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1.8M Chickens Slaughtered In Nebraska As Bird Flu Pecks Away At Food Supply

1.8M Chickens Slaughtered In Nebraska As Bird Flu Pecks Away At Food Supply Another 1.8 million chickens were ordered to be culled in Nebraska after agriculture officials analyzed yet another bird flu outbreak on a farm. The latest culling comes after 50 million birds have been slaughtered nationwide to try and contain the ongoing outbreak according to AP, so who knows if it's actually true. Fortunately the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) issued a report, which adds that this is the 13th farm in the state to suffer an outbreak this year. According to the report, 6.8 million birds have been killed in Nebraska - the second-most behind Iowa, which has killed 15.5 million. After the affected flock is culled, the NDA will establish a 6.2-mile control zone around the affected premises. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a highly contagious virus which spreads easily among birds via nasal and eye secretions, along with manure, the NDA said in a statement. Symptoms include a lack of energy and appetite, decreased egg production or malformed eggs, and sudden death in birds even if they aren't showing symptoms. The disease can survive 'for weeks' in contaminated environments. According to Yahoo, Turkey and chicken farms aren't the only facilities affected by bird flu this year - as a petting zoo in Utah had an outbreak in recent days. Tyler Durden Sun, 11/27/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 28th, 2022

How the CEO of Wingstop plans to boost sales by dropping DoorDash as an exclusive delivery partner and finally entering the chicken sandwich wars

Wingstop CEO Michael Skipworth said adding Uber Eats as a new delivery partner and entering the chicken sandwich wars will help lure customers. Wingstop With guests cutting back on visits, Wingstop's new CEO explains his playbook for boosting sales.   One move is ending an exclusive delivery partnership with DoorDash and adding Uber Eats.  Last week Wingstop also entered the chicken sandwich wars, years after competitors.   Wingstop was among several tech-savvy restaurant chains that became a pandemic winner, logging more than $1 billion in digital sales in 2020. But as consumers deal with record inflation this year, many are cutting back on restaurant visits. That's hurting chains like Wingstop, which installed a new chief executive, Michael Skipworth, in March. In its last earnings call in late July, the company said customer visits are down. In an interview last week with Insider, Skipworth said he's betting on three plays to reverse that trend – entering the chicken sandwich wars, introducing bundled meal deals, and adding Uber Eats as a new delivery partner. That latter is a significant move as DoorDash has been the chain's exclusive delivery partner for years."We have a proven playbook," said Skipworth, who was previously Wingstop's chief operating officer and finance chief.Skipworth explains his three-pronged approach to increasing sales at Wingstop, which operates more than 1,800 restaurants worldwide. The majority of Wingstop stores are franchised locations in the US.Now is the right time to enter the chicken sandwich warsThree years ago, Popeyes introduced a spicy chicken sandwich that broke the internet and launched a war with Chick-fil-A. Other national fast food chains introduced their versions of chicken sandwiches over the course of a year, including Wendy's, Sonic, and KFC. Even Taco Bell wanted a piece of the action, launching a chicken sandwich taco in Tennessee and North Carolina in early 2021.Wingstop didn't move on a chicken sandwich at the time because "we didn't need it," Skipworth said.Until now.Last week, the chain rolled out 12 chicken sandwiches offering the same flavors as their wings.Skipworth said the company rarely adds new items to its menu. Last year, it introduced the delivery-only brand Thighstop, a supply chain hack created to save the brand from soaring chicken wing prices. Before that, he said the previous new menu item the company launched was more than a decade ago when it introduced boneless wings. Skipworth said he expects the chicken sandwich to bring "meaningful growth" to the brand because price-conscious consumers will be excited about the value of the new menu item. "We felt now is the right time for a chicken sandwich. We were able to leverage our size and scale and negotiate really good pricing with our strategic supplier partners," Skipworth said.The a la carte price of Wingstop's chicken sandwich is $5.49. By comparison, spicy chicken sandwiches cost $5.29 at Chick-fil-A and $4.49 at Popeyes. The crispy chicken sandwich at Shake Shack cost $7.79, according to prices found at those restaurants in Southern California. Wingstop expects to reach more delivery consumers with Uber Eats and DoorDash DoorDash introduced its white-label delivery platform, DoorDash Drive, in 2016. Fast-casual chains Wingstop and Chipotle were early adopters of the program. DoorDash delivers orders made through Wingstop's app or website for a fee.Skipworth said that Wingstop had used DoorDash as an exclusive delivery partner since at least 2017.  He described the nation's top delivery provider as "an incredible partner for us."But, with the "challenging backdrop in 2022," Skipworth said this summer was "a good opportunity" to look at adding another delivery operator.Wingstop chose Uber Eats because, like DoorDash, it has been "really smart about building loyalty" to its platform through subscription services that reach millions of consumers. DoorDash's DashPass, for example, has over 10 million members globally. "We knew there was this consumer base out there that we weren't serving today," Skipworth said of Uber Eats. "And we felt this was the right time to pull that lever in and again, bring more guests into Wingstop through the Uber platform."While there's some overlap between consumers who use DoorDash and Uber Eats, Skipworth said the data shows that both delivery apps serve "two distinct consumer groups."He said he doesn't expect a "meaningful impact to our existing DoorDash business." "While it's only a couple of weeks into the Uber Eats national launch, and without any advertising support, we are encouraged by the early results," Skipworth told investors during a conference call in July. By adding Uber Eats, Wingstop joins a fray of chains that have been breaking away from exclusive delivery partnerships to boost delivery sales. McDonald's dropped Uber Eats as an exclusive partner in 2019. During the pandemic, Chipotle added Uber Eats as a delivery partner after working with Postmates and DoorDash. Wingstop is leaning into value deals thanks to wing deflationWingstop developed the virtual brand, Thighstop, last year to save money on soaring chicken wing prices, which reached $3.25 a pound in 2021.By creating a thigh-focused menu, a part of the bird the company never used, Wingstop saved money by buying whole chickens from suppliers. A year later, the price per pound is now $1.15 as demand for chicken wings cools, causing excess inventory and deflation, the CEO said.That is allowing Wingstop to "lean into" adding value deals to the menu, Skipworth said. One example that is driving traffic is the recently introduced Boneless Meal Deal. The $15.99 value meal includes 20 boneless wings and a large fry. "We saw a marked improvement in the sales trends during the quarter," Skipworth said.In 2021, Wingstop recorded its 18th consecutive year of same-store sales growth, a vital indicator of a company's financial health. By adding Uber Eats, leaning into value, and introducing chicken sandwiches, Skipworth said he's got a playbook that "sets the stage for 19 consecutive years of same-store sales growth." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 5th, 2022

The Price Of Eggs Is Up 47% As Food Costs In The US Spiral Out Of Control

The Price Of Eggs Is Up 47% As Food Costs In The US Spiral Out Of Control Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, Now they are trying to convince us that dramatically higher prices are good news.  Are you kidding me?  Our standard of living is being systematically destroyed, and more Americans are falling out of the middle class with each passing day.  The government just announced that in July the consumer price index was 8.5 percent higher than it was the previous July.  Of course many have challenged the value of the inflation numbers that the government is giving us because the way inflation is calculated has been changed many times over the years.  As John Williams of shadowstats.com has pointed out, if the rate of inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1980 it would be far higher than anything that we experienced during the Jimmy Carter era of the 1970s.  You can spin that any way that you want, but it is still a raging national crisis. Yes, energy prices in the U.S. have fallen a bit, and many Americans are very thankful for that. This reprieve won’t last indefinitely, and so don’t celebrate too much. Meanwhile, food costs continue to spiral out of control… “The food index increased 10.9 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979,” BLS said. Some grocery store items have seen prices rise even faster, though. “The food at home index rose 13.1 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending March 1979,” BLS said. “The index for other food at home rose 15.8 percent and the index for cereals and bakery products increased 15.0 percent over the year. The remaining major grocery store food groups posted increases ranging from 9.3 percent (fruits and vegetables) to 14.9 percent (dairy and related products).” Those numbers are absolutely abysmal. I am sure that you have noticed that prices are going up when you visit the grocery store.  Personally, I still remember the days when I could fill up an entire shopping cart full of food for just 25 dollars. What will 25 dollars get you today? In the old days, eggs were always a fairly inexpensive option, but the government is telling us that the price of eggs has risen 47 percent over the past year… Inflation is wreaking havoc on breakfast, with egg prices at grocery stores soaring a whopping 47% in July over last year, according to retail analytics firm Information Resources Inc. 47 percent! That is nuts. Of course the bird flu pandemic that has killed tens of millions of our chickens is the primary reason for that price spike. As I detailed a few days ago, a number of major problems have combined to create a “perfect storm” for global food production.  The war in Ukraine, skyrocketing fertilizer prices and extremely bizarre weather patterns are just some of the reasons why global food supplies are getting tighter and tighter. So the truth is that food inflation is not going away any time soon. In fact, I expect global food prices to be substantially higher in 2023 because food production all over the planet will be way below expectations in the months ahead. We could handle rising prices if our paychecks were going up just as fast. Needless to say, that isn’t happening.  As Zero Hedge has pointed out, real average weekly earnings are “now down 16 straight months as inflation eats away at any wage gains”. So even the highly manipulated numbers that the government is giving us show that our standard of living has been falling for 16 months in a row. Ouch. In the months ahead, I expect this trend to accelerate.  It is being projected that heating costs are going to greatly accelerate all over the western world, and that is certainly not going to help matters. This will be particularly true over in Europe.  Becoming so dependent on Russian natural gas was a very foolish thing to do, and now the war in Ukraine has changed everything. For example, over in the UK it is being projected that absurdly high heating bills will push a significant proportion of the population into financial hardship this winter.  The following comes from CNN… Nearly one third of households in the United Kingdom will face poverty this winter after paying energy bills that are set to soar again in January, campaigners say. About 10.5 million households will be in fuel poverty for the first three months of next year, according to estimates from the End Fuel Poverty Coalition (EFPC) published on Tuesday — meaning that their income after paying for energy will fall below the poverty line. The UK is supposed to be one of the wealthiest nations on the entire planet. But thanks to the war in Ukraine, household energy bills are about to soar to absolutely unprecedented heights… The predictions are based on new estimates from research firm Cornwall Insight, also published Tuesday, which show that the average household energy bill is expected to hit £3,582 ($4,335) a year from October, and £4,266 ($5,163) from January — equating to about £355 ($430) a month. If the war in Ukraine is causing this much pain, what will happen to global energy markets when Iran and Israel go to war? And what will happen when the United States goes to war with China? I keep trying to sound the alarm, because it is just a matter of time until those conflicts also erupt. Meanwhile, food production all over the planet will continue to be ravaged by drought, floods, crippling fertilizer costs and persistent global supply chain problems. Our leaders told us that inflation would just be “transitory”, but that turned out to be totally false. Now they are telling us that next year will be better. You can believe that if you want. But right now global food production is being hit by major crisis after major crisis, and as a result food prices are likely to continue their upward spiral for quite some time to come. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Thu, 08/11/2022 - 10:25.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 11th, 2022

Americans Will Never Forget The Historic Economic Collapse During Joe Biden"s Presidency

