HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Agriculture:
crop production
crop irrigation
livestock production
dairy production
research & development

Energy
oil & gas production
wind energy
biofuels production
food processing
manufacturing

Transportation & telecommunications
rail service
air service
highways
internet service

Economic indicators & conditions:
workforce demographics
employment rates
land values
tax collections

Entrepreneurship:
small business development
technology application
innovation

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The country’s top agriculture official, Tom Vilsack, is declining to comment on some of the largest  mergers the farm economy has ever seen.

agpolicy.org

The US Department of Agriculture has been touting the recent expansion of the meat trade in the US. But the agency has only been highlighting the positives of the trade increase. As The Rural Blog reports, the nation has been importing more beef than it exports in recent months. In a recent column, two professors from the University of Tennessee said they understand that the USDA may want to put a positive spin on the situation.

Ariana Brocious / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Every spring farmers and ranchers intentionally burn their fields to jumpstart the natural process of renewal. But those fires can be dangerous. That’s why researchers in Nebraska are designing a new drone to start fires, which may help protect people and the environment.

Colorado’s jobless rate ticked up slightly last month. The number now sits at 3.1 percent. That’s still almost two and a half percentage points below the national average of 5.5 percent. The slight upward movement marks the first time the unemployment rate has increased in five years, reports Colorado Public Radio.

James M. Dobson / Garden City Telegram

With all the recent rains, farmers in southwest Kansas have a bright outlook for the wheat crop and summer harvest, reports The Garden City Telegram. Finney County farmer Jarvis Garetson called the April showers a godsend. “It changed our dryland crops from poor conditions to very good,” he said.

fieldsbh / Flickr Creative Commons

The world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer is coming to Texas, reports FuelFix.com. China-based Goldwind is planning to establish what will be its largest wind farm in the US, and has chosen the Lone Star State as the location.

Sandra J. Milburn / Hutchinson News

From Kansas Agland:

ST. JOHN – For about two months of the year, Stafford County farmer Jordan Hickel would run his pricey combine through wheat fields in June, followed by fall commodities like corn and soybeans.

Then the machine would sit silent in the shed, awaiting the next harvest season.

Wikimedia Commons

An aviation company in Amarillo is in talks for a deal with the federal government that could bring as much as $100 billion to the region, reports Amarillo.com. Bell Helicopter could possibly soon begin producing as many as 4,000 aircraft for the United States Army. The deal hinges on Bell’s parent, Textron, beating out Boeing for the contract.

Prowers Journal

A wind turbine east of Lamar, Colorado, went offline last week, reports The Prowers Journal. The culprit? Metal shavings. Repairs are expected to cost about $300,000.

Corn planting in Princeton, Ill., last month. / Bloomberg News

Farmland values have fallen sharply in parts of America’s heartland, reports The Wall Street Journal. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago cites the recent period as the sharpest drop in Midwestern cropland values in almost three decades. Over the past two years, farm incomes have steadily declined. Investors who had piled into the asset a few years ago have begun to retreat. As a result, low prices are weighing down land values from Kansas to Indiana.

Pew Research Center / businessinsider.com

Over the course of this young century, the gap in American cities between the haves and have-nots has continues to widen, reports Business Insider. The Pew Research Center recently analyzed Census Bureau data, looking at the state of the middle class in America's metropolitan areas.

Nick Oxford / Reuters

As Oklahoma’s earthquake frequency exploded, so did the rates of insurance companies covering the damages. Reuters reporter Luc Cohen recently examined thousands of pages of documents from the Oklahoma Insurance Commission.

Flickr Creative Commons

In honor of Mother’s Day this past weekend, the personal finance website WalletHub has compiled a list of the best and worst states for working moms. A couple of High Plains states fared well on the list, landing in the top 10.

Wallethub

Graduation ceremonies are happening this month, and employers are planning to hire 11 percent more college grads this year over last.

