Costco, Walmart Cut Back on Shoppers Allowed in Store, Again

first_img faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes HerbeautyNutritional Strategies To Ease AnxietyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyJennifer Lopez And Alex Rodriguez’s Wedding DelayedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyUnapologetic Celebs Women AdoreHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Most Influential Women In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Vietnamese Stunners That Will Take Your Breath AwayHerbeautyHerbeauty Grocery stores and supermarkets in Pasadena have ramped up safety measures to comply with state and local advisories on social distancing, as COVID-19 continues to threaten communities across the U.S.Walmart has added new signs on the floor on their checkout lanes to show shoppers what the six-foot space for social distancing looks like. Last weekend, the chain started limiting the number of customers who can be in a store at once, allowing no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet of space at a given time, or roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity. They’ve also put up sneeze guards by their cash registers, and promised to regularly disinfect shopping carts to protect shoppers from infection.Also last weekend, Target started actively monitoring and limiting the number of shoppers allowed inside their stores based on each particular store’s square footage. Earlier, Target installed signage, floor decals and recorded audio messages to encourage social distancing.Target has also stopped accepting returns or exchanges in-store, effective for the next three weeks, and said they won’t be selling reusable bags to prevent the spread of infection.Target’s stores in Pasadena are located at 3121 and 777 E. Colorado Blvd.Kroger Companies, which owns the Ralphs Supermarkets chain in Southern California, including three stores in Pasadena, said they will be installing plexiglass shields at their checkouts, along with floor markings that will show customers as well as employees where to stand at a safe distance.Starting Tuesday, the chain will begin to limit the number of customers allowed in its stores at any one time. Under the new rules, all stores will only be able to reach 50 percent capacity. Kroger said they will be using new technology using infrared sensors and predictive analytics to monitor new capacity limits.Ralphs has stores at 320 W. Colorado Blvd., 160 N. Lake Ave., and 3601 E. Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena.Albertsons, which owns Pavilions at The Shops on Lake Avenue in Pasadena and Pavilions at 1213 Fair Oaks Ave. in South Pasadena, was one of the first retailers that installed sneeze guards at their checkout counters to keep customers and staff safe from infection.They’ve also started using floor markers to emphasize the value of social distancing.“Social distancing can make a significant difference in our communities as we face this pandemic,” Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran said in a recent statement. “Our stores are following the guidance from the CDC with regard to regular hand washing and enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols. We believe that the next step toward helping slow and contain the COVID-19 virus is by reinforcing proper social distancing whenever possible.”For the moment, all self-service areas at Pavilions, such as salad bars, are closed, the company said.Publix Food and Pharmacy, which has a branch in South Pasadena, has also launched additional measures to protect workers and customers. Recently, Publix confirmed they would add plexiglass shields to all their checkout lanes, pharmacies, and customer service desks starting this weekend.Whole Foods, owned by Amazon, earlier shut down its self-service food bars to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It has also closed in-store dining areas, limited customers to takeout-only food service, and started closing stores two hours early so workers can restock shelves and sanitize interior and exterior areas.Whole Foods has stores at 465 S. Arroyo Parkway and 3751 E. Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena. top box 4 Costco, Walmart Cut Back on Shoppers Allowed in Store, Again By ANDY VITALICIO Published on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 | 3:50 pm Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * 18 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website Business News Make a comment CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community Newscenter_img Top of the News Subscribe Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy More Cool Stuff Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

