Amid the controversy surrounding the proposed increase in tolls at the Berbice River Bridge, outspoken political activist and former Presidential Advisor Ramon Gaskin is suggesting a total buyout of the bridge by Government so as to resolve the issue.Political activist and former Presidential advisor Ramon GaskinGaskin on Wednesday said the situation has reached a point where the Government should seek to buy all the shares within the Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) as opposed to allowing the company to impose massive increases on the travelling public, which they can ill afford at this point.On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI), Dr Surendra Persaud, who is also the Chairman for the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), announced steep increases to the current tolls at the facility.Guyana Times understands that NIS through its Chairman, was forced to push for the increase in tolls in order to protect its investment. NIS has majority voting rights on the BBCI Board of Directors.Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Gaskin also suggested that an alternative can be for Government and the NIS to solely own the bridge, thus buying the shares from all the other shareholders.“You don’t need to make a profit just cover maintenance and pay the NIS interest on their investment and you could lower the rate to where it was and it could go lower,” he advised.On the other hand, Gaskin also suggested that NIS could put in for receivership. This is a remedy available to secured creditors to recover amounts outstanding under a secured loan in the event the company defaults on its loan payments.“Put it into receivership and get rid of the rest of shareholders… by buying the shares out… but make it a Government owned bridge together with the NIS and reduce the rates. The bridge could be nationalised, and Government could buy it over in the interest of NIS,” he said.Asked whether he believes the Government would make such a move, the political activist said while the Government could show some level of reluctance but added that it is in the best interest of all parties involved and as such it should be done.“The Government don’t understand any of these things… But they must look at protecting the interest of people. If they go ahead and buy the shares and take over the bridge it will be good for everyone,” he added.Further, Gaskin said the Chairman of the BBCI, Dr Surendra Persaud should be questioned by the Police over the non-payment to the NIS. He believes that Dr Persaud who chairs both the NIS and BCCI should be a matter of concern. He is also a member of the Alliance For Change (AFC).Shareholders positionOne of the shareholders told Guyana Times that it recognises that the Berbice Bridge is in serious financial jeopardy given that debts have reached maturity and few options are available to stave off bankruptcy.“The Government should sit down with the bridge company and work out the appropriate subsidy with due reference to the financial model and or the Concession Agreement. This is necessary as a result of Government’s refusal to allow incremental increases, or in other words, refusing to honour its contractual obligations as per the Concession Agreement,” the shareholder said.Another noted that if an agreement cannot be reached, them it is recommended that the Government buy back the bridge and compensate investors in keeping with the financial model and other investment documents.“Once the Government executes a buyback it will be able to lower tolls. If this is approached properly Government might still be able to preserve public private partnerships in Guyana,” the shareholder stated.It added that the investors assumed significant risk to build the bridge. While the bridge has been de-risked for several years, following its successful opening, the ordinary shareholders are yet to receive a single cent in dividends.“We recognise the efforts of the Directors of the bridge company who has a fiduciary duty to preserve the financial integrity of the company in the context of the dire circumstances the company must be facing at this time. We also empathises with commuters who are caught in the middle,” a representative of a shareholder told Guyana Times.BBCI letterIn a letter sent from the BBCI to Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson dated Monday, October 15, it stated that there have been four requests for the tolls to be adjusted but to no avail. It expressed disappointment having met with the Minister there was no positive outcome.However, the company having sought legal advice was told that they have to consult with the Minister for the toll increases. “It is by under and virtue of the above provision that the Berbice Bridge Company Inc is consulting with you in relation to the proposals for an adjustment in tolls,” the missive stated while still declaring that the increases will take effect on November 12, , the same day as Local Government Elections.
