in all 30 MLB stadiums by opening day 2020, marking a watershed for the American market. The NFL began using Hawk-Eye to aid with replays the next year, and the NBA just signed a multiyear deal with Hawk-Eye this March.

Umpires 2
Hawk-Eye’s “average error is about 3 millimeters, less than the width of an M&M,” says Goltz. That level of accuracy has already leapfrogged humanity’s limits.

Tyler Le/Insider

As I connect with Justin Goltz, Hawk-Eye North America’s commercial director, he can’t get his camera working on Zoom. A former college pitcher, Goltz says he’s sure he’d be against ABS if he still played, because “the ambiguity of the strike zone probably works more in your favor” as a young pitcher without pinpoint control. “But as someone who now understands the nuances of the business of sports and baseball and the way they’re trending with legalized gambling and betting and objectivity playing a big part in making the game as fair and as accurate as possible, I’m a firm believer that it’s a step in the right direction,” he says. (The MLB league official tells me that legalized gambling has not been a factor in implementing ABS.) 

“The technology is there,” Goltz adds, explaining the intricacies of Hawk-Eye’s ball-tracking system, which uses high-performance cameras to triangulate an object’s trajectory. “Our average error is about 3 millimeters, less than the width of an M&M.” That level of accuracy has already leapfrogged humanity’s limits. But even Goltz acknowledges there’s still the issue of what zone all his company’s technology is legislating.

“There are additional layers to the problem that need to be solved,” he says. “How do you define the strike zone? Is it on a per-player basis? Is it a standard strike zone? Is it an oval-shaped strike zone? Is it a square-shaped strike zone?” Goltz explains that MLB is taking the lead in answering those subjective questions; Hawk-Eye just delivers the data.

I arrive at Sacramento’s Sutter Health Park on August 1, the MLB trade deadline, a predictably stressful day for Triple-A ballplayers. Still, the scene around the batting cage is just as you’d expect: music blaring, bats cracking, River Cats players in sleeveless cutoffs and giant sunglasses, an unbroken hum of trash talk. Where I am in the dugout, under a sliver of shade, stands a tablet on a tripod processing data. The hitting coach rears back and fires, the minor leaguer swings, and the tablet displays the ball’s launch angle, hit distance, and exit speed nearly instantaneously, all data to eventually be crunched. The days of vibes-based scouting and coaching died soon after “Moneyball” hit the bestseller list; we’re now living in baseball’s brave new world.

Tyler Fitzgerald, a 26-year-old shortstop, sits next to me after his round is done. The biggest difference he’s noticed with robo-ump is that the high fastball, a mainstay in the modern flamethrower’s arsenal, just never gets called a strike. Fitzgerald turns to a teammate who’s just come back from a stint with the San Francisco Giants. “How much higher do they call it in the bigs?” he asks. The guy holds his hand 6 inches apart. “Yeah, it’s a huge difference,” Fitzgerald says. According to FanGraphs, the high fastball was thrown 19% of the time in 2015 and rose to 27% of the time by 2021. But, with the ABS zone, “you can completely eliminate it,” Fitzgerald says, grinning. “It’s been awesome.” Most pitchers I talked to said they hated the new strike zone.

Rather than design ABS’s parameters to match the rulebook definition of the strike zone, MLB has tried to construct a zone that feels closer to the one players and fans have come to know. This is automation imitating humanity. Frustratingly, the subjective has infiltrated what initially felt like a technological problem: What does the perfect strike zone even look like anyway? The 2D design they’ve landed on for this year’s test is small — 17 inches wide, with the top set to 51% of the batter’s measured height, closer to the waist than the shoulders when standing straight, and the bottom at 27% of the batter’s height. (Robo-ump’s trickle-down effects on batting stances will be fascinating; we may never again see a Bagwell crouch.) Earlier tests had a 19-inch width and used a 3D zone, but that meant curveballs that were bouncing could be called strikes if they’d technically clipped the front of the plate. On September 5, MLB changed the zone again, using Hawk-Eye’s tracking data to measure the top and bottom of the zone based on where a hitter’s knees and belt were on a rolling average over past plate appearances. This new zone spans from the height of their back knee to a baseball’s-worth above the waist. When asked to explain the change, the MLB league official tells me pitchers and hitters preferred a physical reference for the zone. Automation imitating humanity is harder than it looks.

But most surprising of all, Triple-A hitters and pitchers alike tell me the zone varies depending on the stadium

“It’s different everywhere,” says Miguel Yajure, a pitcher for River Cats.

“It changes from field to field. We were just in OKC and it was a little bit lower, and then we come back home and it’s a little bit higher,” Pacheco, the Isotopes hitting coach, says. “It’s kind of another aspect of the game that we just gotta adjust to. It’s kind of like having an umpire, I guess.”

When I mention these gripes to Goltz, he tells me that while Hawk-Eye tries to place the cameras in consistent locations at every stadium, “you can’t have necessarily the same exact longitude and latitude of every single camera in every single stadium.” He adds, “Yeah, I’d have to look at the data to understand why players feel that way and understand whether it’s a placebo effect or whether it’s a true environmental issue.”

An hour before first pitch, I run into the Reno Aces’ 31-year-old cleanup hitter Phillip Evans out behind the center-field wall. Evans has played in 121 MLB games, and he says it’s damaging to have a different definition of a strike in Triple-A and the big leagues. “Especially with how much movement there is every year, for the guys going up and down every 10 to 15 days, that’s going to hurt these guys,” he says. “You’re here to get back to the Show and get ready to help the team win, right? So why have a completely different set of rules?” For Evans, it’s hard not to feel at the mercy of a mad scientist thousands of miles away. “We’re just like guinea pigs down here.”

If the bio for @UmpireAuditor (“The worst calls of the day, every day”) didn’t give a sense of the 85,000-follower X account’s view toward human umpiring, the banner photo showing that they’d been blocked by the MLB Umpires Association account bangs the point home. When he’s not dunking on Blue, Dylan Yep, the man behind the account, does data-analysis work for a couple of public-defender offices in California. “I played in college a little bit, but I was honestly mediocre on my best day,” he says. “And I always had sort of a contentious relationship with umpires, as many baseball players do. Especially mediocre ones.”