Both Sides of the Aisle Urging GSE Reform

first_img Just how big of an issue is the GSEs’ dwindling capital buffer and the FHFA’s almost eight-year long conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac becoming?So much of a concern that in mid-May, a coalition of 12 right-center organizations wrote a letter to Congress urging them to pass a GSE reform bill sponsored by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-South Carolina).But that’s not all—it’s so much of a concern that factions on both sides of the political aisle are petitioning Congress for change. Late last week, a group of 32 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote a letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew asking them to reassess the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement (PSPA) policy that requires the GSEs’ capital buffer to be reduced to zero by January 1, 2018.The group of Democratic lawmakers, led by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Massachusetts), cited the now infamous speech Watt made at the Bipartisan Policy Center back in February in which he said there were risks that were “certain to escalate” the longer the GSEs remain in conservatorship of the FHFA. The main risk, Watt said in his speech, is the required reduction of the GSEs’ capital buffer to zero by the end of next year.In their letter, the Democratic lawmakers pointed out that the FHFA Director is required by law to see that the GSEs have adequate capital and that they are operated in a manner that does not pose a risk to taxpayers.“Fortunately, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 provides a solution to this problem by requiring the FHFA Director to ensure that the GSEs are adequately capitalized.”32 Democratic Members of Congress“Fortunately, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 provides a solution to this problem by requiring the FHFA Director to ensure that the GSEs are adequately capitalized,” the lawmakers wrote. “HERA includes a number of provisions expressing Congress’ intent that the GSEs be operated in a safe and sound manner.”The Democratic lawmakers stated that Congress’ lack of legislation post-HERA and the fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain in conservatorship of the FHFA nearly eight years later does not justify an agreement between FHFA and Treasury to ignore the HERA’s mandate.The subject of GSE reform has long been a hotly contested one among lawmakers and the housing industry, but discussions have taken on a new intensity since Watt’s speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center nearly four months ago. In the midst of immediate uproar over Watt’s speech, Treasury released a statement a week later saying that the GSEs would not be recapitalized and released from conservatorship. The Urban Institute has published a series of white papers written by housing experts and analysts on housing policy reform as part of its Housing Finance Reform Incubator. Home / Daily Dose / Both Sides of the Aisle Urging GSE Reform Print This Post Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Conservatorships Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac GSE Capital Buffer Treasury 2016-06-06 Brian Honea The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save June 6, 2016 1,377 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Secondary Market Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days agocenter_img Previous: Fannie Mae to Publish Reperforming Loan Data Next: More Renters Looking to Buy These Days Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Both Sides of the Aisle Urging GSE Reform Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Tagged with: Conservatorships Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac GSE Capital Buffer Treasury Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Related Articles Subscribelast_img read more

Friend of alleged rape victim tells trial she underestimated how drunk they both were

