A high demand for grain shipment caused by a record harvest this year is driving long waits and high prices in Minnesota and across the county, according to experts.
All farmers are being affected by delays in shipping commodities by rail, but some are having a harder time than others, Minnesota Public Radio News reported. Farm groups in western Minnesota, as well as North and South Dakota, are experiencing some of the longest waits and highest prices.
Grain shippers in the northern and western parts of the state have few options beyond rail, said Jerry Fruin, agricultural economics professor at the University of Minnesota. But farmers in southern Minnesota are able to ship by barge via the Mississippi River. Although they have more options for storing or selling their grain locally, waits to move grain can produce added costs that run into the hundreds of millions, according to some estimates.
"When you get into transportation shortages, the price of transportation will probably go up to meet the demand," Fruin said.
When the rail car shortage hit, the cost of shipping more than doubled for many grain elevators. Farmers foot the bill for those increases since transportation costs are deducted from the price per bushels an elevator pays for grain, Fruin said.
"It is generally equal to what the transportation cost is to the market that you are wanting to send it to," he said.
The typical cost of corn is between 20 and 40 cents a bushel. The rail car shortage caused the price of rail shipping, and in turn the price of corn, to skyrocket. Many grain elevators in northwest Minnesota are paying low prices for corn because of the shipping costs, according to Tom Haag, former president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.
A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota estimates the state's farmers have already lost $100 million, mainly because of the shipping shortage.
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.
This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time. You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict. This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting. This site is brimming with potential.
Births have plummeted since their 2007 peak, and the recession is a factor. There's worry that the birthrate will be affected for years.
The graph for this article is an incredible visual that highlights how the economic conditions of a country can impact its demographics. Not surprisingly, Americans have less children during tough times. Questions to ponder: would this phenomenon be expected in all parts of the world? Why or why not? Demographically, what will the long-term impact of the recession be?
Hint: India is last among the G20 and the United States didn't crack the top five in the latest survey to reflect poorly on the situation of American women.
A poll of 370 gender experts yielded some interesting results that reflect the local cultural, economic, political and developmental geographies. Beyond using the lists of best and worst countries (since the rankings are still based on rather subjective criteria), students can come up with their most important factors in evaluating gender equity and evaluate the countries based on their own evaluations.
The meaning you ascribe to a cultural artifact is inherently based on your cultural perceptions and values. While many in the West perceive the hijab to be a symbol of male hegemonic power and female oppression. In this article that defends the Hijab, it is presented as a distinct form of female liberation.
While global population now is almost reaching 7 billion, mainly to due high birth rates in the developing world, many of the more developed parts of Asia (and elsewhere) are facing shrinking population as fewer women are choosing to marry and have children.
This is a very concrete way to discuss the Demographic Transition Model and population issues around the world. Cultural values shifting, globalization and demographics all merge together in this issue.
In a converted apartment building in Chinatown, five adults and seven children blend traditional values and rituals with modern roles and responsibilities.
This article from the New York Times by Sarah Kramer leads to many cultural question worth exploring. How does migration impact the culture of families? How is culture maintained and reproduced? Why is maintaining cultural connection so vital to these families?
"Five men from the remote Pacific island of Tanna arrive in America to experience western culture for the first time, and force us to look at ourselves through brand new eyes..."
This cross-cultural experiment reinforces numerous stereotypes, but also seeks to get viewers to look at issues from a variety of perspectives. Folk cultures, modernization and globalization are all major themes of this show.
Two videos from a TV producer who is now in the geography classroom are available for free in the iTunes store. The 1st video shows a lot of great examples of material culture items found during archeological digs called "The Ancient Agora."
The 4th is a 30 minute film on the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, which shows many sacred sites, burial/cremation practices, and other aspects of Nepali culture. For more work by this fellow geography teacher see: http://www.agiftforthevillage.blogspot.com/
Simple, fun and effective...this is a great little tool. As you select a country, the flag will appear on the roof of the car and the car will shift lanes or stay in the same one(as pictured here, in Costa Rica they drive on the right side of the road). Where are the 'left lane countries?' What similarities do they have besides lane preference?
