Greek government to flog operating rights for 14 airports to Germany’s Fraport

first_img Show Comments ▼ whatsapp Greek government to flog operating rights for 14 airports to Germany’s Fraport It looks like Greece is about to make a start on that tough privatisation schedule it’s agreed to. The government has resumed talks with German operator Fraport over the right to run 14 regional airports.A spokesperson for Fraport told City A.M. previous discussions, which took place during 2014, would recommence.  “The government [of Greece] has indicated its intent,” he added.Reuters reported that a Greek government official had confirmed the deal, thought to be worth €1.2bn (£845m).The original talks took place last year, although were called into doubt when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ far left Syriza Party took power at the beginning of this year. However, in May it was reported that the government was keen to conclude the discussions “immediately”. This time round, Tsipras is under more pressure, after Greece signed up to a tough set of reforms in exchange for a bailout worth €86bn. The deal, which was voted through by the Greek parliament after a marathon all-night debate on Friday morning, includes tough privatisation measures.  whatsapp Sharecenter_img Emma Haslett Tuesday 18 August 2015 4:47 pm More From Our Partners Matt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comWhite House Again Downplays Fourth Possible Coronvirus Checkvaluewalk.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgInstitutional Investors Turn To Options to Bet Against AMCvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailSwift VerdictChrissy Metz, 39, Shows Off Massive Weight Loss In Fierce New PhotoSwift VerdictMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunGameday NewsNBA Wife Turns Heads Wherever She GoesGameday NewsEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity Mirrorzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comTheFashionBallAlica Schmidt Is The Most Beautiful Athlete To ExistTheFashionBallLearn It WiseAfter Losing 70lbs Susan Boyle Is So Skinny Now She Looks Like A ModelLearn It Wise Tags: Greek debt crisislast_img read more

Smaller crop and growing domestic appetite ease China tariff pain for US cherry exports

first_img Weighed down by almost 50% tariffs, US cherry exports to China have fallen, but the pain for growers has been mitigated by a combination of lower volume and a resilient domestic market.However, for air freight operators this year’s cherry season has been a setback.US cherries took a heavy hit from the tariffs Beijing imposed on a number of US commodities, worth a total of $34bn.Having slapped a 15% tariff on top of the existing 10% in early April, the Chinese government implemented a second round on July 2, which added a further 25% to the tally. By Ian Putzger 30/07/2018 Chinese importers duly cut their orders: the volume of cherries shipped to China is down on last year as is the number of charters moving the stone fruit to this market, noted Chris Connell, senior vice-president, perishables at Commodity Forwarders.US exporters sat down with their Chinese clients and made efforts to tighten margins, but they still faced the prospect of selling their cherries at a significantly higher price to Chinese consumers, Mr Connell said.On top of that, they were experiencing delays as the Chinese authorities stepped up inspections of inbound shipments to enforce food safety regulations more stringently. These could add six to seven days to transit times, he added.The blow would have been harder if the cherry crop had been on a par with last year’s exports. Adverse weather conditions saw the California crop fall from 9.7m cases to about 3m this year, and the crop in Washington state fell from over 24m crates in 2017 to under 20m.But Mr Connell added: “It’s not a catastrophic problem. It’s a smaller crop, and the domestic market is taking more.”Growers have also tried to boost exports to other markets, notably Korea and Australia.“Korea has been a very strong market. It’s a more coveted market now than years ago,” said Mr Connell, while he noted that Europe had been less of a target, as it is well supplied with cherries from Turkey and Spain.Still, the diminished demand from China has been a problem. The country accounted for about 20% of US cherry exports last year – “difficult to replace. There is no single market that’s going to take away the pain,” Mr Connell commented.Cherries stand out owing to the sheer volume, but other US perishables are also facing headwinds from Chinese tariffs. US lobster shippers are worried. Last year China imported 55,500 tons, 7.4% more than in 2016.And US beef and pork exporters have to find alternative markets. In November, committed to buying $2bn worth of meat from the US over three years.China is not the only market where tariffs are raising barriers for US perishables. In response to Washington’s tariffs on steel and aluminium, Mexico reciprocated with levies on a range of goods including whiskey, pork and apples. The US neighbour took nearly 25% of US pork exports last year and was the destination for about 10% of the apple crop from Washington state, worth an estimated $200-250m.The impact on shipping patterns to Mexico may go some way to reflect the true impact of tariffs on perishables exports. Cherry exports to China have been burdened not only with a steep rise in tariffs but also higher airfreight rates, Mr Connell pointed out.center_img © Jim Cottinghamlast_img read more