To Yep’s eye, the sport is at a technological crossroads. “Every single thing that’s done on the field is basically propagated on social media in milliseconds… it feels like we’re at a very unsustainable point,” says the man whose sizeable social-media following is part of what’s made imperfect umpiring so difficult to accept. “You can’t take away instant replay; you can’t take the box away.” For Yep, robo-ump is the obvious next step.

Robot strike zone

Tyler Le/Insider

“MLB umpires are probably the very best in the world at what they do. But we’re also making them do something that humans simply aren’t well equipped to handle,” he says. “Tracking a 98-mph slider floating across the zone and then pinpointing its location in three dimensions is just not what the human eye was meant to do, let alone do correctly 100 times a game.”

But Yep is the only person I spoke with who was unequivocally pro-robo ump. Even those who thought umpiring needed a technological boost favored what’s called the Challenge System. During the Triple-A beta test, three games a week are played as full ABS — robo-ump makes the calls with no ifs, ands, or buts — and in the next three a human ump calls the game and each team has three challenges that must be taken instantly by a pitcher, catcher, or hitter. Players, coaches, and even MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred say the Challenge System is the most likely to eventually reach the big leagues.

If that compromise — humans empowered, and sometimes overruled, by technology — is the solution that wins the day, it’s a fascinating outcome. The league would seemingly be saying human error has a place in the game. With advanced enough technology, the human umpire — who gets calls right 97% of the time based on MLB’s metrics and 92.5% based on Yep’s — should be made obsolete. But, so far at least, the unintended consequences of perfection aren’t seen as worth that 3- or 7.5-point improvement. It may very well take an egregious, high-stakes miscall in an unforgivable spot — England’s disallowed goal in the 2010 World Cup is credited with bringing goal-line technology to soccer — for the imperfect, but recognizable, status quo to become untenable.

The MLB’s league office told me they aren’t yet able to offer on-the-record interviews about the AAA beta test of the automated strike zone. One AAA team’s director of media relations said they weren’t permitted to comment on the Robo-Ump; the umpires calling the games I attended in Sacramento said they could talk about anything except ABS. Attempts to speak with MLB umps bore no fruit. But there was one umpire who agreed to talk.

Calvin Baker started umpiring in 1996 after a lifetime playing baseball and has worked his way up to the Atlantic League. He was one of the first to test the ABS system before it was rolled out across that independent league in 2019. There were plenty of times he disagreed with the call that had been relayed to his earpiece during the three-year test of TrackMan’s system. “As a matter of fact, there was a couple of times I was apologizing as I was making a call,” he says. But Baker is far from a Luddite; he agrees with the umpires he’s talked to who are resigned to their robotic future. “They realize it’s coming, so it is what it is.” 

“Fans go to see an argument in any sport. If you just have baseball going through the motions, I think it loses something.”

To Baker’s eye, human umpires will still be behind the plate — “you will have a plate umpire there to direct traffic, so to speak” — but balls and strikes will eventually be the province of the machines. The MLB league official agrees, telling me the Jetson Robot Home Plate Ump is not in their plans. Still, Baker worries that something intangible will be lost. “Fans go to see an argument in any sport,” he says. “If you just have baseball going through the motions, I think it loses something.”

River Cats pitcher Drew Strotman agrees. “By making it so robotic and objective, it just eliminates arguing with the umpire, which to me, is also part of the game,” he says. “When you go to a hockey game, the crowd gets most into it when there’s human interaction of players getting angry with each other and potentially starting a fight. Big-league stadiums get the loudest when there’s frustration.” Billy Evans, the Hall of Fame umpire who called balls and strikes from 1906 to 1927, once made a similar argument. A perfect umpire, he said, “would kill off baseball’s greatest alibi — ‘We wuz robbed.'” (All that said, fans themselves seem tentatively in favor of robo-umps. A 2023 Seton Hall Sports Poll found 52% approved, 28% disapproved, and 20% were undecided.)

Legislating out the high fastball should theoretically increase contact and lower strikeout rates. Strotman also believes that an elevated automated zone is risky because it would create a window for pitchers to throw seemingly sky-high breaking balls that were technically strikes. Remember: Baseball is a sport where everyone finds the outer limits of every rule — without a human arbiter, the second-order effects could make the automation transformative rather than restorative.

Strotman’s walk totals are way up this season along with those of many other pitchers in Triple-A, but he balked when I asked whether ABS was to blame. “Growing up, my parents would go, ‘Oh, the umpire’s strike zone was small!’ I’d always shrug that off: ‘Trust me, they were good. I just needed to be better. Yada yada yada,'” he says. “Now, there’s no concept of that. It is what it is. It eliminates the umpire and just puts a mirror back there.”

Batter arguing with robot umpire
“Big-league stadiums get the loudest when there’s frustration,” says River Cats pitcher Drew Strotman.

Tyler Le/Insider

To replace an umpire with a mirror — removing subjectivity that players, managers, and fans have long screamed about — seems in line with MLB’s goal of improving the game. But accuracy above humanity might just stray from their agenda. The game has been umpired by humans forever; the 76 full-time umps who call MLB games are much more thoroughly trained and scrutinized by the league. They’re clearly better than the ones behind the plate during the sport’s midcentury peak. 

And what do we lose when the human ump is gone? Players tell me they worry the field-first catcher will go the way of the dodo. And a few mentioned that forcing pitchers to attack hitters inside the zone would lead to more flamethrowers and fewer pinpoint-control, Greg Maddux types. And that’s all before the unintended consequences — it’s hard to prevision the edge cases a league full of MIT grads will discover and exploit. Despite the Seton Hall Sports Poll’s findings, the animating goal of all these changes is a return to a game in which more pitches are put in play so that fielders can flash leather and batters can run the bases. Pitching coaches training the next generation of starters to throw cutters, sliders, and looping curves that nip an invisible line that only the optical-tracking cameras can see may be more symptom than cure. 

The ABS technology should eventually be more accurate than a human, if it’s not already. And glitches like the ones in Triple-A (the fifth through seventh innings of the first game I attended were called by a human ump because the cord connecting the ABS system to the umpire’s headset stopped working) would most likely be ironed out before MLB implementation. Is that enough? Will fans cherish the accuracy more than the chance to yell at an umpire from the stands or from their couch? In Sacramento, the few fans making noise were almost all commenting upon the ump’s eyesight. “Are you blind?” Well, kinda. None of them seemed to grasp that the man behind the plate was just announcing the calls made by the hawkeyes in the sky. On a warm summer night, a couple of beers deep, I’d imagine it’d be much less fun for them to yell at the engineer in row 17.