John Stewart, a Red Cross volunteer, steps over debris and sticks a disaster relief flier with phone numbers for caseworkers and counselors in the only place he can: Between the splinters of a charred piece of wood that might once have been a balcony. He stops for a moment before moving on, looking next door at 17934 – completely untouched – the yellow and red roses still blooming in the front yard. He scans across the street to 17941, where all that remains is a red brick chimney – a sort of grave marker for each of the demolished homes on Aguamiel. A San Diego city councilman and his staff walked this street, counting at least 29 homes destroyed. They compiled a list of house numbers and posted it on a Web site, along with all the other addresses for Rancho Bernardo residences lost to the flames. The list was 11 pages long. Michaela Peters, 16, spotted her house number: 17955 Aguamiel. Still, somehow, she had hoped. “Maybe this is all just a dream,” the high school junior thought as her family made their way to their street Wednesday. When the car pulled up, the tears finally came. By nightfall, she and a 12-year-old neighbor, who also lost his home, were hanging out on the basketball court of a recreation center-turned-refuge. Their moms were inside, figuring out what to do next. A neighborhood pastor offered comfort. “We’ll be praying,” he said. “God bless.” Michaela offered him something, too – sincere congratulations that his home had survived. Others struggled, the outcome still in doubt. Even as ash rained on his orange trees and blanketed his white 1961 Falcon, Javier Ramirez refused to leave his home in the Pauma Valley as a newer blaze – the Poomacha Fire – blew up in the mountains east of Rancho Bernardo. It was a surreal scene that speaks to the random and unpredictable nature of the fires’ fury. Mile after mile of thriving orchards and rural farmland, for now, stand preserved, while homes in suburban neighborhoods dotted with fast-food restaurants are gone. One minute winds swirl; the next, they are perfectly still. At a casino, only miles from where fires burn, patrons sit at blackjack tables and slot machines even as the parking lot serves as a staging ground for row upon row of fire trucks. A sign outside flashes a thank-you to firefighters – and then advertises spa treatments. Over a disaster zone like Rancho Bernardo, the sun shines in a newly clear sky while the mountain beyond sits in smoke. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN DIEGO – The camera clicks again and again, until Steve Clamage pauses to take his eye from the viewfinder and gaze at a vista that was never meant to resemble purgatory. Then, he clicks some more. “Wow,” he utters, unable to muster much else. “This is unbelievable. Unbelievable.” He stands in a stranger’s backyard overlooking Aguamiel Road in Rancho Bernardo, next to a house that looks more like a Roman ruin than a Spanish-style ranch home. The view, once, was spectacular: A sloping hill fell beneath the back patio, stretching east toward rolling mountains and the Cleveland National Forest. Now, it’s just more wreckage – the sad, scorched residue of five days of interminable annihilation. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The sloping hill is blackened earth, the mountains beyond devoid of the palm trees and shrubs that once made them beautiful, wild and lush. One street below, homes lie in piles of ash. Over the mountains, farther east, columns of white smoke billow into the sky from a fire that roars on, threatening to do elsewhere what has already happened here. Wander through stricken Southern California, and you’ll find that the destruction is, simply, all around: some if it final, tragically absolute. Some still in progress, the aftermath unknowable. The devastation transfixes because it is so colossal. Some have likened it to Iraq. Indeed, in this San Diego community and others across the region, home after home – and, at times, entire streets – are flattened as if they were bombed. Aguamiel Road is one of those places. On one side of one block, a row of nine homes has ceased to exist. On the other side, five houses are gone, side by side. At 17938 Aguamiel, blackened timber sits in twisted heaps sprinkled with insulation and ash. About the only thing recognizable is the lid to a Weber grill and the iron patio set – a loveseat and two rocking chairs – that remain virtually unscathed.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“The bottom line is the Bush administration is focusing on unraveling environmental protections,” said Lesley Adams of the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center. The blaze burned through roughly 500,000 acres in the rugged Klamath Mountains of southwestern Oregon. It was the nation’s biggest wildfire in 2002. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MEDFORD, Ore. – To the dismay of environmentalists, the U.S. Forest Service auctioned off timber from a remote, burned-over section of a national forest Friday in the first such sale since the Bush administration eased logging restrictions. A timber company paid $300,052 for the right to log 261 acres of standing dead timber that was burned in a 2002 fire in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Environmentalists warned that the sale could set a dangerous precedent by opening the door to logging on nearly 60 million acres of national forest. The timber industry and Forest Service said logging the area would speed the regeneration of the forest, but environmental groups said leaving things to nature would produce a healthier forest.