What the J&J CEO told employees about the Trump manufacturing council

first_img GET STARTED What’s included? What is it? Johnson and Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky at a White House meeting in February. Evan Vucci/AP Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Log In | Learn More What the J&J CEO told employees about the Trump manufacturing council Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) chief executive officer Alex Gorsky was initially chastised last week for deciding to stay on President Trump’s manufacturing advisory council, before reversing course just as Trump announced the panel would be dissolved after a series of defections.A trio of internal memos sent to J&J employees, reviewed by STAT, offer some insight into Gorsky’s reasoning. Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmalot center_img By Ed Silverman Aug. 21, 2017 Reprints [email protected] STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Ed Silverman Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Tags Donald TrumppharmaceuticalspolicypoliticsSTAT+ @Pharmalot About the Author Reprintslast_img read more

Naples family sentenced to prison for running guns to Bolivia

first_imgAdvertisementTags: BoliviaGun runningNaples Family Advertisement RELATEDTOPICS Advertisement Andrea Suarez, the daughter, was sentenced to four years and three months. FORT MYERS, Fla. – A Naples family was sentenced to federal prison after a firearm purchasing scheme. The father, Jesus Suarez, 48, son, Kevin Suarez, 25, and daughter, Andrea Suarez, 28, are facing varying prison sentences after a gun scheme where the father had his children recruit friends to buy firearms under their names for the family to illegally export to Bolivia, according to the Department of Justice.Known as a “straw purchase” the friends would buy AK-47 rifles from licensed retailers in the Naples and Fort-Myers area under their names and give them to the Suarez family in exchange for cash. The friends and acquaintances would fraudulently ensure retailers the purchase was for them when it was really for the Suarez family, the DOJ reports. center_img AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments AdvertisementThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigated the scheme and discovered the father was exporting the firearms to his native Bolivia.Jesus Suarez, the father, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison.Kevin Suarez, the son, was sentenced to three years and one month. AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments No Content Availablelast_img read more

North Korean schools are gradually reopening

first_img North Korea hikes “party contributions” Russia-based workers must pay by 30-55% News News Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) AvatarJeong Tae JooJeong Tae Joo is one of Daily NK’s full-time journalists. He focuses on North Korean military matters. Please direct any questions about his articles to [email protected] RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img Facebook Twitter TAGScoronaviruseducationstudentscovid-19schools SHARE North Korea has gradually begun reopening schools in the country after delaying the start of the school year for more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Daily NK has learned.University students and soon-to-be-graduating third year high students returned to school on Apr. 17, a source in South Pyongan Province told Daily NK today.First and second-year high school students, along with middle school students, elementary school students, pre-schools and day cares, however, will remained closed until May 20, Daily NK sources reported.North Korean state-run media outlet “Naenara” reported recently that the schools would be reopening gradually, but did not mention specific dates.Sources told Daily NK that universities throughout the country started with the recitation of an “oath” to honor former leader Kim Il Sung from 8 AM on Apr. 17 for around 30 minutes. Elementary students (second year and above) along with members of the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League also participated in similar ceremonies throughout the country before returning home.“Young students with weak immune systems will return to school later, but it depends on how the COVID-19 pandemic pans out,” one source said.All third-year high school students have reportedly returned to school, except for those who had received draft orders or had been granted approval to enter a university.“The schools aim to finish up classes within the month before allowing them to graduate,” the source added.As Daily NK reported previously, North Korea plans to conduct classes during the summer to make up for the lost class time due to school closures.Daily NK sources further reported that North Koreans are generally welcoming the start of the school year.“People are feeling less anxious about COVID-19 because schools are starting to gradually reopen,” one source said.Please direct any comments or questions about this article to [email protected] in Korean News last_img read more

