Not a utility billCredit card solicitations can take on an abusive nature in anumber of ways. Some come in your mailbox and look like a utilitybill. They’re marked with the word “INVOICE” across the top. Butvery small print at the bottom reads, “This is a solicitation.”Sometimes people set up shop in high-traffic areas on collegecampuses or shopping malls and hawk credit cards. With most ofthese, people sign up for a credit card and end up with very highinterest rates and unusual fees and charges.Some solicitations advertise a low interest rate and high creditlimit. However, few people will actually qualify for this rate orthe high credit limit.Does paying more than $200 in fees for a credit card with a $19credit limit sound like a good deal to you? Some “prepay” creditcards actually offer “deals” like this.As more people suffer from damaged credit, some credit cardcompanies and banks are becoming more creative with ways to makea profit from their despair.People with damaged credit who would otherwise be unable to get acredit card can now prove their willingness to pay through theuse of a prepay card. At least, that’s the idea behind thesecards.In actuality, the prepay cards come with sometimeshard-to-understand setup fees, application fees, acceptance fees,annualfees and monthly fees.If a consumer with poor credit has $300 to put toward a prepaycredit card, he may have only $20 left to spend after paying allthe fees. By Michael RupuredUniversity of GeorgiaAs with most business deals, there are good and bad credit cardoffers for today’s consumers. Just be sure you don’t sign up fora credit card just because you want the free alarm clock. Thatfree clock could cost way more than you’d think.Credit card solicitations are aimed at many different groups ofpeople. Many are legitimate and just what you’re looking for.Unfortunately, some that are targeted to people with bad creditaren’t very good deals. Victims may focus on a free gift ratherthan the credit terms.These solicitations may target college students and people withcredit problems, but everyone is vulnerable. Shop aroundMany consumers may not understand that there are better optionsout there. By simply shopping around, they could find a card thatgives them a true line of credit, rather than a prepaid card.If your goal is to reestablish your credit, a secured card isprobably your best choice. The fees and interest rates tend to belower on some secured cards than on the unsecured cards that aretargeted to the damaged-credit consumer.Remember, no matter what card you choose, the idea is to build abetter credit history. Stick to small purchases you can afford topay off each month.As with all business transactions, don’t make a hasty decision.Shop around and always read the fine print. And remember that thebest deals probably aren’t the ones that come to you. They’re theones you have to seek out.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Continued dry weather this week allowed producers to harvest soybeans and corn in Ohio, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office. There were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending September 20th. Soybean and grain corn harvest was largely limited to early planted varieties, while corn silage harvest progressed very quickly. Crop maturity was aided significantly by the warm dry weather. Hay cutting continued as well. Producers also spent the week installing tile.See how far along progress is in Ohio with the full report here
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest True armyworm (Pseudaletia unipuncta) overwinters in the southern U.S. and adult moths migrate northward in April and May. Females lay eggs in grassy fields including rye cover crops, and the young caterpillars feed there, typically attacking corn from early may through June. Corn planted into rye cover is at greater risk for early season armyworm feeding because the caterpillars may already be in the field and move to the corn after the rye is killed. Armyworm can also move into corn from other fields such as wheat, in which case infestation usually occurs along field edges. Though some growers include an insecticide in their rye burndown herbicide, this prophylactic application is not recommended because in many years the armyworm populations will not be sufficient to warrant it or its cost. Foliar insecticides work well as a rescue treatment and can be applied in years when scouting indicates it will help. Corn fields planted into rye cover or into other no-till grassy habitats should be scouted beginning in early to mid May in southern Ohio and mid to late May moving further north.Armyworms take shelter during the day in corn whorls or under debris so it can be difficult to find them. Their feeding damage is more obvious, with ragged edges that progress towards the midrib. When 15 to 20% of the stand has feeding damage the field should be re-checked within a few days to determine if defoliation is increasing. Rescue treatments in corn may be needed if stand infestation is greater than 50% and larvae are not yet mature. If defoliation remains less than 50% and the new growth shows minimal feeding injury, the stand will likely recover with minimal impact on yield. Early scouting is important because the caterpillars are easier to kill when small, and also because larvae nearing maturity have already done most of their feeding.A number of labeled insecticides are available for armyworm (http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/ag/images/Corn_2013_ArW.pdf), and certain Bt trait packages are also labeled for true armyworm control (http://www.msuent.com/assets/pdf/28BtTraitTable2016.pdf).