Donegal Golf Club ( Murvagh)Annual General MeetingThe Annual General Meeting of the club takes place on Friday the 12th of December at 8pm in the Clubhouse. Men’s CompetitionsFriday 5th December.The Friday Open on the 5th of December saw a virtual clean sweep for visitors with 1st and 2nd going to P. Maguire & S. Flanagan from Blackloin and 3rd to J. Moore from Castlehume. Aidan Faulkner kept the Gross prize at home with 29pts. 1. P. Maguire (Blackloin) (23) 35pts2. S. Flanagan (Blackloin) (17) 34pts (bot)3. J, Moore (Castlehume) (17) 34ptsGross. Aidan Faulkner (5) 29ptsSunday 7th NovemberThere was an excellent turnout on Sunday for the Annual Christmas Cracker played in very bracing conditions. The winning team of Michael McGroary, Darren McDaid, Liam Moran and Denis McDaid clearly have the ability to adapt to tough conditions as their record in recent years will testify. In 2nd place were Padraig Farragher, Oliver Plunkett, Michael Neary, Eddie McGarrigle with Roy Harron, J.J. Travers, John McCafferty, Declan Gallagher in 3rd. Shaun Meehan had the “Longest Drive” and John McCafferty was “Nearest the Pin”. Results:1. Michael McGroary, Darren McDaid, Liam Moran , Denis McDaid2. Padraig Farragher, Oliver Plunkett, Michael Neary, EddieMcGarrigle.3. Roy Harron, J.J. Travers, John McCafferty, Declan Gallagher 4. Michael Shallow, Benny Gurren,Colm O’Rourke, Rory Lenihan5. Damien Mulhern, Shaun Meehan, Ronan McAlevey6. Gerry McCormick, Ray Foster, Charlie McGinty, Domnic Quinn7. Frank O’Donnell, Martin Carr, Des Daly, Hugh Cassidy8. Sean Diver, James Cassidy, John Meehan(P.O.) Hugh Cassidy9. Diarmiud McGettigan, Larry Walsh, Marty McGarrigle, Liam Gillespie10. Sean Boyle, Michael Martin, John McIntyre, Francie BroganLongest Drive: Shaun MeehanNearest the Pin: John MCaffertyLadies CompetitionsThe Winter League, played over 5 weeks, was keenly contested. 54 ladies took part, with 6 teams named after different golf clubs in the county. Winners by 1pt with a score of 245 were the Bundoran team, Geraldine Gorman, Ann Gillespie, Anna Colhoun, Marie Cassidy, Margaret Trimble and Nora Boyle. Runners up were the Portsalon team with 244 pts with Crona O’Reilly, Charlotte Caldwell, Mary B Meehan, Anne Marie McCormick, Joan Thomas and Claire McDaid. Player of the League was Mary Farrgher, who had a hole in one of on the 5th hole on 29th October.The Christmas Cracker competition was played on Saturday 6th December and 17 players braved the elements. The scores reflected the conditions on the course with a BOT separating the first 3 placings. Carmel Brennan will remember her 1st win each Christmas when she takes out her Snowman. Julie Mundy and Máirín McCartney were 2nd and 3rd. 40 ladies attended the Christmas lunch and Kate was complimented on a delicious meal. Also thanks are due to Tina, Rachel and her team for the festive decorations in the club.1. Carmel Brennan (36) 13pts BOT2. Julie Mundy (36) 13pts3. Mairin McCartney (36) 13pts9 hole eclectic competition running from the 7th December to 10th January.Names for 4 ball better competition can be entered on list in locker room.A very Happy and Healthy Christmas to all our membersGOLF NEWS: MURVAGH AGM TAKING PLACE THIS FRIDAY NIGHT was last modified: December 8th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:golfMurvaghNoticesSport
What is it with Usain Bolt and his attraction to all things Donegal?His agent Ricky Simms comes from Milford and the world’s fastest man says he wants to get here soon.And when Bolt he won his 200 metre Olympic gold medal last night, the first person he ran to was a Raphoe man.Darren O’Dea was wearing a ‘Bolt’ t-shirt. Usain gave Darren a huge hug and then posed for pictures – cheering and pointing to Darren’s t-shirtDarren’s friends watching back home in Donegal were still in shock today.“We recorded it and now it’s on the internet for all to see,” said one pal, “Darren was thrilled.”The incident came just hours after Finn Valley’s Patsy McGonagle revealed he had asked Bolt to open the new track at the Stranorlar club.Click to play Darren meeting Bolt! THE BOLT CHOOSES DONEGAL MAN TO CELEBRATE 200M OLYMPIC GOLD was last modified: August 10th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:THE BOLT CHOOSES DONEGAL MAN TO CELEBRATE 200M OLYMPIC GOLD