As I pondered baseball’s robotic future, a video popped onto my X timeline: “This Robot shoots better than steph curry & klay thompson 🤯” The video shows a humanoid hunk of metal slowly pulling a basketball back and firing — from the foul line, the 3-point line, half court — right through the net. It’s powerful and deflating: perfection, sure, and a technological marvel, no doubt. But sport, art, work, and so much else is about human error as much as it is about human excellence. We don’t watch to see people get it right every time; fallibility puts virtuosity in starker relief. Seeing Shohei Ohtani whiff through a hanging slider or Tiger Woods blow a gimme putt reminds us that even the great ones are not infallible. Merry Clayton’s voice cracking on “Gimme Shelter” and the white smudge on Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” give texture to the masterpieces. Perhaps umpires are just detested and ancillary enough to be replaced. Surely, no one relishes the correctly called third strike more because the call before was missed. But from everything I heard, the flesh-and-blood umpires we love to hate are safe. At least until further review.

Joseph Bien-Kahn is a freelance journalist based in Silverlake. He covers film, sports, true crime, and oddballs for GQ, Vulture, Sports Illustrated, and Businessweek, among other magazines.

Read the original article on Business Insider

PREVIEW: Winterhawks at Rockets 9/23/23

Portland Winterhawks at Kelowna Rockets

Date | Time  Sat., Sept. 23, 2023 | 7:05 pm
Video Stream CHL TV
Radio  104.7 The Lizard + Rocket Fan App
Live Stats WHL Box Score
Live Updates @Kelowna_Rockets on X (formally Twitter)


The Kelowna Rockets will kick off their 2023-24 regular season on Saturday night when they host the Portland Winterhawks at Prospera Place at 7:05 pm. It’s the fourth time that the Rockets have opened their season against the Winterhawks since relocating to Kelowna in 1995.

“I think we’ve seen some excitement from our young players during the preseason,” said Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton about his team’s training camp and pre-season. “I thought Kykkanen was very good for us. Hiroki Gojsic and Tij Iginla have some real upside that’s going to be exciting once we have more of our veteran players back in the lineup with them.

“I’m excited about our team, it will be nice to get our guys back who are away, in particular Andrew Cristall. It’s disappointing in the sense that they’re not here for the home opener, but I would think next week we will have everyone back.”

In addition to it being the home opener, prior to puck drop the Rockets will be honoring the Kelowna RCMP, the Fire Chiefs from West Kelowna, Wilson’s Landing, North Westside, Lake Country and the Kelowna Fire Department for all of their hard work during the recent wildfires in a special on-ice ceremony before the home opener this Saturday.

Saturday’s contest is the lone game of the weekend for the Rockets, they’ll then be off until Saturday, September 30th when they’ll host the Western Hockey League’s newest team, the Wenatchee Wild.

Meanwhile, the Winterhawks will open their season on the road Friday night against the Wild.


Single-game tickets for all Rockets games are on sale at Select Your Tickets.

Tickets for Rockets games are only available at Select Your Tickets, they are the official provider of Rockets tickets. To view pricing and a seating map please click here.

Tickets can be purchased:

  • By calling Select Your Tickets at 250-762-5050
  • Or by visiting the Select Your Tickets box office at the Prospera Place box office. The box office is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and opens at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday home game days.


Earlier this week the Rockets set their roster for opening night, which features fourteen forwards, eight defencemen and two goaltenders. To view the roster please click here.

  • Max Graham, Tij Iginla, Ty Hurley, Michael Cicek, Trae Johnson, Hiroki Gojsic, Landon Cowper, Ethan Mittelsteadt and Jake Pilon were all acquired via trade
  • Marek Rocak is the lone European player on the roster currently, he was selected 43rd overall in the first round of the 2022 CHL Import Draft
  • Jackson Gillespie is the only 16-year-old on the roster, he was picked 17th overall in the 2022 U.S. Priority Draft
  • Dylan Wightman was listed by Kelowna

Andrew Cristall (WSH), Jari Kykkanen (CAL) and Jackson DeSouza (DET) will be unavailable to the Rockets this weekend as they’re attending NHL camps.

With Kykkanen still away, the Rockets have recalled 2007-born Nathan Kam as an affiliate – he will wear Jari’s 30 for the game. It’s expected that 2006-born Jake Pilon will be in net for Kelowna this weekend, it will be his first appearance in a WHL regular-season game.

The Rockets will be without defenceman Caden Price who is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury and forward Marcus Pacheco who is out two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury. The Rockets injury report is updated weekly and can be viewed here.


As a 20-year-old import player, Gabriel Szturc has a few options of where he can play this season. He could play professionally in Europe or sign in the American Hockey League, he could also be assigned to Kelowna to spend his overage season with the Rockets.

Szturc was invited as an undrafted free agent to play for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their rookie tournament, he has since been invited to their main camp.



Radio broadcast

Rockets games will be broadcast on 104.7 FM the Lizard this season with Regan Bartel calling all of the action.

Don’t forget to download the RocketFAN app and visit  for more exclusive Rockets content from Pattison. Fans can stream the radio broadcast of all Rockets games on the app.

Click here to download RocketFAN on Google Play

Click here to download RocketFAN on the App Store

Online video stream

All Rockets games will be available on WHL Live.  WHL Live on is available to fans anywhere in the world, providing high-quality streaming of WHL games on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV platforms, via mobile with iOS and Android, and on web using Safari or Google Chrome web browsers. Visit  for complete details and subscription options.

ONLINE 50/50

The Kelowna Rockets online 50/50 is back for the 2022-23 season!

The online 50/50 will give fans in Rockets fans located in British Columbia and those who are attending the game the chance to win during every Rockets home game this season. The 50/50 will also raise important dollars for the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association.

Tickets will be available for purchase on all game days starting at 9 a.m. PT and end at the start of the third period on the same day.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the online 50/50 and purchase tickets.


Printed lineup sheets will not be available at games this season, they can be accessed online by visiting the game day program.

The Game Day Program will be available in the same spot, it comes complete with game notes, stats, team rosters and entry forms for the Rockets intermission contests.