Yes, Tesla’s created demand for electric cars — but only for Teslas

first_img The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Young Canadians less likely to buy a car, but more likely to go EV: surveyThanks to its hot-selling Model 3 sedan, Tesla accounted for nearly eight-in-10 EV sales in America last year. By 2025, LMC sees Tesla offering seven models that will account for a quarter of segment sales. That would leave the 114 competing offerings from other automakers averaging annual sales of 6,145 per model, or about 118 units a week.“Tesla has created the market by having a mystique,” said Art St. Cyr, the head of American auto operations for Honda, pointing to Musk’s Model 3. “If Honda, Toyota, GM or Ford made that vehicle, we probably wouldn’t sell them in those numbers.”Honda, Ford and Toyota, which all have a history of selling hybrids, see them prevailing for the time being because mainstream buyers continue to suffer “range anxiety” — the fear of being stranded by running out of juice in an EV. Survey: drivers globally want cheap electric cars that maybe don’t drive themselves PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | advertisement The cause for concern remains as EVs start to appear in showrooms in greater numbers. The models on the market will swell almost sevenfold to 121 models in the next half-decade, from 18 now, according to LMC Automotive. But the researcher sees all those vehicles claiming just 5.5 per cent of U.S. sales in 2025.“We’re going to see electrified Armageddon,” Bob Carter, Toyota’s executive vice president of North American sales, told reporters in December. “Supply is going to get ahead of true customer demand.”There is irony, of course, in Carter predicting an EV reckoning just as Tesla was wrapping up a record year. The dim view he holds is not unique among legacy automakers, which have spent more than a century building and selling cars that burn fossil fuel. But that cautious mindset is rooted in pragmatism — profits remain elusive in the high-cost, high-price EV business.That’s why Toyota and other automakers have been reluctant to dive head-first into EVs until they’re closer to reaching price parity with internal combustion engine vehicles, which Bloomberg experts predict will happen around 2024.EV sales are expected to grow to be roughly the size of the shrinking mid-size car segment by mid-decade, to about 934,000 units, LMC says. But whereas the meager family sedan market will be split between just 13 models, the researcher expects there to be more than nine times as many EVs fighting for air.RELATED Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 Tesla Model Y  Tesla RELATED TAGSTeslaLuxuryElectric CarsElectric VehiclesLuxury VehiclesNew Vehicles We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Trending Videos Tesla’s stock is soaring, and traditional auto manufacturers are staging glitzy presentations of new plug-in models. You’d think the electric-vehicle age was finally dawning.But so far, Tesla is the only car company looking likely to benefit in the coming years. Look at every other corner of the U.S. auto industry, and a more ominous picture emerges.A top American executive for Toyota, whose market value is still more than double Tesla’s even after Elon Musk’s epic run, recently warned of electric-car catastrophe. Auto retailers caution growth will be slow, citing still-high battery costs and range constraints. And far more U.S. shoppers are willing to kick the tires on a hybrid than cars that only plug in. “People are not generally willing to pay more to be inconvenienced,” St. Cyr said. See More Videos Trending in Canada ‹ Previous Next ›last_img read more

Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation Celebrates Students’ Accomplishments at the 3rd…

first_imgHome Industry News Releases Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation Celebrates Students’ Accomplishments at the 3rd Annual…Industry News ReleasesWine BusinessNapa Valley Farmworker Foundation Celebrates Students’ Accomplishments at the 3rd Annual Appreciation LuncheonBy Press Release – June 18, 2018 57 0 AdvertisementRosbin Yancor, Farmworker Foundation graduate and employee of Lampyridae Vineyards. Photo credit Caroline Keller, Farmworker FoundationNAPA, CA (June 16, 2018) – The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation honored the accomplishments of 50 student at the 3rd Annual Appreciation Luncheon at Meadowood on Friday.  The event recognized 2018 graduates of the English Literacy Program winners of the 2018 Napa County Pruning Contest. Also recognized were the donors whose generosity helped provide educational and professional development opportunities to over 15,000 Napa Valley vineyard workers and their families.“The vineyard profession has changed. We are now working in a diverse community with many different languages spoken and a highly developed professional workforce. The Farmworker Foundation is here to support you and provide educational opportunities,” said Steve Moulds, President of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation.Arnulfo Solorio, one of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation founders and a current Director, emphasized the importance of education. “When we started the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation eight years ago, I was asked what do farmworkers need? I pulled from my own experience. It all came down to opportunities to learn and to become a better person, on the job and beyond.”Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry spoke, “Education is number one. It creates positive change. Thank you, students, for your dedication and hard work, improving your lives and our community. And thank you to the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation.  You are the only one of its kind in California, supporting farmworkers through education and professional development.”The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation produces high-level programs for vineyard workers that focus on health and safety, personal success tools such as gaining management and leadership skills, financial advice, English language opportunities, and information on community services for them and their families.For more information or to make a donation, visit: Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation or phone (707) 944.8311.About the Napa Valley Farmworker FoundationFounded by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers in 2011, the mission of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation is to support and promote Napa Valley’s vineyard workers through education and professional development. The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation is the only one of its kind in the United States, providing educational opportunities, advanced training programs, leadership and management classes, English literacy programs, and much more. To date, the Farmworker Foundation has offered education and professional development opportunities to more than 15,000 vineyard workers and their families.For more information, visit our website at  Napa Valley Farmworker FoundationAbout the Napa Valley GrapegrowersThe Napa Valley Grapegrowers is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class viticultural region for 43 years.  Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards. NVG represents 726 Napa County grapegrowers and associated businesses. For more information, visit our website Napa Valley GrapegrowersFollow Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Facebook and InstagramAdvertisement Linkedin TAGSNapa Valley Farmworker FoundationNapa Valley GrapegrowersRosbin Yancor Twitter ReddIt Share Pinterest Facebook Previous articleHenry Jayer, The Heritage: Breaking RecordsNext articleWente Vineyards Introduces New Tasting & Tour Experiences at Historic Livermore Valley Winery Press Release Emaillast_img read more