THE latest positions from the Donegal Rally, with Declan Boyle just 12 seconds ahead of Sam Moffett.O/ACarDriver/CodriverMakeClassPosSS10RoadTotalDiff 1stDiff Prev12Declan Boyle/Brian BoyleSubaru WRC6O/A9:21.60:001:07:21.121Sam Moffett/James O’ReillyFord Fiesta WRC6O/A9:30.50:001:07:33.60:12.50:12.537Darren Gass/Enda SherrySubaru WRC6O/A9:27.10:001:07:56.90:35.80:23.343Garry Jennings/Rory KennedySubaru WRC619:30.00:001:08:12.80:51.70:15.954Donagh Kelly/Kevin FlanaganFord Focus wrc629:42.80:001:09:10.91:49.80:58.166Derek McGarrity/James McKeeSubaru WRC639:46.20:001:10:13.32:52.21:02.4710Josh Moffett/John RowanMitsubishi Evo 94110:07.60:001:12:46.15:25.02:32.8824Eugene Meegan/Sarah WhelanMitsubishi Evo 94210:20.90:001:13:52.56:31.41:06.4921Pj McDermott/Paul GoodmanSubaru WRC6410:10.30:001:14:07.06:45.90:14.51025Stephen McCann/Lisa O’DowdMitsubishi Evo 94310:21.30:001:14:35.97:14.80:28.91127Trevor Bustard/Fabian McShaneMitsubishi Evo 94410:35.20:001:15:25.78:04.60:49.81239RJoseph McGonigle/Ciaran GeaneyRenault Clio R3Maxi3110:35.05:001:33:47.526:26.418:21.8Results for the National categoryO/ACarDriver/CodriverMakeClassPosSS10RoadTotalDiff 1stDiff Prev115Daniel McKenna/Arthur KieransFord Escort Mk214O/A9:57.40:001:10:11.6214Gary McPhillips/Paul SheridanFord Escort Mk214O/A9:52.20:001:10:33.50:21.90:21.9316Manus Kelly/Donal BarrettFord Escort14O/A9:57.50:001:10:58.70:47.10:25.2432Conor Harvey/Gerard CallaghanFord Escort14110:05.00:001:11:58.61:47.00:59.9519Frank Kelly/Liam BrennanFord Escort14210:05.10:001:12:44.02:32.40:45.4622Brian Brogan/Damien McGettiganFord Escort Mk214310:11.90:001:13:00.52:48.90:16.5723Adrian Hetherington/Gary NolanFord Escort Mk214410:42.80:001:13:31.63:20.00:31.18160Richard Moffett/Martin ConnollyToyota Starlet13110:25.30:001:14:36.04:24.41:04.4934Daniel Doherty/Michael DohertyFord Escort Mk214510:29.00:001:14:50.04:38.40:14.01020Damien Gallagher/Mac WalshFord Escort14610:42.70:151:14:54.14:42.50:04.11118Wesley Patterson/Johnny BairdFord Escort14710:20.60:001:15:26.95:15.30:32.812165Vivian Hamill/Stephen ThorntonFord Escort RS14810:24.00:001:16:23.06:11.40:56.11342Patrick McHugh/Pauric O’DonnellFord Escort13210:43.60:001:16:51.66:40.00:28.61444Kieron Graffin/Paddy RobinsonMitsubishi Evo1016110:52.00:001:17:19.77:08.10:28.1 RALLY UPDATE – LATEST RESULTS was last modified: June 21st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2014donegal rallylatest
Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collier died early Saturday after he had trouble breathing and was stricken in his home, his father said. He was 28. General manager Billy Knight said the cause of death was not immediately clear for the 7-foot, 260-pound player. He said Collier had “no issues’ in a preseason physical given to all players. Jeff Collier told The Associated Press his son died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital in Atlanta and did not have any diagnosed health problems apart from his knees. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “We’ll wait until the experts can tell us, but there’s no comments about any speculating at all that I’m going to do,” Knight said. “Right now we just think about Jason and his family, his wife and a daughter. He was a good guy, a great teammate and a member of our organization. We’re going to miss him.” The Hawks canceled an open scrimmage Saturday, but will play an exhibition game on Monday night at Charlotte. “We are saddened by the news of Jason Collier’s sudden passing,” NBA commissioner David Stern said. “He epitomized hard work, dedication and perseverance, and more importantly compassion, kindness and selflessness.” Jeff Collier said he received a phone call at 3:30 a.m. Saturday from Jason’s wife, Katie, who said her husband was having trouble breathing and quickly turned blue. “You get a call, and it’s your daughter-in-law crying saying she’s giving him CPR and trying to keep him going,” Jeff Collier said. “I guess it took awhile for the paramedics to get there. He had a slight pulse when they took him and he passed away in the ambulance while they took him to the hospital.” Team spokesman Arthur Triche initially said Collier possibly died of cardiac arrest, but would not provide details. He later said the team was not sure how Collier died. Collier’s agent, Richard Howell, said an autopsy was being performed. Later, Forsyth County Coroner Lauren