Born in the USA, Made in France: How McDonald's Succeeds in the Land of Michelin Stars by Knowledge@Wharton, the online business journal of the Wharton School.
While many portray McDonald's as the embodiment of all that is wrong with globalization, the diffusion of McDonald's is not a simple replication of the American fast food chain and exporting it elsewhere...a lot of local adaptations on a global model is part of McDonald's successful economic model. Although I'm not a fan of the word "glocalization" to describe how local flavor adds spice to globalized phenomenon, it most certainly fits here.
January and February are sweet times for most Chinese — they enjoy family reunions during the spring festival, which this year fell on January 23, and they celebrate Valentine’s Day, which is well-liked in China.
Gender roles in cultural norms change from country to country. What also needs to be understood is how the demographic situation of a given country influences these patterns.
"In 2011, beginning on New Year’s Day, as president of the National Council for Geographic Education, I wrote one tweet everyday beginning with “What is Geography? 1 of 365” and posted them to my Twitter page. OK, I confess that I actually posted multiple posts every day, sometimes up to 10. There is just so much on this topic to write about! And I continue these efforts in 2012.
My goals in the series were several. First, I sought to point out as organization president how the NCGE serves the geography education community, and has been doing so since 1915. Through its webinars, book and journal publications, annual conference, curriculum, research, partnerships, and networking opportunities, the NCGE supports excellence in teaching and learning geography. Second, I wanted to provide evidence of the diversity of geography. Those outside the geographic community might have an incomplete or even erroneous view of geography as a discipline. I wanted to nudge people beyond thinking of geography only as the location of things, to provide an idea what geographers study and what they care about. I explored themes of scale, patterns, and relationships, topics such as watersheds, energy, ecoregions, climate, and population density, and discussed different regions while on work travel to Salzburg Austria, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Minneapolis, and elsewhere. Geography is diversity in people, landscapes, issues, skills, and themes....."
The National Atlas that is available online has an extensive database for simple online mapping. This is "GIS-light," an easy way to explore the spatial patterns within U.S. census data and other data sets. The lists all contain a wide variety of variables, making this a good way to get students to explore potential research topics. Thanks to the Connecticut Geographic Alliance coordinator for suggesting this link.
James Mollison wanted to portray children's diverse worlds. What better way to do so than to photograph their bedrooms?
Pictures with the children and the space they inhabit, creates a more personal touch to geographic context for students. It builds what I call "geographic empathy," which builds on commonalities, instead of just reinforcing stereotypes.
Wyatt Cenac reports on racially charged geographical names in America.
Discretion is advised since there is some offensive language in this comedy sketch. Yet underneath is a serious point about racially insensitive toponyms and their legacy in the United States (recently in the news with Gov. Perry in Texas). Geographer Mark Monmonier tackles this topic in his book, "From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame."
"3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage."
This video beautifully encapsulates the spirit of a globalized educational experience and the value of geographic understanding in an ever-interconnected world. Geography is about broadening our minds to other places, other cultures and other ways of doing things. In a three part series including 'Eat' and 'Move.'
An excellent visual aid to process the religious data in the United States. Roll the cursor over the map (after clicking on the link) to see any particular state's religious data. What patterns do you notice? Are there religious regions that could be drawn based on this data?
For China's government, social stability is threatened by a gender imbalance likely to leave up to 40 million Chinese without a wife.
There are many results of population policies such as the 'One-Child Policy' in China, which is primarily aimed at reducing population growth. Some on these consequences are unintended; due to parents preferences for male children there is a strong gender imbalance in China which has some serious sociological and cultural implications. For more about Asian society, follow: http://asiasociety.org/blog/asia/2012-watch-out-chinese-bachelors
A page that plots the geographic distribution of the terms "pop" and "soda" when used to describe carbonated beverages...
This is an old classic that is going viral on Facebook right now, so I thought it would be time to link you to the original. This map isn't just cool, but a great portal to a discussion on regions, diffusion and cultural identity. This is a modern 'shibboleth' for the United States, a way to show where you are from to some extent. What are other 'shibboleths' that make your region distinct?
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