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Russ QuinnDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — With much of the Corn Belt facing a late-maturing, high-moisture crop, some farmers are already making plans to dry their grain this fall. That means they’ll likely need to purchase propane — if they haven’t already — to fuel their grain dryers.Late summer and early fall is the time many farmers lock in propane prices for the grain-drying season. With a wet spring delaying planting this year, especially in the Eastern Corn Belt, there could be a lot of wet grain to dry this fall.Right now, propane prices are low thanks to high production of the fuel, according to propane analysts. But high demand for propane during harvest followed by a cold winter could push prices higher.PROPANE PRICE AT MULTI-YEAR LOWThere is a good supply of propane in the country as fall harvest begins, said DTN Refined Fuels Reporter Alton Wallace. That has been the case in the U.S. since the beginning of the “Shale Revolution” in 2012, which has allowed the country to dramatically increase crude oil and natural gas production, he said.According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) statistics, propane production in the U.S. is now roughly about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). And production is continuing to increase, Wallace said, growing by 8.3% from 2017 to 2019.“We have a lot of propane right now,” Wallace said.One doesn’t have to be an economist to figure out that if supply outpaces demand, prices will decline, Wallace said. In mid-August, for example, the price of propane at the Conway, Kansas, hub fell to 37 cents per gallon, a three-and-a-half-year low, he said. In mid-September 2018, the price at Conway was near 78 cents a gallon.With propane production at record levels, the market is in an oversupply situation, and prices have been less volatile than in the past, Wallace said.“The U.S. has become an energy superpower because of the Shale Revolution,” he said.While it appears likely that propane prices will be fairly low this fall, there are some factors that could drastically alter that outlook, Wallace said.The propane market can see increased volatility due to the weather, Wallace said. As history has shown, extremely cold winter weather can cause an increase in propane demand and prices can skyrocket quickly. A harvest season in which farmers need more propane to dry down wet crops followed by a cold winter could create a situation where propane prices move considerably higher, he said.Another factor that could affect propane prices is the burgeoning export market.Because of its increased propane production, the U.S. has become a major exporter on the global market, Wallace said. EIA data for the week ended Sept. 13 showed U.S. propane exports at 1.162 million barrels per day.Wallace said companies are building export facilities as this is becoming an important component of the market. The downside to increased propane exports is if export demand for propane rises, those buying propane in the U.S. — such as farmers — are forced to compete for availability with the export market, he said.SOME BOOK PROPANE, SOME DON’TIn August, DTN asked readers about their propane-buying habits. This question was posed in the DTN 360 Poll: “As propane production has increased and domestic demand has been flat, the price of propane has dropped to half its value during the past 12 months. Some farmers may be thinking about their propane needs for the upcoming crop drying and heating. What is your plan for propane this late-summer/fall?”The poll received a total of 171 responses. Of those, 46% said they “Will book propane in August.” Thirty-nine percent said they were “Not going to book propane at all,” while 12% said they “Will book propane in September.” The remaining 3% said they “Will book propane in October.This week, Mark Nowak, a farmer and ag consultant from Wells, Minnesota, told DTN his propane dealer was set to visit him the same day to preorder some of his propane needs. He was set to lock his propane price at $1.08 per gallon, which he said was down from last year ($1.19 per gallon) and 2017 ($1.13 per gallon).There could be a lot of crop drying needed this fall across the Corn Belt, Nowak said. He estimated that most of the corn will black layer by Oct. 1, and thus, the moisture at that time would likely be around 32%.Most farmers harvest corn around 22%-24%, so the crop will need to dry 8% to 10% in October, he said.“I think the month of October is going to be the wildcard here,” Nowak said. “If we continue to see this warm and dry weather, I think the crop can dry down pretty good. But if we see cool and cloudy weather, maybe we will be doing a lot of drying.”CROP MOST BEHIND IN EASTERN CORN BELTCorn and soybean planting was delayed across much of the Corn Belt this spring by wet field conditions, but one region where this was especially true was the Eastern Corn Belt. Areas in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio saw much rain, which pushed planting to as late as the summer in some cases.Brian Scott, who farms near Monticello, Indiana, said his region will see a late harvest this fall. He estimated harvest could be around a month later than normal.“We have a lot of corn that probably won’t black layer until mid-October,” Scott told DTN.Scott said the grain dryers in his region are going to be used this fall. It has been a couple of years since they last used their grain-drying equipment, he said.Scott booked propane earlier this summer — not necessarily because of the amount of drying that could take place this fall, but to take advantage of a summer-fill discounted price. He topped off his 4,000-gallon storage tank like he normally does, he said.There are other farmers who are planning for the increased demand for propane this fall, Scott said. He said he knows of one farmer who built a new propane storage facility so he could get a good price on propane this year. The new facility will allow him to take a full semi-truckload of propane, Scott said.Another farmer who already booked some propane was Mike Cooprider of Howesville, Indiana. He planted his corn from May 18 through June 5. However, he wasn’t able to plant his soybeans until July 15.“Like most farmers, we are praying for a long fall,” Cooprider said.Cooprider said he dries “a lot of corn” every fall, but this year, he could be drying all of his corn crop. For that reason, he has already filled the propane tanks at his bin sites, he said.Russ Quinn can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN(AG/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.