The sheet and program will be uploaded by 3:00 p.m. on game days

Six and twelve game Mini Packs for the Kelowna Rockets season are now on sale through Select Your Tickets. To learn how to save on walk-up tickets and use the flexibility of a Mini Pack click here

NFL Week 3 injury reports: Joe Burrow questionable for Bengals; Austin Ekeler, Jaylen Waddle ruled out – CBSSports.com

It’s starting to feel like this season, more than any in recent memory, has an unusually large number of injuries, specifically to big-name players. As we head into Week 3, we have already seen New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb and Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins have their seasons ended early. 

Other star players, including Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, are currently dealing with injuries that may impact their availability for Week 3 and beyond. A pair of rookie quarterbacks also won’t take the field, as the Colts’ Anthony Richardson and  Panthers’ Bryce Young will also be out for Sunday, as will Chargers running back Austin Ekeler and Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.

Here’s a full look at each team’s final injury report for Week 3:  

Falcons at Lions

The Falcons appear to have Okudah returning this week, as he was listed as questionable but was a full participant in Friday’s practice. He’s prepared to make his season debut Sunday. Patterson is a limited participant Friday, so he appears to be a game-time decision. Troy Andersen was cleared from concussion protocol, so no injury designation for the linebacker.

The Lions have a bunch of players out, but St. Brown was a full participant in Friday’s practice. He should be good to go for Sunday. Reynolds was also a full participant. With Montgomery out, Jahmyr Gibbs and Craig Reynolds are expected to carry the load at running back. The Lions will also have two starting linemen out. 

Chargers at Vikings

No Ekeler this week for the Chargers, as he missed Friday’s practice and was ruled out for Sunday. Joshua Kelley will get the start at running back again. Bosa was limited Friday, so he’ll be a game-time decision. Henley and Rumph were full participants. 

Davenport will miss Sunday’s game after leaving in Week 2 with an ankle injury after four snaps. Bradbury missed the Week 2 loss to the Eagles, but has a chance to play this week. Tackle Christian Darrisaw (ankle), linebacker Jordan Hicks (shin) and safety Josh Metellus (shoulder) did not receive injury designations. 

Saints at Packers

No Kendre Miller on the injury report, so the Saints will be relying on him to carry the workload at running back without Williams, who was placed on IR. Adebo was added to the injury report Friday and did not practice, so his status is uncertain for Sunday. 

The Packers are typically cautious with injuries, which makes the statuses of Jones and Watson uncertain for this week. Both players were limited Friday and are expected to be game-time decisions again. A.J. Dillon would be the No. 1 running back and rookie Jayden Reed would get more snaps at wide receiver if Jones and Watson are out again. 

Texans at Jaguars 

Tunsil did not travel with the team to Jacksonville and has since been downgraded to out after initially being listed by the Texans as questionable. Stingley has also since been placed on injured reserve.

All the Jaguars players who are questionable were limited in Friday’s practice. With Jones out, more targets could be coming Calvin Ridley’s and Christian Kirk’s way. Same with Evan Engram. 

Broncos at Dolphins

Frank Clark and Justin Simmons are officially out after not practicing all week. Mike Purcell was upgraded from a non-participant to a limited participant.

After initially listing him as question, the Dolphins have since downgraded wideout Jaylen Waddle for Sunday’s matchup against Denver due to a concussion. In a corresponding move, the team elevated Robbie Chosen from the practice squad. 

Titans at Browns

DeAndre Hopkins was a full participant on Wednesday, a limited participant on Thursday and did not practice on Friday. 

The Browns only have one player out on Sunday and James Huds

Bills at Commanders

No injuries for the Bills. Everyone is fully healthy and was a full participant in practice Friday. 

Thomas didn’t clear concussion protocol after his scary hit from Kareem Jackson last week, so he’ll be out for Sunday. John Bates and Cole Turner are the tight ends on the depth chart. On Saturday, the Commanders upgraded the statuses of both wideout Curtis Samuel (illness) and safety Kam Curl (illness) after initially being listed as questionable on Friday. Now, they carry no designation and will play in Week 3.

Colts at Ravens

Richardson is out for Sunday’s game after not practicing Friday, remaining in concussion protocol. Gardner Minshew will get the start on Sunday, as he practiced with the first team leading up to the game. Kelly, the team’s starting center, is also in concussion protocol and is out for Sunday. Wesley French is listed as the team’s backup center. Nelson was a full participant Friday while Moore was limited, so Moore’s status will be worth watching Sunday. 

The Ravens have seven (yes, seven) starters out for Sunday’s clash with the Colts. With Hill out, expect more carries for Gus Edwards, with Melvin Gordon getting a practice squad call up. Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman and Nelson Agholor will receiver more targets with Beckham unavailable. Rock Ya-Sin and Daryl Worley are on the second team behind Humphrey and Williams in the secondary. 

Patriots at Jets

New England downgraded Jonathan Jones and Sidy Sow on Saturday after they were both limited during Friday’s practice. DeVante Parker and Trent Brown have been removed from the injury report, so they’ll play Sunday. 

The Jets downgraded Duane Brown from questionable to out on Saturday after the left tackle was unable to practice throughout the week. Now, Zach Wilson will be without his starting blindside tackle as he takes on New England’s pass rush. Meanwhile, John Franklin-Myers and Greg Zuerlein were both full participants during Friday’s practice. 

Panthers at Seahawks 

Panthers rookie quarterback Bryce Young will not play in Week 3 due to an ankle injury. That means Andy Dalton will get the start at quarterback. Houston was a full participant Friday, so it’s likely he plays against Seattle. Brian Burns (ankle) and Miles Sanders (pectoral) were full participants Friday and not given an injury designation.

Bears at Chiefs

The Bears’ biggest status on the injury report was Darnell Mooney (knee), who was not given an injury designation. Jackson did not practice all week, so his status will likely be finalized in Saturday’s walkthrough. 

Isiah Pacheco and Kadarius Toney were limited on Friday after both being non-participants on Wednesday. Toney did not practice on Thursday, while the running back was limited that day as well.