McDonald said the family asked him not to release any preliminary results Saturday and that he would make a statement today. Howell said Collier and his wife ate dinner at a restaurant Friday night and then returned home, where Collier spent time playing with his daughter. Jeff Collier said Jason had been married to Katie for four years and had a 1-year-old daughter, Elezan. The elder Collier played at Georgia Tech from 1972-76 and said his son initially decided to wear the same No. 52 he did at Tech. “He was a beautiful kid,” Collier said. “Everybody he touched liked him. He played basketball from the time he was in the fourth grade until now. I don’t think the kid was ever in a fight or an altercation.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Audio Story Links Video Davidson Game Notes Drake Game Notes The Drake University football team hosts Davidson on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the first time since 2011 when the Bulldogs routed the Wildcats 51-14.Saturday’s contest is the ninth meeting between Drake and Davidson and the first between the programs since 2014. The Bulldogs lead the series, 7-1, and are 4-0 at Drake Stadium.The Bulldogs are coming of hard fought road 19-14 win at Marist last week and improved to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in Pioneer Football League play. Davidson fell to Dayton, 48-22, last week, extending its losing streak to four games and its PFL skid to 12 games. The Wildcats’ last win over a FCS team was also their last PFL win as they beat Stetson in their 2015 season finale.Senior quarterback Grant Kraemer took a few lumps during non-conference play, but has used those lumps to get out to a stellar start in conference play. Over the last four games, Kraemer is averaging 276 yards passing while completing more than 56 percent of his passes; compared to averaging 216 yards and 58 percent in the first three games of the season. He missed most of the second-half in last week’s win over Marist due to injury but was on his way to another 300-yard performance as he threw for 144 yards and completed 12-of-19 passes. Heading into the season, head coach Rick Fox knew the potential of his young receiving group had and they have shown what they are capable of. The Bulldogs’ trio of wide receivers–sophomore Mitch McFarlane and juniors Devin Cates and Steven Doran–rank in the top-15 in receiving yards in the PFL. McFarlane is leading the group with 33 receptions for 523 yards and three touchdowns, but will most likely miss the rest of the season due to injury. Doran has also caught three touchdowns to go with his 26 receptions for 375 yards, while Cates has tallied 23 catches for 321 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulldog defense has proven to be one of the best in the PFL. In conference play, the Bulldogs have only allowed seven touchdowns in four games and lead the PFL in total defense (312.8 ypg.), first downs (66), third-down conversion (33.9%) and sacks (9).The Wildcats are led by freshman running back Wesley Dugger, who leads the PFL with an average of 103 yards rushing per game and is averaging more than five yards per carry. Dugger was named one of 17 freshmen to the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award watch list. The Rice Award, named for the legendary Hall of Fame wide reciever, has been presented to the FCS freshman of the year since 2011. Print Friendly Version Live Stats
New Delhi, Friday 14 October 2016 – Ministers of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies and Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu today wrap up their pre-BRICS Summit engagements in New Delhi, India.Download the media statementThe Ministers were attending the 6th meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers that was held on 13 October, 2016 in New Delhi, India. The Trade Ministers meeting was preceded by the 13th meeting of the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) which was held from 11-12 October, 2016. The outcomes of the Trade Ministers meeting will be submitted to the 8th BRICS Summit to be held on 15-16 October, 2016 in Goa, India.Minister Rob Davies, speaking about the significance of these engagements, noted that the BRICS Trade Ministers meeting is taking place at a time when the global economy is faced with