HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Wind Energy
8:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Google Invest in More Wind Power From the Texas Panhandle

Credit Kevin Welch / amarillo.com

Google recently announced it will be purchasing even more wind power from the Texas Panhandle.  The company’s goal is to be powered 100% by renewable energy.  Inline with that goal, the company invested $75 million  in the Panhandle 2 wind farm located outside Amarillo according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Colorado State Government
8:00 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

An Overview of Colorado’s Recreational Pot Market

Credit thecommonvision.org

Colorado is the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to have a legal, regulated marked for recreational marijuana.  20 other states, and Washington, DC, allow the use of medical marijuana, but how does Colorado’s marijuana market function?  The Economist explains:

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Harvest Public Media story
5:36 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

USDA one step closer to approving new Roundup resistant crops

Credit Monsanto.com

New herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans are a step closer to reaching farm fields in the U.S. They would help farmers control weeds that are no longer killed by the popular herbicide, Roundup.

Roundup resistant crops dominate corn, soybean and cotton production in the U.S. But the list of weeds that have evolved to withstand Roundup is growing, and as a result, farmers are using more chemicals to keep up.

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Texas Oil and Gas Regulators Hiring Siesmologist to Investigate Increased Earthquake Activity

Railroad Comissioner David J. Porter
Credit MOSE BUCHELE / StateImpact Texas

The Railroad Commission of Texas recently met.  Commissioner David Porter announced the search for a staff seismologist in response to the rash of small earthquakes that have sprung up throughout the state along with the boom in oil and gas production reported Mose Buchele for StateImpact Texas.  

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Elimination of Planned Parenthood in Women’s State Health Program Leaves Texas Physicians Struggling

Credit forefugees.com

The exclusion of Planned Parenthood has left gaps in health care for women, especially low-income women.  Republican leaders pressured Texas state health officials to begin enforcing a provision to keep out Planned Parenthood, as well as any clinic, with organizational ties to abortion providers from the Women’s Health Program in 2011.  The program provides cancer screening, well-woman exams and contraception for low-income women.  

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Harvest Public Media story
8:00 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Beef herd poised for growth … and cheaper steak eventually

Even if the beef herd begins expanding again in 2014 it could take two years for the effects to show up in consumer prices.
Credit Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

For the first time in nearly 10 years, the nation’s beef herd may be poised for growth, which could mean relief from rising meat prices. But with the fewest cattle in the beef supply since the 1960s, slow growth won’t cut prices anytime soon.

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Transportation
8:00 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Will Southwest Airlines Continue to Stop in Amarillo?

Credit visitamarillotx.com

The Wright Amendment expired in October, meaning that Southwest Airlines doesn’t have to make stops in cities like Amarillo.  The airline can fly non-stop from destinations to hubs anywhere in the United States.

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Oklahoma
8:00 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

From Guymon to Poteau: The Biggest Oklahoma StateImpact Stories of 2013

Credit JOE WERTZ / STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

From the corners of Oklahoma, across the border into Texas; to the nation’s capital and even the U.S. Supreme Court, StateImpact Oklahoma team traveled about 10,000 miles in 2013, talking with Oklahomans about government policy and how it’s affecting their lives. 

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Demographics
8:00 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Texas Panhandle: How are you going to keep them down on the farm?

Mike Skinner on Dec. 26, 2013 outside the farmhouse on the land five miles east of Spearman that he sold last spring. Three generations of his family had farmed the land.
Credit Stephen Spillman / The Texas Tribune

The only livestock Mike Skinner has these days are birds in a cage.  Skinner sold the family farm last spring.  Land he was once farmed, as did his brother, his parents, and his grandparents reported the Texas Tribune

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Harvest Public Media story
8:05 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

One thing that didn’t happen in 2013: a Farm Bill

Farm Bill conference committee meeting in October of 2013
Credit Iowa Public Television

If it seems like Congress just can’t get the farm bill done, well… that’s because it can’t.