Cowboys at Cardinals

Diggs will be placed on injured reserve soon, as he’s out for the season with a knee injury (ACL). The Cowboys had a walkthrough on Friday, so this practice report is an estimation. Martin has not practiced all week, so he’ll be a game-time decision for Sunday. No Brandon Cooks on the injury report for the Cowboys. On Saturday, the club did add tackle Tyron Smith to the injury report listing him as questionable with a knee injury.

Fotu has been limited in practice all week, so his status will be determined on Sunday. Kevin Strong is the backup nose tackle if Fotu has to miss the Cowboys tilt. Watkins and Woods also start for Arizona, so the Cardinals will be down a pass rusher and off-ball linebacker this week. Krys Branes is projected to get the nod to start for Woods. 

Steelers at Raiders

The Steelers are thin at wide receiver with Olszewski out and Diontae Johnson on injured reserve, so George Pickens and Allen Robinson will have to step up in their absence. Tight end Pat Freiermuth is expected to see more targets as well. 

Wilson is the only one with a game designation for Sunday for the Raiders. Wilson did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and was limited on Friday.

Eagles at Buccaneers: Monday night

Philadelphia ruled out Quez Watkins after he was unable to practice on Saturday. Running back Boston Scott was a limited participant during the final practice of the week, but likely did not clear concussion protocol, which has him sidelined for Week 3. Terrell Edmunds, who was dealing with an illness, was back at practice as a full participant and carries no designation.

On the Buccaneers side, Tampa Bay ruled out Dennis and Kancey after neither was able to practice throughout the week. White, who appeared on the injury report midweek with a groin injury, was limited again on Saturday.

Rams at Bengals: Monday night

Puka Nacua is the only player listed on Los Angeles’ final injury report. While the breakout receiver is listed as questionable, head coach Sean McVay told reporters on Saturday that he is expected to play on Monday night.

Quarterback Joe Burrow is the biggest question mark heading into Monday night. He is officially listed as questionable and the Bengals have added multiple quarterbacks to their practice squad as insurance. If Burrow, who was limited on Friday and Saturday, does not play, Jake Browning would get the starting nod. 

Revolutionizing Water Management in Farming: The Role of Agricultural Consultants

The world faces significant challenges when it comes to water management in agriculture. With increasing demands, water scarcity, and the need for improved efficiency, finding innovative solutions is crucial. Agricultural consultants play a pivotal role in revolutionizing water management practices on farms. These experts bring their knowledge and expertise to optimize crop production, enhance farm management techniques, and improve water efficiency. In this article, we will explore the role of agricultural consultants in transforming water management in farming and the advancements they bring to the table. Additionally, we will highlight the benefits of efficient water management and the potential for collaboration between agricultural consultants and regulatory bodies. Let’s dive in and discover how these experts are changing the game for the betterment of agriculture and the environment.

Global Water Challenges in Agriculture

Water is an essential resource for agriculture, playing a critical role in crop production and food security. However, the global agricultural sector faces several challenges in regard to water scarcity, water use efficiency, and increasing demands. Let’s delve into each of these challenges and understand their implications.

Water Scarcity

Water scarcity is a pressing issue that affects agricultural practices worldwide. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Agriculture accounts for a staggering 70% of global freshwater withdrawals[1]. This highlights the heavy reliance on water resources for irrigation and other farming activities.
  • Intensive groundwater pumping for irrigation has led to the depletion of water sources in many regions[2]. This unsustainable practice exacerbates water scarcity and poses a threat to long-term agricultural sustainability.

Water Use Efficiency

Efficient use of water is crucial to optimize agricultural productivity while minimizing water wastage. Unfortunately, water use efficiency in agriculture remains below satisfactory levels in several countries. Consider the following facts:

  • In many countries, water use efficiency in agriculture is below 50%[3]. This means that a significant portion of the water used for irrigation does not reach the intended plants, leading to unnecessary water loss.
  • Improving water use efficiency through techniques such as drip irrigation, precision farming, and proper water management can help conserve water resources and increase agricultural productivity.

Increasing Demands

The demand for agricultural products is on the rise due to population growth, urbanization, and changing dietary patterns. Meeting these demands poses significant challenges to the already strained water resources. Consider the following points:

  • To meet future food demands, it is often necessary to develop groundwater resources for irrigation purposes. However, this practice must be balanced with sustainable management to prevent overexploitation of water sources[4].
  • In the United States, irrigation alone accounts for a staggering 42% of water use[5]. As water demands continue to increase, finding innovative methods to manage water resources efficiently is crucial.

In conclusion, addressing the global water challenges in agriculture requires a multi-faceted approach. Promoting sustainable water use practices, implementing efficient irrigation techniques, and managing water resources responsibly are some of the key steps towards ensuring the long-term viability of agriculture while safeguarding our water supplies.

[1] Source 1: FAO Water

[2] Source 2: World Wildlife Fund

[3] Source 3: FAO Water

[4] Source 4: United States Geological Survey

[5] Source 5: United States Geological Survey

Innovative Solutions for Water Management

Water scarcity is a global concern, and efficient water management has become an imminent necessity. Fortunately, there are innovative solutions available that can help tackle this issue effectively. Two of these cutting-edge solutions are drip irrigation and automated control technology in irrigation systems. Let’s explore how these advancements can revolutionize water management and contribute to sustainable practices.

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is a modern technique that delivers water directly to the plant roots in a slow and precise manner. This method uses a network of tubes or pipes with emitters that release water droplets right at the base of the plants. Unlike traditional irrigation techniques that spray water over a large area, drip irrigation focuses on targeted watering, thereby minimizing water wastage.

Here are some key benefits of drip irrigation:

  • Water Efficiency: Drip irrigation can reduce water use by up to 40% compared to conventional sprinkler systems. By delivering water directly to the plant roots, it minimizes evaporation and runoff, ensuring that every drop counts.
  • Improved Plant Health: With precise water delivery, plants receive the right amount of moisture they need, enhancing their growth and overall health. This technique also reduces the risk of foliage diseases caused by excess moisture on the leaves.
  • Weed Control: By minimizing water distribution to the areas between the plants, drip irrigation helps suppress weed growth. It ensures that water only reaches the plants, reducing competition for resources and allowing for more effective weed control methods.