Americans Will Never Forget The Historic Economic Collapse During Joe Biden's Presidency Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com, We have faced a lot of significant challenges in modern American history, but nobody will ever forget the economic horror that is breaking loose during Joe Biden’s time in the White House.  For years, we were warned that the policies that our leaders were pursuing would destroy the value of our currency and unleash rampant inflation.  Now it has happened.  For years, we were warned of a looming global energy crisis that would inevitably hit us.  Now it is here.  But what we have been through already is just the beginning.  The shortages that we are experiencing now will get worse.  Many of the ridiculously high prices that we are seeing now will seem like bargains by the end of the year.  And right now the U.S. economy appears to be rapidly slowing down at the exact same moment that economies all over the globe are moving in the wrong direction.  The CEO of Goldman Sachs just told us that “there’s going to be tougher economic times ahead”, and he is not exaggerating one bit. On Thursday, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States reached yet another brand new all-time record high… US gas prices have hit a new high of $4.71, just a day after hitting the record as seven states top off at $5 a gallon as inflation soars. The national average jumped four cents overnight, leaving drivers in even more despair as gas prices continue to skyrocket emptying their wallets. If Americans don’t like paying about five bucks a gallon, how are they going to feel when it takes about 10 bucks to buy a gallon of gas? Fortunately, we did just get a bit of good news that should provide some temporary relief… OPEC and its oil-producing allies agreed on Thursday to hike output in July and August by a larger-than-expected amount as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine wreaks havoc on global energy markets. OPEC+ will increase production by 648,000 barrels per day in both July and August, bringing forward the end of the historic output cuts OPEC+ implemented during the throes of the Covid pandemic. Unfortunately, this isn’t really going to change the trajectory of where we are heading. In fact, one energy expert says that this is essentially just a symbolic gesture… Robert McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group and a former energy adviser to President George W. Bush, said prices rallied Thursday because the OPEC move was “more symbolic than fundamentally significant.” “I wouldn’t call it a drop in the bucket. It’s basically a gesture… an important one symbolically,” he told CNN Business. What we really need are long-term solutions, and there aren’t any on the horizon. And the truth is that we aren’t just facing an oil crisis.  At this stage, the balance between supply and demand has reached a crisis point for all traditional forms of energy simultaneously… “Now we have an oil crisis, a gas crisis and an electricity crisis at the same time,” Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency watchdog group, told Der Spiegel in an interview published this week. “This energy crisis is much bigger than the oil crises of the 1970s and 1980s. And it will probably last longer.” The global economy has largely been able to withstand surging energy prices so far. But prices could continue to rise to unsustainable levels as Europe attempts to wean itself off Russian oil and, potentially, gas. Supply shortages could lead to some difficult choices in Europe, including rationing. What do you think the European economy will look like when there is widespread rationing of natural gas six months from now? Can anyone out there answer that question? We have never faced anything like this before, and one industry insider is referring to this as a “perfect storm”… Joe McMonigle, secretary general of the International Energy Forum, said he agrees with this depressing forecast from the IEA. “We have a serious problem around the world that I think policymakers are just waking up to. It’s kind of a perfect storm,” McMonigle, whose group serves as a go-between for energy producing and consuming nations, told CNN in a phone interview. Isn’t it funny how that term keeps popping up? For years, I warned that a “perfect storm” was coming over and over again, and now that term has constantly been in the news throughout this year. Another element of the “perfect storm” that we are facing is the rapidly growing global food crisis. Here in the United States, the bird flu pandemic that has erupted in 2022 has resulted in 38 million chickens and turkeys being wiped out. As a consequence, the price of eggs has been soaring to unprecedented levels… The price of eggs increased 10.3% in April. The UDSA predicts an increase between 19.5% and 20.5% year over year in 2022. That could mean $1.00 an egg. Poultry prices will rise as much as 9.5%. Did you ever imagine that you would be paying a dollar for a single egg? I still remember when you could get an entire carton of eggs for one dollar. Chicken meat and turkey meat will be getting more expensive too, and now we are being warned that shortages are coming. In fact, the CEO of Hormel Foods is openly telling us that “large supply gaps in the Jennie-O Turkey Store will begin in the third quarter”… A top US food processing company warned of an upcoming shortage of its turkey products at supermarkets following one of the worst bird flu outbreaks. “Our Jennie-O Turkey Store team is facing an uncertain period ahead,” Hormel Foods Corporation CEO Jim Snee told investors in an earnings call. “Similar to what we experienced in 2015, (avian influenza) is expected to have a meaningful impact on poultry supplies over the coming months.” Snee said the “large supply gaps in the Jennie-O Turkey Store will begin in the third quarter.” He said highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in “our supply chain” in March. In case you didn’t get the point of what he was saying, “large supply gaps” is a politically correct way of saying “widespread shortages”. Speaking of shortages, the baby formula shortage in the United States is now worse than ever… But, as Bloomberg reports, out-of-stock rates climbed to 74% nationally for the week ending May 28, according to data on 130,000 stores followed by Datasembly. The increase comes after rates spiked to 70% for the week ending May 21 from 45% the week prior. Even more stunningly, ten states now have shortage rates at 90% or greater, with Georgia hardest hit at 94%. The Biden administration made a really big deal out of the fact that they were flying in baby formula from Europe, but once again that turned out to mostly be a symbolic gesture. As economic conditions continue to deteriorate, an increasing number of Americans will fall into poverty and hunger.  In fact, according to NPR “demand at food banks is way up again”, and many of those food banks are already at a crisis point… Fitzgerald, of Feeding America, says providers around the country are dipping into emergency reserves, switching to cheaper products, limiting how often people can visit or how much food they can get, and “stretching their inventory to be able to meet more people’s needs.” If our food banks are in such distress now, what will things be like six months or a year from today? Because the truth is that food supplies are only going to get tighter. The winter wheat harvest in the U.S. is going to come in way, way below original expectations.  In fact, we are being told that the winter wheat harvest in Kansas could be down “by more than 25%”… The U.S. winter wheat harvest potential in Kansas has dipped by more than 25% because of severe drought, and farmers in the state may leave thousands of acres of wheat in fields this year instead of paying to harvest the grain hit by the dry winter. Looking ahead, a lot less wheat is being planted for the coming growing season because of extremely bizarre weather patterns in some areas. For example, the amount of wheat that is currently being planted in North Dakota is expected to be the smallest ever recorded… Some farmers in North Dakota are unable to plant as much wheat as they normally would because of heavy rain across the state. Government data shows the state is expected to plant wheat over the smallest recorded share of its farmland. For much more on why U.S. food production is going to continue to shrink in the months ahead, please see this article. The bottom line is that we are facing really severe problems that are not going to go away any time soon. And if you are waiting for Joe Biden to come to the rescue, you are going to be waiting for a very long time… The president of the United States says he understands that inflation is impacting family budgets. But on Wednesday, he said he’s not “aware” of any “immediate action” that would reduce food and fuel prices. “[W]e can’t take immediate action, that I’m aware of yet, to figure out how we bring down the price of gasoline back to three dollars a gallon. And we can’t do that immediately with regard to food prices, either,” Biden said. A historic economic nightmare is here, and the guy in the White House is all out of answers. So buckle up and try to enjoy the ride. The months ahead are going to be quite chaotic, and you probably don’t even want to think about what is coming after that. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Fri, 06/03/2022 - 21:40.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 3rd, 2022

Egg Prices Soar As 10% Of Nation"s Hens Wiped Out By Devastating Bird Flu

Egg Prices Soar As 10% Of Nation's Hens Wiped Out By Devastating Bird Flu Food prices are rising across the U.S., but the latest sticker shock at the supermarket is in the eggs and poultry aisles, as the deadly bird flu wreaks havoc on the country's egg-laying hen flock.  Inflation data tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found a dozen of eggs jumped 23% in April compared with the month before to $2.52. Prices reached levels not seen since early 2016, a period that followed the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak of 2014-15, which led to a 50% increase in egg prices in the second half of 2015. Since January, the outbreak has spread to 32 states, killing more than 37 million chickens and turkeys. Of that, 29 million egg-laying hens have died, or about 10% of the U.S.' total flock of 300 million. Bloomberg says the bird flu is "shaping up to be the worst outbreak of its kind." "When the outbreaks first started, the jump in wholesale values was being driven primarily by demand, as there was a bit of panic and short covering going on in the marketplace. But at this point, so much production has been removed from the landscape that it's more of a supply-side issue," Karyn Rispoli, an egg market reporter at commodity research firm Urner Barry, told CBS News.  Breakfast has become the most expensive in years. It's not just eggs, orange juice and wheat prices are also soaring.  Egg prices could be headed higher as there are no indications the avian influenza spread is under control. This is just another sign that food shortages could get much worse in the second half of the year.  Tyler Durden Sat, 05/14/2022 - 16:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 14th, 2022

18 Signs That Food Shortages Will Get A Lot Worse As We Head Into The Second Half Of 2022

18 Signs That Food Shortages Will Get A Lot Worse As We Head Into The Second Half Of 2022 Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, If you think that things are bad now, just wait until we get into the second half of this year.  Global food supplies have already gotten very tight, but it is the food that won’t be produced during this current growing season in the northern hemisphere that will be the real problem.  Worldwide fertilizer prices have doubled or tripled, the war in Ukraine has greatly reduced exports from one of the key breadbaskets of the world, a nightmarish bird flu pandemic is wiping out millions of chickens and turkeys, and bizarre weather patterns are absolutely hammering agricultural production all over the planet.  I have often used the phrase “a perfect storm” to describe what we are facing, but even that phrase really doesn’t seem to do justice to the crisis that we will be dealing with in the months ahead.  The following are 18 signs that food shortages will get a lot worse as we head into the second half of 2022… #1 The largest fertilizer company on the entire planet is publicly warning that severe supply disruptions “could last well beyond 2022”… The world’s largest fertilizer company warned supply disruptions could extend into 2023. A bulk of the world’s supply has been taken offline due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This has sparked soaring prices and shortages of crop nutrients in top growing areas worldwide; an early indication of a global food crisis could be in the beginning innings. Bloomberg reports Canada-based Nutrien Ltd.’s CEO Ken Seitz told investors on Tuesday during a conference call that he expects to increase potash production following supply disruptions in Russia and Ukraine (both major fertilizer suppliers). Seitz expects disruptions “could last well beyond 2022.” #2 The world fertilizer price index has skyrocketed to absurd heights that have never been seen before. #3 It is being reported that global grain reserves have dropped to  “extremely low” levels… “Global grains stocks remain extremely low, an issue that has become amplified because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “We think it will take at least 2-3 years to replenish global grains stocks,” Illinois-based CF Industries Holdings Inc.’s president and chief executive officer Tony Will said in a statement in Wednesday’s earnings report.  #4 Due to the war, agricultural exports from Ukraine have been completely paralyzed… Nearly 25 million tonnes of grains are stuck in Ukraine and unable to leave the country due to infrastructure challenges and blocked Black Sea ports including Mariupol, a U.N. food agency official said on Friday. The blockages are seen as a factor behind high food prices which hit a record high in March in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, before easing slightly in April, the FAO said on Friday. #5 The out-of-stock rate for baby formula in the United States has now reached 40 percent… The out-of-stock rate for baby formula hovered between 2% and 8% in the first half of 2021, but began rising sharply last July. Between November 2021 and early April 2022, the out-of-stock rate jumped to 31%, data from Datasembly showed. That rate increased another 9 percentage points in just three weeks in April, and now stands at 40%, the statistics show. In six states — Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee — more than half of baby formula was completely sold out during the week starting April 24, Datasembly said. #6 In six U.S. states, the out-of-stock rate for baby formula has actually risen to 50 percent or greater. #7 Searches for the phrase “how to make homemade formula for babies” on Google have spiked 120 percent. #8 We are being told that this is a “perfect storm” as shelves become increasingly bare at food banks all around the nation. #9 In Canada, more than 1.7 million chickens and turkeys have already been lost in recent months due to the global bird flu pandemic. #10 In the United States, more than 37 million chickens and turkeys have already been wiped out due to the global bird flu pandemic. #11 The two largest reservoirs in California, Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville, have both fallen to “critically low levels”. #12 Some communities in southern California won’t be able to make it through the coming summer months without “significantly cutting back” on their water usage. #13 Many of the largest lakes around the world are currently in the process of disappearing because they are rapidly drying up. #14 Wildfires continue to absolutely devastate agricultural land all across the western half of the United States.  This weekend, it was New Mexico’s turn to be hit the hardest… After a few days of calm that allowed some families who had fled wildfires raging in northeast New Mexico to return to their homes, dangerous winds picked up again Sunday, threatening to spread spot fires and complicate work for firefighters. More than 1,500 firefighters were on the fire lines at the biggest blaze east and northeast of Santa Fe, which grew another 8 square miles (20 square kilometers) overnight to an area more than twice as large as the city of Philadelphia. #15 We are being told that steak prices in the United States will “keep rising” in the days ahead. #16 Due to hail and frost, the Spanish apricot crop is going to be way below expectations… In Spain, the latest forecasts suggest production will not reach 60,000 tonnes, compared with 110,000 tonnes in 2019 and 100,000 tonnes in 2020 and 90,000 tonnes in 2021. In Murcia, where around two-thirds of Spain’s apricot production is located, farmers in the Mula River and northwest regions have been forced to write off the entire season following a severe hailstorm on Monday which not only resulted in the loss of the fruit, but also caused widespread damage to trees. #17 Overall, Spanish fruit production is expected to drop to the lowest level in 40 years. #18 Kansas Senator Roger Marshall is openly warning that a horrifying worldwide famine is coming… The war in Ukraine will lead to a worldwide famine in the next two years, warned Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Ky.), who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, warned on Tuesday. “You know I’m a big agriculture guy. Twelve, 15 percent of the agriculture products – corn and wheat, sunflower oil – come through that Black Sea, so— and fertilizers come from that area as well, so there actually is going to be a famine one to two years from now. I think two years from now will be even worse,” he told Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo” on Tuesday. The alarm bells are ringing. Are you listening? In all of the years that I have been writing, I have never seen anything even close to this, and this crisis is only going to intensify as the months roll along. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/11/2022 - 16:19.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 11th, 2022

