Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Delinquency Prepayment Refinance 2019-09-09 Seth Welborn Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Sign up for DS News Daily Previous: What’s Next for Housing Finance Reform? Next: Mnuchin: ‘We Will Restructure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’ Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago September 9, 2019 1,083 Views Tagged with: Delinquency Prepayment Refinance Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Delinquency rates and serious delinquencies both fell in July, as the prepayment rate increased, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor report from Black Knight. The delinquency rate fell 7.3% while serious delinquencies fell by 11,000 month-over-month. Meanwhile, prepayments increased by 25.7%, which Black Knight notes is the latest, and “loudest,” sign of increased refinance incentive in the market. Black Knight Data & Analytics President Ben Graboske explains that falling interest rates and a subsequent increase in rate/term refinances has worked in servicers’ favor.“As we’ve reported in the past, retention rates tend to be higher for rate/term refinances than any other type of transaction, and that’s just what we observed as of the end of Q2 2019,” said Graboske. “Falling rates and an abundance of refinance candidates were primary drivers behind servicers retaining 24% of all refinancing borrowers – the highest such retention rate since late 2017 – and 30% of rate/term borrowers specifically. While losing the business of more than two out of every three rate-driven refinance customers is not exactly extraordinary performance, it is significantly better than the sub-20% retention rates seen throughout much of 2018. The good news is that interest rates are at three-year lows, and anecdotal evidence suggests that in recent weeks, mortgage lenders had been inundated with inbound refinance business that’s relatively easy to retain.”Additionally, tappable equity rose for the second quarter in a row, gaining $335 billion in Q2 2019, now at an all-time high of $6.3 trillion.“The not-so-good news is that – in an environment of record-high levels of tappable equity and low interest rates that makes cash-out refinances an affordable option for accessing that equity – servicers are retaining just one in five cash-out borrowers,” Graboske adds. “Even though rate-term refis are surging right now, cash-outs still made up some 62% of all refinances in the second quarter. Add to that the fact that borrowers refinancing out of 2012-2017 vintage loans account for nearly half of all refis so far in 2019, nearly 80% were cash-out transactions.” Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Delinquencies Fall While Prepayments Rise Home / Daily Dose / Delinquencies Fall While Prepayments Rise The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Investment, Market Studies, News Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago About Author: Seth Welborn Subscribe
University of Georgia plant pathologist Bhabesh Dutta is confident that Georgia watermelon growers will encounter downy mildew at some point during the growing season — it’s just a matter of timing and severity.Dutta encourages farmers to be proactive when dealing with this devastating disease.“It’s going to happen. It happens every year. The severity and degree of the outbreak will vary depending on when it gets in. If it happens early in the growing season, it can cause considerable economic losses,” Dutta said.Harvest season for watermelons in Georgia runs from the first week of June to the second week of July. Farmers should be applying chemical treatments for downy mildew even if they don’t see signs of the disease, Dutta said. Waiting until it’s too late can result in the watermelon crop becoming damaged very quickly.Downy mildew can degrade or destroy the plant’s foliage very rapidly. It thrives in a wet, humid environment, and the fungi need the water on plant tissue to germinate and infect the plant.Under favorable conditions, severe foliar infection can occur and cause the leaves to curl and eventually die. If the leaves are damaged, they cannot protect and shade the fruit. As a result, the watermelons can develop blisters or sunscald. This is especially concerning during hot summer days in south Georgia, where the bulk of the state’s watermelons are produced. Damage to the watermelons results in an unmarketable crop.Last year, sunscald was a big problem for Georgia-grown watermelons and cucurbits like cucumbers, cantaloupe and squash, Dutta said. “The hardest-hit crops, though, were cucumbers and watermelons. It’s a problem every year, but there are degrees. Some years are much worse than others, like last year,” he said. “This year, though, we haven’t experienced an outbreak in watermelons. However, limited outbreaks on cucumbers and cantaloupes have already been reported.”The pathogen that causes downy mildew cannot survive hard frost, so it overwinters in frost-free regions like southern Florida. Every year during late May and into June, those spores are blown by wind currents into Georgia and other, more northern states.“It’s mainly a weather-related pathogen. It loves fairly low temperatures and high humidity. Longer duration of leaf wetness and cooler night temperatures promote downy mildew infection,” Dutta said. “If you remember, from April until the first week of May last year, we had low temperatures, but high humidity. That triggered the downy mildew outbreak.”At UGA, Dutta devotes almost half of his research to watermelons and onions, the top two vegetable crops in Georgia. Both crops are susceptible to several fungal and bacterial diseases. On watermelons, Dutta focuses on disease management and evaluates existing fungicides available to farmers.According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, watermelons generated $134.2 million in farm gate value in 2014. Georgia’s top three watermelon producing counties are Tift, Crisp and Turner.