Automated Control Technology

Automated control technology is another game-changer in water management. These advanced systems utilize sensors and real-time data to optimize irrigation practices, maximizing efficiency and minimizing water waste. Here’s how automated control technology can revolutionize water management:

  • Precise Watering: By monitoring soil moisture levels, weather conditions, and plant needs, automated control technology ensures that water is delivered precisely when and where it’s needed. This intelligent system adjusts watering schedules and durations based on real-time data, optimizing water usage without compromising plant health.
  • Water Conservation: The use of automated control technology significantly reduces water waste. By automatically shutting off irrigation systems during rain events or when soil moisture is sufficient, it prevents overwatering and conserves this precious resource.
  • Remote Monitoring and Control: These systems can be accessed and controlled remotely through smartphones or computers. This feature offers convenience to farmers or landscape managers, allowing them to monitor the irrigation system’s performance and make adjustments anytime, anywhere.

Incorporating innovative solutions like drip irrigation and automated control technology in water management practices can have a profound impact on water conservation efforts. By reducing water waste and improving efficiency, these advancements contribute to a sustainable future. It’s time to embrace these technologies and work towards a more water-conscious world.

The Role of Agricultural Consultants


When it comes to the world of agriculture, there are countless factors that influence the success of a farm. From weather conditions to soil health to resource management, farmers have to navigate a multitude of challenges.

This is where agricultural consultants come in. These professionals, armed with specialized knowledge and expertise, play a crucial role in helping farmers optimize their crop production, improve overall farm management, and enhance water efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at the invaluable contributions of agricultural consultants in these areas.

Optimizing Crop Production

Agricultural consultants are well-versed in the intricacies of crop production. They understand the unique requirements of different crops and can provide tailored advice to maximize yields. Here’s how they contribute to optimizing crop production:

  • Crop Management: Agricultural consultants offer guidance on various aspects of crop management, such as selecting the right varieties for specific growing conditions, implementing effective pest and disease management strategies, and ensuring proper fertilization and irrigation practices.
  • Soil Health: Consultants assess soil health by conducting thorough soil tests and analyses. Based on the results, they recommend appropriate soil amendments and practices to enhance fertility, minimize erosion, and improve overall soil structure.
  • Resource Conservation: Recognizing the importance of sustainable agriculture, agricultural consultants advise farmers on conservation practices. This includes strategies to minimize water usage, prevent nutrient runoff, and promote biodiversity on the farm.

Improving Farm Management

Efficient farm management is essential for the success and profitability of any agricultural operation. Agricultural consultants offer valuable insights and recommendations to help farmers improve their management practices. Here’s how they contribute:

  • Land Optimization: Consultants assist farmers in maximizing their land’s productivity. They analyze factors like soil type, topography, and drainage patterns to develop customized crop rotation plans, implement precision agriculture techniques, and optimize field layouts for efficient machinery use.
  • Energy Efficiency: Agricultural consultants help farmers identify energy-saving opportunities, such as adopting energy-efficient equipment, implementing renewable energy solutions like solar power, and optimizing energy consumption during various farm processes.
  • Business Planning and Risk Management: Consultants support farmers in developing long-term business plans and risk management strategies. They analyze market trends, evaluate financial performance, and identify opportunities for diversification, ensuring a sustainable and resilient business model.

Enhancing Water Efficiency

Water scarcity is a global concern, particularly in agriculture, where water is a precious resource. Agricultural consultants play a vital role in helping farmers enhance water efficiency on their farms. Here’s how they contribute:

  • Irrigation Systems: Consultants evaluate existing irrigation systems and recommend improvements to minimize water waste. They assist in the design and implementation of efficient irrigation methods like drip irrigation, precision sprinklers, and automated systems that use sensors to optimize water usage.
  • Water Management: By conducting thorough water assessments, agricultural consultants help farmers determine their optimal water needs based on crop type, climate conditions, and soil moisture. They also advise on water recycling techniques, rainwater harvesting, and optimal water storage practices.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Water regulations can be complex. Agricultural consultants keep abreast of water regulations and assist farmers in understanding and meeting compliance requirements to avoid penalties and ensure sustainable water usage.

In conclusion, agricultural consultants play a crucial role in optimizing crop production, improving farm management, and enhancing water efficiency. Their expertise and guidance help farmers overcome challenges, increase productivity, and contribute to a sustainable agricultural future. With their assistance, farmers can navigate the complex world of agriculture with confidence and make informed decisions for the long-term success of their farms.

Advancements in Water Management

Water management in agriculture has come a long way in recent years, thanks to several advancements. These innovations have not only improved efficiency but also helped in conserving precious water resources. In this article, we will explore some exciting developments in water management that are revolutionizing the farming industry.

Sensor Integration

One of the key advancements in water management is the integration of sensors into irrigation systems. These sensors provide real-time awareness of soil moisture levels and allow farmers to irrigate their fields precisely when and where it is needed. Here are a few key benefits of sensor integration:

  • Efficient Water Usage: By monitoring soil moisture levels, farmers can avoid overwatering their crops, leading to significant water conservation.
  • Prevention of Water Stress: Sensors help farmers identify instances of water stress in their crops, allowing them to take immediate action to prevent yield loss.
  • Cost Savings: By optimizing irrigation schedules, farmers can reduce their water bills and save on energy costs.

Precision Farming

Another exciting development in water management is the adoption of precision farming techniques. Precision farming involves the use of remote sensing technologies and advanced equipment to monitor and manage agricultural practices with precision. Here’s how precision farming is contributing to improved water management:

  • Mapping and Analysis: With remote sensing technologies like satellite imagery and drones, farmers can accurately map their fields and assess crop health, water stress, and nutrient requirements.
  • Variable Rate Irrigation: Precision farming enables farmers to apply water and nutrients precisely where they are needed, based on the specific requirements of different areas within the field. This reduces water wastage and promotes optimal plant growth.
  • Automated Systems: Advanced irrigation systems equipped with precision farming technologies can automatically adjust water application based on real-time data, ensuring that crops receive the right amount of water at the right time.

Data Analytics

Data analytics is playing a crucial role in optimizing water management practices in agriculture. By collecting and analyzing data from various sources, farmers can make informed decisions to enhance water efficiency. Here’s how data analytics is making a difference:

  • Weather Pattern Analysis: By analyzing historical weather data, farmers can gain insights into seasonal rainfall patterns and adjust their irrigation schedules accordingly.
  • Crop Water Requirement Prediction: Data analytics helps farmers predict the water requirements of different crops at different growth stages, allowing them to plan irrigation schedules more effectively.
  • Decision Support Systems: Advanced software tools based on data analytics provide farmers with recommendations on irrigation scheduling, optimized water usage, and water resource management.

