Farmers worried about heavy rain forecast

Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 9:56 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 9:59 PM

The prospect of heavy rains this weekend is not filling every farmer’s heart with joy.

Winegrape growers in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio are watching the remnants of Hurricane Isaac with a wary eye, because heavy rains at or near harvest can wreak havoc on the quality of the grapes and on the taste of the resulting wines.

WHIO-TV Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said even though the precise track of the former hurricane is not known, Isaac could dump two to five inches of rain on the area by the end of Labor Day. That would be a good first step toward easing the drought that has bedeviled farmers this summer.

But is also might complicate the harvest of certain varieties of wine grapes that are approaching peak maturity, Ohio winegrape specialists say. Prolonged rain at harvest time can cause thin-skinned grapes to expand and split their skins, which in turn can lead to rot or to unwanted attention from insects. And the water that gorges the grapes can knock the sugars and palate-friendly acids out of balance and dilute the flavors of the resulting wine.

Joe Schuchter, part of the third generation of the family that owns and operates Valley Vineyards near Morrow in Warren County, said vineyard workers there are accelerating the harvest of some grape varieties that have ripened sufficiently. “We’ll pick until the rain starts, and for a little while after, because it takes a while for the grapes to absorb the moisture,” Schuchter said.

The winery’s “vinifera” grapevines — varieties such as chardonnay and cabernet franc that are native to Europe and are most recognizable to consumers — ripen later in the fall and should weather this storm without damage, Schuchter said.

James Brandeberry, owner and winemaker of Brandeberry Winery in Clark County northwest of Yellow Springs, said he intends to leave his grapes on the vine. “They are not ready to pick yet,” Brandeberry said of his seyval blanc, vidal blanc and cayuga grape varieties growing in his estate vineyard. “I’ll take my chances.”

The ground is so dry that a heavy, brief rain may not soak into the ground enough to bloat the grapes, the winery owner said.

Todd Steiner, enology program manager and winemaking specialist at Ohio State University’s agricultural research center in Wooster, said the current rain forecast “is not a vintage-breaker” for Ohio winemakers and grape growers.

“But I wouldn’t want to see too many other Isaacs come through here and settle right over us” in the weeks ahead, Steiner said. “That would break the harvest.”

The Ohio wine and grape industry had an economic impact of $582.8 million, employed 4,000 people, provided a payroll of $124.2 million and contributed an estimated $62 million back in state, local and federal tax revenue, according to the industry’s 2008 Economic Impact report, its most recent impact report.

Dayton-area home prices up, number of sales slightly down

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 10:34 AM

FILE
FILE

Home prices in the Dayton region continued to climb in September, though the number of sales ticked down compared to the year prior.

Dayton Area Board of Realtors reported today that its multiple listing service reached a sales volume of $228 million in September, up 5 percent from the same month in 2016.

The number of sales was 1,428 transactions, down 3 percent. The average sales price reached $159,699 and the median price increased seven percent to $135,000.

RELATED: Hot market causes Dayton-area home sales to rise

Sales year-to-date through September was 12,374, up 1 percent compared to the same period in 2016 when 12,237 properties closed. Total dollar volume through nine months hit $1.9 billion, a 7.6 percent increase from the same period last year.

Voters guide: Your best local resource for Election 2017

Find information on races and candidates you care about, by using your location or browsing information on dozens of races and hundreds of candidates.

The year-to-date average sale price and median sale price posted respectable gains as well. The average price totaled $156,227 while the median price came in at $134,000, each of them gains of six percent.

Home listing entries totaled 1,710 in September, up 2.8 percent over September 2016. Listings through the nine-month period totaled 16,864, down 1 percent over the same 2016 time period.

RELATED: Shopping for a home? Here are 5 things to know to get the best mortgage

The overall MLS inventory at month’s end showed 4,715 active properties available for sale, which translated to a supply of 3.3 months based on September’s resale rate. Last year at the same time the inventory was higher at 5,705 available listings and producing a higher supply ratio of 3.8 months.

Ohio jobless rate ticks down in September

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:47 PM


            FILE
FILE

The Ohio unemployment rate slightly dipped September to 5.3 percent, down from 5.4 percent the previous month, according to the latest job report released today.

Ohio’s non-agricultural wage and salary employment increased 10,500 over the month, from a revised 5,546,500 in August to 5,557,000 in September 2017, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said Friday morning.

Some industries that saw the most employment gains compared to August were trade, transportation, utilities, health care, and hospitality. Employment gains in trade, transportation, and utilities were around 6,200 jobs, while educational and health services added 4,600, and leisure and hospitality added 2,900.

RELATED: Jobless rate continues to rise in August

Manufacturing also saw some gains in September, with 3,100 jobs added month-over-month, pushing the jobs in goods-producing industries up to 914,200.

