Pecan prices

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia pecan farmers are seeing some high prices for their crop this year. But they don’t have much crop to sell, due to untimely tropical storms this fall. Shoppers can expect to pay more for pecans this holiday season.Depending on the pecan variety, Georgia farmers are seeing prices ranging from $1.20 to $2.15 per pound, said Greg Fonsah, an economist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. That’s an average of about $1.67 per pound, the highest ever.”We’re certainly looking at some historically high prices for pecans at the farm level right now,” Fonsah said.Farmers haven’t seen prices in this range since 1992. Prices averaged about $1.50 per pound that year. The crop totaled about 30 million pounds, extremely low for Georgia, traditionally the biggest producing state. A large 1991 crop and unfavorable weather caused the ’92 crop to be so poor.Good to badThe weather this summer treated Georgia’s pecan crop well, said Darrell Sparks, a horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.But hurricanes and tropical storms in September pounded the crop that was nearing maturity. Strong winds knocked limbs and nuts to the ground, Sparks said. Many trees were blown completely over.Georgia pecan farmers lost an estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of this year’s crop due to bad weather. They’re expected to harvest about 40 million pounds this year. That’s about half what they harvested last year, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service. Production hasn’t been this low since the drought of 1998.The United States is expected to produce about 189 million pounds of pecans this year, about 33 percent less than last year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.More than half of Georgia’s crop is in poor to very poor condition, according to the GASS. About 20 percent of it has been harvested. The harvest will run through December.”Some growers say they will only harvest once because there’s not enough out there to make it worth harvesting a second time,” said Lenny Wells, a Dougherty County Extension Service agent. With about 15,000 acres of orchards, Dougherty County is considered the hub of Georgia pecan production.Alabama’s pecan crop was also heavily damaged by tropical storms. As much as 80 percent of the crop was reportedly lost there due to Hurricane Ivan.Consumer pricesThis year’s early-season pecan halves are selling for between $7 and $8 per pound in grocery stores in south Georgia.Pecan halves last year averaged between $4.50 and $5.50 per pound, according to Jose Pena, an economist with the Texas Cooperate Extension Service. Prices are expected to come down as the harvest progresses.This year, Texas is expected to produce about 50 million pounds of pecans, pushing past Georgia for the top producing state for the second year in a row.Total U.S. tree nut production is expected to be about 2.3 billion pounds, the highest on record, according to the USDA.last_img read more

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The current microtrend of banks buying credit unions

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr “If you live long enough, you will see everything” is how one credit union executive reacted to the idea that banks should consider acquiring credit unions.Just a few years ago, the idea of a credit union buying a bank seemed crazy; today, it is a proven and successful growth strategy for credit unions. Could the initially surprising idea of banks buying credit unions follow a similar path? I don’t think so.In full disclosure, this author is from the dark side. I’ve been a banker for 30 years—big banks, small banks, mutual banks, consultant. I’ve been a bank CEO and a major stock holder and I’ve been involved in many types of bank mergers and acquisitions. For the last five years, I’ve been working with credit unions as they map out their growth strategies, including possible mergers with other credit unions and acquisitions of bank branches and even whole banks.So, what good could come of selling your credit union to a bank? Besides the obvious growth and size benefits, a bank could reap significant benefits from a credit union acquisition. A credit union is often rich in highly coveted core deposits. Additionally, credit unions have strengths in areas that could benefit banks. For example, credit unions are focused on retail banking and typically have consumer banking capabilities that would strengthen a bank’s performance in retail banking. Likewise, many credit unions have specialized expertise in such areas as insurance, investments, indirect auto lending and even trip and travel agency services for members. A bank might even consider maintaining the credit union brand (obviously sans the words “credit union”) to sustain the value of the retail relationships. continue reading »last_img read more