In conclusion, advancements in sensor integration, precision farming, and data analytics have transformed water management in agriculture. These technologies are empowering farmers to make better irrigation decisions, conserve water, and ensure sustainable agricultural practices. With further research and development, we can expect even more innovative solutions to address water scarcity challenges in the future.

Additional Information:

  • Sensors integrated into irrigation systems provide real-time awareness of soil moisture levels.
  • Precision farming, remote sensing, and data analytics are advancing water management in agriculture.

Benefits of Efficient Water Management

Water is a precious resource that is essential for life and plays a crucial role in agriculture. Efficient water management practices not only contribute to increased crop yields but also have a positive impact on sustainable agriculture and environmental protection. In this section, we will explore the various benefits of implementing efficient water management techniques on farms.

Bridging Yield Gap

One of the primary benefits of proper water management is its ability to bridge the yield gap between different farmers. By ensuring that crops receive the right amount of water at the right time, farmers can optimize their production and achieve better yields. Here are some ways in which efficient water management can help bridge this gap:

  • Improved crop health: Proper irrigation techniques and scheduling ensure that crops receive an adequate water supply, which in turn promotes healthy plant growth and reduces the risk of diseases and pests.
  • Enhanced nutrient uptake: Water management practices such as precision irrigation allow farmers to deliver water and nutrients directly to the plant’s root zone, resulting in better nutrient uptake and utilization by the crops.
  • Reduced water stress: By providing crops with sufficient water supply during critical growth stages, water stress can be minimized, leading to improved crop development and higher yields.

Sustainable Agriculture

Efficient water management also plays a vital role in promoting sustainable agriculture. By using water resources responsibly and optimizing their usage, farmers can minimize their environmental impact and preserve water for future generations. Here are a few ways in which efficient water management contributes to sustainable agriculture:

  • Water conservation: Implementing techniques like drip irrigation, mulching, and rainwater harvesting helps conserve water by reducing evaporation and runoff, ultimately leading to better water use efficiency on farms.
  • Energy savings: Adopting efficient irrigation systems allows farmers to save energy by reducing water pumping requirements, resulting in lower operating costs and reduced carbon emissions.
  • Soil health: Proper water management techniques prevent excessive watering, which can lead to soil erosion and nutrient leaching. By maintaining soil moisture at optimal levels, farmers can preserve soil health and fertility.

Environmental Protection

In addition to its impact on agriculture, efficient water management practices also contribute to environmental protection. Good agricultural practices not only safeguard water resources but also protect biodiversity and maintain the overall ecological balance. Here are some ways in which efficient water management promotes environmental conservation:

  • Preservation of water bodies: Proper irrigation practices help prevent excessive water extraction from rivers, lakes, and groundwater sources, ensuring their long-term sustainability and minimizing the risk of depletion.
  • Protection of aquatic ecosystems: Implementing water management techniques that reduce runoff and leaching of agricultural chemicals helps prevent water pollution, preserving the health and biodiversity of nearby aquatic ecosystems.
  • Conservation of natural habitats: Efficient water management practices minimize the need for expanding agricultural land into natural habitats, reducing deforestation and maintaining ecological balance.

Efficient water management practices have far-reaching benefits in bridging the yield gap, promoting sustainable agriculture, and protecting the environment. By adopting these practices, farmers can optimize their crop yields, reduce environmental impact, and contribute to the long-term sustainability of our agricultural systems.

Expertise of Agricultural Consultants

When it comes to modern agriculture, farmers face a myriad of challenges. From optimizing crop yield to implementing sustainable practices, there are many factors to consider. Fortunately, agricultural consultants are there to provide the expertise and guidance needed to overcome these obstacles.

Agricultural consultants bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. They work closely with farmers, addressing their unique needs and offering customized solutions. Let’s dive deeper into their areas of expertise:

Technical Advice and Support

When farmers encounter issues with pests, diseases, or soil fertility, agricultural consultants step in to provide technical advice and support. These experts have a deep understanding of plant physiology, entomology, and soil science. They conduct thorough assessments and diagnostics to identify the root causes of problems, and then devise effective strategies to mitigate them.

With their knowledge of the latest agricultural technologies, consultants can also advise farmers on the most suitable equipment and machinery to achieve optimal results. They stay updated on the newest advancements in precision farming, crop management, and irrigation systems. By harnessing the power of technology, consultants help farmers improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Design and Implementation

Another crucial aspect of agricultural consulting is the design and implementation of agricultural systems. Consultants collaborate with farmers to create comprehensive plans tailored to their specific land and crops. For example, they assist with the layout and design of irrigation systems, taking into account factors such as water availability, terrain, and crop water requirements.

Additionally, agricultural consultants can provide guidance on farm infrastructure, such as the construction of storage facilities or the optimization of production areas. They consider factors like logistics, safety standards, and environmental regulations to ensure that farms operate efficiently and sustainably.

Climate Change Strategies

In today’s rapidly changing climate, agricultural consultants play a vital role in helping farmers adapt to new conditions and mitigate the impact of climate change. They provide valuable insights and recommendations on sustainable practices that reduce carbon emissions and conserve resources.

Consultants advise on the implementation of climate-smart farming techniques, such as precision agriculture, agroforestry, and conservation agriculture. They also assist in the adoption of renewable energy solutions, like solar panels or wind turbines, to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Furthermore, agricultural consultants help farmers develop contingency plans and risk management strategies to mitigate the potential effects of extreme weather events, such as droughts or floods. By analyzing historical data and climate projections, they help farmers make informed decisions and adapt their practices accordingly.

With their technical expertise and deep understanding of the agricultural industry, agricultural consultants are invaluable partners for farmers. They provide the necessary guidance and support to optimize farming operations, implement sustainable practices, and navigate the challenges of a changing climate.

Learn more about the expertise of agricultural consultants in our comprehensive guide! Click here

Government Regulations and Collaborations

Government regulations play a vital role in ensuring the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of various industries. When it comes to engineering practice, there are specific regulatory boards that administer laws and standards to govern the profession. These regulations are in place to protect not only the professionals but also the general public who benefit from their work.

