HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Texas regulations could kill bid for Tesla plant

Tesla roadster
Credit wikipedia.org

Texas is one of four finalists trying to reel in Tesla Motors from California.  However, the state will not allow the company to sell its upscale electric cars directly to consumers because of long-standing state laws protecting and regulating auto dealerships according to the Texas Tribune.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Full Circle Farming: Fins and Flora

Alice shows Skip the lettuce plugs
Barb Blevins High Plains Public Radio

We'll continue our visit to Beaver Creek Ranch with a look at Full Circle Aquaponics, a re-circulating system combining aquaculture (fish) and hydroponics (plants).  We'll start our tour in a  low-energy footprint greenhouse designed by Alice Hill and take a look at how tilapia fish and a variety of greens and lettuces support each other.

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Pork Supply & Prices
8:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Bring home the bacon: Virus cutting pork supplies

Illinois hog farmer Phil Borgic says the PED virus killed many of his piglets. The virus is expected to cut pork supplies this year.
Credit Peter Gray/Harvest Public Media

Bacon-loving shoppers prepare yourselves: A virus that has devastated piglets for nearly a year is causing lower pork supplies and higher prices.

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HPPR Economy and Enterprise
8:00 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Bell begins work on a new helicopter

The Relentless 525
Credit amarillo.com

The Bell Amarillo plant is beginning to assemble roofs, floors, nose and tail sections of the Relentless 525—a new civilian helicopter said a recent article in the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Texas Farming Update: Panhandle Farmers do well in sorghum competition

Credit mississippi-crops.com

Panhandle farmers did well this year in the National Sorghum Producers competition reported Kevin Welch for the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Amarillo makes the top 20 of cities to start a business

Amarillo skyline
Credit findyourspot.com

Amarillo ranks the 14th best city to start a business said a recent article in the Amarillo Globe-News.  

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Food Security
5:59 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Padlock the milk! FDA’s push to safeguard the food supply

Milk is an extremely popular item on the University of Missouri campus, says purchasing coordinator Sandy Perley. "Our entire campus in a year drinks about 96,000 gallons of milk. And by our best calculation, that’s about 326 gallons a day."
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Listen to Abbie's report.

Many of the food terrorism scenarios outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration involve liquid.

And there’s good reason for that.

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

High Plains dairy producers attend Lubbock conference

Credit Kay Ledbetter / Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Over 300 participants attended the High Plains Dairy Conference in Lubbock, Texas.  Most of them were from Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado according to a University News release.

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Kansas: Greeley County hog farm expansion approved by KDHE

The Ladder Creek farm site in Greeley County is the largest hog-growing facility in Kansas. The operation is located 12 miles north of Tribune on Highway 27 and east on 12 Mile Road. With its expansion permit approved it can legally have up to 365,000 pigs.
Credit Phil Cauthon / Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment approved the expansion of Seaboard Farms’ Ladder Creek hog farm according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.

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Food Security
7:56 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Could our food supply be a target for terrorists?

A bioterror attack that introduced a virus like foot-and-mouth disease could devastate the U.S. livestock industry. Regulators are proposing new rules meant to protect the food system from terror attack.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

Listen to Luke's report.

It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster. Villains in trench coats scheme ways to cause the most destruction and chaos. They settle on a food company, an easy target, and plan to lace the products with a chemical or pathogen. The hero finds out the plan with enough time to save the day.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Full Circle Farming Comes to Northwest Kansas

Skip talks to Alice Hill outside her home
Barb Blevins High Plains Public Radio

Skip talks with Alice Hill about Full Circle Aquaponics.

This week we begin a four-part series about the importance of expanding local food production and teaching people to learn to feed themselves whenever possible.  We'll start by visiting Beaver Creek Ranch in Rawlins County, Kansas.  This agritourism business operated by Jeff and Alice Hill includes a hunting lodge, a full-service family farm complete with fruit and vegetable gardens, poultry, beef and pork production, organic hard red winter wheat production, and a demonstration site for a system called Full Circle Aquaponics.  The day I arrived the place was really humming, thanks to the bee hives that provide pollination and honey.  Join us as we visit a fascinating place.