Compared to September of last year, 61,600 non-agricultural jobs were added. Some of the top industries adding jobs since last year were education, health care, leisure and hospitality. There were 24,800 jobs added in educational and health services and 19,300 in leisure and hospitality.

LOCAL: Salvation Army expanding Dayton Kroc center

Government employment, which is at 776,300, did not change over the month since the 7,200 job losses in local government was offset by gains the 6,200 gain in state employment and 300 job federal government gain.

The seasonally adjusted U.S. unemployment rate was at 4.2 percent, down from 4.4 percent.

2 retailers get upgrades at The Greene in Beavercreek

Published: Friday, October 13, 2017 @ 2:58 PM


            FILE
FILE

Two retailers are undergoing major renovations at The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek.

Jake’s Toggery will move to a new location at The Greene, replacing its existing location in Phase II of the mall near Von Maur. The new Jake’s Toggery store will be located between the Apple Store and Bath & Body Works. The store will be Jake’s latest store design, replacing what had been an existing retrofitted storefront of its previous “Life is Good” brand.

Jake Toggery sells preppy clothing items for women and men, including brands like Vineyard Vines and Southern Marsh. The new Jake’s Toggery location will open for business in mid-November. The original storefront near Von Maur will continue to be open for business until that time.

» RELATED: German grocery retailer Lidl to expand in Beavercreek

The remodeled Occasionally Yours location is scheduled to open the week of Oct. 30. During remodeling, the store is open in a temporary location in the former Ann Taylor space next to Sephora.

Both Occasionally Yours and Jake’s Toggery are owned by Dayton-headquartered retail company Shops by Todd. Shops by Todd operates 19 stores throughout the region under the brand names Occasionally Yours, Pandora, and Jake’s Toggery. It employs over 350, and is headquartered in the PNC Building in the Water Street District in downtown Dayton.

“As native Daytonians, we are proud not only to be headquartered here, but also to continuously offer Dayton residents our latest and greatest concepts,” said company president Todd Bettman. “Though not our first store location, our Occasionally Yours location at The Greene became the catalyst for so much of our substantial growth since its opening in 2007.”

FIVE FAST BUSINESS READS

JOB LOSS: Local plastics manufacturer to lay off 57 workers

STORE CLOSINGS: 75 retailers expected to close on Thanksgiving

New hair salon, spa opens in Centerville

4 restaurants, retailers coming to vacant Logan’s Roadhouse

House hunters, here are 5 secrets to getting the best home loan

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 5:01 PM

Getting a home mortgage loan is one of the most important financial commitments most people will ever make, since the terms of your loan can affect your finances in a big way for years to come.

RELATED: Numbers don’t lie: 5 things to know about your FICO score

Start shopping for a loan before you actually begin looking at homes, since this lets you know where you stand and gives you greater negotiating power with sellers.

The following are five important things you should know before and during the home loan shopping process:

Know your credit score

Your credit score has a great effect on how easily you'll be able to get a home loan as well as on the interest rate you'll pay, according to Realtor.com. Your score takes into account your credit history, current debt and other factors. Lenders use it to determine your credit-worthiness.

Check your credit report before you start the process of applying for a home loan. This way, you can correct any errors – which do occur sometimes. If your score is particularly low, you may want to delay applying for a loan until you can improve it.

Research, and research some more.

Your Realtor may recommend a mortgage lender, and it doesn't hurt to use this as a starting point. However, if you fail to shop around, it could cost you a substantial amount of money over the years.

Consumer Reports recommends casting a wide net when you're shopping for a home loan. Try large national banks, regional banks, credit unions, online banks and mortgage brokers, but be sure to compare them within a few days of each other since rates can fluctuate.

Make sure you’re making an accurate comparison on loan quotes.

When you're getting quotes from several lenders, you'll need to make sure you're making an apples-to-apples comparison, according to CBS News. The loan terms should be the same, and so should the loan type (variable or fixed-rate, for example).

"Points" are also an important consideration. These upfront fees reduce the interest rate on your loan, and you should get each potential lender to give you a rate with and without points so you can make an accurate comparison.

Ever heard of PMI? You might need to get to know it.

If you're not making a down payment of at least 20 percent, your lender will usually require PMI, or private mortgage insurance. Although you're the one paying for the insurance, it doesn't protect your interests. Instead, it protects your lender in case you default on your loan.

Forbes recommends saving up for a 20 percent down payment if you can, since PMI adds to your monthly costs. 

Prepare yourself for closing costs.

Be aware of the closing costs you'll pay as part of your loan, Investopedia recommends. You'll be stuck with some of them, but others can sometimes be negotiated. These include application fees, underwriting fees, mortgage rate lock fees and loan processing fees.

As a starting point, Bankrate lists the average closing costs by state, so you can have an indication of how reasonable your potential lender's fees are.