Things Are Bad Now, But You Ain"t Seen Nothing Yet

Things Are Bad Now, But You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, At this moment, food prices all over America are at incredibly low levels.  I know what many of you must be thinking.  You must be thinking that I have lost my mind, because food prices have been rising at a very rapid rate all over the country.  But when I say that food prices are at “incredibly low levels”, I am not comparing them to where they were in the past.  Rather, I am comparing current prices to where they will be in the future.  Yes, things are bad now, but food prices will be much higher a year or two from now. The global fertilizer crisis certainly isn’t going anywhere.  If anything, it is only going to intensify. The same thing could be said about the war in Ukraine.  Peace talks are absolutely dead, and so it looks like fighting between two of the most critical breadbaskets in the world will continue for months to come. Meanwhile, the bird flu pandemic continues to wipe out millions of chickens and turkeys all over the globe. We have never seen a “perfect storm” quite like this, but of course some of the factors that will be driving up food prices are entirely self-inflicted. For example, the Chinese government didn’t need to lock down nearly 400 million people in a desperate attempt to prevent the spread of COVID.  The past two years have provided ample evidence that such lockdowns are quite foolish, but the Chinese went ahead anyway. As a result, there are now hundreds of commercial ships waiting impatiently off the coast of Shanghai. MAP: Commercial ships waiting offshore after Shanghai strict lockdown pic.twitter.com/m0qST4v92Y — Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) April 19, 2022 Those are giant cargo ships that bring stuff across the Pacific Ocean to us. If the Chinese don’t loosen up, many of our store shelves will become quite empty in the months ahead. And it isn’t just commercial ships that are sitting idle… Shanghai is one of the largest manufacturing centers in China, with heavy concentrations of automotive and electronics suppliers. It is home to the largest container port in the world and a major airport that serves inbound and outbound air cargo. Exports produced in Shanghai account for 7.2% of China’s total volume and about 20% of China’s export container throughput moves through the port there, according to the BBVA report. Most warehouses and plants are closed, nine out of 10 trucks are sidelined, the port and airport have limited function, shipping units are stranded in the wrong places, and freight is piling up. Needless to say, many of our major retailers simply could not operate without the goods that they import from China. So we better hope that this potential nightmare gets resolved very soon. Here in the United States, food prices have been moving higher for months.  Just check out these numbers… The average price of butter grew 11.9% in the last year. Meat has been especially affected by supply chain issues, with 100% meat frankfurters jumping 35.2% since March of 2021 to an average price of $5.18 per pound. Ground chuck, pork chops, and whole chicken showed year-over-year price increases of 11.3%, 15%, and 11.7%, respectively. Those figures may look bad to you, but the truth is that they only represent the very early chapters of this crisis. Things are going to get much worse, and here in April anecdotal reports seem to indicate that food price increases seem to be accelerating. Earlier today, my attention was drawn to a thread on a popular Internet forum where people were discussing recent price increases that they had seen at their local stores.  The following are a few examples that I pulled out of that thread… “$10. for 1 lb. Bacon” “5.19 for one pound of land o lakes butter” “a 34 oz can of coffee was $6.99 now is $9.99” “$1.09 for a single avocado” “$2.31 for a head of iceberg lettuce” “I shop for my elderly parents they buy Butterscotch Krimpets every week. Were 2.49 a box now 4.49.” “I saw 15.99 per pound for ribeye steak at a grocery store in northeast Tennessee.” “Paid $12.95 for a pack of raw chicken thighs a few days ago. Normally they are $3.00 – $4.00” And thanks to the horrifying bird flu pandemic which is sweeping the nation, the price of eggs is going completely nuts… The losses to egg-laying flocks have led to producers desperately racing to meet market demands for eggs and egg products, with egg prices increasing as a result. The average price of a dozen eggs is now close to $3.00, up from $1.60 at the beginning of the year, according to the USDA’s national egg report. If you think that these prices are wild, just wait until they double from their current levels. All over the world, a great battle for food resources has begun.  The Chinese saw this coming in advance, and so they have been engaged in the largest stockpiling program that any of us have ever seen.  I wrote about this back in December, but back then most people didn’t understand the true significance of that article. At that time, the amount of food that the Chinese had already accumulated was already extremely impressive… Less than 20% of the world’s population has managed to stockpile more than half of the globe’s maize and other grains, leading to steep price increases across the planet and dropping more countries into famine. The hoarding is taking place in China. Has the U.S. been doing something similar? Of course not. When things get really bad in this country, you will be on your own. So I hope that you have been preparing for that. Since the war in Ukraine started, nation after nation has started to implement export restrictions, and a global scramble for agricultural commodities has steadily pushed up prices. Nobody wants to be caught empty-handed when the music stops, and so there is a race to secure precious supplies while it is still possible to do so. Sadly, the poorest parts of the world will end up suffering the most as the wealthy countries grab what they can.  The dramatic spike that we will soon see in global hunger will be absolutely heartbreaking. But nobody can say that we weren’t warned in advance.  This sort of collapse has been coming for a long time, and now it has arrived. I would encourage you to stockpile food at these “relatively low prices” while you have the opportunity to do so, because they are only going to go higher from here. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Thu, 04/21/2022 - 17:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 21st, 2022

In Biden"s Annual Economic Report, The Word "Gender" Is Used 40 More Times Than The Word "Inflation"

In Biden's Annual Economic Report, The Word "Gender" Is Used 40 More Times Than The Word "Inflation" Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com, I think that the phrase “out of touch with reality” doesn’t even come close to describing what we are witnessing here.  We all knew that the Biden administration was completely out of touch with what is going on in Real America, but it appears that things are even worse than we thought.  Right now, inflation is the number one political issue in the entire country, and the persistent shortages that we have been experiencing are right up there as well.  But the Biden administration apparently has other priorities. The Biden administration has just released the “Economic Report Of The President” for 2022, and you can find it on the official White House website right here.  But unless you are a glutton for punishment, I would strongly advise against reading the entire thing, because it is dreadfully boring. Thankfully, there are others that have already gone through the entire document for us, and one eagle-eyed researcher discovered that the word “gender” is used 40 more times than the word “inflation” is used in the report, and the word “inequality” is actually used more than either one of them… President Joe Biden released his annual Economic Report on Thursday where he mentioned the word “gender” significantly more than “inflation” as the country faces the highest prices in over 40 years. Biden used the word “gender” 127 in his economic plan, while he mentioned “inflation” just 87 times. Meanwhile, the report mentioned “inequality” 147 times and “emissions” nearly 100 times. Obviously, Biden administration officials are far more concerned about “social justice issues” than they are about our growing economic problems. As for Biden himself, he is so incoherent at this point that a guy in a giant bunny suit scares the living daylights out of him. If you are expecting Biden and his minions to save the day, you are going to be waiting for a really long time. Meanwhile, prices just continue to rise.  On Monday, the price of corn reached the highest level in almost a decade… The surging price of corn hit another milestone on Monday morning as the cost of global commodities continues to push higher. The contracts for July corn futures were trading above $8 per bushel on Monday, the highest level since September 2012. The contracts were trading near $6 per bushel at the start of the year. And the price of natural gas has surged to a level that we haven’t seen since just before the financial crisis of 2008… U.S. natural gas prices hit the highest level since 2008, with the U.S. benchmark Henry Hub edging close to $8 per million British Thermal Units on Monday afternoon. The last major Henry Hub price spikes in 2008 and 2006 were partly due to hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico, the Epoch Times reports. Prices in 2008 peaked at $13.32 per million on July 3rd. As I pointed out the other day, the inflation crisis that we are experiencing now is already worse than anything that we went through during the 1970s and early 1980s. Even more frightening is the fact that this is just the beginning. In particular, food prices will eventually go much higher than they are now.  I visited a local supermarket earlier today, and I was astounded by all of the price changes.  What we are witnessing is already unprecedented, but I believe that there are several factors that will actually accelerate the increase in food prices in the months ahead. One of those factors is the horrific bird flu pandemic that has erupted inside the United States.  According to an expert that was interviewed by the Washington Post, this pandemic is spreading at a much faster pace than the outbreak that caused so much chaos back in 2015… WaPo spoke to Gro Intelligence (ag data experts) senior research analyst Grady Ferguson who tracked the last outbreak in 2015, saying this one could be more disruptive to the poultry and egg markets. Ferguson said that 66 days into the outbreak, 1.3% of all US chickens had been affected, and 6% of the US turkey flock. In 2015, he said, only .02% of total chickens were affected at this same time. The number rose to 2.5% of chickens infected at the outbreak’s peak, and more than 50 million were culled. So what will happen if we get six months down the road and the total death toll for chickens and turkeys reaches 100 million? What do you think that will mean for our food supply? As I have been documenting for months, we were already heading for a major global food crisis even without the bird flu and even without the war in Ukraine. Now both of those factors are making things a whole lot worse. And instead of trying to find a way to end the war, our leaders continue to talk like they want to escalate matters.  In fact, U.S. Senator Chris Coons is openly calling for U.S. troops to be sent into Ukraine… Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) signaled that he wants the US to send troops into Ukraine to fight Russia in an interview on Sunday. When pressed about the issue, Coons said Russian President Vladimir Putin “will only stop when we stop him.” Coons was asked on CBS News’s Face the Nation about comments he made last week in an address to the University of Michigan. In the speech, Coons said the Biden administration and Congress should “come to a common position about when we are willing to go the next step and to send not just arms but troops to the aid in defense of Ukraine … If the answer is never, then we are inviting another level of escalation in brutality by Putin.” That is complete and utter insanity. But Coons and Biden are apparently really good friends, and many other top Democrats are also pushing for Biden to do more to help defend Ukraine. I still remember the “old days” when many on the left were actually “anti-war”. I don’t know what happened, but these days the biggest warmongers of all seem to be on the left. Of course there are many warmongers on the right as well.  It is almost as if something is in the water in Washington.  I have never seen so many of our leaders act as if they have completely lost their minds. Needless to say, similar things could be said for society as a whole.  I really like how Mike Adams made this point in one of his recent articles… Humanity is intoxicated to the point of suicidal collapse. Note the word root “toxic” found in the word “intoxicated.” It doesn’t just refer to consuming alcohol, but to a long list of behaviors, substances and desires that turn off rational thought and thrust people into bad decision making. If it appears to you that the whole world is going crazy, that is because it really is going crazy. Global events are starting to spiral out of control, and a whole lot of people out there are having a really hard time coping with it all. Unfortunately, global events will continue to become more intense in the months ahead, and so will the emotional breakdowns. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Tue, 04/19/2022 - 16:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 19th, 2022

The Global Fertilizer Shortage Means That Far Less Food Will Be Grown All Over The Planet In 2022

The Global Fertilizer Shortage Means That Far Less Food Will Be Grown All Over The Planet In 2022 Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, I never imagined that I would be writing so much about fertilizer in 2022.  When I was growing up, there were only two things that I knew about fertilizer.  I knew that it helped stuff grow and I knew that it smelled bad.  But these days, experts are telling us that a global shortage of fertilizer could result in horrifying famines all over the world.  Right now, to a very large degree we are still eating food that was produced in 2021.  But by the end of the year, to a very large degree we will be eating food that was produced in 2022.  Unfortunately for all of us, it appears that a lack of fertilizer will mean that far less food is grown in 2022 than originally anticipated. Thanks to an unprecedented explosion in energy prices, we were already facing a fertilizer crisis even before the war in Ukraine, but now that war has definitely taken things to the next level. Under normal conditions, a great deal of the world’s fertilizer comes from either Russia, Belarus or Ukraine… A fertilizer shortage has added to growing concerns about the Ukraine war’s impact on the price and scarcity of certain basic foods. Combined, Russia and Belarus had provided about 40% of the world’s exports of potash, according to Morgan Stanley. Russia’s exports were hit by sanctions. Further, in February, a major Belarus producer declared force majeure — a statement that it wouldn’t be able to uphold its contracts due to forces beyond its control. Russia also exported 11% of the world’s urea, and 48% of the ammonium nitrate. Russia and Ukraine together export 28% of fertilizers made from nitrogen and phosphorous, as well as potassium, according to Morgan Stanley. Global hunger rose significantly in both 2020 and 2021, but what we are going to be dealing with in the months ahead is going to be completely unlike anything that we have dealt with in the past. In fact, one commodity expert that was interviewed by CNBC is extremely pessimistic about what is ahead… “All of this is a double whammy, if not a triple whammy,” said Bart Melek, global head of commodity strategy at TD Securities. “We have geopolitical risk, higher input costs and basically shortages.” We have never seen anything like this before. Since the beginning of 2021, some fertilizer prices have “more than doubled”, and some fertilizer prices have more than tripled… Some fertilizers have more than doubled in price. For instance, Melek said potash traded in Vancouver was priced at about $210 per metric tons at the beginning of 2021, and it’s now valued at $565. He added that urea for delivery to the Middle East was trading at $268 per metric ton on the Chicago Board of Trade in early 2021 and was valued at $887.50 on Tuesday. And in some parts of the globe it is even worse. In Peru, fertilizer prices have experienced an “almost fourfold” increase… The global fertilizer squeeze exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is imperiling rice production in Peru, where the seed is a staple for tens of millions of people. Prices of the crop nutrient urea have surged almost fourfold amid supply scarcities, adding to cost inflation for growers, according to the Peruvian Association of Rice Producers. That same article goes on to explain that many farmers in Peru won’t be able to afford to plant crops at all this year. If that sounds familiar, that is because this is something that I have been warning about for months. In particular, here in the United States it simply is not going to be profitable for many farmers to grow corn this year, because corn needs a high amount of fertilizer. All over the world, far less fertilizer will be used in 2022, and that means that far less food will be grown. There will be famines, and one expert is even warning that food scarcity will “touch people in the lower income distribution in North America”… “We’re talking about an erosion of food security on a scale we have not seen for a long time, and I think it will touch people in the lower income distribution in North America,” he added. But as long as you have a decent income, you will still be able to go to the store and buy food in the months ahead. It just might cost you a lot more. During a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, farmer Ben Riensche warned that Americans could soon be paying a thousand dollars more a month for their groceries… “Soaring fertilizer prices are likely to bring spiked food prices. If you’re upset that gas is up a dollar or two a gallon, wait until your grocery bill is up $1,000.00 a month, and it might not just manifest itself in terms of price. It could be quantity as well. Empty Shelf syndrome may be starting.” Can you afford to pay $1,000 more for groceries every month? If not, you better stock up now while prices are still relatively reasonable. Of course there are certain things that you will not be able to stock up on because they simply aren’t there. Shortages are intensifying all over the country, and in particular we have seen an alarming shortage of pasta begin to happen in certain stores.  The following comes from an article that was just posted on All News Pipeline… First, it was Eggs and now it’s also Pasta. The eggs have been missing for well over a week now and yesterday morning I was surprised to see the pasta was also mostly bare. Also, some of the shelves have the old COVID trick of pushing everything together and up to the front of the shelf! This is Sioux Fall SD! No eggs for over a week! Very little pasta left! Of course the shortage of eggs is related to the shortage of pasta, because eggs are used in making pasta. I have been trying to explain to my readers that this new bird flu pandemic is going to be a really, really big deal.  As I mentioned yesterday, 28 million chickens and turkeys are already dead in less than two months, and things are already so bad that pasta is starting to disappear from our store shelves. If things are this crazy already, what will conditions be like six months from now? You might want to think about that. I have been trying to sound the alarm about a coming global famine for years, and now it is here. Global food riots have already started, but what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Like I said at the top of this article, for now we are still eating food that was produced last year to a large degree. Just wait until we get to the end of this year and beyond. It won’t be pretty. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, and I hope that this article will give you a sense of urgency to take action. Unfortunately, most people still assume that everything will turn out just fine somehow, and so they won’t do anything to get prepared until it is far too late. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Sat, 04/09/2022 - 10:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytApr 9th, 2022

