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To: Aladdin Sane who wrote (3962)4/27/2021 6:01:15 AM
From: Doo
   of 4125
Quality so bad at HD on 2x lumber that I've been going to the locally owned yard exclusively. Price is higher, but quality is excellent. That has it's price with this insanity, and that is $9.26 for 2x4s and just yesterday I paid $14.80 for 2x6s.

Only need a few sheets of 11/32 underlayment...can't wait to see what that crap costs. Several sheets of Advantech I had in the barn were like finding gold the other day. LOL!. And, a big pile of scrap copper I've been holding from a bathroom tear out years ago is looking like I might need it in a vault before spot hits my target of around $6!!!!

Wowee. Good thing there's no inflation.

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To: Doo who wrote (3981)4/27/2021 6:51:47 AM
From: Aladdin Sane
   of 4125
I bought myself a little bungalow.. I want to put in an addition to expand for a real dining room as my mom is downsizing at 83 and wants to get rid of her lovely Asian living room and dining room set... all old school solid wood.. lots of nice carving ... she got it appraised .. I think a good deal for me.. but I need a little more space :) (including basement) and step down to a 4 season sun room for my too many house plants and hot tub :) Not this year.. waiting for the crash :) Same old same old.. contractors will be much cheaper as will materials.. I can build a deck or a lovely shed/garage... but an addition I'll wait for a pro :)

BTW have you noticed drywall (gypsum board) is also in short supply ...

Inflation .. when you squeeze the economy balloon... it pops out somewhere.. housing and the things that make houses and the cost of folks that make houses...

Yippee indeed LOL

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To: Aladdin Sane who wrote (3982)4/27/2021 7:07:57 AM
From: Doo
   of 4125
The renovation I'm doing started in October. I doing all of it so I'm taking my time and that has spread out purchases of lumber, etc. beyond what would be typical. Haven't seen my supply of gypsum boards in the family own yard. Ordered a prehung door yesterday. It's one of three I'll use, the first bought back in November. This second door was about 10% higher in price on the same set up.

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From: Julius Wong4/28/2021 8:28:08 AM
   of 4125
Why Dead Trees Are ‘the Hottest Commodity on the Planet’
Blame climate change, wildfires, hungry beetles … and Millennial home buyers.

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From: Julius Wong5/8/2021 9:51:56 AM
   of 4125


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To: Julius Wong who wrote (3985)5/8/2021 5:34:07 PM
From: E_K_S
1 Recommendation   of 4125
FWIW, on the 2 different Youtube Farm channels I watch, one located in Iowa and the other in Minnesota, they are double planting corn this year. The typical planting is soybean and corn. Then the next year they plant corn where the soybeans grew and soybeans where the corn was.

The soybeans add nitrogen to the soil which then benefits the next year planting of the corn.

Nodulation and Nitrogen Fixation in Soybean Most of the nitrogen (N) requirement for soybean is supplied through the N-fixation process, which is a result of a beneficial relationship between the plant and specific soil bacteria.
Because Corn prices are so good, several of the farmers are double planting corn this year adding as much as 50% more corn acres of what otherwise would have been planted in soybeans.

This is reflected in what they call the 'New Corn' futures:
December Corn (Dec '21) 636-4s +11-0

The price is still very high but less than the current month

Corn (Jul '21) 732-2s +13-4


As a result, this week China stopped buying corn at the current price and may be delaying and buying the new crop.

Most of the corn planting in Iowa and Midwest will be in the ground by Monday.

It's interesting to watch the commodity market and the Youtube videos as they plant and harvest\

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To: E_K_S who wrote (3986)5/9/2021 3:01:27 AM
From: Aladdin Sane
   of 4125
Double planting ... The cure for high prices is always high prices :)

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From: E_K_S5/19/2021 8:15:42 AM
   of 4125
MHGVY - Mowi Asa

(Bergen, 19 May 2021) Mowi achieved record-high volumes for a first quarter in both Farming and Consumer Products, harvesting 125 000 tonnes of salmon and selling 62 000 tonnes of value-added products. At the same time Farming cost was down by 9%.

Mowi’s first quarter was characterised by continued Covid-19 lockdown measures and high growth in global supply of salmon, however, prices increased during the quarter on strong demand.

“Although extensive lockdown measures are still in place, out-of-home consumption has started to improve in some markets compared with the previous quarter. Demand in retail has continued to be very good, something Mowi has yet again capitalised on through our integrated value chain,” said Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim.

Mowi believes that demand for salmon is on the road to full recovery driven by Covid-19 measures becoming less restrictive. Growth in retail salmon sales was 20-25% during the quarter, and this growth came from both new and existing customers. Mowi expects both customer groups to increase their retail consumption post Covid-19, even as the foodservice segment continues to reopen.