JAKE NAUGHTON/Herald photoGood recruiting typically leads to depth on any team’sroster. The 2008 Badgers can go four deep at the running back position, anasset few teams can proudly boast. Whether or not that number is too large willbe determined in the near future, starting with Saturday’s spring game.The backfield is led by junior P.J. Hill, the 2006 NationalFreshman of the Year. The East Elmhurst, N.Y. native rushed for 1,569 yardsduring his redshirt freshman campaign and, despite being nagged by injurieslast season, Hill was still able to accumulate more than 1,200 yards on theground.Injuries have been a chronic issue for Hill since arrivingin Madison, but the junior feels as healthy as he’s ever felt physically andhopes that can carry over into the fall.“Every day I’m just going out there, working hard. I’m notin the training room anymore, and I’m pretty proud of it,” Hill said.“I’m doing things right in the weight room, I’m taking care of my body,stretching a lot, eating right, getting some things in my body that Ineed.”Hill’s hard work and perseverance have paid off over thisoffseason, as his newfound health has equated to added quickness on the field,something both he and the Wisconsin coaching staff have noticed this spring.“P.J. is the guy right now that’s playing as good as hecan play,” said running backs coach John Settle. “He’s physical, andright now he’s showing a lot of burst at the line of scrimmage, which issomething that he showed flashes of last year. But now he looks quicker. He’strusting things to happen, and he believes what he sees.”Hill’s talent, experience and understanding of the game areduly noted by his coaches, which ultimately gives him the edge over the othercandidates vying for touches in the crowded Badger backfield.“P.J.’s probably the most complete back with having themost reps under his belt, but also being conscientious understandingprotections and being our style back,” offensive line coach and run gamecoordinator Bob Bostad explained. “He puts his shoulder down and gets youextra yards, yet is elusive enough and sudden enough to make that next man missin the box.”Close behind Hill on the UW depth chart is junior LanceSmith. Smith showed flashes of greatness last season, but was only able to playin home games after an off-field altercation involving him and his girlfriend.After being given two alternatives of serving his suspension, Smith opted tosit out the Badgers’ five road games as opposed to their first five games onthe schedule, a decision he wishes he could have back.“I suggested that the away games would be best becausethe first game of the season, you need a reliable back at running back, sothat’s how that situation went down,” Smith explained. “I reallywanted to play in the first game. But if I could go back in time, I’d pick thefirst five games because I believe my team needed me in Illinois and against[Ohio] State.”The Badgers lost both games away from home last season.Of the four backs, Smith is the most versatile of the bunch,which has given offensive coordinator Paul Chryst some options with which toplay.“You’ll see me in a lot of different looks (nextseason),” Smith said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to be successful outof those looks and help the team out.”This spring, Smith has lined up at wide receiver, both outwide and in the slot, and has run some of the spread offense with a few of theUW quarterbacks. Because of his array of skills, Smith isn’t worried about alack of touches come fall.“Last year, I feel like I showed that I have theability to do a lot of special things,” Smith said. “I’m just soanxious to have a full season and show the coaching staff and the fans what Ican do with a full season. Honestly, I feel like Coach Chryst will find a wayto get the ball in my hands, so I’m not worried about how many touches I get. Ihave my own plays and my own sets, so me being on the field won’t be aproblem.”According to Settle, an increase in Smith’s touches couldn’thurt the Badgers’ offensive production.“You do not want to have Lance Smith one-on-one,”Settle said. “If you can get him into one-on-one situations, you’ve got tofeel pretty good as a coach. He’s elusive, he has the ability to make you miss,and he can catch the ball from the backfield and we can spread him outwide.”With Hill’s injury and Smith’s suspension last season, awindow of opportunity opened for then-freshman Zach Brown, one that he tookfull advantage of. The Royal Palm, Fla., native rushed for 568 yards lastseason, including 250 in the regular season finale against Minnesota.Brown has all the tools to become a great Wisconsin runningback, something that his coaches keep stressing.“Zach Brown’s probably our all-around guy,” Settlesaid. “He can play first and second down, he can play third down becausehe understands the pass protection. If he ends up being a third-down guy, we’llplay him in that role. We have no problem getting different guys on the fieldif it’s going to help us win. Zach has shown that he has an all-around game. Heruns the ball well between the tackles and has enough speed to get into thesecondary.”Bostad couldn’t agree more.