All year long, Washington lawmakers have been saying they want to pass a full five-year farm bill. But even though leaders of the House-Senate conference committee say they are close, they have acknowledged it just won’t get done this year. They’re pushing it off until January.

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Wheat Bread
8:00 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Quest to make a whole grain bread kids will eat

Food companies want to capitalize on the growing market of white bread fans who want to eat whole wheat. A new variety of wheat makes that easier.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

A new wheat variety may have cracked the code to marry the fluffiness of white bread with whole grain nutrition.

For a long time, American bread makers have been in a bind. Many consumers like the texture and taste of white bread, but want the nutritional benefits of whole grains.

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Healthcare
8:01 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Faith-based alternative to Affordable Care Act popular in Texas

Credit KERA

While the individual mandate requires ever American to have health insurance, there is a big exception to the Affordable Care Act that more and more people are taking advantage of.

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Economy
8:00 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Texas Homeowners Insurance Rates No Longer Highest in the Nation

Credit abbott-insurance.com

Texans are no longer pay the highest homeowner rates in the nation.  They’re third highest.  KUT News reported rates are higher because figures not include the cost of windstorm insurance.

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Harvest Public Media story
9:19 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Cattle producers want growth promoter back on the market

When the people from the drug company came out to visit Tyler Karney at Ordway Feedyard here on Colorado’s eastern plains, he was a little skeptical.

They said their product, Zilmax, could put another 30 pounds on an animal in the last days before slaughter. Then he started blending it into the feed for the 6,500 head of Holsteins at this huge feedlot.

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Fracking Water Lines Spark Controversy in Northwest Oklahoma

A water line for hydraulic fracturing traverses an oil and gas access road in Woods County.
Credit Joe Wertz / State Impact Oklahoma

Fracking requires water, and temporary water lines snake across a lot of northwest Oklahoma to feed the beasts pulling oil and gas from the Mississippi Lime Shale.  It’s one of the state’s most productive plays, but landowners are irritated with the lines on their property that block gates, mailboxes, driveways, show up without warning, and can’t be driven over because the stiff plastic pipe catches and drags according to State Impact Oklahoma. 

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Amarillo City Government
8:00 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Consultant Recommends Parking Meters and Garage for Downtown Amarillo

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

Downtown Amarillo revitalization leaders recently heard consultant recommendations for parking reported The Amarillo Globe-News.

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Harvest Public Media story
4:49 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Vilsack to China: Get up to speed on GMOs

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says he will talk to Chinese regulators about their slow pace in evaluating biotech traits.
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to China this week to ask Chinese regulators to get on the same page as the U.S. when it comes to evaluating genetically modified crops.

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Harvest Public Media story
8:35 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

2012 Drought Pinches Popcorn Sellers

U.S. popcorn sellers took a big hit from the 2012 drought, which caused one of the worst popcorn harvests in recent memory.
Quentin Hope

U.S. popcorn sellers took a big hit from the 2012 drought, which caused one of the worst popcorn harvests in recent memory. Crops not irrigated were decimated and low supplies continue to force local candy shops and giant movie theater chains alike to pay high prices for the golden grain, biting into their profit margin.

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Harvest Public Media story
8:00 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

RNAi corn entering the rootworm chase

Southern Corn Rootworm also called spotted cucumber beetle
pioneer.com

With rootworms building resistance to genetically modified corn that makes its own pesticide, seed companies are working on new crops that target the insects’ genes. But some worry about unintended consequences when the technology moves from the lab to the field.

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Harvest Public Media story
4:17 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Another deadline passes without a farm bill deal

Credit www2.dupont.com

Hear the audio version of Amy's story

If it seems like Congress just can’t get the farm bill done, well… that’s because it can’t. The massive food and agriculture package used to be relatively easy thanks to bipartisan and urban-rural alliances. But this year, progress was a slow slog. A nine-month extension passed in January bought some time. This summer, the Senate passed its bill, but the House didn’t. Then it sent two bills to the conference committee, one for agriculture and the other for food stamps. Just before Thanksgiving, Iowa Republican Steve King, a conference committee member, remained optimistic.