first_imgThe friend of a student allegedly raped by two men has told a trial she underestimated how drunk she and her friend were.But Senior Counsel for the defence put it to the alleged rape victim that her detailed description given to gardaí of the route she took home was “not a description of someone who was blind drunk and hasn’t a clue where they are”.The complainant’s friend told the trial yesterday she heard the alleged victim moaning and saying the word “harder” during sex.The complainant was a student at a college in Co Donegal in February 2015 when she says the two defendants raped her after a night of drinking.In the trial at the Central Criminal Court, the men, who have a legal entitlement to anonymity, have pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape of the woman in a town in the county.The defendants are now aged 29 and 33 and are residents of Donegal. The complainant is now aged in her 20s. The alleged rape happened after she and her female friend accepted a lift from two men at the end of a night out and ended up in an apartment. She earlier told the trial she was too drunk to consent to any sexual activity.Giving evidence the complainant’s friend told the jury they were both “very bad” in the way of intoxication, adding she thought the complainant “was worse”. She said that back in the apartment she remembers being offered a vodka drink but declining. She viewed some video taken of the complainant in the bathroom being lifted to her feet by two men.She said her next memory is helping her friend into bed and laying beside her. “I remember I lay beside her and then all of a sudden the lights were off. I could have closed my eyes for a minute. Next I remember one of the guys was on top of [the complainant].“I couldn’t tell [which one]. He was having sex with her. The other guy was on my side. I remember [the complainant] saying harder. The guy beside me tried to put his penis inside me but I put my hands in front of myself and said no no no.“The guy on top of [the complainant] left the room and then the guy who had his hands up my dress went over to her and started having sex with her as well…I heard some moaning.” She said the next morning she woke up on the bed and one of the men was lying between her and the complainant.“I was still drunk. We were both really confused, we didn’t know where we were. We were looking for her purse and her bag.” She said they were chatting to the men and the complainant asked one of them for cannabis weed.Under cross-examination she agreed that in the days after the incident she told gardai that the complainant “seemed drunk, she seemed ok drunk, she didn’t seem that bad.”She told the jury: “From the very start I underestimated how drunk we were. In hindsight, looking back on it all. Not remembering things like coming out of the nightclub illustrates how drunk we were.”Earlier in the trial Barry White SC, defending, put it to the complainant that her detailed description given to gardaí of the route she took home was “not a description of someone who was blind drunk and hasn’t a clue where they are.”The woman replied that it was a route she knew very well. She said her last memory is of her friend coming into her in the bathroom and saying “we have to go”. She told Mr White that she was given to talking in her sleep and “I have been known to moan and make noises in my sleep.”The jury heard she told gardai: “I don’t know if I was moaning or not, I think I might have wanted him to go quicker so that it was over soon.” Counsel put it to her this suggests “you were fully awake.”“I was in and out of consciousness,” she said. Counsel asked her then why she didn’t say no, to which she replied: “I was extremely drunk,” adding “I don’t believe I was sober enough to be able to give consent prior to being had sex with.”Mr White put it to her that her statements to gardaí that she doesn’t remember “when it stopped” and “I don’t think he was wearing a condom” were inconsistent with her evidence that she was too drunk to know what was happening.The woman agreed that she could have phrased this part of her statement differently.In other evidence a garda witness denied having “a cavalier approach” to the manner in which he treated one of the defendants when he went to his home to question him. He said that later on he seized the man’s passport but denied that this was “part of rubber stamping of his detention.”Another garda witness told the jury that when he met the two women the next day they were both visibly upset. He said they were taken in separate garda vehicles to where they thought they were the night before.During a search of the apartment gardaí found a used condom with liquid in it and this was preserved in an evidence vial.The trial continues before Mr Justice Alex Owens and a jury. By News Highland – October 17, 2019 Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter DL Debate – 24/05/21 Facebook Harps come back to win in Waterford Google+ Facebook Friend of alleged rape victim tells trial she underestimated how drunk they both were WhatsAppcenter_img Twitter Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Pinterest Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Homepage BannerNews News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Previous articleMan arrested in connection to Derry security alert releasedNext articleFurther clarity casts doubt on Seaview Respite Centre reopening News Highland Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODAlast_img read more

Optimistic signs for manufacturing

first_img Comments are closed. Manufacturing has shown the first signs of a turnaround, according to a newsurvey. The third quarter of the EEF/RSM Robson Rhodes 2003 Engineering Outlooksurvey by the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) reports the secondconsecutive improvement. For the first time in more than two years, the number of companies reportingoutput and orders growth has risen. But it was demand for exports that proppedup order books this quarter, as companies continue to report a decline in thedomestic market. Levels of optimism have also improved, although they are only a little abovewhere they were in the middle of 2002. EEF chief economist Steve Radley said: “A more favourable currency andsome signs of global markets improving are helping manufacturers reap therewards of their efforts to improve competitiveness. “However, the upturn is in a very early phase and many firms are stillstruggling. We are still some way off having the confidence to start investingagain – and what we can term a full recovery.” Optimistic signs for manufacturingOn 9 Sep 2003 in Manufacturing, Personnel Today Features list 2021 – submitting content to Personnel TodayOn this page you will find details of how to submit content to Personnel Today. We do not publish a…center_img Related posts: Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

UVU Athletic Director Vince Otoupal Resigns

first_imgIn his stead, Dr. Jared Sumsion will serve as the interim athletic director. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailOREM, Utah-Friday, Utah Valley University athletic director Vince Otoupal resigned as confirmed by Over the course of his five years as athletic director, he oversaw 16 Division I programs at the Orem-based university. Over the course of the past three years, 95 percent of eligible student-athletes graduated at UVU. In his tenure, the Wolverines won 14 WAC championships, made five NCAA Tournament appearances and boasted numerous All-Americans in various sports. Otoupal was the impetus of the Wolverines’ move into the Western Athletic Conference.center_img February 8, 2019 /Sports News – Local UVU Athletic Director Vince Otoupal Resigns Written by Brad James Tags: Jared Sumsion/UVU Athletics/Vince Otoupal/Western Athletic Conferencelast_img read more