Washington Post

The US has, for the most part, recovered from the housing crisis that sent the economy reeling in 2008. However, as The Washington Post notes, the recovery has been deeply uneven. And the winners and losers tend to come down along race, income and geography lines. In many cities the housing market’s changes have deepened disparities between the rich and everyone else.

Brian McGuirk / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wheat Quality Council’s annual hard red winter tour began last week across the High Plains, reports High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal. The event was founded in 1938 with the goal of improving wheat quality in the US. The tour posted a record number of stops this year—and finished up with some good news. 2016 showed the best day one yield result in four years.

NDSU

Kansas’s winter wheat crop has received a timely boost from Mother Nature, reports The Garden City Telegram. After threats of a returning drought, recent rains brought yearly rain totals up past normal amounts for this time of year.

iti.illinois.edu

In today’s advanced world it’s important to ensure your business’s records and information are adequately secure. To that end, the Center for Rural Affairs has published a list of Cybersecurity Tips from the Small Business Administration.

woodlywonderworks / Flickr Creative Commons

From Harvest Public Media:

You’re about to start paying less for eggs at the grocery store because egg farms are recovering from last year’s bird flu outbreak a bit faster than expected.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Science’s hottest new tool looks like it will be coming soon to the Corn Belt.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The population of Northern Colorado is booming. People are flocking to the area and population numbers are on the rise.

The same thing is happening with dairy cows.

Wallethub

Amarillo is one of the best cities in America for Hispanic entrepreneurs, according to WalletHub. The personal finance website conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best Cities for Hispanic Entrepreneurs. Amarillo just missed the top ten, falling at number eleven on the list.

Dayton Daily News

Just three years after Colorado enacted sweeping marijuana legalization legislation, a faction of lawmakers in the state are looking to overhaul the law, reports The Durango Herald. The group has expressed concern about certain aspects of the current legislation. The nearly 50-page proposal has been referred to as a “wish list” by many observers. The proposal is titled, simply, “Concerning Marijuana.”

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media

Near Alexander, Iowa, on a cloudy spring Tuesday, Josh Nelson watches a bright red Case IH Magnum tractor pull a 24-row planter and crest a small hill, dropping corn seed at careful intervals. Nelson says his family farm dodged a weather bullet this week, but it’s just one of many hurdles this season promises.

Business is booming in Colorado, reports The Prowers Journal. According to a new report, in the first three months of the year business formation has rebounded. Colorado employment is also projected to expand over the next two quarters. The news was a welcome relief after two consecutive quarters of business decline.

Prowers Journal

The employment situation in Colorado continues to boom, reports The Prowers Journal. Nonfarm payroll jobs increased by almost six thousand last month. That brings the total for the state up to well over two-and-a-half million jobs. At the same time, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point to 2.9 percent—far below the national average.

Rural Blog

The rural grocery store crisis in Minnesota has become the focus of rural communities across the country, who see themselves in the woes of the Land of a Thousand Lakes. According to a recent survey, more than a third of rural Minnesota grocery store owners don't expect to be in business in five years. The problem?

Building fence facts

Apr 20, 2016
Deb Farris / KAKE

From Kansas Agland:

Last week, livestock markets in Pratt and Reno counties helped raise $120,000 by auctioning off a donated heifer and two steer calves in an effort to raise funds to aid ranchers with wildfire losses in Reno, Harvey, Barber and Comanche counties.

Eric Kounce / Wikimedia Commons

For the first time in 12 years, Texas job creation has been lagging behind the rest of the nation. The numbers come from a new study by the Austin non-profit Texas Taxpayers and Research Association. “The ‘Texas Miracle,’ as our state’s nation-leading economic engine has been dubbed, is currently on ice,” said Dale Craymer, the author of the report.

Ibraheem Al Omari / Reuters

Oil prices are set to plunge again, reports quartz.com. Oil producers gathered in Doha this weekend in an attempt to freeze production in the glutted crude oil market. With the news of the proposed production freeze, oil prices had recently soared by more than 30%. But the various oil interests failed to reach an agreement.

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