Record crop yields?


first_imgGeorgia row-crop farmers worked hard on their fields this growing season, and Mother Nature gave them some favorable “calls.” They could break records. This coupled with fair prices could lead them, if not to a conference championship, to at least what could be called a “winning” season.Most Georgia farmers plant more than one crop during a season, usually managing a combination of peanuts, cotton, corn or soybeans. Across the board, they are looking at record or record-tying yields.Farmers planted 1 million acres of cotton this year and expect to produce1.8 million bales. (A bale is 480 pounds of lint.) This is slightly less than earlier predictions, but still 200,000 bales better than last year, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service.“Certainly the profit potential is there for cotton when you consider the size of the crop, which will be by most accounts phenomenal,” said Don Shurley, a cotton economist with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.Right now, the state’s average yield is forecast to be 873 pounds per acre, or 24 pounds more than the previous record set in 2005. Harvest will not be complete until later this month or next.Along with the yields, prices are also good at 70 cents per pound of lint right now. “And any price that starts with the number ‘7’ gets cotton farmers’ attention,” Shurley said.Overall, U.S. and world production is down 5 percent this year. Demand for U.S. cotton has rebounded by 2.5 percent after a major slump last year, which has kept prices higher.Georgia peanut yields are expected to be 3,500 pounds per acre, which would be 50 pounds more than the record set in 2003, according to GASS.“If we do reach or exceed 3,500, it will be amazing, considering the delayed planting in spring and the very undesirable harvest conditions,” said John Beasley, a UGA Extension peanut agronomist.The No. 1 reason, he said, Georgia may reach the record is the widespread use of improved peanut varieties, like Georgia-06 G, Florida-07 and Tifguard. These varieties have high levels of disease resistance and perform with good rainfall, which most of the state received after June.Prices for this season’s peanuts are $400 per ton, or $50 to $100 less than last year. This decrease is due to 1 million tons in surplus that hung over preplanting decisions and contract offers farmers were receiving, said Nathan Smith, a UGA Extension economist. Georgia peanut farmers, who produce half of the nation’s crop, responded to the surplus by planting 505,000 acres this year, or 185,000 acres less than last. The U.S. will produce 1.8 million tons this year, 300,000 tons less than the expected U.S. consumption. This will shrink the surplus which will be good for prices next year, Smith said.Demand for peanuts has recovered from the salmonella scare associated with a Georgia processing facility earlier this year. It is on track to be up 2 percent from last year, Smith said.Georgia’s average corn yield will be 140 bushels per acre, tying last year’s record. Timely rain and irrigation helped the crop. Prices are good, too, Smith said, around $3.85 to $4 per bushel. An increase in demand for ethanol, which is made from corn, has bolstered prices.Soybean farmers will also tie a yield record this year, averaging 33 bushels per acre. Prices for soybeans are high at $10 per bushel. China’s demand for U.S. soybeans has fueled the high prices. They will import 614 million bushels this year, double what they imported last year.Overall input costs, or what farmers spend to produce a crop, stayed the same or decreased 5 percent to 10 percent from the previous year, Smith said. This helps farmers’ bottom lines.Georgia’s growing season results will vary from farm to farm and so will profits, he said. Some farmers spent more, for example, to control insects or diseases in certain locations.“But overall, things do look better now compared to what we were forecasting earlier this year,” Smith said.last_img read more

How to fail at mobile lending without even trying


first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Preston Packer Preston Packer is the Director of Sales & Marketing for FLEX. Preston has been with FLEX since 2000 and has worked in various sales management roles over that time. Preston’… Web: www.flexcutech.com Details Your 2016 goals and strategy are no doubt set, and if you’re like most credit unions we talk to mobile lending is on that list. We see the rise in social media and the need to appeal to younger members as the main push for CU’s to adopt mobile lending, and we understand that technology is changing the way members access financial services. However, as much as mobile lending is an opportunity for credit unions to gain more revenue and new members, how much of an impact will it make to your bottom line? Will the amount of new business justify the expenditure?With the right core in place, you are presented with the opportunity to introduce new technology to your product offering with relative ease. Thanks to integrated apps, if your credit union core has kept up with the pace of technology, going to market with a product like mobile lending may not require as much up front work or costs as you fear.View our “Loans To Go!” eBook on using your core technology to master mobile lending.But just having the product available is not enough to ensure success. Here are some common ways to fail in your planning and implementation of mobile lending for your CU:1) Making too many assumptions about your members and their demographics Most credit union executives understand the demographics of their current and potential member base, and how they are changing, and then project those changes on to their offering. But be careful in drawing too many conclusions. Credit unions with aging members should not assume that mobile technologies only target the young. However resistant to adoption, older members will depend increasingly upon mobile technology as they live longer lives and as their mobility declines. Consideration of demographics like this can illuminate a long-term vision for mobile lending.2) Assuming your mobile lending is the only game in town Gauge your members’ susceptibility to competing alternatives. It’s a strong bet that your neighborhood loan shark can be found in the app store. Whether from some obscure shadow banking outlet, or from a major player like Quicken or Google, members have many new sources of cash. Take the time to understand these encroaching services and assess the extent to which your members are susceptible to them. As you do so, you will see opportunities to differentiate and better estimate demand for your mobile loan offerings. For example, credit unions who offer remote controls for cards enjoy a distinct competitive advantage in promoting credit card loans to members who travel, who shop online or who might be otherwise uniquely exposed to fraud risk.3) Targeting members’ stereotypesA recent study around the use of big-data reveals that “interests, opinions and overt behaviors are a much better indicator of customer demand” than traditionally-defined market segments. In other words, indicators like income, ethnicity or education matter much less than your member’s personal credit score, substance abuse record, work-place habits or spending patterns.While most credit unions think big-data is something accessible only by government entities and internet wizards, it’s really not. Big-data is any resource that helps you construct an intimate picture of how your members behave and what motivates them. As you analyze information you already possess in your loan portfolio and account records, you will better see how those pictures of your members fit into your strategic landscape for mobile lending.4) Not even tryingSimply NOT considering and thoroughly analyzing mobile lending is a sure-fire way to fail at it.  Even if you determine it is not right for you, doing your due diligence to assess it will benefit you, while ignoring it would be a huge mistake. Most Americans now own a mobile phone and mobile has overtaken PC usage on the internet. It was just announced that in 2015, the number of weekly mobile bankers exceeded weekly branch bankers. Nearly 70% of online product searches lead to action within an hour and mobile loan products should be no exception!Assessing the impact of mobile lending is important, but be sure you get there, and get your implementation right. Tier-1 mobile apps, such as those developed by FLEX, integrate directly into your credit union core processing system so they can deliver the efficiency and advanced capabilities that your staff and your members will demand. You’ll find integrated systems to be indispensable to your success in the mobile arena.Download our new eBook: Loans To Go!last_img read more