USS Forrest Sherman Holds Live Fire-Training

first_img January 13, 2015 View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Sherman View post tag: conducts Training & Education View post tag: Fire-Training Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Forrest Sherman Holds Live Fire-Training The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) conducted live fire-training, Jan. 10.The crew fired its MK 45 5-inch gun against a remote-controlled unmanned surface target simulating a small, fast boat approaching the ship. Operators aboard the Navy training boat USNS Hunter (8202) controlled the drone target.The practice fire round was followed through to completion. Due to weather, however, Forrest Sherman was unable to complete the exercise. “We did a lot of things successfully, such as coordination and planning,” said Lt. Xia Yang, prospective weapons officer on board Forrest Sherman. “Our Sailors were excellent watch standers and were very attentive to everything happening. I don’t think we could have done it better.”Forrest Sherman conducted the live fire training as part of Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), engaging the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG). The purpose of COMPTUEX, which is conducted by Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4, is to evaluate the mission readiness of all deployable assets, exercising each ship with unplanned and fast-paced tests that will simulate various real-world scenarios.The TRCSG consists of the staff of Carrier Strike Group 12, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the Arleigh- Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Forest Sherman (DDG 98) and USS Farragut (DDG 99). Independent deployers USS McFaul (DDG 74) and USS Laboon (DDG 58) are also participating in the TRCSG COMPTUEX.Forrest Sherman will deploy with the TRCSG later this year to provide an overseas forward presence and maintain maritime security abroad.Press Releasecenter_img View post tag: Forrest View post tag: Live USS Forrest Sherman Holds Live Fire-Training View post tag: Maritime View post tag: USS Share this articlelast_img read more

Press release: New figures show rise in Welsh goods exports

first_img Exports of goods from England increased by 4.3% to £244.8bn; In Scotland, goods exports increased by 7% to £28.8bn; In Wales, goods exports increased by 4.2% to £16.6bn; In Northern Ireland, goods exports increased by 0.8% to £8.5bn; Through the Board of Trade, the UK Government celebrates exceptional businesses who are making great strides in innovation, creating jobs and strengthening their local economies, whilst championing free trade. Welsh exports continue to grow year on year, and the Board of Trade will replicate the UK Government support and recognition demonstrated in the Midlands when the meeting arrives in Swansea later this year. The positive figures come following Alun Cairns’ recent visit to South Africa where he joined the Prime Minister and a delegation of UK businesses for a key trade and investment mission.Today, he joins International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP at the Board of Trade meeting in Coventry where his focus will be on promoting cross border links between Wales and the Midlands Engine.Today’s meeting follows the announcement that the Board of Trade baton will be passed to Wales later this year where prominent figures from business and politics from all over the UK will convene in Swansea in November to recognise local companies with Board of Trade Awards (BOFTAs). The National Trade Academy Programme will also run a Welsh business showcase.In Coventry, Dr Fox is set to announce that three new High Potential Opportunities areas – in Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire – will be promoted to investors around the world, in an estimated multi-billion pound boost to the UK economy.The scheme, coordinated by the Department for International Trade, identifies opportunities to attract foreign direct investment into emerging sectors, regions and clusters – creating new jobs and growth in every corner of the UK.Alun Cairns added: Yet again, Wales is punching above its weight in the global export market, proving that opportunities can also lie in markets outside of the European Union, due to the demand that exists for our products and services. But there are still many opportunities not being realised, and the UK Government’s new Export Strategy aims to address this. It sets out a UK-wide ambition to raise our exports as a proportion of GDP from 30% to 35%, putting us towards the top of the G7. To achieve this, it proposes a new range of measures to help support Welsh companies on the world stage, giving them the practical, promotional and financial support they need to export. New data published today by UK Government shows that goods exports have risen in Wales and across the UK. The figures show an increase in exports from Wales by 4.2% to £16.6bn, compared to the previous quarter.Welcoming the positive figures, Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: Whilst in Coventry, Dr Fox will also announce a second international trade summer school, to run in summer 2019. This follows the success of this year’s National Trade Academy Programme summer school. Applications will open in February.Finally, Dr Fox will award nine BOFTAs, or Board of Trade Awards, to Midlands companies for their excellence in international trade, demonstrating innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism.Further information:Export figuresThe figures show an increase in exports from all nations of the UK: Read the HMRC figures in full The Export Strategy sets out how the government will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets around the world. It presents a streamlined and targeted offer for businesses of all sizes, set to raise productivity, boost wages and protect employment across the UK. Board of TradeThe Department for International Trade (DIT) works directly with companies in 60 countries around the world. Last year, DIT supported 1,682 investment projects which created or safeguarded 81,206 jobs in the UK.The UK Government’s Board of Trade brings together prominent figures from business and politics from each part of the UK, including representatives from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.You can read more about the Board of Trade meeting in Coventry on DIT’s website.last_img read more

