The American Bakers’ Asso- ciation has condemned the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) refusal to release land from its Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to allow farmers to meet food demands and help curb soaring cereal prices.It said it was “extremely disappointed” that Agriculture Secre- tary Ed Schafer had rejected calls for even a modest amount of “non-environmentally sensitive” land from the CRP to be allowed into production.ABA president and chief executive officer Robb MacKie said: “It is outrageous for USDA to continue to ignore the plight of consumers, bakers and even farmers by refusing to take action to help alleviate the food price crisis. How expensive does bread have to get for action to be taken – $5 or $6 a loaf?”ABA said input costs for bakers have “jumped significantly” since its initial request to the USDA in June 2007 to release productive lands from the CRP. In the year from June 2007 to June 2008, wheat was up 66%, flour 58% and bread and rolls 15%.
PETER Green, president of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) told Chronicle Sport that he will await the Green Machine’s team manager’s report before pronouncing on Guyana’s horrible showing at the just-concluded Rugby America’s North (RAN) Sevens Championship in the Cayman Islands.Guyana, seven-time winners of the prestigious tournament, finished sixth in the eight-team tournament, which also serves as a qualifier for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.Green Machine, led by player/coach Claudius Butts, were placed in ‘Pool B’ with 2018 champions Jamaica, hosts Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. Over in ‘Pool A’, Mexico faced Bermuda, Barbados and eventual winners Canada in the preliminary rounds.Butts had the services of Richard Staglon Peabo Hamilton, Dominic Lespierre, Vallon Adams, Patrick King, Jamal Angus, Ryan Gonsalves, Godfrey Broomes, Avery Corbin, Dwayne Schroeder, and Osie McKenzie.Green was responding to questions about Guyana’s performance, where the team conceded 79 points and just scored 26 of their own on the opening day.In their opening game, Guyana went down to Trinidad and Tobago 7-19, and would later go on to narrowly lose to the Cayman Islands 12-14.Playing Jamaica in their final game of day one, Guyana, who lost to the ‘Reggae Ruggers’ in the 2017 and 2018 finals, went down hard to the men from the ‘Land of Wood and Water’ (7-42).By virtue of finishing at the bottom of the table in Pool B, Guyana went on to face the undefeated Canadians in the quarter-finals on the second day where they were beaten 47-5.The result against Canada meant that Guyana will later on day two, play Trinidad and Tobago again in the Plate semi-finals.CHRONICLING THE TEAM’S SUCCESSThe Green Machine picked up their lone win of the tournament with a 17-12 victory over the Twin Island Republic. In the Plate Final, Guyana were once against beaten by the Cayman Islands, this time going down 10-21.This year’s RAN Sevens tournament will surely leave a bitter taste in the mouth of the players, especially those who would have contributed significantly to the team’s historic run during their dominating times.Guyana’s first title came in 2006, when they defeated Jamaica 37-5 in Barbados. The following year (2007) in The Bahamas, Guyana edged Jamaica, again, 7-5 for their second title. In 2008, again in The Bahamas, Guyana finished third behind winners USA and second-place Canada.In 2009, when the tournament was hosted in Mexico City, Guyana stopped Trinidad and Tobago 12-10 to win their third title in four years, and would go on to win the 2010 editing at home at the Guyana National Stadium (22-17 over Jamaica) as well as the 2011 Championship in Barbados with a resounding 29-0 triumph over the Cayman Islands in the finals.In 2012, Green Machine relinquished their title when the tournament was hosted in Canada, and funding kept the team out of the 2013 championship in the Cayman Islands.However, in 2014, the Guyanese men bounced back to run riot in the tournament where they defeated host nation Mexico in Mexico City 33-28.In 2015 when the tournament was hosted in the USA, Guyana did not make it to the podium and the following year (2016) despite losing to Canada 5-54 in the final, the team picked up their seventh title since the Canadians were participating only as means of development.The following two tournaments (2017 and 2018) would see Jamaica use a team filled with players from UK and who were eligible to represent the ‘Reggae Ruggers’ to beat Guyana in each of the finals, first 28-24 then 22-17.