HPPR Economy and Enterprise

extension.org

The Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP) was recently completed in the Texas Panhandle – a major region for cattle feedlots, hog production and the dairy industry.  The 18-month training helps prepare the cattle feeding and livestock industry against natural and manmade threats according to a recent article in PR Web.

JOHN STANMEYER, VII / NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Corn plants in the United States have become more drought sensitive, not less.  Yields have continued to increase because seed companies have developed genetic improvements allowing higher planting density.  Drought sensitivity could drive yields down in the years to come unless companies like Monsanto, Syngenta, and DuPont successfully develop varieties that thrive in drought reported the National Geographic.

Wheat futures are up on the Chicago Board of Trade, but this year's wheat crop is getting battered by the drought.

When you think about carbon footprint, does feeding the world cross your mind? It does for John Foley. He wrote about it recently in an article published by National Geographic. “When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner,” Foley wrote. “But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet.” Foley outlined five steps to feed the world.

kids.britannica.com

The United States Department of Agriculture recently released 2012 Ag Census data.  The report reveals record sales, rising expenses, increasing agricultural diversity, and changing farming and marketing practices according to the Prowers Journal.

ktul.com

Trade Secrets are a place where oil and gas companies are allowed to keep secret the ingredients used in fracking.  Baker Hughes has decided to publically list all the chemicals used in the process, while Halliburton, a major competitor is considering it reported The Associated Press and StateImpact Oklahoma.

amarillo.com

A report filed by Hastings Entertainment to the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals the company predicted a dire future.  In 2012, the report states the company considered selling itself when reorganization and eliminating executives didn’t stem the retailer’s downward spiral.  The filing went on to say the steps didn’t have “sufficient impact” to predict the company would “return to profitability in the near future,” reported the Amarillo Globe-News.

Wikipedia

Sharon Harvat drives a blue pick-up truck through a field of several hundred pregnant heifers on her property outside Scottsbluff in western Nebraska and notes, “On a warm day they’ll lay out flat like that...”.

Harvat and her husband John run their cattle here in the Nebraska panhandle during the winter and take them back to the mountains in northern Colorado when the calves are born. Harvat says, when she heard about a proposal to open up beef trade with Brazil, she felt a pit in her stomach.  “On an operation like ours, where we travel a lot with our cattle, that would probably come to an abrupt halt if there was an outbreak.”

JOE WERTZ / STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

As experts continue to point to injection wells as the reason for increased earthquake activity, regulators in Oklahoma have changed the way permits for these wells are approved according to StateImpact Oklahoma.

Vertical farming growing up

Apr 20, 2014
Peter Gray/Harvest Public Media

Farmers are making inroads supplying local food to hungry city foodies, but many producers are trying to grow more food in urban centers. City real estate is at a premium, so some producers are finding more space by using what’s called “vertical farming,” and going up rather than spreading out.

Growers across the country are heading indoors, using greenhouses and hydroponics – growing plants in a water and nutrient solution instead of soil and using lamps to replace sunlight. Vertical farming takes that to a new level.

Flickr Commons / Niels Linneberg

Few people connect craft breweries with cattle feed. But passing along the spent grains from the brewing process, like barley and wheat, to livestock ranchers is a common practice. Although now, that relationship could be in jeopardy.

texasstaralliance.com

The Lone Star State has always been willing to gamble on oil and gas drilling.  The bets are big, and the latest boom has mostly been the work of companies and investors with plenty of capital.  A new Texas company could change that.  For a minimum investment of $80,000 you can own your very own oil well reported StateImpact Texas.

Michael Schumacher / amarillo.com

Town Square Village is a four-square-mile piece of southwest Amarillo with a vision of being more than another development.  The multimillion-dollar expansion will be an “urban landscape where apartment dwellers live above stores and restaurants in a pedestrian-friendly community core surrounded by row houses and suburbs of single-family homes,” according to a recent article in the Amarillo Globe-News

Ann Johansson / nytimes.com

The taste of vegetarian meat substitute is improving.  It’s so good, in fact, that consumers couldn’t tell if they were eating meat substitute or chicken in a salad product from Whole Foods.  The labels on the products were inadvertently switched.  Whole Foods had to recall the item not because of consumer complaints, but federal labeling requirements.  Consumers eating the plant protein substitute were inadvertently exposed to soy and eggs, which are allergens requiring labeling according to a recent article in the New York Times.

RJ Sangosti / denverpost.com

The Kiowa County oil and gas boom has tanked, and now the small community of Eads is putting its economic development bets on casino gambling according to a recent article from the Denver Post

dshs.state.tx.us

Consolidated Nuclear Security is the new Pantex Plant Contractor according to a recent article in the Amarillo Globe-News.  The Government Accountability Office rejected the third contract protest by a representative of Babcock and Wilcox Co. who currently operate the Carson County nuclear weapons plant.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

Nebraska hog farmers aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a proposal that would allow meatpacking companies more control over the state’s hog industry. And farmers all over the country are watching.

Currently, a 1998 state law bans meatpacking companies from owning and raising the hogs they process. But lawmakers have proposed an end to the ban, which would allow for more vertical integration of the hog industry.

debicates.blogspot.com

Farmers across the high plains are faced with planting choices every year.  This year Texas farmers are wondering if corn, cotton, or sorghum will make the most money according to StateImpact Texas

amarillo.com

Pattern Energy is moving components from Hutchinson and Abilene, Kansas, as well as Iowa, to the Texas Panhandle.  Sections of towers that hold the large blades in the air and the narcelles that hold the equipment that makes electricity from the turning blades are transported by trucks pulling specially built trailers.  The components are headed for two projects located north of Amarillo.

downtowngc.com

There’s work in western Kansas.  The region hasn’t seen a decline like the rest of the country said a recent article in RFD-TV Magazine

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

When Colorado cantaloupe laden with the deadly pathogen listeria killed more than 30 people in 2011, shockwaves rippled throughout the food industry. The outbreak made one thing clear: huge cracks exist in the systems meant to keep our food safe to eat. Denver Post reporters Michael Booth and Jennifer Brown set out to explore those conflicts within food safety in their new book Eating Dangerously.

Drones: Coming soon to a farm near you?

Mar 24, 2014
Peter Gray/Harvest Public Media

Unmanned aerial vehicles aren’t just for spies or for the battlefield. Farmers all over the country think drones can give them a leg up, too.

Tech-savvy farmers have been waiting for years for the government to make up its mind about the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Right now, anyone flying a drone for business instead of as a hobby is actually breaking federal law. But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which oversees U.S. airspace, says it plans to roll out rules for drones this year.

amarillo.com

The water level is down, and so are the number of people visiting Lake Meredith and the associated Alibates Flint Quarries.  However, the sites are still impacting the area’s economy in a positive manner said a recent article in the Amarillo News-Globe.

southunioncdc.org

Two energy companies are partnering to build the largest community solar array in Kansas.  Community-owned Midwest Energy and community solar developer Clean Energy Collective (CEC) signed an agreement to build a 1-MW community solar photovoltaic array according to a recent article in Utility Products.

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.

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.

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.

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.

mississippi-crops.com

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

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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