Mowi Consumer Products had yet another strong quarter with record-high first quarter earnings and volumes partly driven by tailwinds from Lent and Easter season.

Mowi Farming harvested a record-high 125 000 tonnes in the quarter, equivalent to 51% growth compared to a year ago. At the same time, cost was down by 9%.

“It is very encouraging to deliver record-high first quarter Farming volumes and reduction in production cost. The decline in cost is driven by large volumes and cost initiatives over time. Farming volume growth and cost competitiveness are pivotal elements in Mowi’s strategy,” Vindheim said.

Mowi achieved an operational EBIT of EUR 109 million in the first quarter of 2021, the same as the corresponding quarter in 2020. The company reported operational revenues of EUR 1 022 million (EUR 885 million) in the quarter. Total harvest volume in the quarter of 125 468 tonnes gutted weight (83 119) was above guidance of 116 000 tonnes. Full-year harvest guidance for 2021 is unchanged at 445 000 tonnes.

Mowi’s Board has decided to pay NOK 0.77 per share in ordinary dividend in the second quarter of 2021, equivalent to 50% of underlying earnings per share in the first quarter of 2021.

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From: Julius Wong6/6/2021 3:51:03 PM
1 Recommendation   of 4125
Researchers breed a fungus that kills mites to save bees

Researchers develop a fungus that kills mites that contribute to honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder.

Honeybee colony collapse is due in part to Varroa mites that weaken honey bee immune systems.Chemicals that were once effective against the mites are no longer working as well.Researchers are stepping in with a newly cultured fungus that goes after the mites without bothering the bees.Honey bees are vitally important to agriculture — by some estimates, they're responsible for pollinating more than 80 crops, adding up to about one third of the crops that we eat. The USDA says they add at least $15 billion of value annually to U.S. crops in the form of higher yields and increased harvest quality. Humanity has a vested interest in helping to maintain healthy honeybee populations.

One problem for honeybees is a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which was first identified in 2006. With CCD, all adult bees in a hive die, leaving behind a queen, some immature bees, and honey. According to entomologist Sammy Ramsey, bees remain under pressure from what he calls the three Ps: parasites, pesticides, and poor nutrition.

Varroa destructor mites are a big part of that first P. They feed on bees — sucking fat from their bodies — leaving them with weakened immune systems that make the bees more susceptible to disease. Now entomologists at Washington State University (WSU) have developed a new strain of a mold-like fungus, Metarhizium, that can eradicate the mites. It does so without miticides, chemicals against which the mites are becoming increasingly resistant. The team's study is published in Scientific Reports.

Metarhizium made for the hive environmentMetarhizium killing varroa timelapse

According to author Steve Sheppard of WSU's Department of Entomology, "We've known that metarhizium could kill mites, but it was expensive and didn't last long because the fungi died in the hive heat." The team's innovation was breeding a strain that can thrive in a hive. "Our team used directed evolution to develop a strain that survives at the higher temperatures."

There should be no safety issues introducing Metarhizium into a colony as bees are highly resistant to its spores. When Metarhizium encounters a mite, it drills into it before proliferating and killing the mite from the inside, as shown above.

As they cultured their Metarhizium, the researchers screened over 27,000 mites to identify the most deadly variants. "It was two solid years of work, plus some preliminary effort," says lead author Jennifer Han. When they arrived at their final Metarhizium, "We did real-world testing to make sure it would work in the field, not just in a lab."

Not their first fungusThe new strain of Metarhizium is the second agent the researchers have developed to aid bee colonies. In 2018, they announced the development of a mycelium extract that reduced virus levels in bees.

Together with their earlier invention, fungus expert Paul Stamets says the team has put together "a real one-two punch, using two different fungi to help bees fight varroa. The extracts help bee immune systems reduce virus counts while the metarhizium is a potentially great mite biocontrol agent."

(Star Trek Discovery fans may note that the crew member who interacts with a universal mycelial network is named… "Paul Stamets.")

Two things have to happen now before WSU's Metarhizium can be released to agricultural hives. First, the team has to nail down the optimal steps by which beekeepers can introduce the fungus to their bee colonies. Second, the Environmental Protection Agency has to approve Metarhizium for use.

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From: Jon Koplik6/12/2021 12:33:08 PM
3 Recommendations   of 4125
Bloomberg -- Farmers See Sustainable Eggs as the Industry’s Next Big Thing ......................

May 27, 2021

Farmers See Sustainable Eggs as the Industry’s Next Big Thing

Raising chickens with “regenerative agriculture” could create a new premium category.

By Leslie Patton and Kim Chipman

On a recent sunny day, 13,000 chickens roam over Larry Brown’s 40 windswept acres in Shiner, Texas. Some rest in the shade of a parked car. Others drink water with the cows. This all seems random, but it’s by design, part of what the $6.1 billion U.S. egg industry bets will be its next big thing: climate-friendly eggs.