The "Doomsday Preppers" Were Right

The "Doomsday Preppers" Were Right Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, For years, there was a great debate about what the future of our society would look like.  The irrational optimists kept assuring us that we would never suffer any serious consequences for decades of incredibly foolish decisions, and they kept promising that a new golden age of peace and prosperity for humanity was just around the corner.  Meanwhile, others were warning that humanity would soon be plunging into an abyss filled with endless nightmares.  Instead of a utopian new chapter in our history, we were warned that war, hunger, pestilence and relentless economic problems were on the horizon. Prior to 2020, to a lot of people it seemed like the irrational optimists might be right after all. Yes, there were lots of serious problems simmering in the background, but overall life seemed to be rolling along pretty good for most of the population. But then 2020 came along, and everything started to change. As I write this article in April 2022, war, hunger, pestilence and relentless economic problems have all materialized.  In fact, things are already so bad in Europe that rationing has now been instituted in some areas… Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has threatened the supply of critical commodities in Europe and thrown global supply chains, which were already struggling amid COVID-19, into complete chaos. As a result, the prices of everything from wheat to oil have soared, leading to multi-decade high inflation rates in places like Germany and Spain. The supply crunch in Europe is now so bad it’s causing governments to begin laying the groundwork for rationing, with some stores already limiting supplies. This isn’t Africa that we are talking about. If rationing is already taking place in Europe, how bad is it going to be for the poorer nations in the months ahead? Well, UN Secretary-General António Guterres is telling us that “the world’s most vulnerable people and countries” are heading into a “hurricane of hunger”… UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned urgently of the global consequences of the war as early as mid-March. The breadbasket is being bombed and a “hurricane of hunger” is threatening, he stated. Given Ukraine’s great importance as a food exporter, the invasion was “also an attack on the world’s most vulnerable people and countries.” Sadly, he is not exaggerating one bit. As I discussed yesterday, at this point even Joe Biden is admitting that the coming food shortages are “going to be real”. But even though global leaders are openly telling us that things are going to get really bad, most people still don’t seem very alarmed. This greatly frustrates me, because this is not a false alarm. There are 45 different nations that normally get “at least one-third of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia”… The world’s 45 least developed countries import at least one-third of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, and 18 countries among them import more than 50 percent. These include Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. These are all countries that are already dependent on humanitarian aid and food supplies because millions of people are currently suffering from massive hunger. How are all of those countries supposed to feed their people without that wheat? I keep asking that question, and not a single person has been able to answer it. Just look at the crisis that has erupted in Lebanon.  They normally get approximately 75 percent of their wheat from either Russia or Ukraine, and so far they have been unable to procure supplies from alternate sources… Lebanon, which obtains 75 percent of its wheat from Russia and especially Ukraine, is also desperately seeking other wheat exporters, but so far without success. The government turned to the international community with a call for help. There are now fears of rationing and sharp price increases, which will hit the already hard-pressed population hard. Meanwhile, the global bird flu plague just continues to intensify. Here in the United States, the total death toll is now just short of 28 million… The new cases mean that across the nation, farmers have had to kill about 22 million egg-laying chickens, 1.8 million broiler chickens, 1.9 million pullet and other commercial chickens, and 1.9 million turkeys. It has taken less than two months to go from the first confirmed case in the U.S. to nearly 28 million dead. So what will the death toll look like six months from now? And can you imagine what this will do to food prices? It is being reported that the price of a dozen eggs has already risen 52 percent since the start of this new pandemic… Egg prices are skyrocketing as a bird-flu outbreak ravages commercial chicken flocks in the U.S., with the price of a dozen large eggs spiking more than 52% in just under two months. For much more on this crisis, please see the article that I posted yesterday entitled “20 Facts About The Emerging Global Food Shortage That Should Chill You To The Core”.  I wish that I had sufficient words to properly convey the urgency that we should all be feeling in this hour.  We are heading into a complete and total nightmare, and I wish that I could get more people to understand this. Mike Adams is sounding the alarm too.  The following comes from an article that was published a few days ago in the Epoch Times… Food scarcity. Food vouchers. Food riots and flash mobs. All of that’s coming—and soon, says Texas-based food scientist and “Health Ranger” podcaster Mike Adams, who sees dire events unfolding in America in the short term. His advice: people need to get prepared now. Of course he is right on target. In fact, I have specifically been warning for years that all of these things were coming. At this point, it is clear that the “great debate” is over. The irrational optimists were wrong.  There will be no golden new era of peace and prosperity for humanity. Instead, we have entered a “perfect storm” of pain, suffering and horror. For many years, society laughed at the “doomsday preppers”, but they were right. And if you plan to make it through the extremely chaotic times that are coming, I would recommend that you become a “doomsday prepper” too. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Fri, 04/08/2022 - 19:40.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 8th, 2022

Perception Vs. Reality

Perception Vs. Reality Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, If you only get your news from the mainstream media, you would be tempted to believe that global conditions are relatively stable right now.  Yes, there is a war between Russia and Ukraine, but the mainstream media is assuring us that Ukraine is winning that war.  Other than that, the mainstream media seems to think that everything is just fine. Of course the truth is that our planet is facing a whole host of extremely challenging problems at the moment.  The UN has warned that we are entering the worst global food crisis since World War II, inflation has started to spiral out of control all over the world, the war in Ukraine is making our supply chain nightmares even worse and an absolutely horrifying bird flu plague is killing millions upon millions of chickens and turkeys. But if you flip on one of the corporate news channels tonight, they will be focusing on other things. And you probably won’t even hear them talk about the food riots that have suddenly begun erupting around the world at all. For example, a “curfew” has just been imposed on the capital of Peru after a series of extremely passionate protests that were sparked by rapidly rising fuel and food prices… Peruvian President Pedro Castillo announced a curfew for Tuesday in the capital Lima and neighboring port city Callao, after demonstrations across the country over fuel prices caused roadblocks and “acts of violence”. Protests had erupted across Peru in recent days due to a hike in fuel prices and tolls, during a time of rising food prices. Is this the first time that you have heard about this? For many of you it will be, and that is because the mainstream media in the U.S. is largely ignoring this. In Sri Lanka, severe shortages of “food, medicine and fuel” have caused a full-blown economic collapse and tremendous chaos in the streets… In Sri Lanka, where an economic crisis is growing, more than 40 lawmakers walked out of the ruling coalition today. That leaves the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the minority in Parliament. There have been new calls today for both the president and prime minister to step down after the entire Cabinet resigned on Sunday. Shortages of food, medicine and fuel have sparked countrywide protests, and security forces have fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters marching on the president’s home. Most of you have probably not heard about that either, and that is because our largest news outlets are being really quiet about it. But USA Today wants to make sure that you know about a new promotion that McDonald’s is running: “McDonald’s brings back Spicy Chicken McNuggets to select restaurants for a limited time”. More than ever before, our perception of the world around us is shaped by the corporate elite.  Americans get more than 90 percent of the “television news” that they consume from just five giant media corporations, and so that gives those corporations an incredible amount of influence over how our society views reality. For example, far more Americans are talking about “the slap” at the Academy Awards than about the fact that North Korea just threatened South Korea with nuclear war… North Korea opposes war but would use nuclear weapons if South Korea attacked, Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong Un, said on Tuesday, in a warning that analysts said is probably aimed at the South’s incoming conservative president. Kim Yo Jong, a senior official in the government and ruling party, said it was a “very big mistake” for South Korea’s minister of defence to make recent remarks discussing attacks on the North, state news agency KCNA reported. The war in Ukraine is not going to be the last war that erupts.  I believe that China is very strongly considering an invasion of Taiwan in the not too distant future, and a major war between Israel and Iran could literally start at any time. But instead of alarming the American people about such things, CNN wants you to know that Coke has a brand new flavor: “Coke’s latest flavor is here. And it’s a weird one”. I suppose that we should be thankful to CNN, because I probably never would have heard about that new flavor unless they ran that story. Meanwhile, the number of poultry flocks in Minnesota that have been hit by the new bird flu pandemic just doubled… The Minnesota Board of Animal Health on Tuesday reported the latest outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the state is now affecting a total of 15 poultry flocks — up from seven last Friday. Minnesota is the number one state for turkey production, and so this is a really big deal. Overall, the national death toll just continues to climb.  The first case at a commercial facility in the United States was confirmed less than two months ago, and now the death toll has risen to nearly 28 million… The new cases mean that across the nation, farmers have had to kill about 22 million egg-laying chickens, 1.8 million broiler chickens, 1.9 million pullet and other commercial chickens, and 1.9 million turkeys. Will MSNBC lead with this story tonight? Of course not. But I did find the following story on MSNBC’s homepage earlier today: “Garlic cloves up your nose? What to know about the health trends taking TikTok by storm”. What a bunch of nonsense. I am so grateful for the alternative media, because they often cover stories that the mainstream media never talks about. For example, our friends at Zero Hedge have informed us that the price of jet fuel in New York has risen “more than 162% since mid-March”… Wholesale jet fuel prices in New York have risen more than 162% since mid-March, as buyers at some of the world’s busiest airports, located on the US East Coast, anticipate dwindling supplies as Western sanctions shun Russian energy exports. On Monday, jet fuel prices jumped 93 cents to $7.61 a gallon, a new record high, according to Bloomberg data going back to 1988. That is crazy. We are seeing so much inflation all throughout the system right now.  A few hours ago, I came across a post by a supermarket employee on a very popular Internet forum that really got my attention.  According to this employee, workers at this particular store were given 52 pages of price changes just this week… Tyson Chicken strip jumped up $3 Eggs went up to $3.50 they were 2.25 32 pack of water went to $5.50 originally 3.75 There was 35 pages of price changes on the dry side and 17 pages in freezer and cooler they are planning to have that many pages or more next week also A trip to the grocery store is going to become very, very painful in the months ahead. But just be thankful that you don’t live in one of the poorest countries on the planet. At this point, even Vladimir Putin is telling us that the food shortages that we are now witnessing are going to get even worse… Putin said higher energy prices and fertilizer shortages would mean Western nations would have to print more money to buy supplies, which would cause food shortages in poorer countries. “They will inevitably exacerbate food shortages in the poorest regions of the world, spur new waves of migration, and, in general, drive food prices even higher,” Putin said in a meeting on developing food production, Reuters reported. A full-blown global meltdown has now begun, and it is going to go to an entirely new level in the months ahead. But the mainstream media will try to distract you with stories about Will Smith, Kourtney Kardashian and other celebrities for as long as they can. Personally, I don’t really care that Kourtney Kardashian just married Travis Barker in Las Vegas.  What I do care about is the fact that our society is coming apart at the seams all around us. The news that you get from the corporate media has been carefully designed to promote certain narratives, and these days much of it is wildly inaccurate. But most of the population will continue to blindly believe whatever they are told to believe by our “professional journalists”, and that is extremely unfortunate. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Thu, 04/07/2022 - 16:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytApr 7th, 2022

Amazon Drone Delivery Was Supposed to Start By 2018. Here’s What Happened Instead