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Texas: Unlikely to be a leader in methane reduction

Texas drilling rig
Credit blog.heartland.org

Texas is the nation’s top energy producer.  It could also be the leader in slashing emissions of methane.  But it’s unlikely that state environmental regulators will embrace the opportunity according to a recent article from the Texas Tribune.  

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Wind Energy
8:00 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

New study reveals wind turbine placement could reduce yield

Credit JILL JOHNSON / LANDOV

A new study by the University of Texas at San Antonio found that placing wind turbines too closely together in a wind farm causes turbulence that reduces productivity according to a recent article by StateImpact Texas.  

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Wind Energy
8:00 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Texas: Wind turbine clearinghouse comes to Plainview

Turbine blades on railcars like this, will be coming to Plainview, Texas.
Credit blogs.democratandchronicle.com

Tri Global Energy and BNSF Railway have joined forces to create a clearinghouse for wind energy equipment east of Plainview, Texas according to The Amarillo Globe-News

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Energy Conservation
8:00 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Why Texans are using less energy than predicted

Controllers make daily forecasts of the next day’s electric demand and supply.
Credit FILIPA RODRIGUES / StateImpact Texas

A growing population and inadequate electricity supply has kept a looming energy crisis over Texans.  Rolling blackouts would come, or so it was predicted.  This month, a report from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) release its annual forecast of how much electricity Texas will have in the coming years, and thing don’t look so bad according to StateImpact Texas.

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Plentiful domestic crude oil brings a refining revival to Kansas and Texas

A small “teapot” refinery, mothballed for years, has reopened in Nixon, Tex., and the town is coming back to life.
Credit Michael Stravato / nytimes.com

Small, abandoned refineries dot the High Plains, but the domestic oil boom of domestic light-crude is breathing new life into some of them said a recent article in the New York Times.  

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

West Texas A&M beef cloning moving ahead

Part of the team caring for West Texas A&M University's clones, bull Alpha and one of the females called Gammas, from left to right: Kelly Jones, Landon Canterbury, Paydon Hales and Hayden Alexander.
Credit amarillo.com

A cloning project at West Texas A&M University is poised to enter the next phase of creating cattle that will produce top quality beef recently reported the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Affordable Care Act Update: Kansas and Texas

Credit tacticalminc.com

In Kansas, The Kansas Health Institute recently reported that more than 10,000 Kansans applied or Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) in January.  That is an increase of 20% over the monthly average since the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace was launched.

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

An unusual combination of circumstances caused winter propane prices to explode

Credit wvut.org

Folks living in rural areas across the High Plains know when the weather is warm, propane is cheap.  When it gets cold, both demand and the price go up.  But, this season the price skyrocketed to unheard of levels due to the combination of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster, wet corn, and a string of winter storms. according to a recent article from StateImpact Oklahoma.

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Horizontal Drilling: Is there a safer acid to use?

Credit mysafetysign.com

Hydrochloric acid is commonly using in horizontal drilling because it’s relatively cheap, but companies are looking for safer alternatives to protect workers and the environment reported StateImpact Oklahoma

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Passenger Rail Service
8:00 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Is it the end of the line for Amtrak’s Southwest Chief?

Carolyn LeBeau, right, takes in the New Mexico landscape, while Ginger Vermooten takes a photograph from the Southwest Chief.
Credit Mark Holm / nytimes.com

Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico have until the end of the year to improve the railroad track or lose the Southwest Chief passenger rail line.  According to The New York Times Amtrak has asked the three states to put up $40 million over the next 20 years to help pay for track upgrades and maintenance to keep the track viable.  Unless all three states pitch in, Amtrak says it will potentially drop nine small-town stations in favor of existing track in Texas and Oklahoma. 