The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie Diagnosed With Terminal Brain Cancer

first_imgIn rather somber news, Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip announced that lead singer Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer back in December. Band members Paul Langlois, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair and Johnny Fay, along with family and friends, have stood beside Downie these last few months as the singer has endured the struggle that goes along with such a diagnosis.In spite of this heavyhearted news, the group has decided to do one more tour as “This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us”. You can read the message posted by the band, below:An Important Message From The Band:Hello friends. We have some very tough news to share with you today, and we wish it wasn’t so.A few months ago, in December, Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.Since then, obviously, he’s endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard. In privacy along with his family, and through all of this, we’ve been standing by him.So after 30-some years together as The Tragically Hip, thousands of shows, and hundreds of tours…We’ve decided to do another one.This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us.What we in The Hip receive, each time we play together, is a connection; with each other; with music and it’s magic; and during the shows, a special connection with all of you, our incredible fans.So, we’re going to dig deep, and try to make this our best tour yet.We hope you can come out and join us this summer – details and dates will be coming this week.And we sincerely thank all of you, for your continued love and support,– Paul, GordD, Johnny, Rob, GordSOur thoughts and prayers are with Gord and the entire The Tragically Hip family at this time.last_img read more

Myanmar, Russia pose early tests for Biden’s foreign policy

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — A military coup in Myanmar and a mass crackdown on dissidents in Russia are presenting early tests for the Biden administration as it tries to reestablish American primacy as a worldwide pro-democracy leader. President Joe Biden and his nascent foreign policy team have been confronted with two serious challenges in two parts of the world. The U.S. has invested decades of time, energy and money into promoting democracy in both Myanmar and Russia but now faces challenges in each that could affect the global balance of power. Yet, the tools at its disposal — sanctions — have proved unreliable in prompting change in the past.last_img read more