Amazon’s squadron of delivery drones was supposed to be in full flight by now. And the fall of 2021 would have been an opportune time to have little automated flying machines delivering packages to customers—what with all the trouble human workers are causing around the country with strikes and labor shortages. Amazon announced an experimental… Amazon’s squadron of delivery drones was supposed to be in full flight by now. And the fall of 2021 would have been an opportune time to have little automated flying machines delivering packages to customers—what with all the trouble human workers are causing around the country with strikes and labor shortages. Amazon announced an experimental drone delivery service with great fanfare as part of a 60 Minutes feature in 2013. Amazon’s promise was quite remarkable: Your packages—containing anything from toothpaste to a new smartphone—would arrive right at your doorstep (or on your lawn) by way of a drone that lands, drops your parcel and flies away. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s then-CEO, said in the televised segment that it would likely take “four to five years” to turn the “R&D project” into a reality. Nearly eight years later, the world’s leading online retailer is struggling to make progress with its Prime Air program. So, what happened? “Prime Air is committed to making our goal of delivering packages by drones a reality,” Amazon said in a statement to TIME. “We are pioneering new ground and it will continue to take time to create the right technology and infrastructure to safely deliver packages to customers.” Since the program got underway, Amazon has revealed a few delivery-drone designs, and in August of 2020 it received the Federal Aviation Administration’s permission to begin conducting drone operations. The company told TIME that it continues to collaborate closely with the FAA and other regulatory bodies around the world. It is running tests of the delivery program and has logged thousands of flight hours. Even so, Prime Air has suffered numerous setbacks, including rounds of layoffs, unexpected surges in workload, and a work environment fueled by unrealistic expectations, former staffers told Wired earlier this year. Projects that take longer than expected to get off the ground are hardly unusual at big companies, and Amazon is no different. Over the years, the company has had mixed success releasing products like smartphones and in-home grocery scanners. It recently discontinued Amazon Echo Look, an Alexa-enabled device that scanned a user’s outfit and offered questionable fashion advice. Even in 2021, the idea of drone delivery still sounds somewhat fantastical, but widespread use of these small aircraft could have an enormous impact. Drones have potential to be even more efficient and environmentally friendly than a modern electric delivery van. The Biden administration has expressed interest in developing the field of drone delivery and logistics, and for uses like infrastructure inspection. The initiative has plenty of challenges, however, including the need for more warehouses and concerns about airspace safety with a potential sky full of whizzing drones. Still, as Amazon struggles, other companies are racing to be the first to offer widespread service. Where delivery drones have worked Google parent company Alphabet is forging ahead with its own version of the futuristic delivery service. In Logan, Australia, suburban drone deliveries are taking off, thanks to Alphabet subsidiary Wing. The delivery drone company, previously part of Google’s “moonshot” initiatives, reached a pivotal milestone, announcing in August that it made its hundred thousandth delivery. The drones have moved over 10,000 cups of coffee, 1,000 loaves of bread and 1,200 roasted chickens (known as hot chooks in Australia). Wing says it hasn’t faced a single delivery issue during its flights in Logan, and has run thousands of internal flight and delivery tests at the same time. Wing CEO James Ryan Burgess thinks opportunity lies in a decentralized delivery system scattered throughout a region, citing Logan as an example of a city wherein the company can operate smaller groups of drones in multiple areas. “You can imagine a future where there are delivery drone aircraft scattered throughout a city in the most appropriate places,” says Burgess. “Those aircraft can serve the community whenever somebody has a need to receive a package or send a package.” Wing Since Wing’s drones can wirelessly charge from their landing pad when they return from a delivery, the infrastructure requirements are minimal. “Our best estimate at this state at Wing is that there will be a mix of central and distributed delivery technologies in the drone space,” says Burgess. “That way, they can serve and integrate with merchants of various scales in the best way possible.” Wing, which grew its operations in Australia this year, is looking to expand from its single U.S. location in Christianburg, Va., and Finland “in the coming months.” Wing’s drone deliveries are automated, but monitored by pilots who function more as air traffic controllers than anything else. Routes are determined based on factors like distance, weather conditions and airspace regulations, and deliveries are dropped in front of homes using a winch, with no human interaction required. More efficient and ecological—to a point When it comes to making deliveries efficient and environmentally friendly, faster seems to be better. The less time a drone spends in the air is a primary determinant of its energy consumption according to Carnegie Melon University Professor Costa Samaras. A 2018 study coauthored by him discovered that, over certain distances, drone delivery is more efficient than ground-based delivery, especially if drones are traveling at higher speeds. Samaras notes that drone deliveries won’t phase out more traditional methods of transporting goods, but will instead complement them while being more environmentally friendly. “There are other areas where an electric cargo bike is for sure going to be better, and there are areas where maybe a bigger electric truck would be best,” he says. “You don’t necessarily want your computer monitor being delivered by drone.” But speedy drone delivery in cities might be less eco-friendly when carrying heavier items, and they could also be more of a noisy nuisance than delivery via electric vehicle. “Do we want hundreds or thousands of drones over all of our cities?” says Samaras. “That’s a much deeper and more important question.” Still, the environmental concerns loom. A company like Amazon might create drone delivery facilities to make good on faster guaranteed delivery times, but that would also mean more facilities to operate and maintain, and more of an environmental impact. Indeed, the promise of drone delivery means everyone can order everything and have it arrive almost instantly. But in urban environments, people ordering a cup of coffee or breakfast bagel first thing in the morning might not be a feasible option, and could lead to increased pollution. It also means that providers would need more space dedicated to shipping and maintaining drones, which means more warehouses. You could have a single warehouse and fly drones until their batteries die, says Samaras, but that defeats the efficient nature of drone usage. For more efficient flights, companies will need multiple warehouses storing identical products to deliver to neighborhoods. “If you needed a new phone, for example, you’d have to have a phone in a warehouse in the Bronx, you’d need a phone in a warehouse in Brooklyn, in Staten Island, and now you’ve got three warehouses,” says Samaras. “Now you have to heat, light and power those warehouses, and that amount of energy degrades the benefits from that [drone delivery].” Currently, Samaras says drones for delivery use in rural areas paired with delivery trucks are an ideal application of the technology, considering the environmental cost of driving something like a multi-ton delivery truck to every house in a rural community. Drones are already being used by hospitals in far-flung regions to deliver medical supplies like blood, and by the U.S. Army to move military equipment like ammunition. Few studies have looked at the ecological effects of drones flying over neighborhoods, and the effect on wildlife is still being researched, though videos (shot via drone) have shown that animals don’t take kindly to the buzzing aerial copters. A European Environment Agency report on drones and sustainability points out the growing tension between drones and animals, especially birds. “Bird species… were found to be more sensitive to disturbances relating to the presence of drones,” said the report. “Evidence is growing of bird-drone interaction, such as two eagles mistaking a drone for food in Austria.” Meeting ‘uncharted’ demand Decentralized drone delivery could also lead to less congestion, according to University of Texas operations management professor Milind Dawande, which is more obvious vital now than ever as the global supply chain stalls in shipping bottlenecks at ports. But Dawande coauthored a study last year that showed how using drones to decrease delivery times could lead to an increase in demand. “No one has captured this demand until now,” says Dawande. “You have never heard that your order is going to come to your door in 15 minutes. So it’s all an unchartered territory actually.” Dawande thinks it could lead to companies competing over zones of control, with customers prioritizing speedier deliveries from retailers able to deliver to them faster based on their proximity to a drone distribution center. You might have two competing big box stores near you, but if one can guarantee you a 15-minute delivery rather than a one-hour window, you’re more likely to choose the closer one. That speedy delivery could increase the number of orders. It makes what would’ve been a car ride, evening delivery, or next-day delivery into a purchase that will show up before your first cup of coffee gets cold. “The guy who can reach the customer fastest is the king,” says Dawande. “Therefore, if I have a warehouse here, within 10 miles, I am king. If you have a warehouse there and we don’t, then you are the king. So there will be bubbles, and they will monopolize that region and share the market in the rest of the region.” So what’s holding up the great drone delivery experiment? Both Dawande and Wing CEO Burgess cite the FAA as a hurdle when it comes to bringing more drone delivery services to regions in the United States. “The bottleneck is the regulatory framework,” says Dawande, who suggests drone delivery companies will have to adhere to guidelines and regulations from multiple agencies in the U.S. “There are federal laws, there are going to be state laws, there are going to be city laws… Of course, technology is improving every day, but the regulatory framework, how quickly it reaches maturity, will certainly determine how widespread and how fast [drone delivery] will be adopted.” Companies like Amazon and Wing have received the FAA’s existing Part 135 certification, which allows them to participate in delivery via drone services with a limited number of pilots and drones. Still, according to the FAA, companies must obtain airspace authorizations from local governments before they begin sending drones carrying packages through the air. Those authorizations have the potential to get complicated. Each state has its own rules for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky, for example, prohibit flight paths over certain properties like prisons or railroads. Some states have prohibited delivery of certain items (like medical marijuana) as well. Still, Dawande believes drone deliveries will be inevitable thanks to slowly easing regulations, citing the FAA’s recently simplified remote ID laws for drones, which would’ve required drones broadcast a unique identification signal (which won’t go into effect until 2023), as well as increasing pilot privacy and dismissing the requirement that personal information be logged in a government database. The FAA is also making it easier for pilots to renew their drone pilot licenses by waiving testing fees. If the commercial UAV market, valued at over $22 billion this year, is any indication, you can expect that 30-minute toothpaste delivery sooner rather than later......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 2nd, 2021

Whatever Happened to Amazon’s Drone Delivery Service?

Amazon’s squadron of delivery drones was supposed to be in full flight by now. And the fall of 2021 would have been an opportune time to have little automated flying machines delivering packages to customers—what with all the trouble human workers are causing around the country with strikes and labor shortages. Amazon announced an experimental… Amazon’s squadron of delivery drones was supposed to be in full flight by now. And the fall of 2021 would have been an opportune time to have little automated flying machines delivering packages to customers—what with all the trouble human workers are causing around the country with strikes and labor shortages. Amazon announced an experimental drone delivery service with great fanfare as part of a 60 Minutes feature in 2013. Amazon’s promise was quite remarkable: Your packages—containing anything from toothpaste to a new smartphone—would arrive right at your doorstep (or on your lawn) by way of a drone that lands, drops your parcel and flies away. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s then-CEO, said in the televised segment that it would likely take “four to five years” to turn the “R&D project” into a reality. Nearly eight years later, the world’s leading online retailer is struggling to make progress with its Prime Air program. So, what happened? “Prime Air is committed to making our goal of delivering packages by drones a reality,” Amazon said in a statement to TIME. “We are pioneering new ground and it will continue to take time to create the right technology and infrastructure to safely deliver packages to customers.” Since the program got underway, Amazon has revealed a few delivery-drone designs, and in August of 2020 it received the Federal Aviation Administration’s permission to begin conducting drone operations. The company told TIME that it continues to collaborate closely with the FAA and other regulatory bodies around the world. It is running tests of the delivery program and has logged thousands of flight hours. Even so, Prime Air has suffered numerous setbacks, including rounds of layoffs, unexpected surges in workload, and a work environment fueled by unrealistic expectations, former staffers told Wired earlier this year. Projects that take longer than expected to get off the ground are hardly unusual at big companies, and Amazon is no different. Over the years, the company has had mixed success releasing products like smartphones and in-home grocery scanners. It recently discontinued Amazon Echo Look, an Alexa-enabled device that scanned a user’s outfit and offered questionable fashion advice. Even in 2021, the idea of drone delivery still sounds somewhat fantastical, but widespread use of these small aircraft could have an enormous impact. Drones have potential to be even more efficient and environmentally friendly than a modern electric delivery van. The Biden administration has expressed interest in developing the field of drone delivery and logistics, and for uses like infrastructure inspection. The initiative has plenty of challenges, however, including the need for more warehouses and concerns about airspace safety with a potential sky full of whizzing drones. Still, as Amazon struggles, other companies are racing to be the first to offer widespread service. Where delivery drones have worked Google parent company Alphabet is forging ahead with its own version of the futuristic delivery service. In Logan, Australia, suburban drone deliveries are taking off, thanks to Alphabet subsidiary Wing. The delivery drone company, previously part of Google’s “moonshot” initiatives, reached a pivotal milestone, announcing in August that it made its hundred thousandth delivery. The drones have moved over 10,000 cups of coffee, 1,000 loaves of bread and 1,200 roasted chickens (known as hot chooks in Australia). Wing says it hasn’t faced a single delivery issue during its flights in Logan, and has run thousands of internal flight and delivery tests at the same time. Wing CEO James Ryan Burgess thinks opportunity lies in a decentralized delivery system scattered throughout a region, citing Logan as an example of a city wherein the company can operate smaller groups of drones in multiple areas. “You can imagine a future where there are delivery drone aircraft scattered throughout a city in the most appropriate places,” says Burgess. “Those aircraft can serve the community whenever somebody has a need to receive a package or send a package.” Wing Since Wing’s drones can wirelessly charge from their landing pad when they return from a delivery, the infrastructure requirements are minimal. “Our best estimate at this state at Wing is that there will be a mix of central and distributed delivery technologies in the drone space,” says Burgess. “That way, they can serve and integrate with merchants of various scales in the best way possible.” Wing, which grew its operations in Australia this year, is looking to expand from its single U.S. location in Christianburg, Va., and Finland “in the coming months.” Wing’s drone deliveries are automated, but monitored by pilots who function more as air traffic controllers than anything else. Routes are determined based on factors like distance, weather conditions and airspace regulations, and deliveries are dropped in front of homes using a winch, with no human interaction required. More efficient and ecological—to a point When it comes to making deliveries efficient and environmentally friendly, faster seems to be better. The less time a drone spends in the air is a primary determinant of its energy consumption according to Carnegie Melon University Professor Costa Samaras. A 2018 study coauthored by him discovered that, over certain distances, drone delivery is more efficient than ground-based delivery, especially if drones are traveling at higher speeds. Samaras notes that drone deliveries won’t phase out more traditional methods of transporting goods, but will instead complement them while being more environmentally friendly. “There are other areas where an electric cargo bike is for sure going to be better, and there are areas where maybe a bigger electric truck would be best,” he says. “You don’t necessarily want your computer monitor being delivered by drone.” But speedy drone delivery in cities might be less eco-friendly when carrying heavier items, and they could also be more of a noisy nuisance than delivery via electric vehicle. “Do we want hundreds or thousands of drones over all of our cities?” says Samaras. “That’s a much deeper and more important question.” Still, the environmental concerns loom. A company like Amazon might create drone delivery facilities to make good on faster guaranteed delivery times, but that would also mean more facilities to operate and maintain, and more of an environmental impact. Indeed, the promise of drone delivery means everyone can order everything and have it arrive almost instantly. But in urban environments, people ordering a cup of coffee or breakfast bagel first thing in the morning might not be a feasible option, and could lead to increased pollution. It also means that providers would need more space dedicated to shipping and maintaining drones, which means more warehouses. You could have a single warehouse and fly drones until their batteries die, says Samaras, but that defeats the efficient nature of drone usage. For more efficient flights, companies will need multiple warehouses storing identical products to deliver to neighborhoods. “If you needed a new phone, for example, you’d have to have a phone in a warehouse in the Bronx, you’d need a phone in a warehouse in Brooklyn, in Staten Island, and now you’ve got three warehouses,” says Samaras. “Now you have to heat, light and power those warehouses, and that amount of energy degrades the benefits from that [drone delivery].” Currently, Samaras says drones for delivery use in rural areas paired with delivery trucks are an ideal application of the technology, considering the environmental cost of driving something like a multi-ton delivery truck to every house in a rural community. Drones are already being used by hospitals in far-flung regions to deliver medical supplies like blood, and by the U.S. Army to move military equipment like ammunition. Few studies have looked at the ecological effects of drones flying over neighborhoods, and the effect on wildlife is still being researched, though videos (shot via drone) have shown that animals don’t take kindly to the buzzing aerial copters. A European Environment Agency report on drones and sustainability points out the growing tension between drones and animals, especially birds. “Bird species… were found to be more sensitive to disturbances relating to the presence of drones,” said the report. “Evidence is growing of bird-drone interaction, such as two eagles mistaking a drone for food in Austria.” Meeting ‘uncharted’ demand Decentralized drone delivery could also lead to less congestion, according to University of Texas operations management professor Milind Dawande, which is more obvious vital now than ever as the global supply chain stalls in shipping bottlenecks at ports. But Dawande coauthored a study last year that showed how using drones to decrease delivery times could lead to an increase in demand. “No one has captured this demand until now,” says Dawande. “You have never heard that your order is going to come to your door in 15 minutes. So it’s all an unchartered territory actually.” Dawande thinks it could lead to companies competing over zones of control, with customers prioritizing speedier deliveries from retailers able to deliver to them faster based on their proximity to a drone distribution center. You might have two competing big box stores near you, but if one can guarantee you a 15-minute delivery rather than a one-hour window, you’re more likely to choose the closer one. That speedy delivery could increase the number of orders. It makes what would’ve been a car ride, evening delivery, or next-day delivery into a purchase that will show up before your first cup of coffee gets cold. “The guy who can reach the customer fastest is the king,” says Dawande. “Therefore, if I have a warehouse here, within 10 miles, I am king. If you have a warehouse there and we don’t, then you are the king. So there will be bubbles, and they will monopolize that region and share the market in the rest of the region.” So what’s holding up the great drone delivery experiment? Both Dawande and Wing CEO Burgess cite the FAA as a hurdle when it comes to bringing more drone delivery services to regions in the United States. “The bottleneck is the regulatory framework,” says Dawande, who suggests drone delivery companies will have to adhere to guidelines and regulations from multiple agencies in the U.S. “There are federal laws, there are going to be state laws, there are going to be city laws… Of course, technology is improving every day, but the regulatory framework, how quickly it reaches maturity, will certainly determine how widespread and how fast [drone delivery] will be adopted.” Companies like Amazon and Wing have received the FAA’s existing Part 135 certification, which allows them to participate in delivery via drone services with a limited number of pilots and drones. Still, according to the FAA, companies must obtain airspace authorizations from local governments before they begin sending drones carrying packages through the air. Those authorizations have the potential to get complicated. Each state has its own rules for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky, for example, prohibit flight paths over certain properties like prisons or railroads. Some states have prohibited delivery of certain items (like medical marijuana) as well. Still, Dawande believes drone deliveries will be inevitable thanks to slowly easing regulations, citing the FAA’s recently simplified remote ID laws for drones, which would’ve required drones broadcast a unique identification signal (which won’t go into effect until 2023), as well as increasing pilot privacy and dismissing the requirement that personal information be logged in a government database. The FAA is also making it easier for pilots to renew their drone pilot licenses by waiving testing fees. If the commercial UAV market, valued at over $22 billion this year, is any indication, you can expect that 30-minute toothpaste delivery sooner rather than later......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 2nd, 2021

