17 Jan

Great Georgia Grains

first_img“Any nation that needs soybeans at this time of year has to come to us to getthem,” he said. But the prices of retail bread and wheat products remained the same because thewheat value in the product is already quite low. Through 1996, world wheat stocks dropped to a very low level. It becameimperative to either grow a very large crop or use less wheat. Because those stockswere so low, prices rose. Shumaker said the rising wheat prices earlier this year didn’t really affectGeorgians, though. Local prices dropped near the harvest period. The main grainexporting facility in Savannah closed last year, further depressing prices. Georgia farmers grew a very large corn crop. Farmers really had to manage theway they sold their corn, to reduce their risk of getting caught by falling prices, hesaid. A lot of the effect farmers felt was due to a cold, wet spring in the Midwest. Thatkept those farmers from harvesting their wheat on time and planting corn. Other feed grains include soybeans. Georgia farmers are just getting back intogrowing soybeans. “For many years, other crops such as peanuts, cotton, corn orwheat, were more profitable,” Shumaker said. “So farmers grew those instead ofsoybeans.” New management programs are helping Georgia farmers grow soybeans atprofitable levels. They’re contributing to the record U.S. soybean exports thisyear, too. “Here at the end of 1996, I would expect to see some increase in soybean acres (for1997),” Shumaker said, “and a slight decline in the corn market.”center_img The near-record crop caused prices to fall sharply during harvest. They droppedfrom $5.50 per bushel during early spring to about $2.50 per bushel duringharvest in September and October. But that’s good news for livestock farmers and retail meat buyers. Lower cornand other feed grain costs help lower the cost of raising beef cattle, hogs andchickens. Lower production costs gradually translate into slight retail price drops. Worldwide wheat production jumped through the rest of 1996. “In fact, right nowthere is really an excess of wheat in the market,” Shumaker said. That’s pushingprices back down. “1996 was a good year for all the grains in Georgia — corn, wheat and soybeans,”said George Shumaker, an economist with the University of Georgia ExtensionService. Current price ratios between soybeans and corn suggest that soybeans are likely toreturn a greater profit than corn for grain farmers, he said. Mother Nature smiled on Georgia grain farmers this year. Not just by sending usfavorable weather, but by making growing conditions unfavorable in the Midwest. This is the first year farmers are operating under the “Freedom to Farm” bill thatallows them to switch to crops that can be more profitable for them. Shumakersaid that’s allowed them to plant different crops as world market prices havedropped or risen.last_img read more

17 Dec

5 ways to compete with fintechs

first_img 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr With their flexibility and focus on innovation, fintech firms continue to pose a competitive threat to credit unions, says John Waupsh, author of “Bankruption” and chief innovation officer at Kasasa, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.He spoke at Disruption 17 by CU Water Cooler Wednesday in Madison, Wis., about how to outmaneuver upstarts in the financial services world.To do so, Waupsh suggests five areas to focus on:1. TargetingSuccessful institutions today have a target audience and are constantly updating their data around that target audience, Waupsh says.Likewise, credit unions must decide who their target audience is and where their growth will come from. continue reading »last_img read more