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Current trends in tourism to pay attention to

first_imgThe evolution of intermediary platforms, investment in foreign markets with a real need and in a new wave of construction of hotels and accommodation units and the offer of a comprehensive arrangement are the characteristics of the tourism sector of the future.Richard Clarke, senior analyst at Bernstein Asset Management in London, for Booking.com he proposed four current trends in tourism, to which the world should pay more attention.The first of the Fantastic Four refers to travel brokerage platforms such as Online Travel Agents (OTA) or an airline Ryanair. Intermediary platforms are part of the world of the future, so it should come as no surprise that they have been the most attractive location for investment in recent years. Still, Clarke warns that the aforementioned platforms will have to grow out of the role of a purely travel intermediary. For example, hotel chains such as the Hilton and Marriott, indigenous hotel industry and travel agencies such as Tui i Thomas Cook with the offer of tourist arrangements in the last six to nine months they have done excellently. If they want to survive in the near future, intermediary platforms must build unique content. Clarke at this point proposes an exclusive brokerage by which the given platform would be the only broker of the hotel outside its domestic market.The next trend will concern one exceptional economic opportunity. Namely, it is about investments in the development of tourism within the country, which is predicted to attract approximately 2025 billion dollars of investments by 400. Consequently, and by fairly simple logic, China has imposed itself as the most generous investment location. Also, an incredibly mobile and wealthy middle class has formed in China, a market whose needs open up numerous opportunities in the hospitality sector. At the same time, there is a shortage of hotels and similar accommodation units in the Asian market, while the popularity of Western brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Accor i IHG growing. The four listed hotel giants currently account for 12% of the total offer of accommodation units, while with the implementation of the planned expansion, this percentage will increase to 64%.The third trend is closely related to the previous one, ie to the wave of opening new hotels in the period of the post-financial crisis. Clarke points out that in the United States, the rate of opening new accommodation in 2008 and 2009 was only 2%, while by 2012 it had fallen enormously to 0.5%. Globally, the low rate of opening new hotels has led to increased demand for existing ones and ensured their safe passage through the crisis, ignoring even falling prices. This is now a thing of the past, Clarke concluded, because with the improvement of the financial picture, new players are entering the market competition – the most obvious phenomenon outside Europe, but it is important to point out that the number of emerging hotels on the continent is twice as high as last year.Finally, Clarke discusses travel arrangements, that is, are they remnants of some ancient past or are they rising again from the fire? He cites examples of Accor expressing interest in the airline Air France. Hotel giant Marriott is continuously investing in travel organizations, and some online travel agencies already have diversified content on offer. Simply everyone wants to be a part of the tourist story and for them to be the place where travelers start their adventure. A great example of such a business is Tui which owns its own airline, hotels, cruisers, transfer services and the like which makes its arrangement comprehensive and the journey much easier as everything needed for its implementation is in one place.Tui’s strong market position is a kind of inspiration to other travel agencies and travel organizations, as well as an indicator of the path the market has taken. This is fully in line with the spirit of the times, Clarke explains, because in a period of enduring anxiety and chronic lack of time, arrangements covering all aspects of travel infuse clients with a security to which they gladly return.last_img read more

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Trinidad government doing everything possible to reduce crime, says minister

first_img Share Share NewsRegional Trinidad government doing everything possible to reduce crime, says minister by: – August 10, 2011 Sharing is caring! Minister of National Security John Sandy PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Minister of National Security John Sandy has assured that the government is doing everything in its power to ensure that criminal activity subsides in Trinidad and Tobago.The minister’s statement, according to the Guardian newspaper, was made on Monday after a graduation ceremony for police officers who completed a training programme held by BGTT.Sandy said, “We (Government) recognise that criminal activity has subsided in the last period but over the past few weeks there has been an upsurge.”He said the police were currently developing anti-crime strategies from which special operations would occur but he declined to reveal details.In his feature address to graduates, the minister observed that public confidence in the Police Service was not where it ought to be.“For too long the T&T Police Service has been unable to provide the kind of service the public demands and rightly deserves. It is expected that training programmes, such as these provided by BGTT, will help officers develop the skills and competency that will improve service quality and reverse the low levels of public confidence,” he said.Thirty officers and civilian staff were trained in the first phase of the programme using BGTT’s online learning management system.The officers, ranging from police constables to assistant superintendents, participated in courses on business writing, speaking with authority and influencing key stakeholders.Sandy thanked BGTT for their proactive involvement in improving Trinidad and Tobago’s Police Service.He congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to share the knowledge gained from the programme with their counterparts across the divisions of the Police Service.Caribbean News Nowcenter_img Tweet Share 9 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

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