Your Living Standards Have Declined Dramatically

Your Living Standards Have Declined Dramatically Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Epoch Times, In the old days, shopping for groceries used to be a joy. By old days, I mean two years ago. Now, it is shocking and miserable. You look at these prices and wonder if you can even afford normal foods we took for granted. Everyone knows about the egg problem, which is being chalked up to a bird flu, just as Putin was responsible for the gas price and greedy meat processors caused beef prices to soar. Sorry but this is ridiculous. The price of eggs is up dramatically because all the costs associated with making them available to consumers are up. At first, there was just a shortage because grocery chains resisted price increases. Once they came back to the shelves, the cost dramatically rose. You are going to pay more for the worst eggs than the best egg cost only one year ago. Unless you know someone with chickens or have them yourself, you are stuck with thin shells and light-yellow yokes forever, while paying through the nose for them. The bottom line is undeniable: in a mere two years, many of the things you loved, healthy food for your families—I’m not talking about the all-carb diet they want us to adopt—has now doubled in price. Some is up 50 percent and some is up 150 percent. This damage is absolutely not captured in the CPI, which has huge drawbacks by being calculated on an annual basis and for being a weighted index number that fails to capture the reality on the ground. The reality you see on the shelves of your local store. The grocery prices tell the truth that you are being pillaged. (Data: Federal Reserve Economic Data [FRED], St. Louis Fed; Chart: Jeffrey A. Tucker) The pillaging is not limited to this problem however. And by the way, this is NOT going to improve. It would take a dramatic deflation to restore our living standards. The Fed will never permit that. At best, their intention is to take down the inflation rate to 2 percent per annum. It now stands at about 6 percent, maybe. So even if it happens to fall to zero, all prevailing prices will stick. That means that you have been robbed. The fundamentals of household finance are even worse. Credit card balances are way up. Savings is way down. And real income (which is adjusted for inflation) has been falling now for 21 months straight. Truly, it’s panic time but people are so beaten down and exhausted that they are not panicking. Most people have acquiesced in exhaustion of the shock and awe to which they have been subjected. (Data: Federal Reserve Economic Data [FRED], St. Louis Fed; Chart: Jeffrey A. Tucker) These charts portend terrible things for our future. It truly means the end of prosperity. In fact, middle-class people barely remember what that was like even though we experienced it as recently as 2019. We didn’t have to choose between eating good food and heating our homes, paying our cell phone bill and going on vacation, drinking good wine and joining a gym. We could do all of those things. No more. Our living standards have been taken down a peg or several. Of course it doesn’t affect the very wealthy that gathered this week in Davos for the World Economic Forum. They have all the resources they need and can continue to live as always. It’s the rest of us who are being ground down into the dirt. Note too the smaller packages of everything, with producers shaving off ounces every few weeks. Try to buy the big packages like three years ago and you are likely out of luck. My favorite Turkish coffee is the same price but half the size. Did humanity suddenly desire smaller quantities of things? No, this is just a way to disguise price increases without letting the consumer know. The other day I bought movie tickets but the bottom-line price was higher than the units. That’s because the software added a $5 “convenience fee.” So great to know that now I have to pay an extra fee for delivery of an electronic good. Remember when Uber and Lyft were cheap and even a good alternative to owning a car? Those days are long over. Now it costs $40 just to get across town in D.C. And New York City, forget it. The prices are astronomical while the subways are more dangerous than ever. Might as well not go. This is what is happening to us. Now, to the critical question. How was all this accomplished, this massive increase in taxation by surreptitious means? Please understand: this was accomplished not by Putin or greedy corporations but by the Federal Reserve. They have the legal power to counterfeit. They do it by buying government debt with money that had not previously existed. This new money makes it way through the economy, watering down the value of existing money. It’s like this. Let’s say you are holding a kids’ birthday party and have only one can of frozen lemonade. But it turns out that 50 kids show up. You do what is possible to stretch the lemonade but each serving gets weaker. At some point it is just water. The kids start to notice. You have to explain that you bumped into the physical limits. The lemonade has become ever less valuable. It’s the same with the Fed. It does not matter that the dollar can buy more foreign currencies than ever. That has nothing to do with anything. What matters is not how much foreign currency it can buy but how many goods and services it can buy. The reason it buys far less traces to the outrageous monetary expansions of 2020 and 2021. That’s the whole reason. At one point, monetary expansion was running 26 percent per year! They robbed you to fund their outrageous lockdown experiment and put as many businesses and people on the payroll as possible. They might as well have dropped money from helicopters. Now we are paying the price for this monetary malfeasance. And now? For the first time ever, M2 is actually falling. How do you think that is going to work out? The mismanagement of our nation’s money stock is breathtaking. (Data: Federal Reserve Economic Data [FRED], St. Louis Fed; Chart: Jeffrey A. Tucker) And did you see the idea of a $1 trillion coin floating around again? This has to be the biggest monetary hoax in history. You can’t just mint a round coin, out of any material, even platinum, and cause new wealth to come into existence. The idea keeps popping up but nothing comes of it simply because the alchemy is too obvious even for the power elite to pull off. Our rulers in D.C. have got themselves into a real fix. The people are furious about what is happening and everyone wants to know why. There is a growing populist movement out there that simply will not go along. We aren’t giving up our gas stoves. We aren’t going to eat bugs. And we aren’t going to give up our birthright to freedom just because a bunch of partying clowns in Davos tell us we have to. We really do face a choice right now. If we do not act and do not choose wisely, we face a future of growing impoverishment, ill-health, and deprecated living standards. We are not doing this to ourselves. They are doing it to us, and they will continue on this path so long as they can get away with it. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/25/2023 - 06:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 25th, 2023

Egg Crisis Sparks Soaring Interest In Backyard Farms

Egg Crisis Sparks Soaring Interest In Backyard Farms Covid supply chain snarls turned millions of Americans into "preppers" overnight. The run on toilet paper, food, guns, ammunition, and other essential items for survival pushed millions to consider preparedness for a crisis. Remember all those old-school preppers? The media used to refer to them as "extreme" and even called them "tin-foil hat conspiracy" folks, but during the shutdowns, those folks were right, and the mainstream media got it wrong.  The next shortage underway is eggs. Readers have seen our notes on supermarkets nationwide running out of eggs. The egg shortage is so severe that last week the US Customs and Border Protection reported that egg smuggling from Mexico erupted.  And why is that? Well, a dozen Grade A eggs in the US have topped $4.25 at supermarkets. In Mexico, a 30 count of eggs is about $3.40.  US egg prices have topped the national average gasoline per gallon price at the pump.  As a result of the egg crisis, internet search trends on Google show Americans are panic searching where to find egg-laying hens for their backyard.  The search trend "where to buy chickens near me" erupted to a near multi-decade high.  "Buy chickens near me" searches explode across the US.  Besides the Covid spike, "how to raise chickens" has spiked to levels not seen in a decade.  Over the last several years, food insecurity has pushed many Americans to create 'little backyard farms'- something their parents or grandparents did more than half a century ago. Living off the land was standard decades ago, but as metropolises sprung up, people relied more on a corporation (or even the government) to provide food.  Soaring distrust in government and corporations had transformed many into preppers following the pandemic shutdowns when some supplies were impossible to find. People don't want to be left empty-handed when the next crisis arises. This has led to a new generation of preppers and the normalization of being prepared.  Tyler Durden Sun, 01/22/2023 - 23:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 22nd, 2023