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Harvest Public Media story
8:01 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

EPA prepares for an earful on Renewable Fuel Standard

An EPA proposal cuts the expected mandate for corn ethanol by 1.4 billion gallons in 2014.
Credit Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

Both supporters and opponents of ethanol have had a lot to say since the EPA announced a proposal to cut the Renewable Fuel Standard, the rules that force oil companies to buy and use certain levels of ethanol. But they’re just warming up. The agency’s first hearing on the proposal is Thursday in Arlington, Va., and advocates from both sides will line up for a chance to give regulators a piece of their minds.

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Harvest Public Media story
8:00 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Forget the golf course, build the subdivision around a farm

The Bucking Horse subdivision in Fort Collins, Colo., will include a working CSA farm, complete with historic barn, farm house and chicken coop.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

For decades, housing developments in the suburbs have come complete with golf courses, tennis courts, strip malls and swimming pools. But make way for the new subdivision amenity: the specialty farm.

A new model for suburban development is springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement. Farms, complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees, are serving as a way to entice potential buyers to settle in a new subdivision.

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Agriculture
8:53 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Drones Used To Diagnose Diseased Wheat Fields

A helicopter drone used by Dr. Charlie Rush, Texas A&M AgriLife plant pathologist in Amarillo, flies over a wheat field to track disease progression.
Credit Kay Ledbetter / Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Dr. Charlie Rush is a plant pathologist at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Amarillo.  He’s partnered with Ian Johnson, a Montana State University-Bozeman graduate student, who’s using his work in the university’s Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program to help conduct research using a helicopter drone according to AgriLife.

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Harvest Public Media story
5:17 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Push for GMO labeling comes to Colorado

Protesters in Denver rallied this past summer at the state capitol, asking legislators to act on a GMO labeling rule.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Colorado could be the next battleground state in the debate over labeling rules for genetically-modified foods. Activists are trying to get the issue in front of voters in 2014.

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

The Rules are Ready for Hemp Farming in Colorado

Ryan Loflin harvests hemp
Credit Hemp Industries Association

Colorado is getting ready for the legal sale of recreational marijuana the first of the year, and also preparing for the second part of Amendment 64— the legal growth and production of hemp. 

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Kansas
8:00 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Southwest Kansas VA Clinic Leaving Ft. Dodge

When the VA clinic moves from Fort Dodge to Summerlon within a year, it will join the group of healthcare and medical equipment providers already in residence around Summerlon Circle.
Credit Christopher Guinn / Dodge City Daily Globe

Veterans in southwest Kansas won’t be driving to Fort Dodge for clinic appointments next year, they’ll be going to the Summerlon development in northeast Dodge City according to a recent article in the Dodge City Daily Globe

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Garden City Research Center Completes Five Year Water Impact Study on Alfalfa

Credit yoncatarim.com

The Southwest Research and Extension Center in Garden City, Kansas, completed a five year study on the impact of water application on alfalfa reported Mary Lou Peter for Farm Talk.

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Texas Poverty
8:00 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Texas: Number of Children Living in Poverty on the Rise

Credit netexas.bucknerconnect.com

The percentage of children living in poverty has risen 47 percent since 2000 , despite an improving Texas economy reported the Texas Tribune.  

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Is Milo the Next Big Crop on the High Plains?

Credit whyilovewesttexas.com

Drive across the high plains this time of year, and you see it-- pyramids of white, red, yellow that resemble a sandpainting.  Some area farmers, like Mitchell Baalman of Hoxie, Kansas, are putting their money on milo reported Dan Charles for NPR’s The Salt.

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

New Proposal Has Texas Power Companies Paying Twice

Credit greatamericanthings.net

The Public Utility Commission of Texas is proposing a change in the running of the state’s electricity market according to State Impact Texas.

Power companies get paid when they produce electricity, but the new proposal adds a second payment for owning or building power plants.  The goal is to encourage the building of new power plants.  New plants would help avoid power shortages that have caused rolling blackouts.

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