2017 Ag Forecast

first_imgIn 2017, Georgia row crop farmers will likely devote more acreage to the state’s tried-and-true commodities: cotton and peanuts. This and other agricultural projections for the year were the focus of the 10th annual Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series, held across the state Jan. 18-27.The first event was held in Macon, Georgia, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Georgia Farm Bureau building. Other seminars were held in Athens, Bainbridge, Carrollton, Lyons, Marietta, Tifton and Waynesboro, Georgia, each focusing on the commodities of interest in the area. The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences presented the forecasts in partnership with the Georgia Farm Bureau, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit – Southwest Georgia, with support from Georgia Agribusiness Council.“The Georgia Ag Forecast events allow us to report on trends and share what we believe is going to happen. This gives farmers the opportunity to make good decisions,” said Sam Pardue, CAES dean and director. “The things that we do in agriculture are important not only for the state of Georgia, but for this nation and the world. I am grateful that men and women invest their lives, their energy and resources into an enterprise that does so much good in so many places.”Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, expects the U.S. economy to grow faster in 2017 than it did in 2016. “We’ll see an increase in consumer spending, disposable income and business spending,” he said.The good news for farmers is that the price of inputs, like fertilizer and diesel fuel, are down. Seed prices may increase by 1 percent, machinery costs may rise 1.5 percent and labor rates are expected to remain the same, Wolfe said. The price of diesel fuel is down from a year ago, but is expected to increase in 2017.BEEFThe U.S. cattle supply is recovering after a long-term downward trend due in part to drought. Many producers were forced to reduce their herds because of lack of pasture grass and hay.“We are at a good starting point going forward, but the folks on the demand side had other options, mainly pork and poultry,” CAES agricultural economist Levi Russell said. “The good news is that people still desire beef and often buy quality cuts of beef when they have expendable income.”To make a profit, beef producers in Georgia will need improved pasture conditions and should be savvy marketers.POULTRYOn the poultry side, UGA experts expect production to increase, but growth to be slower than it was in 2016. Competition from other meats will press prices down, but low feed costs should ultimately determine profits in 2017, Russell said. “We had a really big year in poultry. Broiler production on the national level was high in 2016,” he said. “Greater domestic supplies will make exports even more important in 2017.”HOGSThe hog industry saw relatively strong profits in the first half of 2016, but record supply in the last four months of the year led to losses. Hog supplies are expected to grow more slowly, and U.S. pork consumption is expected to increase by 0.4 pounds per person this year, a “modest” increase, Russell said.CORNAmerican farmers grew a record corn crop in 2016, but Georgia yields were down despite an increase in acreage. U.S. corn acreage is expected to decrease due to lower corn prices in relation to soybean prices, said UGA Cooperative Extension economist Don Shurley.“Corn has a good, solid place in Georgia. It’s a good rotation crop with cotton and peanuts,” Shurley said. “Ten to 15 years ago, corn was averaging $2.50 a bushel. Georgia prices will likely be in the low $4 range, but we are a long way from $2.50.”The increase in ethanol levels due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s renewable fuel standard program is good for corn producers, but whether or not strong exports continue is the big question, he said.COTTON Georgia’s acreage has been down for the last two years, but cotton remains “a very stable part of our agricultural economy,” said Shurley, who specializes in researching the crop. Drought conditions in 2016 prevented cotton bolls from filling out early, causing farmers to lose some of their crop. Shurley expects Georgia’s cotton acreage to remain stable or decline slightly. “It will be hard for cotton to compete at the high prices we’re hearing about for peanuts. But a peanut acreage increase could come from both corn and cotton,” he said. “Any increase will be limited by farmers’ decisions on crop rotation.”PEANUTSPeanut acreage nationwide was up in 2016, but down slightly in Georgia. Yields in Georgia have been on a downward trend for the past three years. Despite a significant drought, Georgia farmers produced 2.8 million pounds of peanuts, the third-highest statewide yield since 2000.Domestic use of peanuts has been strong as reports continue to tout the health benefits of the nut, and exports to China and Vietnam have increased peanut use.“Peanuts will be strong, but there’s going to be competition for land between cotton and peanuts,” Shurley said. “It’s hard for cotton to compete.”SOYBEANSSoybean crops broke records nationwide last year, but acreage and yields in Georgia were down. Georgia farmers harvested 7.2 million bushels, which was a 46 percent decrease from 2015. Acreage may increase in Georgia this year as soybean prices are expected to be higher relative to corn prices, he said.WHEATWheat acreage has decreased nationwide and in Georgia over the past three years. “Wheat prices have gotten weaker and prices will continue to stay low due to a large oversupply in the U.S. and worldwide,” Shurley said.Like weather forecasts, agricultural forecasts are predictions based on research and trends. Mother Nature, a new U.S. president and administration, and individual decisions by farmers will affect the nation’s agricultural markets.“Even the best decisions can be thwarted by things that are out of our control, like the drought we just came out of,” Pardue said. “If you are in agriculture, the thing you can depend on is that weather is going to be a constantly changing factor that you can’t control. If you are in agriculture, you have to be an optimist.”Depending on the location, guest speakers at the events were either Bob Redding of the Redding Firm in Washington, who gave an update on the pending farm bill that will govern U.S. farm policy for the next five years, or the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine’s Brent Credille, an assistant professor specializing in beef production medicine, who updated farmers on new rules for antibiotic use in animal agriculture.last_img read more