Developer Blixseth Faces $57 Million Tax Bill in Montana

first_imgBILLINGS – Tim and Edra Blixseth owe the state $57 million in taxes on the money they drained from the Yellowstone Club and spent on luxury jets, cars and yachts that they wrote off as business expenses, Montana tax officials say.With Edra Blixseth bankrupt, state officials have filed a warrant to go after Tim Blixseth’s assets to cover the debt.Payment would go a long way toward easing Montana’s budget woes, with state lawmakers next year due to address a projected budget shortfall of more than $300 million. But state officials may have to fight other creditors that are seeking $286 million from Tim Blixseth.Blixseth said Wednesday he planned to resist efforts to make him pay in an upcoming hearing before the Montana Department of Revenue.The bulk of the Blixseths’ unpaid taxes date to 2005. That’s when Tim Blixseth arranged for the club to take out a $375 million loan through Credit Suisse but then diverted almost all that money for his and Edra Blixseth’s personal use.The state contends in court documents that the money was not a loan but a taxable distribution by the time it got to Tim Blixseth. Blixseth, however, said the Internal Revenue Service conducted a two-year audit into that allegation and ultimately ruled in his favor.“It’s completely a bogus claim by the Department of Revenue and Montana,” he said.U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher recently came down on the same side the state has argued. In an August ruling, Kirscher said the Credit Suisse money was “beyond any doubt” a distribution despite Blixseth’s attempts to “disguise” it as a loan.Tim Blixseth’s lawyers have said his ex-wife assumed the outstanding tax liabilities as part of their 2008 divorce settlement. The club’s creditors want a federal bankruptcy judge to set aside the settlement because they say Edra Blixseth was misled into signing it.Montana Department of Revenue attorney Joel Silverman said Wednesday that he could not comment directly on the case and that the state does not get involved in disputes between former spouses.“We just know if there’s a tax debt we try and collect the money,” he said. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Emaillast_img read more

Job Growth Halts in August; Unemployment Rate Unchanged

first_imgWASHINGTON – Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession.The government also reported that the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010.Stocks tumbled on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 245 points soon after trading began.A strike by 45,000 Verizon workers lowered the job totals. Those workers are now back on the job.The weakness in employment was underscored by revisions to the jobs data for June and July. Collectively, those figures were lowered to show 58,000 fewer jobs added. The downward revisions were all in government jobs.The average work week also declined and hourly earnings fell by 3 cents to $23.09.Weak growth, Standard & Poor’s downgrade of long-term U.S. debt in early August and a sell-off on Wall Street likely kept some businesses from hiring.With job creation stalled and wages declining, consumers won’t see much gain in incomes. That will limit their ability to spend, which undercuts growth. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.“The stagnation in US payroll employment is an ominous sign,” said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics. “The broad message is that even if the US economy doesn’t start to contract again, any expansion is going to be very, very modest and fall well short of what would be needed to drive the still elevated unemployment rate lower.”The economy needs to add roughly 250,000 jobs a month to rapidly bring down the unemployment rate, which has been above 9 percent in all but two months since May 2009.In August, the private sector added 17,000 jobs, the fewest since February 2010. That compares with 156,000 in July and 75,000 in June.Hiring fell across many different sectors. Manufacturers cut 3,000 jobs, its first decline since October 2010. Construction companies, retailers, and transportation firms also cut workers.The health care industry added 30,000 jobs last month.The economy expanded at an annual pace of only 0.7 percent in the first six months of the year. That was the slowest six months of growth since the recession officially ended in June 2009.In August, consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since April 2009, according to the Conference Board.Most economists forecast that growth may improve to about a 2 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter. But that’s not fast enough to generate many jobs.The Obama administration has estimated that unemployment will average about 9 percent next year, when President Barack Obama will run for re-election. The rate was 7.8 percent when Obama took office.The White House Office of Management and Budget projects overall growth of only 1.7 percent this year.Next week, Obama will deliver a rare address to a joint session of Congress to introduce a plan for creating jobs and boosting economic growth. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Emaillast_img read more