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Census of Ag findings
8:00 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Lack of land thwarts aspiring young farmers

Eric Brockmann and his family moved back to his hometown of West Point, Neb. to pursue his passion for farming.
Credit Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

The average age of American farmers has been climbing for decades, and many say rural towns are at-risk without new blood. There are enough people who want to farm, but there’s trouble connecting beginning farmers and the communities that need them.

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Commodity Challenge
8:00 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

A fantasy game for realizing farm profit

Robbie Maass shows his mother, Leah, the Commodity Challenge game that is helping him understand market tools. Leah Maass says her farm could benefit from better use of the tools and she’s hoping Robbie will be able to learn how to put them to work for the family.
Credit Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

On a frigid winter day, Chad Hart tries to warm his economics students at Iowa State University to the idea of managing some of the risk of farming using the commodity markets. Because, as he told them on the first day of class, farmers don’t make money planting or harvesting crops; they make money selling them. And Hart knows that marketing—managing those sales for the best profit—can be intimidating.

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Productivity vs. privacy
7:42 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Farmers worry about sharing Big Data

This laptop is an essential tool on Dave Beck’s farm. He uses it to design maps to apply different doses of seed, water, and fertilizer on his fields.
Credit Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

When it comes to keeping data secure, farmers are worried about some of the same issues as the rest of us. Precision data from the farm could help drive new levels of productivity, but farmers have to decide just how much they want to share.

Precision agriculture started with satellite-guided tractors and maps recording pinpoint levels of grain yields during harvest. But farmers like Dave Beck are taking the next step.

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Impact of dairy consolidation
8:00 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Changing dairy industry leaves some in the dust

Donnie Davidson turns off the lights in his dairy parlor. His family has been producing grade A milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Hear the audio version of Abbie's story.

The growth of the dairy industry across the High Plains has been a boon to the economy and communities of the region.  Urbanization and increasing regulation in states such as California are often cited as the reason for the migration of large dairies to our area.  But there’s also on overall industry consolidation underway that’s driving out small producers from nearby states, including dairyman Donnie Davidson and others in Missouri, as profiled in this story from Harvest Public Media.

~~~~~~

Donnie Davidson’s family has been producing bottled milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s. But the 63-year-old farmer decided to sell his herd of 50 milking cows in November after the roof on one of his barns collapsed from last winter’s snow.

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Poverty
8:01 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Half of Texas households one crisis from poverty

Credit Ben Hasson / Texas Tribune

50% of households in Texas are "liquid-asset poor," or lack the savings to pay for three months of basic expenses, according to a report released last week by a non-profit that seeks to alleviate poverty.

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Wind Energy
8:01 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Tax credit expiration leads to wind farm construction boom in Oklahoma

The 147-megawatt Weatherford Wind Energy Center.
Credit Travel Aficionado / Flickr

On December 31, the federal production tax credit for renewable energy expired. In Oklahoma, this stimulated 12,300 megawatts of wind projects to begin construction ahead of the deadline.

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Propane prices set records

Credit propane.pro

The cost of propane is breaking records.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) lists the current average price nationwide at just over four dollars per gallon.  That’s more than a dollar higher than last week said a recent article in StateImpact Oklahoma.

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Marijuana in Colorado
8:01 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Colorado creates food safety system to regulate marijuana industry

A marijuana plant glows purple under grow lights at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, Colo.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Colorado made history when it opened up licensed marijuana retail shops this year. Aside from just legalizing the purchase of smoke-able marijuana, it also means pot brownies have the potential to be big business. Food products infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, are available in stores across the state.

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Cattle Ranching
8:00 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The National Western Stock Show reflects changes in the cowboy way of life

The crowd at a the stock show sale.
Credit Matthew Starver / nytimes.com

The National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, has been a diamond in the crown of cowboy life for over 100 years.  It also is a reflection of the way life is changing at home on the range.  

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