29 Sep

ESG roundup: AP7 blacklists coal and phosphate companies

first_imgSweden’s AP7 has added two new companies to its investment blacklist and removed six more after the end of its standard five-year exclusion period.Bharat Heavy Electricals and NTPC were excluded from the SEK430bn (€41.6bn) pension fund’s investment universe for violating environmental standards through the construction of a coal-fired power plant near a world heritage classified national park.Bharat Heavy Electricals has been criticised for its plans to build the plant near the Sundarban mangrove forest – which straddles the India-Bangladesh border – for a joint venture between NTPC and Bangladesh Power Development Board.In addition, two companies already on AP7’s exclusion list – Agrium and Potash – have merged into a new company, Nutrien, which has subsequently been added to the blacklist. Nutrien, like its predecessors, has been excluded for human rights violations, as it has been accused of importing phosphate from the disputed territory of Western Sahara. According to campaign group Western Sahara Resource Watch, Nutrien has been automatically blacklisted by Sweden’s other AP funds as well as Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global and municipal pensions provider KLP.AP7’s list of excluded firms now numbers 65 companies, down from 70 firms in December.Six companies have been accepted back into the investment universe, having been blacklisted for five years, including BP and Transocean, which were barred in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. “Our policy is that we blacklist companies for five years if we have verified information that they are involved in norms-breaches,” a spokeswoman for AP7 said. “The companies will be re-included in our investment universe after five years unless the norms breaches continue,” she said.Hermes launches carbon risk assessment toolHermes Investment Management has launched a carbon tool to help its fund managers make enhanced investment decisions and to better inform engagement activities with companies in relation to climate change.The tool allows fund managers to asset their fund’s carbon performance and carbon risk. The carbon risk of a fund is measured relative to its benchmark and of listed companies relative to their peers, based on emissions in the Scope 1, 2 and 3 categories.It has a forward-looking element, in that a fund’s ‘profit at risk’ is calculated for different future carbon pricing and policy scenarios.The tool also identifies companies with which carbon-focused engagement should be initiated or intensified, and gauges the degree of progress achieved on any engagement already underway.According to the manager, the tool will also help enhance client reporting to demonstrate how environmental considerations and engagement are being “credibly integrated into the firm’s fund and stewardship offerings” – a key element of proposed sustainable finance rules from the EU.Eoin Murray, head of investment at Hermes Investment Management, said the tool helped its fund managers to more effectively take into account information about specific carbon risk and thereby enhance their investment decisions.“Assessing carbon risk helps identify investment opportunities and threats to value, and begin or intensify engagements that can reduce the risk of holding exposed companies,” he said.The manager intends to launch further tools over the next 12 to 18 months to help assess water risk and company board composition. Majority of investors integrating ESG, backing SDGsMore than four in five asset owners (84%) are pursuing or actively considering ESG integration, according to a survey by Morgan Stanley.The investment bank polled 118 asset owners from around the world – including pension funds, endowments, sovereign wealth funds and insurers – and found that more than two thirds (70%) had allocated to some form of ESG strategy within their investment portfolio.Morgan Stanley also reported that 78% of asset owners sought to align their investments with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or at least considering doing so.Despite the affirmative signs from the survey, respondents also indicated that proof of financial performance of ESG strategies was the “top challenge” for investors.In addition, fewer than half felt they had adequate tools and resources to assess the effectiveness of their ESG allocations.last_img read more

23 Sep

Indiana FSSA changes SNAP benefit date for February disbursement

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has been informed by the USDA the state must issue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for the month of February on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, rather than the previously-reported date of Saturday, January 19.In Indiana, SNAP benefits are usually issued to recipients according to an alphabetical schedule over a 19 day period throughout the month. This one-time early benefit distribution was identified by USDA officials as a mechanism provide SNAP benefits during the partial federal government shutdown.No SNAP benefits will be issued in the month of February, so recipients are strongly encouraged to budget their SNAP benefits to ensure the amount received provides for their food needs through the entire month of February. January benefits are being distributed according to the normal schedule. FSSA will continue to accept and process applications for benefits for January issuance through January 31.FSSA remains in contact with federal partners and will provide further updates if warranted.last_img read more