Regulatory Boards

Regulatory boards are responsible for overseeing the engineering practice and ensuring that engineers adhere to ethical guidelines and standards. These boards set licensing requirements, conduct examinations, and issue licenses to qualified individuals. By doing so, they ensure that only competent and qualified engineers are permitted to practice, thereby safeguarding public health and safety.

In the field of water management and efficiency, there are regulatory boards that specifically focus on regulating and monitoring water-related projects. These boards establish regulations to prevent pollution, ensure sustainable water use, and enforce proper water management practices. They work in collaboration with other government agencies and stakeholders to develop and implement policies that address the complex challenges of water management.

Training Programs and Materials

To enhance water management and efficiency, training programs and materials are developed to equip engineers with the necessary knowledge and skills. These programs focus on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Water conservation techniques: Training programs educate engineers on strategies to minimize water waste, such as the use of efficient irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting, and low-flow fixtures.
  • Technological advancements: Engineers need to stay updated with the latest technological advancements in water management. Training programs provide them with insights into innovative tools, software, and equipment that can improve efficiency and effectiveness in water-related projects.
  • Regulatory compliance: Given the complex nature of water management regulations, training programs help engineers understand and comply with relevant laws and standards. This ensures that their projects meet legal requirements and avoid potential penalties or legal disputes.
  • Collaborative approaches: Collaboration is crucial in addressing water management challenges. Training programs often emphasize the importance of collaboration between different stakeholders, including engineers, government agencies, and community representatives. By fostering collaboration, engineers can develop holistic and sustainable solutions to water-related issues.

Overall, government regulations and collaborations are integral components of achieving effective water management and efficiency. Regulatory boards ensure engineering practices are carried out in adherence to established standards, while training programs empower engineers with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle complex water-related challenges. By working together, engineers and regulatory bodies can make significant strides in promoting sustainable water management for the benefit of communities and the environment.

Additional Information: Regulatory boards administer laws governing engineering practice, while training programs and materials are developed to enhance water management and efficiency.


In conclusion, agricultural consultants play a crucial role in revolutionizing water management in farming. Through their expertise and guidance, they help optimize crop production, improve farm management practices, and enhance water efficiency. Their knowledge and support enable farmers to make informed decisions and implement sustainable irrigation practices, bridging the yield gap and protecting the environment.

With advancements in sensor integration, precision farming, and data analytics, agricultural consultants are able to provide technical advice and support, design and implement effective strategies, and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change. By collaborating with government regulations and participating in training programs, agricultural consultants contribute to the overall goal of efficient water management in agriculture.

To further enhance water management practices, companies like CropWater provide specialized tools and services for agricultural water management, helping farmers and decision-makers optimize irrigation practices and conserve water resources. Explore CropWater’s range of solutions here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the role of agricultural consultants in revolutionizing water management in farming?

    Agricultural consultants play a crucial role in revolutionizing water management in farming. They provide expert advice on efficient irrigation techniques, crop selection, soil moisture monitoring, and implementing sustainable water management systems.

  2. How can agricultural consultants help farmers in improving water conservation practices?

    Agricultural consultants can help farmers improve water conservation practices by conducting water audits, determining irrigation requirements, implementing precision irrigation systems, promoting drip irrigation, and educating farmers about water-saving practices.

  3. What are some common challenges faced by farmers in managing water resources?

    Some common challenges faced by farmers in managing water resources include limited water availability, water quality issues, inefficient irrigation systems, lack of knowledge about water-saving techniques, and unpredictable weather patterns.

  4. How do agricultural consultants assess water usage in farming operations?

    Agricultural consultants assess water usage in farming operations by conducting on-site evaluations, analyzing historical water usage data, monitoring soil moisture levels, and using advanced technologies like remote sensing and data analytics.

  5. Why is it important for farmers to seek guidance from agricultural consultants for water management practices?

    Seeking guidance from agricultural consultants for water management practices is important because they have specialized knowledge and experience in implementing efficient water management strategies. Their expertise can help farmers maximize water efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance sustainability.

Commanders can’t afford to bench fumble-prone RB Antonio Gibson – The Washington Post

Even though it was Gibson’s second fumble in the first three games — and even though it raised concerns that this season could resemble 2021, when Gibson led all NFL skill players with six fumbles — Coach Ron Rivera doesn’t seem inclined to bench the running back or otherwise discipline him.

Gibson remains one of the Commanders’ most explosive options in space. His uninspiring career stats reflect usage more than ability. In fact, this year, in a role emphasizing third downs and passing situations, he’s flashed the breakaway speed, defenders-on-skates agility and alignment flexibility that enticed Washington to draft him in the first place.

Gibson’s value is not a knock on fellow running backs Brian Robinson Jr. and Chris Rodriguez Jr. Robinson has been decisive and dynamic out of the backfield, and Rodriguez, a rookie, has thrown a couple good blocks in his six snaps this season. But Gibson, as a complement to Robinson on early downs or as a replacement for him on late ones, remains a critical part of the offense.

But the risks might be overstated. The fumble Sunday wasn’t caused by him not holding the ball high and tight between the tackles, a major issue in 2021. He’s not battling a major shin injury and carrying an immense load as the team’s top back, as he was in 2021. And he’s not handling the fumbles poorly, as he did during the preseason in 2022.

Overall, Gibson is not an excessive liability to put the ball on the ground. Since 2020, his 11 fumbles have come over 715 touches. The rate of 1.5 percent is above league average (0.9 percent) but the same as other skill players who haven’t earned such a reputation for fumbling. In fact, last season, Kansas City rookie running back Isiah Pacheco fumbled four times in 183 touches (2.2 percent), and the Chiefs stuck by him on the ride to the Super Bowl.

Dish: Hawaiian Pork Chops

Hawaiian Pork Chops


6 pork chops
Pineapple rings
Dried out prunes
1 pound. carrots, reduced right into sticks


Gently flour chops and also brownish in a little oil. Lay chops in cooking recipe. Leading each with a pineapple ring.
Area a dried out trim in each pineapple. Lay carrots apart of chops. Cover and also cook at 350 levels for concerning 1 hr

Gently flour chops as well as brownish in a little oil. Lay chops in cooking meal. Lay carrots apart of chops.

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