challenges that include key economic developments such as continued slowdown in global growth and depressed global demand, low commodity and oil prices and volatility in the equity and currency markets. Of concern is that global trade is recovering at a slower pace.Intra-BRICS exports have been growing on average at 2.8% per year since 2010. South Africa’s export basket continues to be dominated to a large extent by primary products and low-value added products.The BRICS countries present opportunities for cooperation in establishing intra-BRICS value chains and linkages among the economies. This will contribute to the industrial objectives of the BRICS countries.A welcome development has been an increase in intra-BRICS investment in key sectors of the South African economy. For example, South Africa has seen a large investment in the auto-sector by Beijing Automobile International Corporation (BAIC) which amounts to R11 billion. Minister Davies emphasised the need to increase mutually-beneficial projects among BRICS countries.Minister Davies emphasised that BRICS is an important grouping of developing economies that accounts for 22% of global GDP and 42% of the world population. It is therefore critical that BRICS countries bring an emerging market view in global discussions on trade so as to promote development-centred and inclusive growth.Furthermore, Minister Davies stressed the need for BRICS cooperation towards identification of complementarities, sharing of experiences and capacity building in a number of trade and investment related issues. He also welcomed the joint studies to inform cooperation in a number of policy areas which will assist to develop coordinated position in the multilateral fora.Minister Zulu emphasised the importance of BRICS countries cooperation on the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). In this regard cooperation should be targeted towards promoting supplier development and participation of MSMEs in the BRICS countries value-chains, exchange of best practices on MSME development. She further stressed the importance of MSME in job creation.On the sidelines of the BRICS Trade Ministers meetings, the Ministers held bilateral meetings with his counterparts to discuss trade and investment issues of mutual interests.Follow the conversation on #SAatBRICS2016Brand South Africa will be pleased to facilitate any requests for interviews.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest While the slow harvest is keeping corn prices from tanking in the short-term, the inevitable huge supply is limiting any upside potential. The latest USDA estimates haven’t helped either. While they reduced acre estimates, yields also increased. So, there was little price impact. It’s doubtful that even a South American weather scare would have much impact at this point — 2.3 billion carryout of corn bushels is just too much. I expect a sideways corn market for several months.Soybeans, on the other hand, were handed a nice surprise by the USDA, as they lowered the upcoming carryout estimates. The USDA is often criticized in their ability to estimate soybean demand, so many think lower carryout potential is a possibility in the ‘17/18 marketing year. While the USDA’s recent track record has been shaky, exports are behind estimates this year. For a bean rally to continue, exports need to catch up. For the next few months any South American weather scare could have a big impact on prices. What is in your tool box?Last week I explained the many benefits of forward selling using futures and why margin call should not be a reason farmers aren’t doing it. When farmers don’t use futures as a part of the grain marketing strategy it’s like a farmer who goes to the field with only a hammer, screwdriver, vice grip and crescent wrench in their tool box. While farmers could fix some problems with these tools alone, they will be much more effective and efficient if they have a more diverse set of tools. Let me explain. The hammerIt’s easy to understand what will happen when you use it. But, it doesn’t give you very many choices. Hit something just right, and all the problems are solved. But, swing too hard or in the wrong spot, and you can break something. The hammer is the equivalent of selling cash grain. Every farmer knows how this will work. They have had