6 Jan

England hope different mindset will conquer penalty curse

first_img0Shares0000England coach Gareth Southgate famously missed a penalty at Euro 96 © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSSAINT PETERSBURG, Russian Federation, Jul 1 – England have projected this World Cup as a fresh start for a new generation but the team’s record of failure in penalty shoot-outs may not be so easy to forget.Penalties have been the death of England at six of the last 12 major tournaments and in that time, they have won only once, against Spain at Euro ’96. Gareth Southgate’s playing career was defined by the shot he side-footed into the hands of Andreas Kopke as England then lost in the semi-finals at Wembley to Germany.“I have had a couple of decades thinking it through,” Southgate said last week.His experience has informed his own approach now as coach, with a last 16 tie against Colombia to come on Tuesday and the possibility of penalties looming again.Southgate was in the World Cup squad in 1998 under Glenn Hoddle, who believed shoot-outs were a lottery, impossible to replicate in training and therefore not worth any form of practice.England duly lost to Argentina on spot-kicks and missed out on the quarter-finals.If there is one thing Southgate has been determined to drill into the preparation of his players, it is that penalty shoot-outs are not decided by chance.England forward Harry Kane takes part in a training session in Saint Petersburg © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS“It’s definitely not chance,” Marcus Rashford said from England’s training base in Repino on Sunday.“It’s a skill and every skill takes time to learn and to perfect. It’s never a chance. It’s just about being able to perform it with pressure.”England have been practising penalties since March. The players rehearse the walk from the halfway line as well as their shot. Southgate has deployed video analysts and psychometric testing to gauge his most reliable takers.“There have been occasions where you even tell the goalkeepers which way you’re going so it has to be the perfect penalty,” Rashford said.England’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has saved five out of 30 penalties faced during matches, a similar record to his two back-ups, Jack Butland, whose record is four from 25, and Nick Pope, who is three from 13.It is standard practice now for keepers to study their opponents’ habits, even if Pickford was left stumped when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi stepped up in England’s opening match.“The lad who scored it had never taken a pen before. I was struggling with where to go,” Pickford said. “I got fingertips on it and went the right way, which is promising.”Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois has suggested Pickford, at 1.85 metres tall, carries a disadvantage but Colombia’s stopper David Ospina is even smaller at 1.83 metres.England might take heart too from Ospina’s record. In spot-kicks awarded during games, he has saved only three out of 38 and one in his last 15. In shoot-outs, he helped Colombia past Peru in the Copa America two years ago by blocking Miguel Trauco’s effort with his legs.For England, half the battle will surely be mental. How heavy will the past weigh on the present?“We can’t change the past, it’s gone now,” Rashford said.“All we can look forward to is what is in front of us and I don’t think we ever think about that type of thing with England. It would put you on a bit of a downer.“We understand it but that record is definitely not something that is on our minds.”Rashford said he would be willing to put his hand up, as did Dele Alli when he was asked on Saturday.Harry Kane, who slammed two penalties into the top corner against Panama, would certainly be one of the five, while Jamie Vardy, who takes them for Leicester, is an option off the bench.Jordan Henderson, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker could also be on Southgate’s list.“You have to control it, you have to own it,” Alli said. “I’m confident in myself and what’s meant to be will be.“We’ve got to try to work hard on the penalties and we have been, we’re trying to own the situation, not let it own us. It’s changed the whole mindset for us.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

29 Dec

Celtic starlet eyed by Arsenal snubs interest to sign new five-year deal

first_img1 The young star in action with Celtic last season. Celtic have confirmed that Kieran Tierney has agreed a new five-year deal at the club.The young left-back has signed a contract that will keep him at Celtic Park until 2021, after enjoying a stellar debut campaign last season.New manager Brendan Rodgers has been immediately impressed with the defender, telling the Daily Record how it took just two days to realise the superstar potential Tierney possessed.“I saw in the first two days I was in charge that Kieran Tierney will be a top player,” said the news Hoops boss. “He’s a 19-year-old kid and probably before the start of last season no-one would have heard of him.“But I can tell you that I know from my experience of working in England in the middle section and at the top end of the league, that this kid will be a top player. For sure. Absolutely 100 per cent he will be.”The 19-year-old, who has been with the Scottish giants since he was just seven, was rumoured to be the subject of a potential bid from Arsenal.Tierney’s performances in the SPL had not gone unnoticed on the international stage either, with Scotland boss Gordon Strachan rewarding the defender with a call-up to the side in March earlier this year.last_img read more

16 Sep

Murray targets opponents of CRC video

first_imgPointing out the recent collapse of the Interstate 5 Skagit River bridge, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said Friday that opponents of the Columbia River Crossing project need to stop and think about what could happen if officials fail to replace the I-5 Bridge over the Columbia River.Murray said she’s met with Skagit County businesses entrenched in the traffic nightmare that followed the bridge collapse, as cars and big rigs were forced to detour around the now defunct portion of I-5.“Seeing the businesses that have been impacted, the tears in their eyes … I can’t imagine that happening here if (the Columbia River) bridge were to be shut down because it was declared too unsafe,” Murray said during a stop in Vancouver. “It doesn’t have to be that way.”During an interview with The Columbian, Murray also turned up the heat on CRC opponents, suggesting that they have no backup plan to replace the Columbia River I-5 Bridge in a prompt manner.At the federal level, “there is no backup plan,” the Democrat said. “The people who are opposing (the CRC) need to tell you what the backup plan is.”last_img read more