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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We finished harvesting on our farm in southeast Nebraska last Wednesday. Yields were average for irrigated corn and soybeans, which was expected. However, we were pleased that dryland corn matched last year’s record production and dryland soybeans were 20% higher than the last 10-year average. Reports indicate these results (i.e. corn meeting expectations and bean yields higher than expected) are being seen across the Midwest. I expect the USDA yield estimate will be close to final numbers in the January report.Since the much-anticipated Oct USDA production reports, end users are scaling down buyers from $3.75 Dec futures, but farmers aren’t selling at those levels, waiting for $4. I expect a tight trading range for the next few months.There was a nice bump in the soybean market after the October report, causing some farmers to sell. Keep in mind, with the higher than expected yields, $9.25 futures produce the same gross revenue as $10 futures with lower yields. Unless there is a production issue in South America, $9.50 will be difficult. Market actionCornOn 10/6/15 I sold 5% of my 2016 corn production at $4.18 Dec futures. This is above my breakeven point, and may be considered a good sale if 2016 is another good growing year. I hope this is my worst sale of the year. I’ve sold about 33% of 2016 so far. SoybeansMy 2015 soybean position was hedged in the November futures. Since those futures expire next month, I need to move them further into the future. On 10/6/15, I bought my previously sold futures position back, and then immediately sold the July futures for a 16-cent profit, which is market carry. This is how I get guaranteed profit to store grain on the farm.This carry is less than last year (which was 30 cents). The reason for the lower market carry — fewer farmers are selling grain at harvest. Instead many are holding hoping for higher prices. Therefore, the market is reducing the carry, hoping to entice bushels out of storage (hence the lower market carry amount this year).I also expect basis to improve sometime after the New Year for my 2015 crop we just put into on-farm storage, which should also increase my profits. In the western Corn Belt, basis has dropped 20 cents in the last 10 days, due to farmers short on space taking beans to town. I expect basis to increase after harvest is over.What is in your tool box?I’m amazed how many farmers are still reluctant to use futures in their grain marketing. Not using futures is like going to the field with only a hammer, screwdriver, vice grip and crescent wrench in the tool box. Can you fix a problem in the field with these tools? Yes, but how effective are you and how successful will you ultimately be? 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 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 it, and easy to use, 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 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 limited sometimes. 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. 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. 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, sometimes a little help 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.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. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The iPhone 11 looks to be a game changer for smartphone videography. Here’s how to truly unleash its filmmaking potential.The concept of using a top-of-the-line smartphone to shoot big budget narrative features meant to be shown on cinema screens is still pretty insane, when you think about it. Yet, here we are in 2019, and not only has this been happening more and more, but technology is still continuing to outpace itself with its near-yearly breakthroughs.The iPhone, in particular, has been a leader in these efforts, and filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh have already made use of iPhones in the past (the iPhone 8 for his feature High Flying Birds and the iPhone 7 Plus for Unsane).Now Apple has outdone itself once again with its latest iPhone 11 (for this article we’ll focus on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max) and its next-level video camera technology. Until it is surpassed (likely next year), this iPhone 11 represents the latest and greatest filmmaking smartphone on the market.So, if you’re looking to make the investment for your next film project (or just looking to make the most cinematically beautiful Tik Tok videos ever), here are five tips to truly maximize your iPhone 11’s filmmaking capabilities.Understand the CamerasSimilar to the iPhone X, and other smartphones of the past few generations with dual camera technology, the iPhone 11 has two cameras. But, it has also added a new ultra-wide camera to the mix for even more coverage. In total, this gives the iPhone 11 Pro the following:Telephoto Camera12MP52 mm focal lengthLarger f/2.06-element lensOptical image stabilizationFocus pixelsWide Camera12MP26 mm f/1.86-element lensOptical image stabilization100 percent focus pixelsUltra Wide Camera12MP13 mm f/2.45-element lens120-degree field of viewThese three lenses together give some of the most comprehensive in-smartphone coverage of any offered on the market. It also provides a solution for capturing that near-fisheye ultra wide cinematic-looking footage with its new third camera, which can be seen in this video by filmmaker Rian Johnson:And, technically speaking, with the iPhone 11’s front-facing “selfie” camera you’re actually getting four cameras on one device. This begins to matter when the iPhone 11 is used with partner program Filmic Pro for capturing and utilizing multiple angles at once. Over on Shutterstock Tutorials, Rubidium Wu takes a look at what to expect when shooting a feature on the iPhone 11 Pro compared to a cinema camera like the Canon C200. Stabilize with Tripods and GimbalsSo, your first real additional step for maximizing your iPhone 11 — after simply understanding the multiple cameras at your disposal — will be to solve the problems of stabilization. While