If you live in one of these states, you’re spending way too much on eggs

Egg prices have doubled in some midwestern states, Instacart says. Avian flu has decimated US flocks, leading to shortages and purchase limits Grocery shoppers are facing empty egg shelves – and higher prices for the eggs that they can find – as avian flu decimates chicken flocks in the US.Liu Guanguan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images Egg prices in some states doubled in December, compared with the same month in 2021, according to data from Instacart. States in the Midwest, including Iowa and South Dakota, were the hardest hit. Even so, the highest prices for a dozen eggs were in other states, such as Hawaii and Florida. Egg prices rose so fast last month that in some states consumers were paying twice as much as they did just a year earlier, according to new data from Instacart.States in the upper Midwest saw the average price for a dozen eggs double in December over the same month in 2021. The price rose the fastest in Iowa, where a dozen eggs jumped 153% to $4.44. Neighboring states also saw egg prices at least double. In South Dakota, they rose 137% to $5.00. Shoppers in Wisconsin paid an average of $4.78, an increase of 118%, according to Instacart. Consumers in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and West Virginia also found themselves paying at least twice as much as they had the year before.Egg prices increased the most in upper Midwestern states year-over-year in December, according to Instacart.InstacartIowa consistently produces the most eggs of any US state. In 2019, chickens on its farms produced just over 17 billion eggs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the state's flocks, like those elsewhere in the US, have been devastated by avian flu, leading to higher egg prices and some shortages.Despite the increases, states like Iowa still had some of the lowest egg prices in the US. Shoppers in Hawaii, where most food has to be imported from outside the state, paid $9.73 per dozen. That was the highest price anywhere in the country, even though prices rose just 51% in December, Instacart said. Florida was the second most expensive state for eggs, at $6.36 a dozen. Prices there rose 57% for the month. Instacart's data includes purchases that its customers made during the month.Hawaii had the highest egg prices in the US in December at $9.73 a dozen. On the continent, the highest egg prices were just above $6.InstacartEgg prices are likely to remain high in 2023. Cal-Maine Foods, the largest egg producer in the US, said in late December that it expects that the fallout from avian flu "will continue to exert downward pressure on the overall supply of eggs" well into this year. Farms that produce only organic or free-range eggs have been less affected by avian flu, leading to lower prices for those types of eggs than for traditional ones in some parts of the country.The shortages are causing sticker shock among shoppers. Some are also facing empty shelves.With demand so high, many supermarket chains like Kroger and Lidl are capping the number of cartons shoppers can buy. In December 2022, egg prices rose 11.1% compared to the month before, and nearly 60% more compared to December 2021, according to the latest Consumer Price Index stats. The index measures prices across all purchases, both online and at traditional retailers.A search of Instacart in Orange County, California, on Thursday showed the price of a dozen cage-free grade AA eggs varying in price at supermarkets listed on the site from $5.86 at Walmart to $6.39 at Kroger-owned Ralphs. A 60-count carton at Costco cost $19.89.Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said he expects inflation to moderate later in the year, and projects egg supplies to normalize in the next few months as new hens lay eggs. "We're doing everything we can to minimize that impact," he told CNBC last week. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 22nd, 2023

Avian Flu Is Crushing Farmers

Avian Flu Is Crushing Farmers Authored by Salena Zito via The Epoch Times, The public’s pocketbooks have been hit hard by the skyrocketing cost of eggs in the last few months. Prices have doubled and, in some places, tripled over what they cost a year ago—if you can even find them in your local grocery store. The average cost of a dozen eggs in the United States is over $4.25, more than twice what it was just a year ago. Options such as cage-free eggs or organic go for over $7. Inflation is a part of the reason, but the agriculture industry says the bigger cause is the outbreak of the avian flu here in the United States a year ago; nationwide, it has affected nearly 60 million birds—nearly 5 million of them here in Pennsylvania. American consumers love their eggs. The food staple is highly regarded by every walk of life for its simplicity and accessibility; for some families, it is their major source of protein. For others, it is the most important ingredient in baking and the central element in preparing casseroles, pasta, and numerous other dishes. For many of us, it is hard to make a meal without an egg, so of course consumers are deeply affected by this. However, there is another side of that story that we are not examining. That is the equally devastating economic impact this is having on American poultry farmers and all of those who work with them. Their lives, livelihoods, and family legacies have been upended and even destroyed by the avian flu, a worldwide outbreak that shows no signs of subsiding. Stopping the spread of avian flu is like chasing a ghost. The virus spreads easily through wild birds—in particular migratory birds that fly across the country, spreading it along the way with droppings that infect farm animals. Farmers have to take drastic measures. Any interaction with the public is risky. And if even one bird is infected within a 6-mile radius of where an outbreak has occurred, the consequences can be devastating. Chris Pierce, a member of a multiple-generation poultry farm family and president of the poultry management group Heritage Poultry in Annville, said he works with 120 poultry farms in Pennsylvania with management services that provide veterinarian nutritionists to assist the health and productivity of the farmer’s flocks that they service. “The biosecurity measures all of the farmers infected or not, like not having visitors on your properties—covering your workers from head to toe in bio suits and constantly and meticulously disinfecting equipment, clothing, buildings, walls, tires—is expensive and mind-numbing,” he said. “Even the simplest thing such as a fertilizer truck or a delivery from UPS or Amazon or your children’s school bus can track the disease onto a farm and destroy their flocks, their income and their family’s legacy.” “We’ve lost two of our family farms out of the 120 with the avian influenza in April of 2022,” he said. “If you are an area poultry farmer, your focus is on keeping birds healthy and caring for them because the birds cannot care for themselves. So that involves making sure all of the equipment in the barns, the feeders, the water system, the ventilation, the lighting systems is all safe because as an egg farmer, your No. 1 priority is the health and safety of your birds. It’s your income.” Pierce says those are the things a poultry farmer can control. “When a disease you cannot control hits your farm, like the avian influenza, that can happen when there are 30,000 snow geese flying over your farm that have feces coming out. That’s when the uncertainty starts to unravel their lives and livelihoods,” he said. Pierce also points to neighbors’ bird feeders and bird baths or homesteaders or families who purchase chickens to save money who don’t take the same stringent precautions as farmers do. These can inadvertently become a spreading source of the avian flu. Pierce said having to isolate from everyone has devastated many of these farmers who rely on community and social gatherings such as church services, school functions, and festivals as part of their emotional well-being. The measures these farmers take are so drastic that many of them refuse to leave their farms for fear of picking up a particle on the tread of their tires or their shoes and then bringing it back to their farms and infecting their flocks. “Then there is this constant fear and really a sense of hopelessness that despite all of the precautions, all of the economic and emotional toll, all of the hardships that this epidemic has had on poultry farmers, even more birds are going to die this upcoming season,” Pierce said. Pierce is correct to be worried about the isolation, uncertainty, and fear that farmers are experiencing. These emotional impacts are rarely discussed in the farming community and in our culture, even though farmers and ranchers are nearly twice as likely to die by suicide as any other occupation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pierce said farmers are always affected by things that are out of their hands. “The weather, politics, global markets, commodities, trade, and the whims of newest food fad that influences the American consumer,” he explained. “The avian flu just adds to that uncertainty.” For the first time in recent memory, poultry farmers in Pennsylvania, of which there are thousands, were not featured at the Pennsylvania Farm Show because of the deep precaution that local poultry farmers took to keep their flocks free of infection. Chris Herr is the executive director of PennAg Industries, the trade group that represents over 500 agribusinesses and farms across Pennsylvania. He said he spent several days as a volunteer late last year euthanizing poultry whose farm had been infected. “It takes a toll on you, having to senselessly kill these birds,” he said, adding that he has spoken to several farm families who don’t know if they can take another year of this. “The emotional impact of this isn’t just the killing of the poultry; it is also not being able to leave your farm. You know that fear is gripping to someone who understands that one trip to the store in town and a dropping from a migrant bird or something airborne might infect your entire livelihood.” Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro (D-Pa.) was recently touring the massive Pennsylvania Farm Show with his newly named agriculture secretary, Russell Redding, a holdover from the Wolf administration. Both men said the issue remained a top priority heading into the new governor’s administration. “There is the cost to the consumer, which is a big concern, but there is also the concerns of our poultry farmers that we our making our priority,” said Shapiro. Pierce said that Redding, along with the state legislature, did a phenomenal job last Spring. “What they did and the challenges they had were handled very well. I am concerned as we head into what looks to be yet another year of this avian influenza this spring—can they do it again?” said Pierce. This spring, the flu is expected to maintain its intensity across Pennsylvania. Indeed, Pierce mentioned that 20 percent of the testing done on the eggs in this country were conducted in the state’s labs. “Our state is the No. 1 state in the country in USDA organic poultry,” Herr said. “This is an important industry, and it’s a point of pride for a lot of these farmers whose family has been doing this for two, three, four generations.” Pierce says there are thousands of poultry farms in Pennsylvania alone. Some are small 30-acre farms; some are much larger. “There are a lot of niche markets in Pennsylvania,” he said. “We need to be able to have all of them communicate with each other. One outlier can take down an entire industry.” Tyler Durden Thu, 01/19/2023 - 16:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 19th, 2023

Here are the states where egg prices have doubled — and the lucky few where they"ve risen by just 50%, according to new data

Egg prices have doubled in some midwestern states, Instacart says. Avian flu has decimated US flocks, leading to shortages and purchase limits Grocery shoppers are facing empty egg shelves – and higher prices for the eggs that they can find – as avian flu decimates chicken flocks in the US.Liu Guanguan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images Egg prices in some states doubled in December, compared with the same month in 2021, according to data from Instacart. States in the Midwest, including Iowa and South Dakota, were the hardest hit. Even so, the highest prices for a dozen eggs were in other states, such as Hawaii and Florida. Egg prices rose so fast last month that in some states consumers were paying twice as much as they did just a year earlier, according to new data from Instacart.States in the upper Midwest saw the average price for a dozen eggs double in December over the same month in 2021. The price rose the fastest in Iowa, where a dozen eggs jumped 153% to $4.44. Neighboring states also saw egg prices at least double. In South Dakota, they rose 137% to $5.00. Shoppers in Wisconsin paid an average of $4.78, an increase of 118%, according to Instacart. Consumers in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and West Virginia also found themselves paying at least twice as much as they had the year before.Egg prices increased the most in upper Midwestern states year-over-year in December, according to Instacart.InstacartIowa consistently produces the most eggs of any US state. In 2019, chickens on its farms produced just over 17 billion eggs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the state's flocks, like those elsewhere in the US, have been devastated by avian flu, leading to higher egg prices and some shortages.Despite the increases, states like Iowa still had some of the lowest egg prices in the US. Shoppers in Hawaii, where most food has to be imported from outside the state, paid $9.73 per dozen. That was the highest price anywhere in the country, even though prices rose just 51% in December, Instacart said. Florida was the second most expensive state for eggs, at $6.36 a dozen. Prices there rose 57% for the month. Instacart's data includes purchases that its customers made during the month.Hawaii had the highest egg prices in the US in December at $9.73 a dozen. On the continent, the highest egg prices were just above $6.InstacartEgg prices are likely to remain high in 2023. Cal-Maine Foods, the largest egg producer in the US, said in late December that it expects that the fallout from avian flu "will continue to exert downward pressure on the overall supply of eggs" well into this year. Farms that produce only organic or free-range eggs have been less affected by avian flu, leading to lower prices for those types of eggs than for traditional ones in some parts of the country.The shortages are causing sticker shock among shoppers. Some are also facing empty shelves.With demand so high, many supermarket chains like Kroger and Lidl are capping the number of cartons shoppers can buy. In December 2022, egg prices rose 11.1% compared to the month before, and nearly 60% more compared to December 2021, according to the latest Consumer Price Index stats. The index measures prices across all purchases, both online and at traditional retailers.A search of Instacart in Orange County, California, on Thursday showed the price of a dozen cage-free grade AA eggs varying in price at supermarkets listed on the site from $5.86 at Walmart to $6.39 at Kroger-owned Ralphs. A 60-count carton at Costco cost $19.89.Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said he expects inflation to moderate later in the year, and projects egg supplies to normalize in the next few months as new hens lay eggs. "We're doing everything we can to minimize that impact," he told CNBC last week. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 19th, 2023