As Ranchers in Drought Areas Sell Cows, Others Buy

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The drought in the Southwest may help 29-year-old Chad Bicker get to his goal of being a full-time farmer and rancher by the time he’s 40.As farmers in Texas and other bone-dry areas sell cattle because they can’t grow hay or afford to buy feed, Bicker has been buying animals for his farm in Illinois. He has 25 cows and hopes to have 35 by next year.“You’re seeing a lot of people get out of the cattle industry just because of the (drought). … It’s a chance for us to expand,” Bicker said.Cattle experts in areas not affected by drought say they’re seeing a lot of farmers like Bicker take advantage of rising beef prices and cattle sales in dry areas to expand their businesses. Beef prices have risen because of strong export demand from Asia and a relatively low supply in the U.S.And, even with farmers like Bicker adding cows, experts say it won’t be enough to offset the losses from the drought and ranchers cutting animals over the past five years because of rising land and feed costs. Iowa State University economist Shane Ellis said he didn’t expect the total number of cattle to increase in the U.S. for at least another four years.While the beef industry had already been shrinking, the pace accelerated this year when ranchers in Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and other dry spots thinned their herds or sold off their cattle altogether because they couldn’t grow hay and buying it and other feed was too expensive. The U.S. has about 31 million beef cattle, down 5.6 percent from 2006, the Department of Agriculture said this summer.Many cattle are being sold at stockyards like the one just outside Joplin, Mo. The Joplin Regional Stockyards sits in the middle of a big ranching area that’s been dry this summer. Most of its buyers this year haven’t been from the area on the Oklahoma border, spokesman John Harmon said.“A lot of our stock cows go to northern Missouri, and a lot of them are going into the southern tier of Iowa,” which have had more rain, he said. “Our guys right now, they’re just trying to hold everything together with the cows they got.”Bicker, who grows soybeans and raises cattle near Lena, about 130 miles west of Chicago, said he’s added a handful of cows through auctions, as well as buying direct. He and his wife both have full-time jobs in town while he works on expanding the farm.To do that, he bought pasture this year, enough that he says he could probably grow to 50 head before he has to buy more.“It’s exciting times,” Bicker said, “but it’s also a lot of sleepless nights.”What makes it sleepless are the factors that have caused others to downsize or get out of the business: Feed prices are high because corn prices are high. Strong demand for corn and soybeans also has pushed up land prices in states like Illinois and Iowa.Bicker said he bought the pasture that was offered to him because if he didn’t, someone else would almost certainly buy it and plant corn. And, there’s competition among ranchers. One that Bicker approached about buying cattle said no because he had plans of his own to expand.Big ranches are growing too in areas that have had enough rain. The number of cows in Montana grew this year, while it declined in other parts of the West and Northwest, said John Paterson, a beef cattle specialist with the extension service at Montana State University.“Our guys are feeling pretty good right now, to be honest with you,” Paterson said. “We’ve had nice rains, good grass.”Rick Mindemann and his family have about 250 cows on 4,300 acres in eastern Montana — a herd they expanded by about 20 percent this year because their green, healthy pastures could support it.Mindemann also has another 120 Angus cows in Concord, Wis., where he lives. He breeds those cows to sell to other ranchers who are growing and expanding, and he’s seeing plenty of business that he expects to continue as long as the weather holds.“It’s very profitable to be in the cattle business, and I think it’s going to continue on indefinitely,” he said. “The population is expanding at this point, and we’re feeding the world.” Emaillast_img read more