Over the past decade, producers have skillfully persuaded consumers to pay four times the price for a dozen eggs that are marketed as good for you (organic) or as much as seven times the cost for eggs raised under conditions considered better for the animals that laid them (pasture-raised and hand-harvested). That’s no mean feat, given that a carton of conventional eggs can still be had for less than $1. But savvy marketing has resulted in so-called specialty eggs grabbing about a third of the market today, and they’re projected to hit 70% in five years. Now, Brown and his peers are betting they can profit further by adding another layer of premiumization: eggs from a special type of sustainable farm that can be trumpeted as being better for the planet.

These eggs, which are making their debut now on shelves for as much as $8 a dozen, are still labeled organic and animal-friendly, but they’re also from birds that live on farms using regenerative agriculture -- special techniques to cultivate rich soils that can trap greenhouse gases. Such eggs could be marketed as helping to fight climate change.

“I’m excited about our progress,” says Brown, who harvests eggs for Denver-based NestFresh Eggs and is adding more cover crops that draw worms and crickets for the chickens to eat. The birds’ waste then fertilizes fields. Such improvements “allow our hens to forage for higher-quality natural feed that will be good for the land, the hens, and the eggs that we supply to our customers.”

The egg industry’s push is the first major test of whether animal products from regenerative farms can become the next premium offering. In barely more than a decade, organic eggs went from being dismissed as a niche product in natural foods stores to being sold at Walmart. More recently there were similar doubts about probiotics and plant-based meats, but both have exploded into major supermarket categories. If the sustainable-egg rollout is successful, it could open the floodgates for regenerative beef, broccoli, and beyond.

Regenerative products could be a hard sell, because the concept is tough to define quickly, says Julie Stanton, associate professor of agricultural economics at Pennsylvania State University Brandywine. Such farming also brings minimal, if any, improvement to the food products (though some producers say their eggs have more protein).

Proponents say regenerative agriculture increases organic matter in the soil, which is nutritious for plants and keeps carbon dioxide locked up. With healthier soil, crops can grow using less energy and without chemical fertilizers. There are no regulatory definitions, so claims and goals can vary. But several third-party certification groups have emerged.

Back on Brown’s farm, about 80 miles southeast of Austin, the hens are scattered across the land, coming and going as they please. The chickens will forage for hours, eating vegetation and bugs. Their waste fertilizes the plants, creating a food cycle that proponents say strengthens farmland and helps with emissions. But it’s hard to understand that pedigree just by looking at an egg.

That’s why marketing will be so crucial. Egg Innovations, a big producer that’s introducing its regenerative eggs at supermarkets nationwide in September, tells a story on its packaging about creating a “sustainable future” with its “helpful hens” being “on a mission to restore soil.” And the company isn’t shy about describing its lofty mission: “At its core,” it says on its website, “regenerative agriculture aims to combat climate change and improve the ecosystem of the planet.”

Consider Pastures eggs, a new brand from Pete & Gerry’s Organics, which sells for $6.99 a dozen (one buck more than its other specialty eggs). It’s packaged in an almost Tiffany-blue container with gold-foil lettering to hold a dozen “speckled beauties” that have “intensely hued amber yolks,” according to the company’s website. The cartons, now being sold at Whole Foods Markets, open from the center, inspired by egg carton design from the early 20th century. “We just wanted to do something really, really unique,” says Jesse Laflamme, founder and director of Pete & Gerry’s. “Something that stood out in the egg category.”

The industry is betting that the same consumers paying more for premium attributes such as free-range, non-GMO, and pasture-raised eggs will embrace sustainability. Surveys show that younger generations are more concerned about climate change, and some of the success of plant-based meat can be chalked up to shoppers wanting to signal their desire to protect the environment. Young adults “really care about the planet,” says John Brunnquell, president of Egg Innovations. “They are absolutely altering the food chain beyond what I think even they understand what they’re doing.”

Producers keep looking for ways to add more premium eggs, because they’re generating the U.S. industry’s growth. Cage-free sales volume jumped 12% in the year ended on April 10, while organic eggs rose more than 7%, according to NielsenIQ data. Meanwhile, sales of conventional eggs dropped about 3%. “People were very skeptical when we first began” selling free-range, organic eggs, says Laflamme, who’s been in the industry for two decades. “We had a glimmer of hope that approach would resonate with consumers. And as consumers have become savvier about where their food is coming from, it has.”

BOTTOM LINE -- Sales of organic and cage-free eggs are growing fast, even as sales of conventional eggs fall. Growers of sustainable varieties hope to join the premium growth trend.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.


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