Bully’s carnival date change suggestion given two thumbs down


first_imgEvents Director, Natalie Clarke-Meade.A suggestion by Dominica’s Cultural Advisor Dr. Alwin Bully to change the date of its Real Mas celebrations is not getting the full support of two top members within the carnival organization.Both Events Director of the Dominica Festivals Committee Natalie Clarke-Meade and a former senior cultural officer Noreen Joseph say they won’t support suggestions to move the event to the summertime.While there has been widespread debate on the matter, Bully has reasoned that the change will assist the Carnival in becoming more economically viable.He also justified his reasons by pointing out that Dominica’s carnival is competing with that of Trinidad and Tobago’s’.Clarke-Meade told Dominica Vibes News that she understands Dr. Bully’s reasoning based on the economic viability and the fact that Carnival comes after the World Creole Music Festival and some sponsors are not able to offer the level of sponsorship required.However she says this decision might have an impact on the Real Mas which is known for its traditional and spontaneous nature. “I don’t know how the people of Dominica would react to that because your Carnival is over 130 years old. It has run like clockwork every year leading up to Ash Wednesday, to now take away that tradition and that culture away and say that we want to put it at the end of June because we want it to be more economically viable, I don’t know how well that will go down with the common man and woman on the street.” Clarke-Meade also noted that “all minds have to contend and really think about this in a logical way”.Noreen Joseph during Costume Parade on Carnival Tuesday 2012.Cultural Icon Noreen Joseph also defers with Dr. Bully’s suggestion, arguing that Dominica’s Carnival is heavily based on culture and tradition while Trinidad’s own is based on costume. She explained that if the Carnival date is changed to Bully’s stipulated summertime date, Dominica might not attract people in the United States who normally take vacation to the Caribbean during this time due to the cold temperatures. She further explained that June/July would not be suitable either as this might affect the youth involvement in Carnival. “There were seven school bands this year if it’s in June or July most of them are somewhere else on vacation or April to May they are writing exams what is going to happen to that aspect of the Carnival; the youth Carnival, the Junior Carnival the people that we asking to take our places now what’s going to happen them?” she questioned.Joseph, who is also a former head of the road parade committee, suggests however that more focused be placed on the proper and effective marketing of Dominica’s tradition. “I am saying that if we concentrate on marketing our Carnival properly, if we market it more effectively we will reach a number of persons. I think that the other countries that celebrate Carnival at the same time is a totally different aspect of Carnival. I don’t think that there is any competition with Trinidad; Trinidad is totally costume and if you’re not in a costume band you cannot jump in Trinidad’s Carnival whereas you can have a T-shirt band here in Dominica, you can make a sensay and this is what we need to promote our traditional mas. I’m saying let us market more aggressively to those people and they will come.”According to Joseph that change will also affect the name “Carnival” as it would no longer precede the Lent season. “When we remove Carnival from its present date that precedes Lent we no longer have a Carnival we have a festival. It’s no longer a Carnival because Carnival as we know it precedes Lent. Where are you going to put Lent? We cannot shift Lent so people might even start to forget Lent because there was not the two days.”Joseph said; “It’s debatable and it will continue to create confusion maybe but I’m not sure changing of the date will stick but it’s my opinion”.Mrs. Clarke-Meade also noted that improved marketing should be the focus as opposed to a date change.She also highlighted the fact that Dominica’s Carnival is “still safe unlike Trinidad and Tobago which has a high crime and violence level, people can come here and be spontaneous”.She proposes that the marketing strategy should be changed; the festival should be branded properly and organized in a different way to entice more people to participate.Dominica Vibes News 29 Views   no discussions LocalNews Bully’s carnival date change suggestion given two thumbs down by: – February 23, 2012 Tweet Sharecenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more