“Zach Brown has been a great utility back for us,”Bostad said. “The more reps he gets, the more he’s going to step into thatrole of a starter someday. He’s an extremely conscientious kid when it comes topass protection. He’s a patient runner; he runs the ball well to the outsideand he understands the scheme a little bit better. He’s a better perimeterrunner than some of the other guys because he understands blocking schemes andhas natural vision.”Freshman John Clay rounds out the depth chart for theWisconsin running corps. But just because he currently sits at No. 4 doesn’tmean Clay won’t see the field this fall.“He’s beginning to learn the system and put everythingtogether,” Settle said of Clay. “We’re working on consistency withhim. We want him to be able to string five perfect reps together so we candevelop some confidence in him. He’s had some really good days, but we’d liketo see it in scrimmage situations.”If running the football was based solely on physicalabilities, the 6-foot-2, 231-pound Clay would have no trouble finding playingtime on any football team. However, the mental aspects of the game have givenClay some challenges this spring.“John Clay is a guy who doesn’t fully understandprotections as well as we want, but he’s a hard-nosed, downhill runner who willsurprise you with how fast he is and how sudden he is,” Bostad said.“He’s certainly got a tremendous amount of upside. The sky is the limitfor him.”Clay is aware of the necessity for him to improve mentally,and is eager to continue trying and learning.“My time’s going to come,” Clay said. “I needto be patient, know my assignments and make sure I study the playbook. In highschool, I didn’t have to pick up blitzes as much, so I’m learning how to dothat better.”With all the competition and fighting for playing time, itwould be easy for these four backs to be at each other’s throats. But instead,they remain friendly and continue to help each other improve.“We all get along,” Smith said. “It’s notlike, ‘I hate somebody’ or ‘he hates me.’ If somebody does something bad atpractice, we’ll all go up to each other and be like, ‘You need to do it likethis.’ It’s more like a friendly competition. On the field you’re competing,but off the field it’s friendly.”Brown feels the same way.“It’s funny because there’s no animosity,” Brownsaid. “We’re all cool; it’s like a brotherhood, and we’re all out theretrying to help each other. We’re obviously fighting for one position, but weknow that we can help each other out.”The brotherhood is part of the reason why each of these fourdecided to come to Wisconsin in the first place.“That’s one of the reasons why I came here,” Hillsaid. “This school is known for breeding great running backs, so when Icame here, I was like, ‘I want to be the best running back I can be.’ You’vegot Ron Dayne, (Brian) Calhoun and I could be next in line to come out of theUniversity of Wisconsin playing for the Badgers. So, right now, I’m very proudof my decision.”He’s also had some help along the way.“I’m pretty close with Ron Dayne,” Hill continued.“He has my number, and we keep in contact. He told me if I need any adviceto talk to him, and I have no problem talking to him because he’s a veryopen-minded guy, a guy that you can really talk to.”Like Hill, Smith enjoys the tradition of great backs thatexists in Camp Randall Stadium.“It means a lot, that’s honestly why I came here,”Smith said. “Just being able to watch them on TV and be productive on thefield; it’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I started watching them ineighth grade, so I wanted to come here and be successful, too.”For a coach, having too much depth is never an issue. Butfor a player, depth can certainly affect one’s playing time. All four of thesetalented backs are aware of the current situation, but none have shown anysigns of concern or discouragement — even Hill, who’s likely to see hiscarries decrease from the previous two seasons.“I know those guys can do the job,” Hill said.“I’ll cheer them on; those are my teammates. They have to win the game.I’m on the same team, so I want to win with them.”Brown, too, is enjoying the competition.“I look at it as a good scenario,” Brown said.“We’re all talented and we all push each other. Challenge brings the bestout of everybody. Everything is going to work out, so we’re just lookingforward to see what’s going to happen.”That said, playing time is still very much up for grabs,according to the entire UW coaching staff.“[Playing time will] take care of itself,” Settlesaid. “They understand that there’s stiff competition. They understandthat the guys that compete and produce, those are the guys that are going toplay. We play in the Big Ten; it’s a physical conference, so there’s always achance for injury, so we have to prepare all four guys expecting theopportunity to play. There’s going to be a time where all of them are going tobe forced to play.”Being the running backs coach, it’s also Settle’s job tomake sure that each of his four backs stay fresh at all times.“We tell them to make sure that they’re ready,”Settle said. “If you get five opportunities, you’ve got five opportunitiesto make something happen. It’s not about counting the reps; it’s about makingthe reps count. We’re not dumb as coaches; if there’s a guy that’s hot, we’llride him and they know that.”