in-camera auto-stabilization is still making some very impressive advancements, it might be asking too much to use a hand-held for most of your filmmaking projects.Luckily, third party stabilization options for smartphones are also abundant and quite affordable these days as well. Here are a couple options that should work with the different iPhone 11s:Shuzhu Tripod: $15PEYOU Tripod: $23Manfrotto Tripod: $28For gimbals, the popular DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is an industry leader. And, while reports of the Mobile 3 not quite fitting the iPhone 11 Pro or Max are coming in, you can rest assured that DJI will have options soon.Lighting Options and RigsImage by Niphon Subsri.A couple of things to note. One, while the iPhone 11 does finally offer some impressive low light and “Night Mode” technology, it doesn’t mean you should make a habit of shooting cinema-quality footage without the use of additional lighting sources.And two, while filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh or Sean Baker on Tangerine did shoot with iPhones, they also still used industry standard lights for the majority of their production. Lighting matters! As such, the best options for lighting scenes when shooting with your iPhone 11 will be using the same lighting solutions you might use on any regular project. And, if you’re looking for resources, help, or inspiration, here are some articles to read up on:Lighting 101: A Quick Guide for Lighting FilmThe Simple, Stable Solution to Rigging Your Lights AnywhereVideo Tutorial: Create a DIY Wireless China Ball LightHowever, if you really want to push your iPhone 11’s capabilities in or on camera, these iPhone ring lights are quite popular. Keep in mind they are mostly used for selfie-style recording.Other Audio OptionsSimilar to lighting, audio becomes a big concern for any smartphone-shot film projects. It’s also similarly solved by following the same production procedures that you’d find for any other type of filmmaking with DSLR, mirrorless, or cinema-level cameras. Your audio will only be as good as the effort you put into it. And, good audio requires at least one or two individuals dedicated to capturing audio with boom mics, lapels, and a solid audio recorder that can be monitored and reviewed for every shot.Here are some good audio recording resources:The Indie Filmmaker’s Guide to Recording Audio9 Things You Should Check Before Recording AudioAudio Tip: How to Get Good Sound on Every BudgetAgain, there are options which can work directly with your smartphone. And, while these will help, be careful to not rely on them too much in favor of using audio recording in more traditional filmmaking ways.Smartphone Editing OptionsOne area that is actually advancing fast enough to compete against traditional filmmaking practices are the much improved and impressive smartphone editing apps and options. While you’re still probably best served transferring your iPhone 11 footage to a laptop or PC to work in your NLE editing platforms of choice, there are more and more options out there for editing in-smartphone, making run-and-gun projects much more possible than ever before.Here’s a full list of options with information and reviews to consider.Top image via Apple.For more smartphone filmmaking tips, tricks, and guides, check out these additional articles below:3 Simple Tips for Stabilizing Smartphone VideographyWorking With Vertical Phone Footage in Post-ProductionSmartphone Filmmaking: Saving Battery Life and Storage SpaceShooting a Feature with an iPhone the Soderbergh WayShould You Make a Feature Film on a Phone?
A Buddhist monk running a meditation centre at Gaya district was arrested for the alleged sexual exploitation of 15 child monks. On Thursday, the monk, Bhante Shanghpriya, was remanded in 14 day judicial custody and the statements of the children were recorded before a judicial magistrate. The International Buddhist Council has condemned the incident and sought a probe. A Special Investigation Team headed by the Bodh Gaya Deputy Superintendent of Police had been formed to probe the case, said Gaya Superintendent of Police Rajeev Mishra. The IBC held an emergency meeting at Bodh Gaya and condemned the incident. “We demand a thorough probe … the organisation running the monastery was not registered with the IBC,” general secretary Pragya Deep said. Informed sources told The Hindu that out of 160 monasteries running in Bodh Gaya, only 55 are registered with the IBC. “The police are investigating details of the Trust running the monastery and if any fraud was found, an FIR will be lodged against all members of the trust,” said Mr. Mishra.Managed by TrustOn Wednesday, all 15 child monks, along with their parents had complained to the Bodh Gaya police about physical and sexual abuse by Bhante Sanghpriya. The police swung into action and arrested the accused monk. All the child monks were studying at Prajana Jyoti Buddhist Novice School and Meditation Centre located at Mastpura village under the Bodh Gaya police station. The school-cum-meditation centre was managed by the Prajana Social Welfare Trust.Later, an FIR was lodged with the Bodh Gaya police under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. “The child monks had complained about their physical and sexual abuse by their head monk to their respective guardians…they also informed us that they were thrashed, mistreated and sexually abused while staying in the school…we are investigating the matter now,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajkumar Shah told journalists. A board of doctors had been set up for their medical examination.From AssamAll the child monks, aged seven to 12, are from Karbi Anglong district of Assam. The incident came to light when one child monk somehow came out of the centre and rang up a previous teacher of the school who was in Mumbai and narrated their ordeal. The teacher from Assam knew parents of the victim monks and informed them about their trauma. The parents reached Bodh Gaya on Wednesday and took out them to the police station.The police have lodged all 15 child monks along with their parents at the Assam Bhawan in Gaya town.
