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

Reuters/NBC News

Black Friday may soon be a thing of the past on the High Plains, as in the rest of the country.

As NBC News reports, Black Friday is slowly being replaced by what many retailers are referring to as “Black November.” And some of the deals that consumers have come to expect on Friday are already available. For example, Amazon launched its Black Friday store last Tuesday.

Food Network

The cost of a Thanksgiving meal for the average American has lowered to below five dollars a person this year, according to the American Farm Bureau.

The group traditionally does an informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table. This year their study concluded that a feast for 10 this year will cost $49.87, or just under five bucks per belly. The cost is down by almost 25 cents since last year.

Lisa Krantz / San Antonio Express News

Texas employers added almost 14,000 jobs last month, according to the latest report from the Texas Workforce Commission.

Over the past year, the Lone Star State has added almost 210,000 jobs to its job-rolls, reinforcing the resiliency of the Texas economy.

Low gas prices expected to spur Thanksgiving travel

Nov 22, 2016
AAA

There is good news at the pump for people of the High Plains planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas ranked first, fourth and fifth for least expensive gas prices in the nation Monday, according to AAA.

Andy Sacks / Getty Images/MSNBC

Donald Trump won almost every farm state in this year’s presidential election. The electoral map is a wide swath of red, stretching from the Carolinas through much of the Midwest and into the Plains.

And, now that their man has won, farm groups say they’re hoping to change the president-elect’s mind about the economic importance of agricultural exports.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a deposit in West Texas is the largest continuous oil and gas deposit ever discovered in the United States.

On Tuesday, the USGS announced that an area known as the Wolfcamp shale contains 20 billion barrels of oil and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

That is nearly three times more petroleum than the agency found in North Dakota's Bakken shale in 2013.

Forbes.com

Employers across the country are having trouble filling jobs, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts. These days it takes about 28 workdays to fill the average job vacancy. Ten years ago, jobs were filled an average of four days faster.

AP photo/The Oklahoman

There are very few corners of America’s oil and gas industry that are abuzz with prospects for a bright future these days.

But one of them is the niche market for dirty-water disposal in Oklahoma.

The market is worth about $3 billion, and as Bloomberg reports, Brian Kalt thinks he has it cornered.

Oklahoma Farm Report

Last week, Oklahoma’s controversial “Right to Farm” bill was defeated by voters. The state’s farmers and ranchers are now wondering what the short- and long-term effects of the bill’s rejection will be.

Meclee / Wikimedia Commons

As The Dallas Morning News pointed out this week, it’s possible that a Trump administration could cause oil prices to drop even further.

Trump has indicated that, in his first 100 days, he’ll “absolutely 100 percent” approve plans for the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas. The problem with this plan is, it will only serve to introduce more crude into an already glutted world market.

digitaltrends.com

With each year, the number of Americans who earn their living by freelancing increases. And as the number of people who work from home grows, so does the number of freelancers who are taking to the countryside.

According to an online study conducted for Upwork and the Freelancers Union freelancers now account for 35 percent of the American workforce. And of those, almost 20 percent choose to live a rural lifestyle.

oilprice.com

High Plains oil producers received a tough blow this week, as oil prices fell once again on a persistent oversupply of worldwide crude. 

According to OilPrice.com, recent data suggests that the world will soon touch a milestone rate of oil consumption: 100 million barrels every day. In a normal world, increased demand would mean increased profits.

WTAMU/amarillo.com

Colleges and universities on the High Plains are seeing increased enrollment in agricultural programs, reports Amarillo.com.

Houses are bigger and cheaper in Gurley, Ala. than in big citiesCredit Art Meripol / The Wall Street JournalEdit | Remove

Rural citizens might want to keep an eye out for an influx of techies in the near future. Many urban tech companies are leaving the big city and setting out for parts unknown—and that could mean a tech future for the High Plains.

Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters/Quartz.com

Now that the election is over, we can get back to focusing on what’s important in the world. According to Quartz.com, there’s a new device available that allows cows to text message their farmers when they’re pregnant.

Daniel Acker / Denver Business Journal

Car sales are continuing their downward trend in Colorado, the Denver Business Journal reports.

This September, new vehicle registrations were down by over 13 percent from the same time last year. This marks the second month in a row that Colorado has shown year-over-year declines in new vehicle registrations.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadephia

Of late, the Kansas economy has been the worst in the country, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Wikimedia Commons

Beef and poultry operations nationwide are keeping a close eye on a ballot measure in Massachusetts, Politico reports.

The state ballot initiative, known as “Question 3,” would essentially ban inhumane confined animal-feeding operations. The law would require giving farm animals enough space to lie down, stand up, extend their limbs and turn around in their pens.

Has either of the two presidential candidates said anything about the Ogallala Aquifer?

As part of its ongoing ag reporting, Harvest Public Media reporters examine questions from readers and this is one of them.

We weren’t able to find any cases where the candidates specifically address the Ogallala Aquifer, but each has each spoken to sustainable water use - mostly with an eye to the West. (Neither the Clinton nor the Trump campaigns responded to a request for comment.)

oilprice.com

Texas’s crude oil output inched up in August to 2.4 million barrels per day. Analysts say this is the sign of a continuing—if hesitant—recovery in the Lone Star State.

All told, Texas is producing .5 percent more oil this year than last year. As a West Texas rigger might say, .5 ain’t much, but it’s somethin’.

Driverless Trucks, the Future of High Plains Highways?

Oct 31, 2016
agrilife.org

Could driverless trucks soon be driving along High Plains highways?

The world wheat market is showing signs of life, despite recent struggles.

Rural Blog

In today’s America, oversight and regulation of factory farms is extremely difficult, and in some cases impossible.

etfdailynews.com

Climate change could be having an adverse effect on natural gas prices.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, warm October weather has sent natural gas demand lower this month. Half of U.S. homes use natural gas for winter heat. But yhere simply hasn’t been a need for heat yet in many parts of the country.

Public Domain

Kansas’s unemployment rate has risen for the fourth consecutive month, reports The Lawrence Journal-World.

The jobless rate in the Sunflower State rose to 4.4 percent in September as the state lost an estimated 2,100 private-sector jobs.

Eric Kayne / The Wall Street Journal

The Lone Star State has long been seen as a boon to the U.S. economy. But as of late, reports The Wall Street Journal, Texas has become a drag on the nation’s fortunes.

It wasn’t long ago that the state’s energy resources helped keep the U.S afloat. The boom was led, in large part, by the fracking revolution. But ever since the collapse in oil prices, Texas job growth has become stagnant. And Texas has become something of an albatross.

David Paul Morris / Bloomberg News

Facebook wants to expand free Internet service in the United States, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

The social media giant is working with rural Internet providers on a program called Free Basics. The initiative would give Americans access to a limited number of websites for free.

politico.com

This week U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a $400 million federal program to reduce rural poverty in America, reports The Lexington Herald-Leader.

Smiley N. Pool / Getty Images/NY TImes

As the East Coast deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, oil analysts are worried about the effects such a storm might have on the Texas oil and gas industry.

As The New York Times reports, few American cities are more vulnerable to hurricanes than Houston and Galveston. And none of the other cities are as crucial to the economy. A massive hurricane ramming into the Texas coast could have global economic consequences.

TheZachMorrisExperience / Wikimedia Commons

If you live in Freeport, Maine, your livelihood probably depends on L.L. Bean. Same goes for Bentonville, Arkansas, and Walmart.

And if you live in the small Western Nebraska city of Sidney, your life was probably thrown into a tizzy when it was announced that your hometown retail giant Cabela’s had been purchased by Bass Pro Shops. In fact, many in this Nebraska community of seven thousand are wondering what the future holds.

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