successes and failures in the past, but it’s pretty easy and takes little skill. Selling at the right price at the right time (a direct hit) feels great. But, selling at the wrong price or time is hard to fix and causes frustration. The screwdriverThe screwdriver is also an easy tool to use, but very limited in function. It can be very useful in the right situation, but unless you have the right screw or bolt, this tool may not be the answer. This is similar to just counting on Insurance Revenue Programs or Government Payments to help set a floor price or make up for any short fall in prices. It’s an indispensable tool you can’t live without, but it won’t fix everything. The crescent wrenchWhen you aren’t sure what size of bolt you need to loosen (or maybe you have a surprise metric bolt you have never encountered) the crescent wrench can come in very handy. However, if the bolt is really tight you can round off the corners of the bolt or nut, and be in an even worse position. This is similar to buying a put or call option. There are times buying a put or call can be just the right “tool” in the marketing world. However, there are situations where it doesn’t work as well, or makes a problem worse than when you started. In less volatile markets like this previous year, options can cost farmers more than they can potentially gain from them. The vice gripThe vice grip is a companion tool with any of the above tools mentioned. You can keep your fingers safe using a vice grip to hold a nail when using a hammer. Or a vice grip can work with a screwdriver or crescent wrench to hold a nut in place when screwing in a bolt head. This is like selling grain to an end user. It can be handy on its own, or use it with other tools, like Hedge To Arrive, minimum priced contracts, or deferred pricing. However, it can lock you in tight, leaving you with limited options. What if there are production issues? What if there is another end user paying more in the future? Flexibility is often limited. What’s in my tool box?Obviously, I have the above tools in my tool box, but I also have other tools available to me that best fits each situation the grain market throws at me. Socket setI have a complete standard and metric socket set that fits any bolt in need of repair. I want all sizes and extensions available for the right task. Futures, like sockets, give me flexibility and allow me to pick the exact price I want to sell grain at. Deep sockets are like using Deferred contracts that allow me to sell late in the year and pick up market carry. Different drives are like futures contracts that allow me to pick the right year to market. All the extensions are equivalent to how futures allow me to take advantage of basis opportunities. While a little heavier to carry, keep organized and more complicated to use, the flexibility of what I can do and how much I can fix is worth it. Open ended box wrenchesThis year I added another tool to my marketing tool box. Sometimes sockets don’t fit and I need an open ended box wrench to reach a difficult bolt head or nut. While not as handy as a socket, it can be the perfect tool for a very specific and tricky fix. This is like using Straddles in a Sideways Market. Straddles can allow farmers to increase profits in a stubborn sideways market. I may not use them all the time, but when a futures contract isn’t good enough to meet profitable price points, these types of trades can help give me a little extra. Often straddles can also easily compliment futures trades, like using a socket on one end of a bolt and an open ended box wrench on the other. WD40Sometimes a little extra help is needed to loosen tight bolts. This is like selling calls. Does it work all the time? No, but when things are tight and none of the other tools are working, a little extra premium that I can pick up and add to a future sale is all that’s needed to get the job done.Next time you knock a sickle out while cutting beans, or have to fix a broken gathering chain on the corn head, ask yourself what tool will do the best job and what do you have in your tool box. Your grain marketing tool box should be just as diverse, so you can take advantage of every opportunity and challenge you will face.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. 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