Rickards: Time To Get Real About Ukraine

Rickards: Time To Get Real About Ukraine Authored by James Rickards via DailyReckoning.com, The war in Ukraine remains the most important story in the world today. Don’t believe the incessant U.S. government and media propaganda about Ukraine. Ukraine is not winning the war; they are losing badly. But wait, hasn’t the news been talking up Ukrainian gains in recent months, while Russia is retreating and being badly beaten? That’s the mainstream, pro-Ukrainian narrative. Here’s the reality: Most of the Ukrainian gains were against lightly defended positions that the Russians quickly abandoned because they were not worth fighting to defend. Those Russian troops (really Donbas militias) were ordered to retreat to fortified Russian lines while Ukrainian forces rushing to fill the void were slaughtered by Russian artillery bombardments. Most people think of war in terms of territory. If you lose territory, it must mean you’re losing the war. But it’s not always that simple. The Russian Strategy The Russians will willingly cede territory in order to fight again at a later time under more favorable circumstances. They’ll simply retake it when the terms favor them. They’re not primarily concerned about the territory per se. The primary Russian objective is to grind down and destroy the Ukrainian armed forces. And if the Ukrainians want to keep hurling themselves against Russian positions in order to recapture land and score a propaganda coup, that’s fine with the Russians. They’ll just grind the attacking forces down with heavy artillery fire (artillery kills far more people in war than bullets or bombs). And despite Ukrainian government claims, the best intelligence says Russia is presently enjoying an 8–10:1 casualty rate. In other words, Russia is inflicting eight–10 casualties on Ukraine for every casualty it’s suffering. That kind of ratio isn’t sustainable for Ukraine. Russia Prepares to Lower the Boom on Ukraine Meanwhile, Russia has reinforced its positions with 300,000 or more fresh troops (about 30 divisions) who are rested and resupplied. That’s in addition to the number of troops already in Ukraine. Evidence indicates they’re backed by at least 1,500 tanks, 5,000 armored fighting vehicles, 1,000 rocket artillery systems, hundreds of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters plus thousands of tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones. At the same time, all indications are that Russia is changing its strategy. The initial Russian invasion was ill-conceived and took place in a piecemeal fashion. Contrary to mainstream opinion, Putin never intended to conquer Kyiv and occupy Ukraine. The invasion force was far too small to accomplish those objectives. Also contrary to mainstream opinion, Putin didn’t target Ukraine’s civilian population. He wanted to avoid civilian casualties to the greatest possible extent. Of course some civilian targets were hit, but that’s going to happen in war. Putin instead believed that the “special military operation” would tell Kyiv and Washington that Russia was serious about enforcing its red lines in Ukraine, that it was willing to use force. But he thought his show of force would bring them to the negotiating table. He badly miscalculated. Rather than bring Kyiv and Washington to the negotiating table, they resolved to aggressively defend Ukraine. Russia’s ill-prepared forces were pushed back and routed in many instances. “Russia Means Business This Time” But now Russia is taking the gloves off. It’s already launched heavy, sustained attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, including the power grid and energy nodes. Its army is also regrouping and preparing for massive counteroffensives. It won’t make the same mistakes it made during last February’s ill-planned attacks. Russia means business this time. It’s not interested in bringing Ukraine to the negotiating table anymore. It’s focused instead on destroying Ukraine’s military forces and imposing a settlement on Kyiv. A major winter offensive will begin soon, likely when the ground in southern Ukraine is fully frozen (muddy ground will bog down Russian forces). A successful counteroffensive will consolidate Russian control of Donbas (the heartland of Ukrainian industry and natural resources), give Russia control of Zaporizhzhya (the largest nuclear power plant in Europe) and possibly include the conquest of Odessa, the most important Ukrainian Black Sea port. The cost on the rest of Ukraine from Kyiv to Lviv will be horrendous, including the near-complete degradation of its power-generating capacity, transportation lines and food supplies. U.S. and U.K. weapons supplies won’t mean much because they are too little, too late and the Ukrainians are scarcely trained to use them. But these prospects make no impact at all on the anti-Russian warhawks, both Democrat and Republican, who are determined to prolong the war at all costs — even if it means fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian. A Great Deal for the Military-Industrial Complex It seems that every week or so the U.S. announces a new multibillion-dollar package of aid for Ukraine. These aid packages fall into two categories: Some are simple financial transfers to keep the oligarchs in Ukraine supplied with funds to keep their government going. Others consist of weapons including drones, anti-missile batteries like the Patriot, long-range artillery and most recently an announcement that the U.S. may supply Ukraine with Bradley Fighting Vehicles, or BFVs. The total of such Ukraine aid, including the $1.7 trillion budget boondoggle passed by the U.S. Congress two weeks ago, is now approaching $100 billion. When it comes to weapons, there’s a lot less than meets the eye in terms of helping Ukraine. It appears that Ukraine is getting billions of dollars in equipment, but in fact, Ukraine is getting castoffs from U.S. inventories. What’s really going on is the U.S. is dumping old or obsolete systems on Ukraine (the original BFV was built in 1981, over forty40 years ago) and then using the appropriations to order new weapons for itself. Meanwhile, the U.S. will likely send Ukraine an older version of the Patriot air defense system — and only one battery at that, consisting of eight missile launchers. It’s not the game-changer many seem to think it is. The Russians will simply overwhelm the system with numbers, and then take it out. It probably won’t last long whenever it’s deployed, which could be several months from now. The real winners of these weapons transfers will be U.S. defense contractors like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, who are getting the money to build new advanced systems for the U.S. The real losers will be the Ukrainian people, who will continue to die needlessly in the absence of a negotiated settlement that recognizes the reality on the ground. How Much Western Military Aid Actually Makes It Into the Field? To make this racket even more absurd, much of the equipment that does make it to Ukraine is quickly blown up by Russia. Russia has very good intelligence on the whereabouts of these weapons systems once they reach Ukraine. Using global satellite imaging, laser guidance and a blend of drones and cruise missiles, Putin has had success preventing these weapons from reaching the battlefield or destroying them if they do. But the U.S. has already spent so much money on Ukraine and committed itself so strongly to a complete Russian defeat, a Russian victory would represent another strategic defeat for the U.S., still smarting from the debacle in Afghanistan. What remains of U.S. credibility is on the line. Brinksmanship What happens if Russia brings Ukraine to the verge of defeat? Will Biden and his strongly anti-Russian administration simply throw up their hands and concede victory to Russia? Based on their maximalist rhetoric and commitment to Ukrainian victory, that appears unlikely. Biden has shown no signs of relenting and recently said he will supply Ukraine with weapons as long as it takes. On the other hand, Putin will also not back down and seems determined to secure the entire seacoast of Ukraine, including the critical port of Odessa. The great danger could arise if the U.S. foolishly continues escalation to the bitter end in order to stave off a Ukrainian defeat. I’m not predicting it’ll happen, but things could escalate to the point where tactical nuclear weapons are employed out of desperation. From that point, it’s a short step toward the broader use of strategic nuclear weapons. Again, I’m not specifically predicting that will happen. But it is a realistic possibility based on the logic of escalation, and we seem to be sleepwalking into a nuclear confrontation unless we wake up. Will we? Tyler Durden Fri, 01/06/2023 - 05:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 6th, 2023

Why organic eggs are suddenly cheaper than conventional ones

Organic eggs were cheaper than regular eggs in 2022, according to Cal-Maine Foods. Avian flu has led to chicken deaths, fewer eggs, and higher prices. Prices for organic and other specialty eggs are lower than regular eggs at grocery stores, demonstrating the effects of avian influenza.Jim Vondruska/Reuters Organic eggs are cheaper than regular ones, according to the largest egg producer in the US. Avian influenza has decimated chicken flocks, leading to fewer eggs and higher prices. Prices might not come down until well into 2023 as farms rebuild their flocks. Next time you're at the grocery store, buying organic eggs instead of regular ones might actually save you money.Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods said in an earnings report on Wednesday that the average selling price for its specialty eggs rose to $2.370 per dozen. That's higher than the $2.883 average price for conventional eggs. "Specialty" eggs include kinds of eggs that have historically been more expensive, such as organic eggs and cage-free eggs.Grocery shoppers have taken note: Cal-Maine said that sales volumes of its specialty eggs increased 24% in the quarter that ended on Nov. 26. Sales volumes of regular eggs, meanwhile, fell about 2% over the same period. Cal-Maine is the largest egg producer in the US."Conventional egg prices exceeding specialty egg prices has occurred for the past three quarters but is atypical historically," Cal-Maine said in a statement outlining its second-quarter earnings.Vital Farms lets consumers see where their eggs come fromVital FarmsAvian flu has taken a toll on chicken flocks, leading to fewer eggs and higher pricesInflation has driven prices for a variety of foods higher over the last two years. But the story behind egg prices involves another factor: Avian influenza.The latest US outbreak started in February 2022. Since then, it has affected as many as 58 million chickens, according to data updated Thursday by the US Department of Agriculture, or USDA. Avian flu spreads rapidly and is often fatal, killing 90% to 100% of the chickens it reaches within a couple days of infection, according to the CDC.Many commercial farms that raise chickens for regular eggs have had to kill birds when the disease appears in their flocks. That has led to a drop in the number of egg-laying chickens in the US, according to USDA. Prices have moved higher as a result. In November, egg prices rose 49% over the same month in 2021, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. No other food product tracked by the Bureau's Consumer Price Index saw prices increase as much during that period.The higher prices for eggs on grocery store shelves have continued into the holiday season, which is traditionally a time of high egg demand as people bake seasonal sweets. Grocery stores normally tout their egg prices to consumers as a way to get them in the door, but avian flu "has led to a virtual halt by grocery retailers in including shell eggs in their weekly circulars," a Dec. 23 USDA report on the egg market reads.Farms that raise organic and other specialty eggs haven't been as hard-hit by avian flu, leading to a more stable supply and pricesBut farms that produce cage-free and other specialty eggs tend to be smaller than their mainstream counterparts. As a result, they haven't been as hard-hit by avian flu and have been more reliable suppliers, Phil Lempert, a grocery industry analyst, told NPR's Marketplace on Monday.Organic and other specialty eggs still only make up a minority of the eggs sold in the US. They accounted for just over one-third of the eggs Cal-Maine sold during its latest quarter, the company said in its earnings report. Cal-Maine said that avian flu "will continue to exert downward pressure on the overall supply of eggs." That pressure, and higher prices, could last well into 2023 as farms grow their flocks back to pre-outbreak levels.Some consumers have started buying more expensive brands of eggs as prices on conventional eggs have gone up. Vital Farms, which sells pasture-raised regular and organic eggs for several dollars per dozen at grocery stores, has attracted new customers who previously bought mid-priced eggs. "We're capturing some of those people in the middle and the cheapest eggs are capturing some of the people in the middle," Russell Diez-Canseco, Vital's president and CEO, said on an earnings call in August.Are you a consumer who has been affected by rising egg prices? Reach out to Alex Bitter at abitter@insider.com or via encrypted messaging app Signal at (808) 854-4501.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 30th, 2022

Pilgrim"s Pride (PPC) Poised on Solid Performance & Expansions

Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) benefits from long-term investments like capacity expansion and automation. The company's customer-centric approach bodes well. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation PPC is benefiting from strength in its Europe and U.S. operations. The leading poultry producer’s strategic growth efforts, including capacity expansions, are worth noting. However, the company has been grappling with rising costs for a while.Let’s delve deeper.Solid Europe and U.S. OperationsDuring the third quarter of 2022, Pilgrim's Pride’s net sales in U.S. operations were $2,836.9 million, up from $2,466.9 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Its diversified U.S. portfolio across bird sizes and the Key Customers strategy supported its performance amid changing market conditions. Strength in the Case Ready and Small Bird businesses and momentum in the Prepared Foods business helped the company counter volatility in Big Bird Debone. It witnessed continued brand momentum in the U.S. retail, with Just Bare and Pilgrim’s prepared products increasing more than 45% year over year.Net sales from the U.K. and Europe operations rose to $1,203.1 million in the third quarter from $930.4 million in the prior year quarter. Despite a tough consumer environment and extensive cost escalation, the company’s U.K. and Europe businesses witnessed sequential profit growth via a continued focus on Key Customer partnerships and operational efficiencies.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchFactors Driving Pilgrim’s Pride’s GrowthPilgrim’s Pride’s customer-centric approach propelled it to develop unique offerings that provide competitive advantages. The company’s focus on key customers is a pathway for refining its portfolio and creating competitive advantages over its peers. In this regard, management undertook several sessions to find ways to counter inflationary headwinds for key customers. Recently, the company announced efforts to optimize the manufacturing network.Taking into account Pilgrim's Pride’s focus on profitable growth and impressive market momentum, management had unveiled some new investments in the United States earlier. In this regard, management is investing in expanding the Athens, GA, facility to improve service levels and boost Key Customer growth. The company will undertake operational excellence improvements via automation throughout its U.S. footprint and construct a protein conversion plant for pet food ingredients in Georgia. In addition, Pilgrim's Pride will develop a Prepared Foods facility in the Southeast U.S. to support branded growth and diversify its portfolio. The company incurred capital expenditures of $146 million in the third quarter of 2022 on the earlier-announced organic growth investments and rebuilding of the hatchery in Mayfield, KY.Pilgrim's Pride has been steadily augmenting the marketing support of its brands as they expand and enter new regions. The company resorts to frequent supply chain improvements to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. In this respect, it has been progressing with developing automation technology for its processing plants. Introducing such advanced technology is expected to increase efficiency and aid in combating labor availability issues.The company is on track with investing in the business to accelerate organic growth, mainly with key customers. It continues looking for M&A opportunities to diversify its portfolio in segments and geographies. The company is progressing with embedding automation throughout the production units.Hurdles on the WayIn the third quarter of 2022, Pilgrim's Pride’s Mexico operations generated net sales of $429 million in the reported quarter, down from $430.3 million in the prior-year quarter. The company’s Mexico business saw softness in overall sales and profitability due to seasonality and weakened market conditions. Its Mexico business was hurt by major inflation and slowing demand. Apart from this, issues with mortality in live operations led to the downside. The business witnessed a decline in volumes, prices and profitability.Pilgrim's Pride has been grappling with the increased cost of sales for a while. During the third quarter of 2022, Pilgrim's Pride’s cost of sales increased to $3,972 million from $3,455.7 million reported in the year-ago quarter.Nevertheless, we believe that the aforementioned upsides will likely keep driving Pilgrim's Pride’s growth story.Shares of the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have increased 2.7% in the past three months against the industry’s 1.8% decline.3 Solid Food PicksSome better-ranked stocks are Conagra Brands CAG, Campbell Soup (CPB) and Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ).Conagra Brands, operating as a consumer-packaged goods food company, currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). CAG has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 1.8%, on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Conagra Brands’ current financial year sales and earnings suggests 5.8% and 3.8% growth, respectively, from the corresponding year-ago reported figures.Campbell Soup, which manufactures and markets food and beverage products, currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. CPB has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.7%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Campbell Soup’s current financial-year sales and earnings suggests growth of 8.2% and 4.9%, respectively, from the corresponding year-ago reported figures.Mondelez International, which manufactures, markets, and sells snack food and beverage products, carries a Zacks Rank 2. MDLZ has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.4%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Mondelez’s current financial-year sales and earnings suggests growth of 8.8% and 2.4%, respectively, from the corresponding year-ago reported figures. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Conagra Brands (CAG): Free Stock Analysis Report Campbell Soup Company (CPB): Free Stock Analysis Report Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (PPC): Free Stock Analysis Report Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 30th, 2022