Consultant with the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), Dr. Oscar Coto, says Jamaica has an opportunity to tap into international financing that can assist with its efforts at reducing the impacts of climate change. This, he said, can be accomplished through advancement of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Programme of Activities (PoA) as well as Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). “If through a supported-type NAMA, the country can get recognition of some incremental critical costs that are involved in delivering some climate change mitigation, through activities in the country…those resources would be used to support the scaling up of (projects) for a better energy sector, more renewable energy, more efficiency within the society (and ultimately) better living for Jamaicans,” he said. Dr. Coto was speaking to JIS News following a workshop on potential for Programmatic CDM and NAMAs in Jamaica, at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston on April 3. The CDM is one of the ‘project-based’ mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol designed to promote projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement created under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). PoAsrefer tovoluntary co-ordinated actions by a private or public entity that leads to GHG reductions through a number of CDM project activities. NAMAs are seen primarily as a way for developing countries—with financial and technological support from the international community—to make progress in reducing their own domestic GHG emissions. OLADE is providing support to the Government through the provision of technical assistance in order to contribute in the identification of opportunities for the development of CDM Programme of Activities as well as NAMAs. This is in keeping with Government’s activities to reduce the impacts of climate change within the energy sector. As such, Dr. Coto has prepared a report based on a ‘Study on the Identification of Potential Project Portfolios Associated to Programmatic CDM and NAMAs in Jamaica’, which he discussed during the workshop. In his presentation, Dr. Coto pointed to current trends to move from strict carbon financing to a broader concept of climate financing, which includes the NAMAs as an opportunity to assist countries in enabling mitigation activities, both at the policy as well as the project/programme level. Carbon financeis a new branch of environmental finance, which explores the financial implications of living in a carbon-constrained world, in which emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) carry a price.In his report, Dr. Coto noted that it is clear that the country has enacted a series of visions, policies and action plans that can contribute significantly to prepare Jamaica for climate financing opportunities. He argued that from the climate mitigation perspective, renewable energy interventions seem to be very cost effective in Jamaica, and associated climate financing could be attracted to assist in removing some of the perceived gaps associated with the regulatory challenges as well as in mobilising financing and guarantees for private sector participation. “It is becoming clear that the paths for most of the identified and discussed potentials for emission reductions in Jamaica lie within the boundaries of the NAMA mechanisms under discussion in the UNFCCC as a vehicle for climate financing,” the report reads.The report recommends that the country needs to engage in strengthening its capabilities to understand the depth of new climate financing opportunities and risks, assess if the emerging mechanisms of climate financing may be attractive to supplement and scale up on-going activities, and from there pursue opportunities that are cost effective and with ample sustainable development benefits for the country.
4 The Cheapskate Share your voice Comments Sarah Tew/CNET Are you a Spotify subscriber? Then you’ve no doubt discovered the limitations for listening offline. It requires a phone, which isn’t always convenient — like when you’re at the gym or out for a run. And even if you do have your phone, you’ll have to devote a chunk of precious storage to your Spotify playlists.The Mighty Vibe solves those problems. This portable player — a dead ringer for Apple’s dearly departed Shuffle — absorbs your Spotify playlists and podcasts for easy offline listening. Read CNET’s Mighty Vibe review to learn more.It normally sells for $86 (currently on sale for $5 less), but for a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get the Mighty Vibe for $69.99 with promo code MIGHTYCHEAP. Shipping adds $5.See it at MightyThis is the second-gen version of the Mighty, featuring better battery life (at least 5 hours of play time), broader Bluetooth compatibility, better Bluetooth range and a redesigned mobile app.It’s also now available in a couple snazzy colors. In addition to basic black, you can choose a teal or red case.As noted, the Mighty Vibe looks and operates much like an iPod Shuffle, right down to its spring-loaded clip and simplistic controls. What’s handy here, though, is that you can pair it to Bluetooth earphones for a wireless listening experience. I just tried it with a wire-free set — pretty nice!There is a headphone jack if you want to go wired, and that jack is also used to charge the Vibe. A spare cable will run you $7. The player can hold up to 1,000 songs, but you can’t sync specific artists or albums, only playlists.That minor limitation aside, I can’t understand why this is product isn’t better known or more popular. It is, to my knowledge, the only offline-Spotify gadget currently available, and it’s a very affordable way to carry around your favorite playlists and podcasts without a phone.Note: This post was published previously and has been updated regarding pricing and discount code.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Tags MP3 Players