More Depressing Corn News

30 05 2008

The bad news just never stops for corn growers.

A cold, wet spring put crop planting weeks behind schedule across much of the U.S. Corn Belt and drastically slowed growth where corn is already in the ground.

Now, farmers in parts of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana are replanting corn that either sat under water in flooded fields too long to germinate or can’t break through sodden, compacted soils. And the cool, soggy weather continues, the last thing a heat-loving crop like corn needs.

“It’s starting to look like a very difficult year,” University of Illinois agronomy professor Emerson Nafziger said.

So how does that effect you?  Higher prices yet again.  There’s going to be less corn this fall which means more money for farmers, but it also means higher prices for us.  There’s just no relief in sight!

 





Celebration Cinema – Lansing

30 05 2008
  • 200 E. Edgewood Blvd.Celebration Cinema
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 393-7469
  • No Menu Online
  • Website

So, like so many guys this weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing the Sex in the City movie with my girlfriend.  Unlike most guys, we had to go to the midnight showing Friday morning.  I actually suggested it because I didn’t want to waste a gorgeous weekend indoors at a movie.  She loved the idea and so did one of her co-workers so I picked her up from work and the three of us headed over the theater.  We ordered our tickets on-line earlier in the day and even went and picked them up on her dinner break, so once we got there, it was straight to the concession stand.

I had been hungry all night and was really looking forward to movie theater popcorn.  Not sure what they do differently, but there is nothing better than movie theater popcorn.  The menu was a little confusing.  The only thing they had listed behind the counter was combos.  Two pops and a popcorn, one pop and a popcorn, etc.  There was a video menu on the counter on the other side of their registers but it was moving so slow I didn’t want to sit there and wait to see what they had.  I just said screw it and went with the super combo which was a super bucket of popcorn and two large pops.  At first, it seems expensive at $13.50, but when you break it down, it’s really not all that bad.  There was a lot of popcorn and the pops were huge, so had I ordered them seperately, they probably would have all been over $4 if not $5.

Celebration CinemaThe cool thing about this particular theater is a lot of it is self serve.  There is another room just off the concession area.  There are a couple large fountain machines…but even better, there are a couple butter dispensers for the popcorn so you can actually determine how much or how little butter you want with the popcorn.  I don’t do movie theaters that often, so I definately took advantage of that one drenching my super sized bucket of popcorn in butter.  There are also shakers of powdered cheese on the counter.  I added some sharp cheddar to my popcorn.  My girlfriend liked it, but I couldn’t wait to get down a little farther in the bucket to get passed it. 

That large bucket lasted the two of probably a half hour or so…and I was really hungry so I wasn’t eating very slow.  The pop lasted me an hour into the movie then I had to get up and make a quick trip to the bathroom.  There was another fountain outside the theater we were in so I’m assuming that means free refills, but it was one in the morning and there was still an hour and a half left in the movie.  I didn’t want to have to get up again, so I passed on the refill.

I really liked the self service part of Celebration Cinemas’ concession.  It gives the consumer control over the amount of butter in the popcorn and ice in the drinks and it makes drink refills easier.  I’ve been to a lot of theaters and lot of different theater chains and this was the first time I had ever seen this.  A nice to touch.





Have Food Prices Peaked?

30 05 2008

I was forwarded an Associated Press article that says food prices have probably peaked.

PARIS (AP) — World food prices are set to fall from current peaks in the coming years but will remain “substantially above” average levels from the past decade, a report said Thursday.

……..

Despite the price hikes, general price levels have remained “remarkably stable,” suggesting that inflation in the coming decade will “remain low,” the report says.

Compared with the previous decade, the report said average prices over 2008-2017 for beef and pork should rise 20 percent; sugar around 30 percent; wheat, maize and skim milk powder 40 to 60 percent; butter and oilseeds more than 60 percent; and vegetable oils over 80 percent.

That’s not really comforting, but the report was really about world food prices, not just US food prices which have seen a spike recently.  What the story is saying is food prices should begin falling in the coming months, but we’re not going to see them fall to what they were five years ago.  Still, it’s a little bit of relief.